Horse racing

Cheltenham Festival was a triumph

21 March 2020 9:00 am

The socialite MP Chips Channon once noted in his diaries his feelings about an after-lunch snooze in parliament’s Library: ‘It…

The magic of Cheltenham Festival

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Every time the Cheltenham Festival looms, I recall a remarkable experience. It was already 25 years since Dawn Run’s recovery…

The trainer who gives the big boys a run for their money

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Racing’s New Year began well with the award of OBEs to both Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls, showing that they…

The battle for the future of Flat racing

11 January 2020 9:00 am

The master plan in acquiring our flatcoat retriever puppy Damson was that as folk no longer with full-time jobs we…

Farewell to Australia’s greatest horse

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Storm clouds may be rumbling over racing’s future financing in terms of gambling legislation but 2019 offered no shortage of…

The election won’t bring any joy to the racing community – whatever the outcome

7 December 2019 9:00 am

Whatever the outcome of the election on 12 December, it is unlikely to bring joy to the racing community. Conservatives…

Cheltenham was the perfect antidote to election politics

23 November 2019 9:00 am

I can only be sorry for the 67,496,581 citizens of the UK who were not at Cheltenham last Saturday. For…

The dark world of Victorian horse racing

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Two hours after showing her father, the Marquess of Anglesey, the wedding dress in which she was to marry the…

One to watch: the 5lb claimer Theodore Ladd

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Newmarket’s wisest trainer, Sir Mark Prescott, once noted: ‘The greyhound is propelled through the pain barrier by its desire to…

Rising star Nicola Currie riding Raising Sand to victory at Ascot Credit: Alan Crowhurst / Stringer / Getty Images

Why female jockeys are a better bet

6 July 2019 9:00 am

When Hayley Turner was made, she wasn’t just given a competitive spirit, a sensitive pair of hands and excellent balance.…

In praise of geldings

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Boris Johnson, Remainers might like to be reminded, does sometimes change his mind under pressure. Some years ago, as editor…

Why the Derby is the ultimate test

8 June 2019 9:00 am

There is a danger that memories of the 2019 Epsom Derby will be swamped by statistics. By training his seventh…

In praise of older horses – and their trainers

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Newbury is as fair a test for a racehorse as you can get with its galloping track and a wide-open…

Farewell to the greatest jump jockey of all time

11 May 2019 9:00 am

So the Silver Fox has called it a day. We will never see Ruby Walsh, the man whom even Sir…

The genius of Henry Cecil

27 April 2019 9:00 am

There are people I know who regard racing as a cold-hearted business that exploits animals and achieves little besides putting…

Will horse welfare become racing’s Brexit?

30 March 2019 9:00 am

As jockeys, trainers, punters and media folk gathered at Newbury on Saturday to say farewell to Noel Fehily, the ultimate…

Rich Ricci, former executive chairman of BetBright. Credit: Alan Crowhurst / Stringer

While some bookies behave admirably, the BetBright debacle is a disgrace

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Encountering a generous-hearted bookmaker is normally as rare an occurrence as finding a picture of the Duchess of Sussex without…

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Did the BHA call it right on equine flu?

16 February 2019 9:00 am

The pre-war Fabians Sidney and Beatrice Webb apparently had a pre-marriage agreement. It wasn’t like today’s Hollywood prenups, designed to…

Edwulf, the ‘miracle horse’ on his way to winning the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, 2018

In defence of the Cheltenham Festival

19 January 2019 9:00 am

‘Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport,’ W.S. Gilbert once observed, ‘if the deer had guns too.’ We who love…

Richard Johnson riding Native River to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Credit: Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Racing in 2018 gave us plenty to celebrate

5 January 2019 9:00 am

I don’t know who coined the old racing saying ‘The only person who remembers who came second is the guy…

Tom Scudamore riding Know The Score wins the Visit Our Shop 'Star Sports Mayfair' Standard Open NH Flat Race at Towcester racecourse, 14 February, 2018

‘Concussion doesn’t count’: memories of a racing dynasty

15 December 2018 9:00 am

The Scudamores are one of the bedrock families of jump racing. After being shot down and spending two years as…

How 250 cows may have changed the course of racing

8 December 2018 9:00 am

It may yet turn out that the most significant development in racing this year was the sale of some 250…

My hot tips for the coming season

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Trainer Dan Skelton and his jockey brother Harry have 100 winners on the board already but for most of us…

Luca Cumani, second from left, has announced his retirement from training

Why racing will miss Luca Cumani

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Fairy tales can happen. On Sunday the filly God Given won Italy’s only Group One race of the season, the…

DONCASTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Jockey George Baker riding Litigant leads the field to win the Betfred November Handicap Stakes on November 7, 2015 in Doncaster, England. (Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images)

The dirtiest racehorse names

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Watching whip-thin jockey George Baker, just short of six feet, greeting his mounts used to make me think of the…