Robin Oakley

Robin Oakley writes The Spectator's The turf column

Why the other jockeys love Jamie Moore

5 April 2014 9:00 am

In the parade ring just after Sire De Grugy had won this year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase, I found myself…

Comebacks, longshots and cruel disappointments: what makes Cheltenham Festival great

22 March 2014 9:00 am

No sporting event anywhere compresses so much drama, emotion and character into a single venue as the Cheltenham Festival. It…

How Paul Bittar has kept British racing together

8 March 2014 9:00 am

British racing is such a quirky minefield that some were surprised when in 2011 the authorities chose Paul Bittar, a…

The Grand National needs kinder weather

22 February 2014 9:00 am

This year you don’t want to be a jockey’s valet. Never have their washing machines spun so vigorously. From every…

Women simply don't understand sport's importance

8 February 2014 9:00 am

Liverpool manager Bill Shankly was once challenged with the story that for their wedding anniversary treat he had taken his…

When lawyers take to racehorses

25 January 2014 9:00 am

Can you be both restless and content? Standing last week with Graeme McPherson on the viewing platform over his sharply…

How jockeys play dirty

11 January 2014 9:00 am

At Christmas a friend from CNN sent me the story of a US officer on a European train. Searching for…

Why does Newbury alienate potential racegoers?

14 December 2013 9:00 am

You don’t realise how much your pleasures mean until you are denied them. It was wonderful to get back on…

Christmas racing reading

7 December 2013 9:00 am

In one of those old Mae West films a girl admires her friend’s jewellery: ‘Goodness, what lovely pearls,’ only to…

Racing: Here are the 'Twelve to Follow' for winter

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Women truly are different. Recovering in a spare bedroom from the wonders of a hip replacement (don’t ever jump on…

How the slowest horse won — and caused the biggest upset in Grand National history

9 November 2013 9:00 am

On a grey October morning, along a Berkshire lane leading up to the Ridgeway amid fields stuffed with pheasant, 30…

The Qataris are influencing every aspect of racing

26 October 2013 9:00 am

Not having the odd £100,000 to spare, I had never before joined the world’s richest owners and their bloodstock agents…

The turf: bad-mane day for Tropics

12 October 2013 9:00 am

At the degenerative stage of a dinner party recently I heard related with perfect timing the tale of the gent…

Dean Ivory — from mechanic and welder to enthusiastic and successful trainer

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Trainers used to come into racing with Aunt Agatha’s legacy after a short service commission, having probably worn a trilby…

Robin Oakley: Henry Candy's brilliant bargains

14 September 2013 9:00 am

Cape Peron was my easiest choice for our Twelve to Follow. When Henry Candy smiles his gentle smile, as he…

Most of the racing crowd were saddened that Godolphin was dragged through the mire

31 August 2013 9:00 am

Driving to Newmarket through a biblical-style deluge that had sheep, cattle and horses queuing in twos in case Noah had…

Age triumphs at Ascot

17 August 2013 9:00 am

As part of the after-dinner entertainment on a cruise ship recently, I encountered a couple of comedians. One claimed he…

Qataris invest heavily in British bloodstock

3 August 2013 9:00 am

A fresh new breeze is wafting through British racing. Led by the enthusiastic Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, the Qatar ruling…

It helps to have a sense of humour when handling horses

20 July 2013 9:00 am

Clive Cox, once a conditional jockey in Lambourn, fell at the first fence one year in the Grand National. ‘Mind…

Royal Ascot triumph: Johnny Murtagh is the best trainer riding

6 July 2013 9:00 am

Ginger Rogers, clever girl, did everything that Fred Astaire did — but she did it backwards. I am looking backwards…