Robin Oakley

Robin Oakley writes The Spectator's The turf column

My hot tips for the jump season

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Richard Johnson may already have 100 winners in the bag, and Paul Nicholls may already have banked £750,000 worth of…

The founding father of bookmaking

11 November 2017 9:00 am

Imagine Ryan Moore getting caught on the line by a rival’s late spurt at the end of a Newmarket race…

The turf

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Racing’s finances depend on as many people as possible betting, so it seemed a touch ironic that Responsible Gambling Awareness…

The turf

14 October 2017 9:00 am

The mission was simple: take a load of garden refuse to the council dump and be back in time to…

The turf

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Racing is an expensive sport to stage. Courses and grandstands have to be maintained, health and safety regulations have to…

The turf

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Racing moves off the back pages only when its opponents have bad news to gloat over. Two examples lately have…

The turf

2 September 2017 9:00 am

I guess his mother may have called him Patrick, or even, when he was in trouble, ‘Patrick Joseph’, but in…

The turf

19 August 2017 9:00 am

‘Racing isn’t a team sport,’ the diehards used to tell us about the Shergar Cup, Ascot’s annual contest for three-rider…

The turf

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Khalid Abdullah, John Gosden and Frankie Dettori — owner, trainer and jockey — already figured among the great names of…

The art of picking winners on the Flat

28 May 2016 9:00 am

‘After a few decades of marriage a man ought to be able to recognise his own wife,’ Mrs Oakley observed…

How to make a mint at the races this summer

14 May 2016 9:00 am

It has been a little like scraping from the plate as slowly as possible the last traces of Mrs Oakley’s…

The difference between praying in church and praying at a racecourse

30 April 2016 9:00 am

The difference between praying in church and praying at the racecourse, a gnarled old punter once said, is that at…

The Grand National a predictable affair? Not a bit of it

16 April 2016 9:00 am

With great victories in Flat racing you witness hats-in-the-air exultation. You see the pride of trainers who nurtured the winner…

I managed to miss out on the glory of Cheltenham - financially anyway

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Everybody has their glory memory from Cheltenham this year. Some celebrate the extraordinary seven victories for the quietly confident Willie…

Jump-racing bids farewell to the great John Ferguson

19 March 2016 9:00 am

Writing a Turf column before the Cheltenham Festival, as the Spectator schedule requires, which you are reading only after the…

The second-best jump jockey ever finally gets to finish first

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Richard Johnson, possibly the nicest man to occupy a saddle and certainly the most modest, once said of his Irish…

Inside the mind of a racehorse trainer

20 February 2016 9:00 am

There are now two Kings of the Marlborough Downs. Leading jumps trainer Alan King has long trained top horses at…

Hot tips for next month’s Cheltenham Festival

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Racing Life is all about judgment and I got one thing right at Cheltenham last Saturday after the overnight rain.…

The small wonders of horse racing

23 January 2016 9:00 am

Cheltenham, Ascot and Sandown Park are wonderful but without the little tracks racing would be lost. It was perishing cold…

Why the north needs Red Rum

9 January 2016 9:00 am

The well-bred Sea Pigeon, who had finished seventh in the Derby when trained at Beckhampton by Jeremy Tree, was later…

The glories of the Galapagos

2 January 2016 9:00 am

‘Think dogs in wetsuits,’ said our guide of the cluster of sea lions at our feet on San Cristobal, one…

Wear The Fox Hat looks innocent enough but try saying it in an Irish accent

12 December 2015 9:00 am

President Lyndon B. Johnson’s image never quite recovered in many people’s view from the photograph of him picking up his…

Essential racing books for Christmas

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Do horses have souls or a ‘spirit’? When form expert Marten Julian was looking to buy a horse, he asked…

This year’s Twelve to Follow netted a £328 profit

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Three personalities dominated the Flat season: Gosden, Dettori and Golden Horn. Victories for the trio in the Derby, the Irish…

The joys of jump racing

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Thank God for jump racing. The Flat has its glitz and speed and glamour, and we could not help but…