Thursday, 10 December 2020

Sir Peter O'Sullevan's Top Grand National Moments

The Voice of Racing. 

Sir Peter O'Sullevan, was knighted in 1997, after his 50th and last Grand National commentary, when 14/1 shot Lord Gyllene won by an impressive 25 lengths for trainer Steve Brookshaw, ridden by Tony Dobbin in the ownership of Stan Clarke. 

O'Sullevan worked for the BBC from 1948 to 1997. Those early races being broadcast on radio with the first televised Grand National in 1960.

Over the years he commentated on the highs and lows of the Grand National using his trusty, old binoculars which came from a German submarine. 

Historic victories include: 

The 1967 triumph of Foinavon who one at odds of 100/1, after avoiding a mass pile-up at the 23rd fence, which in 1984 was official named after John Kempton's nine-year-old gelding. 

Who will ever forget the victories in 1973, 1974 & 1977 of Red Rum, vintage years of the Grand National for trainer Ginger McCain. 

“They’re willing him home now! The 12-year-old Red Rum, being preceded only by loose horses, being chased by Churchtown Boy… They’re coming to the Elbow, just a furlong now between Red Rum and his third Grand National triumph! He gets a tremendous reception, you’ve never heard one like it at Liverpool… and Red Rum wins the National!”

The success of Red Rum helped bring the National to a global audience and made this astonishing horse a household name. 

What makes the Grand National a race to savour are the stories told. Ask anyone and they will have their favourite horse, trainer, jockey... 

For me personally, Aldaniti, West Tip and the lesser known Classified touch my heart for different reasons - not all because of winning but exceptional thoroughbreds who headed to Aintree with a battling spirit which made their names live eternally in my heart and mind.  

One of the most memorable came back in 1981 with two warriors in the form of man and horse: Bob Champion and Aldaniti, both as strong as steel. 

Their story captured the reality of hope over adversity.  

Bob Champion battling cancer, while his trusty steed almost crippled with leg problems. But it was destined for this heroic duo to win one of the most emotional stories in Grand National history. 

In 1984, the film Champions played by John Hurt was well received and especially the  music score by Carl Davis that's now synonymous with the Greatest Steeplechase in the World. 

Pure Magic  

However, it was the Grand National that was dubbed ''the race that never was'' when 30 of the 39 runner failed to realise it was a false start, which many will remember. 

O'Sullevan declared: ''It's the greatest disaster in the history of the Grand National.'' 

Sir Peter O'Sullevan was ''The Voice of Racing'' who raised the quality of commentating on horse racing. He passed away at the age of 97 from cancer at his London home. 

The Grand National 2021 takes place at Aintree, Liverpool, Saturday 10th April. 

This year's race will have much to do with Tiger Roll who won the last two Nationals before Coronavirus put pay to 2020. After disappointing on his return to racing, George Elliott's charge will need to be back to his best to achieve the unprecedented Red Rum. 
Good luck to all who take part. 

Thursday, 3 December 2020

It's Been a Long Time Between Drinks

You often here that said by a racing pundit with reference to a horse that hasn't won in a month of Sundays.   

You're probably thinking the same about blog posts or emails from me. 

They say the best things are worth waiting for. We can only hope that can be said of yours truly. 

You may be saying: ''What is he doing?''

After the conclusion of the Flat turf season I start reviewing and assessing my horse trainer profiles by adding data and making a reassessment. 

Thankfully, with the shorter season it takes slightly less time. I've been adding to this data and last year I revamped the whole thing and it took me a good four months of solid work. It wasn't the most pleasurable experience but these things have to be done. 

And it is something our readers benefit from too and all these golden nuggets of information filter through to give insight. 

Well, I've managed to complete about 10 trainers so far and I probably have another 90 to go. It's surprising how many trainers go from a - z. 

I often say: ''Knowledge is power.''

It's true. 

Data doesn't give you the answer to everything but it definitely helps point you in the right direction. If you don't have your eye on the ball you have little chance of hitting it. 

From my analysis of horse trainers it is revealing. 

A trainer such as Richard Fahey has raced hundreds of two-year-olds, in fact, if I checked now it would be over 1,000 runners (just from my data) and all that info tells you a story. 

It gives you the answer to what makes a winner and what makes a loser. 

However, it is just one part of the jigsaw. 

This added to form, significant entries, experience and looking out for pointers give a pretty good understanding of two-year-old racing. 

Even a race full of debutantes gives answers. 

So for the next month or so I will be updating these horse trainer profiles and detailing one or two insightful answers to questions. 

Thanks for your support. 

Monday, 19 October 2020

Horse Racing Blogs That Kick Ass

You may be thinking...

That bloke who details info about two-year-old horse racing has gone quiet. I think he has gone back to West Palm Beach, Florida, to enjoy the winter sunshine like some snowbird who couldn't wait another minute to escape the bitter wind of New York.

It's a bit different to the windswept Fens of East Anglia, hey. 

I could do with a good vacation or holiday if you are like me and a Brit. 

I will do my very best to forward a Group Horse Mailing this Sunday. They always say no news is good news. I guess at times, that is true. 

Unlike many subscriptions you join, who fire out emails as if bullets trying to sell you a new, shiny, object (you don't need) I will forever detail only info of worth. 

Along with detailing top-notch two-year-old prospects I work on and collaborate with a number of blogs and websites. 

In fact, you may have visited a few and not noticed I have been part of their story. 

So here are a few new and old websites I am associated:

First, take a look at Craig's Betting Blog because it is associated with Group Horse. Craig has been following the two-year-old racing for a few years now and he really is passionate about his racing. In fact, his blog is updated regularly and there are almost 300 blog posts which have been written over the last year or so. The vast majority written by Craig, with me forwarding one or two along the way to just help out. You may have noticed a few of his articles in Google search engine. You will not find a more dedicated man and your visits to this blog will be worth your time. 

One of my newest website is Professional Gamblers. I was very lucky to get this domain for a basic cost (sometimes you need a bit of luck) when I'm pretty sure it is worth a bob or two.It's not for sale. Anyway, this website will detail professional gambler stories of new names plus the old retro gamblers who packed up their bags of money and went to stay somewhere on the Florida coast. In truth, this blog will be a mix of gambling stories and racing news, However, all will be written by myself or David Dunning who we have worked with for a while now. Professional Gambler stories are always well received and give insight for those would-be gamblers with ambitions of making their betting pay. 

Next is a very established blog and one you may well know. Eric Winner is a collaboration with a very good friend of mine who loves his sprinters. The blog is on the verge of achieving one million page views which is a real testament to the hard work from the Sprint King. Eric Winner is prolific and one of few tipster to detail a 100/1 winner (amazingly backed to 12/1). I think the blog isn't too far off 2000 posts so it is a bee hive of industry and tips are offered on a daily basis. Eric gives winners on a regular basis and is especially good on the all-weather courses. In addition, he lays horses to lose. This is a unique combination of backing winners and laying losers in the same race. A blog you may well have visited. If not, take a look and see if he has passed the million mark. 

Thanks for visiting. 

Monday, 5 October 2020

Imagine - Just Frank, Trained by Les Eyre (5th October)

Perhaps it comes from being a working-class hero. 

John Lennon would have been cheering on Saturday. 

Les Eyre's Just Frank didn't just win the £150,000 Tattersalls' October Auction Stakes at Newmarket - he trounced the opposition. 

I don't know if it is a British thing - but don't you just love to see the underdog prevail? 

I'd love to think Les Eyre's uttered these words: ''Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules!'' [John Lennon, Working Class Hero]

What a brilliant day for connections. 

Les Eyre, jockey Lewis Edmunds and owners Billy & Steven Parker. 

It's a story that will live long in the hearts and minds of all those who herald the triumph of the smaller trainer over the great and good. 

Putting sleepy Catwick, North Yorkshire on the map. 

Just Frank, a bay son of Epaulette, out of a unraced mare, was purchased by Quirke Bloodstock for Les Eyre racing on the 17th October 2019 at Tattersalls October Yearling Sale [Lot: 1571] at the knock-down price of 27,000 Guineas. 

Clearly connections always fancied they had a talented two-year-old on their hands because this March foal turned into a strapping colt with size and strength. 

However, things didn't quite go to plan on debut when he was a well-backed 6/1 shot at Pontefract over 5f. 

The Racing Post Comments said: Slowly into stride, towards rear, not clear run over 2f out, weakend 1f out.'' 

Although a disappointing start to proceedings I'm sure connection never lost faith.

It's often a strange happening with debutantes that the worse they look the better they are.

Frank was Just getting started. 

Second start at Redcar, eleven days later, saw a better performance when stepping up to 7f for the first time. Perhaps connections had lost a little bit of their motivation as he started at odds of 40/1, seemingly unfancied, when competing against six horses including hot favourite Saint Lawrence [Roger Varian] who started at 1/2f and raced home for a comfortable victory.

However, there was something about Just Frank which must have put a smile on the face of the Parker's. 

He showed tremendous pace and was only collared in the closing furlong by a horse that went on to perform creditably at Group class, taking the Denford Stakes [Listed Race] at Newbury. 

I can only imagine what John Lennon would have been singing or saying. 

Without question - there was more to come. 

This horse was something all small trainers need and live for - galloping with hopes and dreams. 

On the 28th July, Just Franks was gelded. 

After an 85-day break he was ready to shine, and so he did. 

On the 14th September, connections headed to Thirsk with high hopes of a win. 

At 1:00 the race started in earnest. Just Frank was a little weak in the betting but strong in hope and glory and those who had the wisdom to take a piece of the 16/5 available would soon be cheering in triumph. He took a keen hold. Pulling himself to the front after a furlong. To the cheers of punters up and down the country, he shot clear of the field and was eased in the closing stakes to win ''readily'' by almost four lengths. 

For those who saw Just Frank compete at Newmarket on the 3rd October 2020, it was a truly thrilling spectacle. It was the kind of win that all who hope and dream would love to live.

Backed from 25/1 - 12/1, there was plenty of confidence from connections and punters alike.

Racing Post Comments said: ''Raced centre, made all, soon clear in group, pushed along and went clear overall from over 1f out, ridden and kept on strongly final 110yds, unchallenged, 1st of 7 in group.'' 

The 6f may have been on soft ground but the stable had firm beliefs.

Just Frank won unchallenged. 

Four-and-a-half-beautiful lengths. 

It was a joy to behold. 

QUOTES: JUST FRANK has always shown a lot at home. We didn't think dropping back to six furlongs would be a problem as it's a stiff enough track although we weren't so sure about the ground. We had confidence in him as he'd made every yard last time and he wasn't looking for company or anything like that. Since day one when I've ridden him I always felt he was a good horse. I think he's a Royal Ascot horse in the making for next year as I think the track and everything there will suit him, so something like the Jersey or the Britannia would be for him. He felt like he'd get a mile the way he went today. I don't know whether he'll run again or not this season - Lewis Edmunds, jockey. 

All of those days owners, trainers, jockeys, punters wait for that moment to shout in triumph.

Les Eyre - you're day has come. 

What a glorious day for all of those working class heroes who wait too ******* long for their day. 

If John Lennon sat down and sung a song after Saturday's race I know for a fact what it would have been. 


Monday, 21 September 2020

10 Dark Horse Mailing Showing Their Form (21st September)

When I sent the 10 Dark Horse Mailing I was expecting the good, the bad and the ugly.

It's what to be expected. Why? Because it is difficult enough to detail a talented horse before debut and then we have no idea where it will start its racing career. So that makes a challenging situation. 

I would suggest to readers to do the same and follow the performance. 

Anyway, for the major part, I am happy with the success of a number of the 10 two-year-olds we detailed. 

You may have benefited from the extra info which helps pinpoint when these noted horses are likely to win. 

This proved to readers' advantage on Sunday when Brian Meehan's Decisive Edge (pictured) won at Chelmsford (1:00) at odds of 4/1 by half a lengths, in the process beating a favourite priced 1/4f.     

See the full result here

Any punters who use the exchanges would have seen Decisive Edge at 7/1, although the place price was just 1.25. 

Other horses that have proved successful on our 10 Dark Horse Mailing include: 

Love Is You 

(Very talented debut winner)

Rich Dream 

(Winning second time out, as advised)

Il Bandito 

(Beaten third start when runner up at Chepstow, after travelling with ease)

Alba Rose 

(Effortless winner at Thirsk when advised on second start)

Decisive Edge 

(Advised on second start at Chelmsford when beating 1/4f)

Florence Street 

(Ran a sound race in third when beaten by a couple of decent horses giving the impression he will improve with racing) 

Hidden Breeze 

(Ran a sound race on debut when finishing fourth and should go close second start)

All-in-all, I have been pleased with the performances so far and there will be more to come. I have additional information, and may well detail another 10 Dark Horses to following over the next few months. 

I predict this new mailing will be even better.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Bahrain Pride Wins Ripon Champion Two Year Old Trophy Stakes (Listed Race)

It's always great to see a class two-year-old horse, especially at the Garden Racecourse. 

Bahrain Pride, trained by Simon & Ed Crisford proved a star turn when taking Ripon's headline juvenile contest in sparkling style. 

This bay colt, a son of Kodiac out of an unraced mare [Life Of Pi], made it two from two wins, following up from a battling debut win at Windsor when holding the late charge of Andrew Balding's Fivethousadntoone by three-quarters of a length. 

Crisford has a quality horse on his hands with Bahrain Pride who races in the familiar silks of KHK Racing Ltd. This £300,000 Tattersall's Craven Breeze-up Sale 2020 purchase by Stroud Coleman Bloodstock. 

This March foal travelled with ease throughout the race pulling clear of Internationaldream by one-and-three-quarter lengths and quote as ''impressive'' by the Racing Post in their race analysis by David Orton. Interesting to note that Simon Criford won this race back in 2018 when Sporting Chance won by a head from Gypsy Spirit. 

See the full result here

Previous winners of the Ripon Champion Two Year Old Trophy include:

2019 - Platinum Star, trained by Saeed bin Suroor
2018 - Sporting Chance, trained by Simon Crisford
2017 - Enjazaat, trained by Owen Burrows 
2016 - Alicante Dawn, trained by Brian Smart
2015 - Whitman, trained by Richard Spencer
2014 - Izzthatright, trained by Richard Fahey
2013 - Supplicant, trained by Richard Fahey
2012 - Deauville Prince, trained by Tom Dacombe
2011 - Geronimo Meadow, trained by Brian Meehan

The largest winner of this race in the last ten years is Sporting Chance at 6/1.

Bahrain Pride has taken both his starts and victories in style and connections may well look to the Mill Reef Stakes Group 2 which takes place at Newbury over 6f. Last year's winner, Pierre Lapin, trained by Roger Varian.   

Good luck to connections. 

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Faora Looks the Real Deal for Cool Silk Partnership

Faora Looks the Real Deal for Cool Silk Partnership
Richard Fahey started the two-year-old season feeling disappointed with his lot. 


Because he was noted as saying his early-season prospects just didn't live up to expectation. From a stable that is used to making a flying start it was a bitter pill to take.  However, with such a huge string of juveniles it was only a matter of time before Mews House, Musley Bank, Malton, struck gold. 

Followers have seen the stable hit a good few two-year-old wins. 

Horses such as Internationaldream, Fev Rover, Escape Route & Umm Kulthum have made up for these earlier disappointments. 

It's good to see that the Fahey team have another potential star two-year-old in their ranks. 

On a blustery day at Great Yarmouth, Faora made a sparkling debut in the 3:55 Yarmouth - Follow At The Races On Twitter Fillies' Novice Stakes (Plus 10/GBB Race) (Class 5) (2yo) (6f3yds) 6f Good to Soft.

Faora was an expensive breeze-up purchase for The Cool Silk Partnership at 375,000 g. This daughter of Hard Spun out of a winning mare was seriously backed for her debut. Ridden by Barry McHugh, she cruised past her rivals winning in ready fashion by just over one length. 

See the full result here

Quite a late foal born 21st April 2018, she is a good-looking filly with a professional approach and a horse who will be competing at pattern class sooner rather than later. 

The Cool Silk Partnership have been blessed by a number of exceptional talents including Sands Of Mali and Summer Sands. 

Take a look The Cool Silk Partnership Twitter Profile.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

A Few Horses Noted by Their Trainers for Monday (6th July)

There are a number of two-year-old horses running at the following meetings who have been noted by their trainers as future winners. 

Please note these are not tips, it is just an opportunity to see how these juveniles progress, especially the *debutantes. 

I will give an update on the statistical chances of these horses at 12 O'Clock (Monday).  

Post updated 13th July 2020

12:40 Ayr

*Twilight Lucy 

This daughter of Twilight Spirit has been noted by Mark Johnston as a talented juvenile. 

Note: Ran no race on debut although relatively fancied in the betting. Something went amiss whether injury or more than likely due to soft ground. Definitely keep an eye on this horse next time out as it could bounce back to life. 

4:40 Windsor

A few of these have been noted by their trainers so keep on eye on the form as a number will be winning in future.

Caroline Dale, trained by David Loughnane. 

Mahale, trained by Mick Channon. 

*Shrara, trained by Ralph Beckett. 

Note: Looked clueless although quite well backed from huge odds. Finished down the field but interesting to see how this filly fares on her second start. She will show much more.   

Note: What did I say about Shrara! She wins well second start. Time after time horses that look next to useless on debut transformed. Wins at 6/1sp. 

*Thank You Next, trained by Richard Hannon. 

Note: A lovely-looking filly and she will be winning this season. Hannon's filly ran in a very tough race on debut and a wide draw didn't help her chance at all. This daughter of No Nay Never will come on for the run and improve for a step up in distance. Won second start 7/2. 

5:30 Thirsk

Mamba Wamba, trained by Adrian Nicholls. 

5:45 Windsor

*Unbutton, trained by William Haggas.  

Note: This is a prime example of what I said about debutantes. Unbutton did little on debut at Windsor. However, she was a different proposition second start at Kempton when very well backed in a tough race and finished second best only to a very talented winner from Mark Johnston. You wouldn't have expected anything after debut but this performance shows the truth of talented horses.  

Fools Rush In, trained by Tom Dascombe. 

Saturday, 4 July 2020

If You Want to Build an Engine You need to Get Your Hands Dirty

The first month of the two-year-old Flat turf season has come and gone. Considering there has been nothing normal about these times or the resumption of horseracing I am happy enough with proceedings. 

In ways, I was impressed by how well ''Royal'' Ascot went. I had fears of small fields and a lack of racing before the start, because let's be honest, it was getting pretty close to the bone and a few days or week later and there could have been a fear of the likes of the Coventry, Norfolk & Queen Mary Stakes (et al) being represented by a field of debutantes. 

Thankfully, that wasn't the case. 

The cavalry charge was those first two or so weeks before the big day. 

In fairness, the Ascot nominations have been a good line to above-average two-year-olds from trainers big and small. 

I haven't updated the Group Entered 2YO page on this website simply because I have been a little bit peeved at random people coming along and stealing all the info and some people even selling it. I had one wise guy trying to sell me my own information which basically meant it was time to stop the entries on here. 

It's not a problem as you can find the information as easily as I can and if you wish to spend numerous hours updating the records for your insight (which I recommend) then you will have something most don't. This is one reason why you will know more than most by investing a little bit of time and effort. I am sending mailings via our subscriber list so please don't think I have deserted you. This is old news so nothing to concern your beautiful heads about. 

You know, you really should do the work yourself. Not because I am being selfish or stupid, but simply the best way to learn is to get involved and understand what you are seeing and reading. That just doesn't happen when the information is plonked in front of you. 

Sure, I could do all the work, and most subscribers and readers are very appreciative, but if you want to understand how to build an engine you need to get your hands dirty. 

Just about all juvenile races had been detailed as Class 5, but I have noted a few Class 2 races which make for interesting reading and worthy of you taking notes. Why? Because they are generally the best of the trainer's juvenile string. In addition, we have a few pattern races which bring further insight. 

These aspects help build a picture. 

I would advise all readers to take note of the two-year-old entries because, as seen with the Ascot Nominations, it is worthy information of your time and, literally, comes straight from the horse's mouth (I do hate that saying). 

Have a good weekend.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Two-Year-Old (2YO) Ascot Nominations & Entries (16th - 20th June)

Ascot 2020 2yo nominations and entries
Good news on the racing front. 

Readers will be aware that due to the late start of the Flat season, horse trainers nominated their better juveniles. If memory serves, about 160 colts, fillies and geldings were detailed from the great and the good. 

I must admit, I wasn't quite sure what to think of these preliminary findings, basically sifting the wheat from the chaff. However, on average, the nominations have detailed a number of winners.

Initially, I wasn't sure how Ascot, which takes place from the 16th - 20th June, would pan out. 

Looking at the Racing Post race declarations, I was pleased to see the traditional first entry stake of the Ascot races being made for the week ahead. 

This is good news for Group Horse, which uses this information to help readers and subscribers of our mailing list identify the best two-year-old horses in training. 

The Ascot two-year-old races include:

17th June

4:10 Ascot - Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed Race) 5f 

34 entrants 

See a full list of entrants here

Previous winners 

18th June 

3:00 Ascot - Chesham Stakes (Listed Race) 7f 

19 entrants 

See a full list of entrants here 

Previous winners 

19th June 

1:50 Ascot - Albany Stakes (Group 3) 6f 

20 entrants 

See a full list of entrants here

Previous winners 

2:25 Ascot - Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) 5f 

26 entrants 

See a full list of entrants here 

Previous winners  

20th June 

12:40 Coventry Stakes (Group 2) 6f

23 entrants

See a full list of entrants here

Previous winners

1:50 Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) 5f

24 entrants

See a full list of entrants here 

Previous winners 

Which trainers are heading to Ascot? 

We have a varied mix of potential runners from trainers far and wide including Wesley Ward, Aidan O'Brien, Archie Watson, Saeed bin Suroor among leading stables. 

How many runners will be allowed in each race?

Interest, that the two-year-old races allow a maximum of 24 runners, so the traditional cavalry charge will be seen.  

Subscribe to our free mailing list here to get 10 Dark Horse and Easy Professional Gambler Mailing Series 

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Your Quick Guide to Royal Ascot Two-Year-Olds (2yos) 2020

Well, we have lift-off. 

The Flat racing started on 1st June as anticipated and it has seen a lively start to proceedings with Royal Ascot 2020 on the horizon from the 16th - 20th. 

Without question, this has been a frantic return but that is the nature of the beast with trainers large and small desperate to get their two-year-olds out and a little bit of experience under their belts before heading to Ascot. 

I can't say I like this fast and furious resumption as it doesn't sit so tranquil as the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster. However, times must and we cannot be too conflicted by the state of affairs. It could have been a lot worse so I am thankful for the opportunity to bolster the racing industry and see a bit of sport returning to television. 

The two-year-old racing is coming thick and fast and we have seen over 20 races in the first week of the Flat season 2020. Who would have believed the first race would be over 6f and that one week has gone a 7f race just to add to the melee?

Here is a quick rundown of two-year-olds who have caught the eye and won on debut:

Army Of India, trained by Mark Johnston 

This strapping son of Sepoy was inexperienced on debut but led all the way to hold the late challenge of Archie Watson's Science. After the success, Joe Fanning [jockey] detailed this March foal will be heading to Royal Ascot, over 6f. 

Dandalla, trained by Karl Burke

This bay filly was a real drifter in the market but it didn't stop her winning well. A lovely physical specimen, she looks a horse to follow in the ownership of Nick Bradley Racing 28 & E Burke. Connections states she will be kept at five-furlongs but will be better at 6f and likely to go to Royal Ascot. 

Sacred, trained by William Haggas

Not overly fancied in the betting but an easy winner for Cheveley Park Stud. This daughter of Exceed And Excel is a rangy type and sure to improve with racing. There was a lot to be liked about this winner. Maureen Haggas said they would think about Royal Ascot. 

Might Gurkha, trained by Archie Watson 

Fair to say this wasn't the strongest of maidens, being auction stakes, but Hollie Doyle rode this son of Sepoy like she was sitting on a rocket and he stormed clear of the field to win impressively by almost eight lengths. Watson didn't detail future plans, but it looks likely this colt will be heading to Berkshire.

Lauded, trained by Tom Dascombe

In what looked to be a quality race at Haydock but Lauded ground out a comfortable success by some four-and-a-half lengths from some well-bred types in second and third. Jockey, Richard Kingscote, spoke of the colt in glowing terms and suggested he is worth his place at Ascot. 

There will be plenty more to come.