Tuesday 21 May 2024

Going To Great Yarmouth Horse Racing With Jerry Banks

It's always a special occasion to get to the races.

As readers will know, Great Yarmouth Racecourse holds a place in our heart. It goes back to the days of summer holidays, staying at Caister-on-sea, just a stone's throw down the road. In fact, if you are at the racecourse look in the distance and you will see Caister Lifeboat House, sitting on the north sea coast. 

Our summer holidays, every September, were our only real annual vacation. A week in the caravan with Mum and Dad, often Nana Polo and cousins. My father, Colin, would enjoy a day or two at the Eastern Festival (actually a 3-day meeting) which become a family occasion in every sense as his brothers, cousins and a gathering of friends would make the most of this tourist hot spot. 

I often think back to those times and wish I could watch from afar to see Dad and the Happy Pilgrimage enjoying a gamble. We don't realise what we have until it has gone. Those memories are very special but how I would love to be part of that beautiful time. 

Our love of horse racing come from our Dad. And all of our days at Great Yarmouth since are in memory of my father and all those good people who sadly are no longer with us. 

Through writing many blog posts and reading others I learned about Lowestoft professional gambler Jerry Banks. He is one of those people you can't help but like. A broad Suffolk accent which adds to the stories of gambling over a few pints of Guinness. 

On the 22nd May, my brother, Tony, and I will head to Great Yarmouth on the train which takes around three hours. It may seem drawn out but it's all good fun as we chat along the way. A change at Ely and Norwich, then some thirty minutes later we are at the coast. Happy smiles of people heading to the coast, while others make their return home.

To be fair I never seem to have a fancy when I am at the course. Being dedicated to two-year-old horse racing I'm lucky if there are a couple of juvenile races on the card. However, it goes as it goes. I don't bet for fun and it shows some resolves not to bet for no good reason. I'm not keen on making bad habits. It's far too easy to bet for all the wrong reasons and if you have any element of professionalism you simply don't bet for fun. 

Each to their own. I'm not interested.

I see there are couple of Class 2 two-year-old maidens worth a fraction over £20,000 to the winners.

The weather forecast suggests rain so I best put my umbrella in my bag. 

It will be good to meet up with Jerry. With just six races on the card it will be a pretty brief affair. Jerry was good enough to get us a ticket which shows what a generous man he is. After racing we walk around the corner to The Avenue Pub and from there head to the Savoy Tandoori for a curry, a few more drinks and good chat. 

If Dad was still alive he would enjoy Jerry's company and after we would go visit the Grosvenor Casino on the front. Sadly that wasn't open when Dad and family used to go on holiday although they did used to go to the greyhounds. Those two elements were enough to see most skint halfway through the week. If the casino had been on the wish list most would have left pot less after the first day.

You have to smile. 

When at the racecourse I will look into the grandstand and say to myself: 'I hope all is well, Dad.'

I'm sure it is. 

Photo: Dad, Nana Polo, Sandra (cousin) & Tony and I. 

The Method Behind the Madness

In some respects gambling can drive you mad. 

It's the pursuit of excellence. It's what you need to make your betting pay. That, in truth, is no easy task. As Dave Nevison said when he wrote his second book: ''No Easy Money''. 

If a seasoned professional can say that (albeit a good few years back) it tells a story. Unless you live horse racing, passionate about every thought to improve your skills and achieve the mantle of a winning gambler, you need to question what you are doing. 

Very few people stop to assess their life. 

I bet even fewer punters question their success or failings. But unless we do so we have little hope of understanding our lot or improving. In a competitive and changing world we need to do this on a regular basis.  

It could be something as simple as a profit and loss sheet, or a diary of your gambling thoughts, methods, guidelines or procedures. 

I know in ways all this seems a bit hippie like as if I'm going to sit in a quiet corner and start saying a mantra and dip in and out of consciousness. 

I've had a few bets where I wish I had done just that. 

Plenty of punters have had days where they wish they hadn't got out of bed. 

Being a successful gambler isn't easy. It has taken me a lifetime to reach this point and it has been and will continue to be a bumpy ride unless the work is done. 

Positive reinforcement. 

Keeping your betting within a structure built on sound practice. 

This means having answers to questions. Understanding your niche of horse racing to such a level that you are ready to work without questioning what you are doing or trying to think on your feet. You may be assessing, using your knowledge and judgement to make the right decisions. 

Each bet placed needs to be done with the utmost professionalism. 

That takes a lot of knowledge, practice and routine. 

You have to work in such a manner that it reinforces the positives. If you have to learn a lesson do so without betting even if you feel you missed a chance to make some cash. 

Do not make knee-jerk reactions. Do not bet with your emotions. This is easier said than done. But you have to make that change at some point. If you don't then every single answer to every single question is floating around your head. 

It's an absolute disaster. 

You need to have your plan, your knowledge and your approach set in stone. 

All these aspect help you work professionally. 

It helps you build on the positives. It helps you limit your emotions. It helps you bet with confidence. 

The only problem with all these words is that you will need to work unending years to come close to having those building blocks of intelligence to make all this happen. 

However, you can learn a lot from my approaches. 

With assessment, working to a plan and having a positive approach you are one step closer to making your betting pay. 

Stop for a moment and question what you get out of gambling, what you want and how you are going to get there. 

Understanding is a journey that isn't just for those who have achieved their goals.  

They were the starting point for those people who wanted to the same and made a decision to improve. 

You have the opportunity to change. 


Read our last post: Betting Discipline: The More You Learn The More You Understand

Monday 6 November 2023

10 Dark Horses 2023 (6th November)

Hi Guys,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for being a little quiet these last few months. 

With one thing and another, too many demands on my time, I may have missed a couple of mailings (just editorial stuff). However, I am a firm believer in less is more, and we don't bombard you with mailings (like others) which offer little value or try to sell you something you don't need. 

We have nothing to sell.

I just do this to help bring a bit of interest to the fascinating world of two-year-old horse racing and detail a few dark horses alongside privecity casino online in the hope one or two achieve group-class status if not winning at the highest level. It's not the easiest task to identify unraced or lightly raced juveniles who are going places. 

Regular readers know we have a fine track record of finding winners and it adds to the season and into the three-year-old campaign.  

Anyway, please find, below, our list of 10 Dark Horses (+one bonus horse). I'm quite happy with the list but you can never quite tell. There will be winners unless something unbelievable happens. 

Please remember, I don't detail these horses as tips (I know a lot of our readers do bet) so if you put your cold, hard cash on the line, it's on your own head.

There's a lot more to successful gambling than a list of potentially 'smart' horses!

I would say this, statistically it is much easier for a two-year-old to win on its second start than debut. Although a classy juvenile can do just that. Most good bets come through circumstance but sometimes you need a little bit of luck as you do with slots online US which sets a very different scene from the horse racing talk. I prefer betting on a talented horse in an average race or a horse that has disappointed. Also, there is little point betting on horses at short odds. Value bets are key. 

This year's list details 5 debutantes and 6 horses which are once raced. It's just the way things fall. I could detail all debutantes but I'm sure you would rather have quality horses than me trying too hard and a couple of talking horses disappoint.

For ease, I have added a link to each horse so you can take a look at their profiles on the Racing Post and put them in your tracker if you so wish. 

10 Dark Horses + 1 Bonus Horse

1)  Night Raider - (Karl Burke) - 11 - (Achieved Classic Race Standard) 
2)  Arkhalia Flynn - 5 (Jack Channon) - 
3)  Serene Seraph - 3 (Richard Hannon) - 210 
4)  Stratocracy - 7 (Richard Hannon) - 494 - 759
5)  Star Music - 3 (Richard Hughes) - 313 - 60 (Achieved Classic Race Standard) 
6)  Jayarebe - (Brian Meehan) -17 - 1 (Easy Winner at Listed Class) 
7)  Sisyphean - (Kevin Ryan) - 524 - 17
8)  Bondy - (Bryan Smart) - 41 -
9)  Fool's Gold - 6 (Richard Spencer) - 17 - (Raced at Group Class) 
10) Savvy Warrior - 4 (Sean Woods) - 367 - 4

11) Bonus Horse:  Miletus - (Charles Hills) - 5 - 81 

Good luck if following.

Thanks for your support.


Friday 6 January 2023

10 Dark Horses 2022 (13th August)

Hi Guys,

I must apologise for being far too quiet. With one thing and another it has been one of those years. However, I always prize myself on the 10 Dark Horses, which pinpoint a few quality two-year-olds.

As usual, my hand has been forced, because I have seen a couple on my shortlist entered to run tomorrow so I'm sending this mailing out so you can take note of these individuals.

Please remember, I don't give these horses as tips. If you wish to bet on them, that's your prerogative. Everyone is responsible for their own finances so please keep that in mind. My role is to forward 2yo thoroughbred horses which I feel will be winning sooner or later. If quality juveniles, most of these will be winning in their first two starts. It is much easier for a two-year-old to win on its second start but a classy horse can win on debut. 

Funnily enough, last year's 10 Dark Horses got off to a horrendous start with the first four or five finishing down the field. However, the vast majority proved talents and won on their second start. I don't think we had any superstars last year but eight of the ten went on to win races  

If you wish to recap on this year's mailings, which include last year's 10 Dark Horses 2021, you can find them here. 

Anyway, as an extra bonus I will forward 11 Dark Horses for your consideration. As I said, a couple are running tomorrow so we will see how they go.

The vast majority of these horses are debutantes. However, I have added three horses which have raced once this season simply because I know they are classy and worth a mention.

If you click on the horse's name, you can see their entries via the Racing Post.

11 Dark Horses 2022  

1) The Black Hole - Kevin Philipart de Foy:   
2) Zoology - James Ferguson: 17
3) Magical Sunset - Richard Hannon: 16411
4) Purple Love - Richard Hannon: 86 
5) Kitai - Charlie & Mark Johnston: 2210  
6) Boxing Alex - David Loughnane: 0
7) The Xo - John Ryan: 22-1315 
8) Chuzzlewit - Kevin Ryan: 571 
9) Sherbet Fountain - David Simcock: 37 
10) Centrefold - Roger Varian: 430

Bonus Horse

11) Sakheer - Roger Varian: 211

There will be a good few winners from these two-year-olds and fingers crossed one or two are up to Group class.

Be Lucky.

Wednesday 4 January 2023

Where Does A Successful Gambler Start?

It starts and ends by learning from experience. 

Sure, we all have experiences: winning and losing. But the key part of all those experiences is a willful wanting to learn. If the experiences just ebb and flow over you like a bronzed beauty on the beach, then you may just look like Larry The Lobster, holding a betting slip. 

A losing betting slip. 

You don't want to be Larry The Losing Lobster. 

It doesn't have to be this way. 

However, the difficulty with the learning journey is that you don't often know what you are looking at until starring at it under a microscope. 

You are naive. It's natural. No one, even the most innately intelligent souls, ever woke up to understand even how to boil an egg unless they learned from experience and sometimes you need more information.  

At the start of any journey, you have a lot to learn. I have a lot to learn. It helps if you, we, them have a road map or a recipe if you're adventurous and fancy making lobster thermidor.

So you're hungry to learn. 

That's the best place to start. 

To be honest, you are going to have to make a real mess of things before you have enough understanding to see where you are going wrong. It's the same for all forms of gambling as is the case with the best online usa casino. As always play to what you can afford to lose. 

I've had a good few people ask me to help them learn about two-year-old horse racing. I usually say: 

''It's too complicated.'' 

In truth, it's a time thing. Every man and his dog are too busy to really be able to talk in detail and try to explain. If I put a cost to such things, even the most wealthy would run away scared. It would take a long time to get on the same page, erase all those bad habits and then, slowly, move forward.  

I'm not sure if anyone would have the patience and stamina to achieve their goal. 

To make the journey easier I would have to create a very succinct learning experience. 

Something akin to one of these high-end courses you see so many online entrepreneurs selling for a grand at a time. 

Even then, it would be difficult. 

To be fair, you're probably reading this and feeling like your climbing a twenty-foot wall. 

And there's a bookmaker peeping over the top. 

I could sell horse racing tips. 

That will never happen. It's a soulless way to make money. 

You have to question anyone who sells tips because why would they want to detail something that is good. 

They may feel they can make more money by selling tips than betting themselves. Perhaps they do. 

Who knows? 

You need to have a high level of understanding about two-year-old horse racing, gambling...

If you don't know how many furlongs are in a mile, what time it takes for an average horse to run an average furlong, and a hundred other things you need to learn that information and then come back to start business. 

In truth, there is so much to learn that it can be like taming a monster. 

You may read these posts and feel it is difficult if not impossible to make your betting pay. 

There is light at the end of the tunnel. 

This year it is my aim to detail snippets of information, building blocks of intelligence and words of wisdom to help you look in the right direction, refine your thoughts and get to grips with a few things that can help you make a few quid. 

Here's looking forward to the new Flat turf season. 


Photo: Pixabay (free) 

Friday 2 December 2022

The Secrets to Making Your Horse Racing Betting Pay

This post will detail the main pointer how to make your horse racing betting pay. This is based on over thirty years experience within the niche of two-year-old horse racing. 

Without question, having a niche is one of the most important decisions you can ever make and reason why betting is all about working to your strengths with a method that gives reference and measurement. It's the same reason you may wish to consider online casino australia for real money. Keep the odds on your side.  

Now you may think I ''like to follow the Flat, National Hunt and all the categories found within those codes''. 

It's impossible. 

You may ask why. 

Because you are spreading yourself too thin. Not only isn't there enough time to do everything it's pointless. Even if you had all the time in the world it would be pointless. The simple reason is that you don't need to know everything under the sun. 

The best gamblers know a little more than most. That's the key to your success. You find something you enjoy, a passion which sees you battle on through the bad days, to find your niche. You will see that your understanding sets you apart. You will hear punters talking about your niche and think ''You don't know what you are talking about!''

I don't say those words to gloat. It's an opinion you can have too. You simply smile with the fact that your understanding is better than most who believe what they are told or learning akin to racing cliches. Unless you have data, experience and those building blocks of intelligence you are at the mercy of the person who knows more. Remember, it's how you consider statistics and data to what makes a good bet and find the best online casino. Be informed when you bet.   

Do you want to be that person?

I can tell you this, even with knowing my niche to the extreme I am a wiser person for knowing there are people out there who may know more. As I said, I don't need to be the best gambler of two-year-old horse racing to make money. I'm not looking for an Olympic medal, a degree or even a pat on the back. 

I don't need anything beyond a few winners to come my way and put some money in my pocket. 

That comes from knowledge. 

Without that, you are lost. 

It is the same as waking up one morning and thinking you could win a sprint again a national runner, let alone someone world class. 

Even a very gifted person would look ridiculous. 

To be a successful gambler you need to know what it takes to be a successful gambler. This isn't something that most people are going to tell you. Why would they? However, isn't it funny how most very successful business people, sportsmen and women had a mentor who was very successful. 

They passed on that knowledge either because they were very well paid or because they were very generous.

The journey any gambler takes to understanding is a hard and often lonely path. It's like walking through an army of clowns to meet the ringmaster. No one gave you a map, because 99% percent of the population had no idea the map even existed. 

Do you know the easiest way to double your winnings?

To double your bet!

It sounds like a joke or someone trying to play the fool. However, it makes more sense to learn what you need to learn well than think somehow knowing more (double) is the answer to the question. 

You simply need to know what you are doing better and double your stake. 

Triple it and you can be thrice as intelligent to your average punter who looks at the last three races of form in the Racing Post. 

I love a punter who asks questions. 

Most don't say a word. 

If someone asks a question, they have an inquiring mind and that's what's needed to be a successful gambler. 

You need to have a novel thought which separates you from the populous who sadly never learned anything after placing their first bet. I hate to be cutting, but why would you think you know all you need to learn before learning anything. 

It must be the definition of either naivety or stupidity. 

Perhaps it is good old laziness. 

I don't say these words to be nasty or trying to put anyone down. Far from it. Why would I bother to even write this post or help forward information if I didn't want better for others. 

I'd love you to beat those bookmakers. To place a bet and think to yourself ''I just took that bookmaker for a fool''. 

The fact of the matter is that you can know more about your niche than almost anyone.

But you need to make a start with your understanding, method and process of working. 

Without the answer to a question, you cannot find the answer. You don't even know the question because you haven't stopped for five minutes to consider what's going through your mind. 

The buzz of the bet, winning without thought, has seen you fall at the first hurdle. 

You'd do yourself a favour if you didn't bet for a year and questioned what you are doing. To think what you enjoy. 

What's your passion within racing? 

What excites and interest you? 

If it starts and stops at money you'll do very well to see any. Because you need to have a real interest and passion in your niche. 

In truth, I could talk about this subject unendingly. 

This is just the starting point. 

But the greatest insight I could ever give any budding gambler is to stick to what they enjoy and what they know. 

If you spread yourself too thinly with this, that and the other you may, or not, see, one day, that you have been chasing your tail. 

People are always there to prove you wrong. I like that. If you are someone who makes your gambling pay by betting on many and varied aspects of horse racing, or gambling in general, then good luck to you. 

However, I would suggest that with a specific niche you would be so much better. 

It is disappointing how many punters simply bet without questioning themselves. Stop for a moment and assess your betting and thinking. 

If you are losing money then, sadly, you are not following these simple rules. Even with finding your niche it is hard work. 

Every winner is giving you the answer to the question you so truthfully need and every loser is saying: ''Take a look at what happened here because you made a mistake!''

With insight the world looks a different place. 

It's the same when you gamble. 

Knowledge is power. 

Photo: Pixabay (free) 

Thursday 24 March 2022

Brocklesby Stakes 2022 First Declaration Stage

* Horses not detailed in final race declaration.  

NR - I Still Have Faith 

Source: Racing Post  

Last post: 10 Dark Horses 2021 (With debrief!) 

Tuesday 28 September 2021

10 Dark Horses 2021 (13th August)

New Kingdom - Charlie Appleby - Form: 51 -233

This son of Dubawi cost 800,000g as a yearling and another classy addition to the stable.

Laheg - Marco Botti  - Form: 210 - 

This £105,000 breeze-up purchase has ability. 

Macchiavello - Karl Burke - Form: 453 - 

Spigot Lodge always do well with the juveniles and this son of No Nay Never cost £300,000 at the breeze-up sales and in the familiar silks of Amo Racing Ltd and Michael Tabor.   

Ingra Tor - Mick Channon - Form: 9 - 121

It's been a quiet season for Mick Channon's two-year-olds but this home bred son of Churchill for Jon & Julia Aisbitt should hold claims. 

Alvediston - William Haggas - Form: 645 - 37

I've heard this son of New Bay has a high level of ability and looking forward to seeing this colt make his debut. 

Educator - William Haggas - Form: 021 - 1

In the ownership of The Queen, this home bred son of Deep Impact is one of the best juveniles at Somerville Lodge Stables. Both of these Haggas newcomers are exciting prospects. 

Wanees - Charles Hills - Form: 611 - 1

In the ownership of Shadwell Estate Company Ltd, this son of Le Havre cost 325,000g at the yearling sales and I'm very excited about this February foal. 

Dayman - David Loughnane - Form: 06 - 174

Amo Racing Limited have been in buying mood this season with a wealth of talented two-year-olds to show for their investment. This son of Oasis Dream wasn't the most expensive but held in high regard by David Loughnane. A stable that often go well with their debutantes. 

Adjourn - David Simcock - Form: 25 - 4

A quiet year for this Simock yard and limited number of two-year-olds. However, I always take note of owners Never Say Die Partnership and this 135,000g breeze up purchase could go well. The stable can ready a debutante and if strong in the market should go well.   

Space Cowboy - Richard Spencer - Form: 011 - 3

Another colt, this son of Kodi Bear runs in the familiar silks of Rebel Racing Premier IV. Purchased by Phil Cunningham at a cost of £110,000.  

It's worth noting that two-year-olds, in general, have a much better chance of winning on their second start than debut. However, I do expect a lot of these named horses to run big raced on their racecourse bow.  

40 runs - 11 wins 27% 

Updated 10/5/22


Update: 14th August, 2021: A pretty inauspicious start to proceedings with a number of debutantes running in the same race and performing, at best, indifferently. However, this is often the nature of the beast with debutantes who can be quoted as Easy winners or poor losers. However, if you look at each horse there are reasons to consider they have ability. I'm confident you will see a marked improvement on their second start. Most were supported in the market, ran with some promise and even highlighted by a steward's inquiry [Waneese]. This proves the difficult of even training talented juveniles as I can guarantee all trainers thought their respective horses would run well. 

Update: 28th August, 2021: 

Another debutante today in the shape of Dayman for David Loughnane. Well backed, although drifted just before the off. Ran terrible and beaten almost a country mile. I tell you, these debutantes are a tricky business and reason why I say they have much more chance of winning on their second start. I must admit I can hardly believe what I've seen with the horse on my 10 Dark Horse list. It's been a disaster. However, each and every horse has given reason to think they were actually fancied and went to the races with a real live hope. It just shows that you can never tell what a debutante will do. As I often say they are either easy winners or poor loser and what we have seen so far is like something from a horror show. It's like Count Dracula is riding Eeyore while trying to suck his blood and steer at the same time. This will either be the worst list of all time or it will be akin to the phoenix rising from the flames. Because if these horses are going to win the chances are it will be second or third start. So I would suggest you pay close attention to them next time out. I can imagine a lot of our readers thinking this has to be the worst 10 Dark Horses ever. We will see. As I can tell you this, I've not lost confidence and second and third start will see some decent winners. Time will tell. 

Update: 2nd September, 2021: 

Good to see Marco Botti's Laheg battle to a win on his second start at the odds of 11/4. 

Update: 3rd September, 2021: 

I actually miss this winner, New Kingdom, only noticed on the 3rd October, a month later. I really need to concentrate. However, I'll take a winner any time of the day. It was a close call but a nose is the same as a country mile when it comes to putting money in your pocket. A decent victory beating a winner with a penalty. There'll be more to come.   

Update: 4th September, 2021:

Good to see Wanees win on his second start and detailed by Charles Hills as a quality horse and one he had always liked. It proves the point that betting on debutantes is often hard work but second start is often the truth of a talented horse. 

Update: 7th September, 2021: 

Educator was very well backed for his second start. I would ask all who to look at this horse on its first start and its second. A truly marked improvement and make no mistake this is a talented colt as I detailed on debut but with the proviso most horses run better on their second start. It's disappointed he got in a brawl with Sir Mark Prescott's Sea King and this really helped neither horse. Any other day Educator would have won well. So often winning and losing is about circumstance and today that didn't go for the Queen's two-year-old. This horse will be racing at pattern class. Irritating to come second best. 

Update: 8th September, 2021: 

You see a pattern here? Space Cowboy wins easily after looking hopeless on debut. I wonder how many people unsubscribed after the debut of so many of these horses? To learn, if they stayed around, surprise surprise, that I was exact in my knowledge. A dream performance from this horse who was available with Sportsbook early 15/1 two places each-way. I want to ask you a serious question: ''Do you know anyone who comes close to the quality of this information?'' I don't need an answer. 

Update: 10th September, 2021:

Lovely introduction for David Simcock's Adjourn who ran very well on debut at Chester to finish second. A really good-looking colt who will be winning soon and contesting Group races. 

Update: 18th September, 2021:

I must apologise for the belated update but was on holiday at great Yarmouth (Caister-on-sea) and it's difficult to keep all things done in a timely fashion. We've had a couple of horse on the list make their second starts. 

Alvediston made his second start at Yarmouth. He was a little on his toes in the paddock and I was expecting a big run. I got nothing of the sort with a pretty poor effort. William Haggas' colt travelled ok but looked a little awkward hanging. A truly dismal performance to finish fourth. I can't believe that's the measure of this horse but time will tell. Often, what you see is what you get. I will see how Alvediston goes next start and fingers crossed there was a reason for this feeble effort. Gosden's winner, Millennium Moon, was impressive but I could hardly imagine James Wigan's colt half way down the field. 

Then we had David Loughnane's Dayman returning after a horrendous debut at Windsor. Coming back to face a Class 2 race detailed a horse which the stable rate. Stepping up to 7f looked a positive. A drifting in the betting, after money early, this son of Oasis Dream in the ownership of Amo Racing Ltd did very well showing much more ability. Even finishing sixth of seven wasn't a disgrace, beaten just under five lengths. In fact, he travelled as well as anything before tiring in the last half furlong. A horse with ability and a winner in waiting.

Update: 23rd September, 2021: 

Adjourn made his second start today. There was money for this good-looking colt and I was quite hopeful but the late drift didn't bode well and even though running a great race he finished fifth beaten just two and half lengths. He's up to winning races but this looked a stiff race and there will be plenty of winners come from it.    

Update: 25th September, 2021:

Good to see Educator make it third time lucky and win at Haydock. He's a lovely horse with size and scope to progress with racing. I'm hopeful he can go for a pattern race at some point in his career. 

Update: 30th September, 2021:

Wanees did well in testing conditions to will his second start under a penalty. It proves he's a fair juvenile and potential group horse. 

Update: 15th October, 2021:

I thought we would have a decent debut winner in Macchiavellio, starting at fractional odds on but his keenness in the early stages of the race took the edge of him and it finished in a fourth place, beaten one length. These debut wins are hard to come by and there were many good reasons to think this son of No Nay Never would be victorious. We will have to see whether he can do just that next time out. 

Update: 19th October, 2021: 

A nice front-running performance from Space Cowboy who won unchallenged. Time will tell how good this colt is but he's going in the right direction and could well head fro Group class.

Update: 28th October, 2021: 

Alvediston is becoming a disappointing colt and today's performance detailed why his run at Yarmouth was below expectation. William Haggas' colt had been gelded and very well backed. I can't say I was feeling too optimist and so often after a second start disappointment ''you get what you see''. Pretty much a similar display to Yarmouth if not worse. Connections will be heading to nursery races after this and he may well pick up a race if given a fair mark. A disappointing horse on the list and one I wouldn't be holding my breath to shine.  

I will update these horses until the end of the Flat turf season and will update on the turn of the year. Most horses are of interest for their first three races, beyond that point, personally, they have little interest for me as regards betting. I'm hoping one or two will progress to Group class which is the aim. 

Update: 29th October, 2021:

Ingra Tor was well backed for his debut at Newmarket but a disappointing effort trailing home in ninth. Channon's two-year-olds have been below par for the last few years and a lack of numbers shows limitation. I would expect a bolder show next start as I have little doubt connections expected a lot more. This year's theme has been dire debut efforts and better second start. Time will tell. 

Update: 25th November, 2021: 

Macchiavello made his second start stepping up a furlong. Considering he was keen on debut I was fearful this would be a similar story and it was. Seven furlong isn't a distance you want to be overly keen and he had little hope of winning. A big, strong colt, he will be winning sooner than later but needs to relax a little. I wonder after the debut loss if connections feel the nursery route will bring more rewards and I am pretty sure that will be the path to success. I can imagine he will run over 7f once more and when getting a mark drop back to 6f and I'd expect a big run. 

Update: 3rd December, 2021:

Macchiavello was well backed from the early prices but even dropping back to 6f I had concerns about him pulling and it was the same story. I'm sure connections will be looking forward to getting a low nursery weight and then doing their best to get this colt to settle. He'll probably return gelded and may even drop back to 5f if he proves hard work to settle. I wouldn't call him temperamental but his keen ways are very hard for bettors to have any real hope of winning. If this colt is going to be winning, I would be sure it will be in his next two starts. We will have to see how he goes. On balance, a disappointing horse for this stable. They expected much better but the nursery route may well prove positive.  

Update: 12th March, 2022:

Dayman wins easily from a wide draw by four lengths. Just as I say so many times, these horses are talents waiting to happen. A horse with a future. I wonder how many of you thought this was a poor list of horses. 

Trainer quote: ''Dayman has always found work easy and we thought winning would be a formality for him last season. He was a bit weak and we thought he might have been a sharp, early two-year-old, but he wasn't. He's twice the horse he was last year - physically and mentally. He still has a lot to learn and is a big baby, but it's onwards and upwards. Rossa got off him and said we probably should go the handicap route as we might lose him if we throw him in too deep, but he's a proper horse'' - Dave Loughnane, trainer.
Update: 17th March, 2022:

Another horse winning at three. It proves that so many times horses look disappointing on debut or even all their two-year-old career and then they bounce back. In fact, it is often a very positive sign. Ingra Tor was well backed, then drifted a touch in the betting before the off. A very straightforward victory and there will be more to come. Once again, to all those who saw a mass of disappointing debut efforts you just have to wait and see the truth. Very few people in the country would have detailed this list of 10 horses before debut. 

Update: 30th April 2022:

Updated results for ten dark horses. Winners including Ingra Tor, Wanees & Educator.  

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Discussing the Merit in a Cheltenham Festival Warm-Up Event

In the world of sport, there are always those moments when it becomes apparent that something fundamental has gone wrong. In soccer, for example, England’s defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016 was seen as a particular nadir for the 3 Lions, and it hinted at a deeper malaise within the structure of the England set-up. A period of reflection followed, and changes were made, and you can argue that the current England team is enjoying the fruits of those changes today. 

In horse racing, there was a much-talked-about low-point for British-trained horses this year at the Cheltenham Festival. A record 23 wins from 28 races went to Irish trainers at the 2021 Festival. Make no mistake about it – that was a trouncing. And while we can always have outlier years, the fact it was 19 wins for Irish trainers the year before suggests it’s more of a trend. 

As was expected, an inquiry was set up by British racing authorities to get to the root of the problem. And an advisory board has suggested that one solution might be to have a kind of warm-up festival before the main event at Cheltenham. Newbury, which already holds several Cheltenham trials, has been cited as a possible venue in early February each year. 

Dublin Festival has been a success 

Now, it is clear that the advisory panel has had a look at the Dublin Festival at Leopardstown, which is held in early February and always features Cheltenham runners, and surmised that this might be the key to the Irish trainers’ success. Plenty of racing journalists have poured cold water on the idea, claiming that there are more fundamental reasons for the pendulum swinging in favour of the Irish. They believe everything from prize money to structural differences in British and Irish racing plays a part, and that the issue will not be solved by a warm-up at Newbury or anywhere else. 

But might we argue that there is at least some merit in the idea? We know that big names such as Honeysuckle and Monkfish did a double shift by winning at Leopardstown and Cheltenham within the space of five weeks. We might also argue that Minella Indo, the eventual Gold Cup winner at Cheltenham, might have been well served by competing in the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival, even if the horse could only manage a 5th place finish at Leopardstown. 

And yet, the counterargument is that a trainer will know the best time to give a horse a run. It’s not as if all Ireland’s 2021 Cheltenham winners were at the Dublin Festival the month beforehand. Many were held back and will not have run since December. Moreover, plenty of British runners had appeared just weeks before Cheltenham at Newbury and elsewhere. In short, there is no exact formula.

No discernible patterns in resting or running Cheltenham horses 

The advisory panel might believe that a warm-up festival offers a chance for British horses to test their mettle against quality opposition (you would imagine the plan is to have some Grade 1s, as they have at Leopardstown). But it’s not as if British trainers avoid throwing their horses into tough contests pre-Cheltenham. 

For example, the Irish Gold Cup was run on 7th February, with a field containing Minella Indo, Melon, Delta Work, The Storyteller and the eventual winner, Kemboy. The day before, Native River – the best-placed British-trained horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – was winning the Cotswold Chase at Sandown. Native River faced Bristol de Mai, Santini, Yala Enki, Saint Calvados and Lake View Lad.

You might argue that the field at Leopardstown was slightly stronger, but certainly not by much. Regardless, it would be a thin argument to say that Minella Indo had better preparation than Native River: The horses ran at a similar date against a similar field of runners (in terms of size and quality) before going to the Gold Cup five weeks later, so there is no discernible advantage. 

Perhaps the most intriguing take on all this came from the Guardian’s Greg Wood, who claimed that prize money made the difference. Of course, the horses don’t know how much is in the pot. But Wood believes the superior purses in Irish jumps racing has created a situation where the best national hunt horses are being kept across the Irish Sea. Wood even imagines a scenario where Irish trainers – he mentions Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead – send their “second-string” horses over to plunder the prize money from British races. 

It’s difficult not to agree with Woods’ assertion, nor others who believe there is a fundamental problem with British jumps racing. A festival before Cheltenham might work to focus some minds, and it would be a nice amuse-bouche before the main course at the Festival. But as for a cure-all to the woes of British trainers? It’s going to take something a lot more seismic.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

York Ebor Festival

York Ebor Festival is a four-day meeting for flat races. The event annually takes place in August. The pavilions include beautiful and striking, with remarkable Ebor and Knavesmire stand. This makes York an outstanding racing festival, where you can witness top-class horse racing.

In 1843, the first meeting commenced with the Ebor handicap match, which is the biggest race of the festival to date. Today, the event includes four days of non-stop action, where each day will include some featured races. 

On the first day, you will witness Juddmonte International Stakes, and the second day includes the Yorkshire Oaks. Nunthorpe Stakes and Ebor Day are the center of attention for the third and fourth days. 

The second day is Ladies Day because of the off-course fashion along with professional female horses skillfully performing. Horse racing enthusiasts find these races attractive because of the thrilling live-action. That’s why people travel all the way to the UK, so they do not miss their favorite participant winning the race. 

First Day of York Ebor Festival 

Below, you will find the featured race for the first day of the festival. You can also check out all the previews of the York Ebor Festival races

1. Acomb Stakes 

Two-year-old horses will compete in this Group Three race. The race, named after a local area inYork, began in 1998. But, the organizers included it in Group 3 in 2006. Acomb Stakes takes place on the seven furlongs of the track. The weight allowed for this match is nine stones and one pound. But, there is a three-pound exception for the fillies

The winners of Group 1 and Group 2 receive a penalty of five pounds. However, winners of Group 3 will receive a three-pound penalty. The horses competing in this race will fall under the category of Group 1 races afterward. The participants outperforming others run for the Classics in the following years. 

Due to the age restriction, a horse can win this match only once. But, Sir Michael Stoute as a trainer and Pat Eddery as a Jockey won this race four times in their career. 

2. Great Voltigeur Stakes 

The race inaugurated in 1950 is a tribute to the winner of St Leger and the Derby. Traditionally, the name of this race was Voltigeur, but it included Great in 1957. This is one mile and three furlongs race, on which three-year-old geldings and colts race for the title. The eligible weight for this race is nine stones. 

However, there is a penalty for Group 1 and Group 2 winners. The Group 1 winner will get a 5-pound penalty. However, a 3-pound penalty is for Group 2 winners. In this race, the audience anticipates the performance of the horses that are ready to participate in the St Leger next month. In 1953, Premonition won both races marking his name in history.

3. Judmonte International Stakes 

Judmonte International Stakes is the first big race of the first day. The race inaugurated in 1972 is a race for three-year-old horses. The race track is one mile and two furlongs created by Major Leslie Petch. Previously, the name of the race was Benson and Hedges Gold Cup because of the sponsorship. 

There is no doubt that Ebor Handicap is the most popular race of the festival. Internationally, it is the richest race of the entire season. You can place your bets and gamble at York Ebor Festival. In 2020, the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities crowned this race as the World’s Best Race. To compete in this race, the participants should weigh eight stonesand thirteen pounds. However, if the horses are older than three, they should have nine stone six pounds.