The Exception to the Rule


Friday, 22 March 2019

Flat Season 2019 Preview

Flat Season 2019 Preview
The 2019 flat season will begin in earnest with the Guineas Festival on May 4-5 and punters are excitedly counting down the days. It features the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, the first two Classics of the year, and the meeting ushers in months of spectacular action. There are 915 flat fixtures in total this year and fans can look forward to all manner of intriguing Group 1 contests before the season draws to a close on October 19. Here are the key meetings to look out for: 

Guineas Festival 

All eyes will be on Aidan O’Brien at this year’s Guineas Festival at Newmarket, as the Ballydoyle maestro has dominated this meeting of late. He landed the 1,000 Guineas in 2016 and 2017, and he has won the 2,000 Guineas in three of the last four years. However, much of the hype this year surrounds John Gosden’s Too Darn Hot, who is the clear ante-post favourite for the 2,000 Guineas. He is also favoured to win the other two legs of the Triple Crown – The Derby at Epsom and St Leger. Last year saw Saxon Warrior clinch the 2,000, while Billesdon Brook triumphed in the 1,000. 

Dante Festival

Racegoers can enjoy three days of high-quality action at York in May, including the Musidora Stakes, the Dante Stakes and the Yorkshire Cup. The victors of the Dante and the Musidora will be among the favourites for the Classics, while the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup is always ferociously competitive. Last year, Stradivarius romped to victory and that win marked the start of an epic winning streak. He went on to claim the Ascot Gold Cup, the Goodwood Cup, the Lonsdale Cup and the British Champions Long Distance Cup to cement his superstar status. 

Epsom Derby Festival

The Derby is considered by many to be the greatest and most prestigious race in the world. It has spawned a huge number of imitators, including the Kentucky Derby, but this is the biggest of them all and the most prestigious of the five Classics. It is the centrepiece of two excellent days of racing at Epsom, but you should also look out for the Oaks and the Coronation Cup. Masar won The Derby in 2018, and Too Darn Hot is the favourite to follow in those illustrious footsteps, but the likes of Dubai Warrior and Anthony Van Dyck are expected to provide stern competition. 

Royal Ascot 

The Royal Family will be out in full force at the richest and most famous race meeting in the British racing calendar. This year it takes place from June 18-22 and a total prize pool of £7.3 million will attract many of the world’s finest racehorses. It features eight Group 1 races, more than any other meeting of the year, and the Ascot Gold Cup is the biggest of the lot. Stradivarius is sure to be a big focus for any punters looking at the betting lines, but big hitters like Kew Gardens should also line up and it promises to be another gripping contest. The Queen Anne Stakes, King’s Stand Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Commonwealth Cup, Coronation Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes will also command huge attention. 

Eclipse Summer Festival 

The next Group 1 race of the season is the £750,000 Eclipse Stakes, named after a legendary 18th-century racehorse. It takes place at Sandown Park in Surrey and it is the centrepiece of a two-day festival on July 5-6. In 2017, the venerable Sir Michael Stoute tied the record for the most wins in this race when Ulysses landed, while jockey Oisin Murphy claimed his first ever Group 1 winner last year in the Eclipse. 

July Festival 

Attention shifts back to Newmarket later in July for three days of fun. The 6 furlong July Cup is Europe’s leading spring race and the roll call of recent winners includes US Navy Flag, Harry Angel and Limato. Lester Piggott won this race a record 10 times during his glorious career. 

King George Weekend

The £1.25 million King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the highlight of the second most important meeting at Ascot. Poet’s World edged Crystal Ocean in a thrilling duel last year and it always provides a great spectacle. 

Glorious Goodwood

This is a magnificent meeting at one of the world’s most beautiful racetracks, nestled in the heart of the Sussex countryside. This year it takes place from July 30 to August 3 and fans can look forward to five wonderful days of racing. The three big races are the Goodwood Cup, the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes, but there is top-notch action throughout the festival. Stradivarius will attempt to defend the Goodwood Cup this year and that will be one of many highlights at Glorious Goodwood. 

Ebor Festival

This four-day bonanza begins with York’s richest race of the season, the Juddmonte Stakes. Previous winners include the legendary Frankel, while Stoute is the most successful trainer. Roaring Lion went on to win this race last year and an extremely strong field is expected in 2019. Also, look out for the Yorkshire Oaks and the Nunthorpe Stakes at this August meeting. 

St Leger Festival

Twenty-five thousand racing fans will pack into Doncaster to watch the best in the business battle it out for glory in St Leger in September. O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore are bidding for a hat-trick this year after Capri won in 2017 and Kew Gardens last year. 

British Champions Day

The season will wrap up in style at the British Champions Day at Ascot, which will be the most valuable day of racing in British history. Prize money across the six-race card for 2019 will be a record £4.35 million. Four of the races are Group 1 contests: the British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the Champion Stakes and the British Champions Sprint Stakes. Cracksman and Roaring Lion were among the superstar winners last year and new legends are sure to be crowned this time around.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Mick Channon Starts 2yo Flat Turf Season 2019 at Saint-Cloud

Mick Channon's 2yo Gift Account races at Saint-Cloud
The two-year-old racing season has started. Not in the Brocklesby Stakes 2019, but over the Channel, Saint-Cloud, France. 

Not the biggest surprise as a few 'early-bird trainers' are looking for every angle to win decent prize money and £10,360.36 tempted three British trainers to the bog-like conditions of this racecourse situated near Paris. 

The racecourse has a rich heritage dating back to 1901, built by politician and horse/owner-breeder Edmund Blanc (1856-1920). In French, it is familiarly called the Hippodrome de Saint-Cloud. It hosts a number of high-profile races including the Group One Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud held in late June or the first week of July. Readers may remember the Criterium de Sant-Cloud takes place in November. 

Today's action saw three British raiders send two-year-olds to take part in the Prix le Marche (Claimer) over a four-and-a-half furlong, on heavy going. 

See the full result 1:00 Saint-Cloud (FR)

Twelve two-year-olds competed in challenging conditions in a winning time of 56.37s (slow by 7.17s). 

In a blanket finish, Throttle Control, trained by J-V Toux won by a short neck from The Nile Song who was a nose in front of favourite Wedding Proposal  (41/10f). 

The best of the British trio saw Jo Hughes' Panthera Tigris, ridden by Georgia Dobie (3lb claimer),  who finished sixth, beaten just over four lengths. This daughter of Heeraat (not two until the 31st March) gained the following race comment: 

''Chased leaders on inner, outpaced and driven halfway, kept on under hands and heels final furlong.''

Next best came George Bakers' Captain Tatman (58/10) who finished seventh, ridden by Theo Bachelot, who was just a quarter of a length behind Panthera Tigris. This bay gelding is a January foal, sired by Olympic Glory is out of an unraced mare. Race comments detailed: 

''Midfield towards centre of track, outpaced and driven halfway, stayed on inside final furlong, never in contention.''

Mick Channon, who won the Brocklesby Stakes in 2018 with Izzer, fielded Gift Account (11/2) an April foal, sired by Captain Gerrard out of a poor mare who raced five times without being placed. Gift Account finished ninth, beaten over ten lengths. Race comments stated: 

''Pressed leaders, driven and edged right 1 1/2f from home, weakened final furlong.''

Gift Account showed good pace until tiring in the closing stages. 

It will be interesting to see if any of these early two-year-olds go for the 2019 Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster's Lincoln Meeting. It would seem an ideal opportunity making use of this vital racecourse experience. 

If you want to know the best two-year-old racehorses in training, learn more by visiting Group Horse, experts in understanding the best horse from stables big and small.   

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Betting on Saeed bin Suroor for a Winning 2019 Flat Turf Season

Saeed bin Suroor horse trainer
So many horse trainers.

I have a few favourites and one is Saeed bin Suroor. He is a such a professional, studious and likeable man. I've seen him a good few times at Great Yarmouth Racecourse. I really need to think of a question to ask him! To be fair, I don't like to push myself on people and respect that a day at the races isn't a Q & A session. 

I felt sorry for bin Suroor when Charlie Appleby kept getting the lion's share of the talented horse, especially two-year-olds. It annoyed me, so I can only imagine how he must have felt. Politics, hey. 

Anyway, we all know that Godolphin is not lacking when it comes to woning, training and winning with exceptional horses. 

You know by now, the Group Horse [Daily] follows two-year-old horse racing to a higher level than anyone on the internet. If you know better, then send them our way and I will have a Q & A session. Even Steve Taplin wouldn't want to meet me on Mastermind. Even my general knowledge is good!

I've started my horse trainer study on Saeed bin Suroor. It isn't, as I keep saying, a pleasurable experience. There's nothing wrong with Mr bin Suroor, his horses or his success. I just need someone to do all the work for me, detail the finds and I'll sit back in West Palm Beach, Florida watching those funny-looking turkey vulture which circles about five miles high. I guess they are just waiting for something to die. 

Going back to a given feels a long time ago, he has run over 400 two-year-olds. My data covers the Flat turf season so it isn't all the season. Anyway, I have been number churning. Not got too far into the stats as yet. I know it will take a few days. Neverending. Very boring work. But crucial to just one of many parts of my understanding. 

Interesting point. From all his debutantes (my data, years...etc) he has never had a debut winner over 12/1. Saying that he hasn't had a huge number of horses start over 12/1.The point why statistics need to be assessed within their context. 

Best get back to work. The 2019 Brocklesby Stakes is getting closer by the day, and I would so love to have all this data stuff concluded. 

Time will tell. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

3 High-Profile Flat Trainers Not to Follow in 2019

Our website goes beyond the normal information that others detail. Sure, many give tips and some do very well. But one thing Group Horse [Daily] does best is to forward real knowledge. 

One of my favourite maxims: ''Knowledge is power.'' 

Never a truer word has been said. 

Readers may be aware, we study each and every two-year-old horse trainer pre-Flat season. It is a job which needs to be done and very revealing. However, it is also a boring process like watching paint dry. Then, upon conclusion of a given horse trainer, it is like realising the abstract is actually a scene of perfection. The data reveals both the strength and weakness of a trainer. Some, have very little strength at all. To understand weakness is as good as understanding strength. 

I noted yesterday, that Robert Cowell's horse Brigadier had poor statistics to win the 5:00 Kempton. In some sense, the data I used was flawed because it was detailed for his two-year-olds but I used it as a guide for this three-year-old. Brigadier was unplaced in fourth (to be fair it was a blanket finish). 

From my study of the two-year-old horse trainers I have will note a few trainers to leave well alone when they run fancied horses either their first or second start. 

It should be noted that every horse can defy even the worst statistics. The beauty of two-year-old horse racing is that anyone can find a super horse. Remember Julia Feilden back in 2007 and Spirit Of Sharjah. A trainer, a lovely lady I have met a few times, and she waited such a long time for a super horse and that's exactly what she found in Spirit Of Sharjah. He finished third in the Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot.  

Another local trainer who achieved the highest standard, Pam Sly, winning the 1000 Guineas in 2006 with Speciosa (pictured). 

A wonderful horse. 

3 High-profile 2yo horse trainers to leave alone:

Robert Cowell 

His two-year-old fancied runners on their first and second start often disappoint. 

Stuart Williams

Very little chance of winning on debut (unless gambled). 

Ed Dunlop 

Debutantes have basically no chance of winning when priced over 14/1 on debut.

Monday, 11 March 2019

5:00 Kempton Racing Tips (11th March)

My brother sent a little message about this 3yo Novice Stakes. I thought I would write about it from a two-year-old perspective, just to show how even the insight from Group Horse [Daily] can help (hopefully) detail the leading lights of a race. 

Nine three-year-olds take part over this turning five furlongs on the standard to slow going.

This race looks out of two major hopes. There may well be more, but we will give reasons along the way.

Paul Cole's Physics is definitely the horse to beat. This bay gelding is a son of Acclamation and 180,000 yearling purchase. He was a beaten favourite on debut over this course, dropping back a furlong to this minimum trip. I like Cole at Kempton and Mrs Fitri Hay is a significant owner. In truth, the debut effort didn't inspire when a beaten favourite, finishing fifth. It looked for the world as if he fluffed his lines, went too fast and tired rapidly. Any horse can disappoint on debut. I would expect a much more polished display here from stall six. At 13/8, I'm not sure this offers much value. If drifting could make a fair bet, especially if going for an each way double. 

Should be the horse to beat. 

Orange Blossom has been a very frustrating horse to follow. I can imagine The Cool Silk Partnership must have thought summer turned to winter in a day because I have little doubt this daughter of Showcasing has been held in high regard. As with many two-year-olds, it doesn't take much to sour and then it is a matter of building back to winning ways. This January foal has raced at Group class but looked as though she would have struggled to win at plating class on a bad day. However, she showed ability last time out over six furlongs. It is often the case potentially talented two-year-olds lose their way and then comes good at three. I have seen it happen many times. A wide draw isn't ideal. Interesting to see she is dropping back to the minimum trip. After a few frustrating runs, this is a test for this attractive filly. 

Brigadier was fancied to go well on debut at this course, giving the impression this drop back to five furlongs would be right up his alley. This son of Sepoy finished behind Orange Blossom. Punters may be fancying their chances of reversing the form over this sprint. One point of slight concern is that the statistics for this horse are poor. Any horse can defy the stats and that may well be true for Brigadier but it is a point to consider. 

Mick Channon's Rakastava was odds on for his debut. There is no doubt this son of Clodovil has some limitation drifting markedly in the betting when outclassed by With Caution, trained by James Tate. Well drawn in stall two but may need to show improved form after a couple of fair but somewhat disappointing efforts. 

Conclusion: An intriguing race. A few of these horses need to put disappointments behind them, which isn't the best starting point to find winners (unless you have a good reason). Physics has a lot of positives today although needs to have learned from his debut. Has sound claims, especially if drifting in the betting. Orange Blossom is the sort of horse to turn your hair grey overnight. These frustrating types often come good at some point but you may need to have skin as thick as a rhino to take another loss. If drifting to big prices on the exchanges may be worth a small win bet. The type who will win or simply disappoint. Brigadier looks to hold sound claims but the stats just put me off. Rakastava looks disappointing and not sure if this drop in distance will help. 

In truth, I would side with Physics if you can get half decent odds. Orange Blossom may finally come good but an enigma.  

Thursday, 7 March 2019

The History of the Brocklesby Stakes (1888 - 2019)

The Last Lion wins the Brocklesby Stakes
Well, it is getting closer to the start of the Flat turf season 2019. I say turf season however I mean the start of the two-year-old campaign. 

In previous years, the first two-year-old race of the season has fluctuated between the all-weather and Doncaster's Lincoln Meeting which features the Brocklesby Stakes as the start of proceedings. I must admit I hate the first two-year-old race being anywhere but the Brocklesby. It really takes away from the merit of the race, which has done well over the last few seasons with impressive winners. 

You can take a look at the Brocklesby Stakes Wikipedia page. 

Recent winners include: 

2018 - Izzer
2017 - Requinto Dawn 
2017 - Santry 
2016 - The Last Lion 
2015 - Ravenhoe 

The standard of these five horses is as good, if not better than any winners of the past. It really fills my heart with joy to see the Brocklesby targetted by some of the best two-year-olds from high-profile trainers such as Mark Johnston, Mich Channon and Declan Carol. 

It is worth noting that historically, we have seen some exceptional horses including Jack Berry's Mind Games (1994) (pictured). He went on to be a stallion, although never quite stealing a win at Group 1 in an impressive race career. 

Hearts Of Fire was the best two-year-old Pat Eddery ever trained. This son of Firebreak won the Brocklesby well in 2009. He improved for stepping up to 7f/1m and loved testing conditions. It was a great day to see him win at Group 1 when winning at San Siro, Italy. 

It's interesting to consider that the best two-year-old to ever win the Brocklesby came in 1888 when Donovan who ended up winning eighteen of twenty-one races. 

Other horses worthy of a mention include Provideo, trained by Bill O'Gorman, who won in 1984. It seems incredible these days that he set the 20th-century record for a British two-year-old winning sixteen of his twenty-four races. Provideo had one win at listed class which proved he was far from the best horse. In fact, Timeform detailed that this son of Godswalk was some 20lb inferior to the best that year. In truth, there was nothing inferior about this durable, hard-as-nails colt. Winning juveniles now have the burden of penalties and it simply isn't possible to run the opposition ragged on level terms. It is sad that horses have to be handicapped when running at stakes class. From a promotional point of view, race fans would love to see these winning machines. I guess there would be calls from animal rights about welfare issues. O'Gorman was a class trainer and he would never run a horse unless it was in fine form and capable of racing. These horses were trained on the course rather than the gallops.      

How times have changed. 

It is a feather in the cap of the Brocklesby Stakes that The Last Lion, trained by Mark Johnston, proved such a powerhouse. This son of Choisir cost just 82,000 euros at the yearling sales. He won the Brocklesby Stakes in fine style in 2016. He went on to race ten times and win four races including the Middle Park Stakes (Group 1). He is now a stallion with the fee of £7,500. 

I can't talk about recent winners without considering the true class of Santry, trained by Declan Carroll. This bay colt was a narrow winner of the Brocklesby Stakes in 2017. That year, there were two divisions of the race due to a large field of two-year-olds. The other division was won by Requinto Dawn, trained by Richard Fahey. 

Santry wins Brocklesby Stakes
Santry won well on his second start at York when carrying a win penalty. He then went to Royal Ascot, finishing second in the Norfolk Stakes (group 2). Sadly, Santry was fatally injured at home on the gallops. I have little doubt he would have been one of the greatest success stories of the Brocklesby Stakes. 

The 2019 Brocklesby Stakes is set to be run on the 30th March, at Doncaster's Lincoln meeting.  

We can almost guarantee a sizable field of two-year-olds and fingers crossed we have a winner that goes on to achieve greatness like The Last Lion.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Not Too Busy For The Cheltenham Festival

I think it must be one of those weeks. It's only Tuesday and I just don't feel that inspired. A couple of months in West Palm Beach, Florida. A beautiful location and with an even more beautiful lady. I feel like I have a cloud hanging over my head. 

I wonder why?

Working too hard on the websites, trying to get all the horse trainer research completed. Feeling much more tired than relaxed. 

I don't know. 

While I'm contemplating the start of the two-year-old horse racing season, most pundits, punters, backers and layers are getting ready for the Cheltenham Festival. I have zero understanding of the National Hunt. I kind of enjoy the racing to a point, but always feel sad for the loss of any horse on the Flat, National Hunt or gallops at home. 

I always remember Clopton. You wouldn't remember him because the only way he would have got near Cheltenham was if the horse box he was travelling went passed the entrance to get to Fakenham. 

Clopton was originally trained by M J Ryan. He won a couple of times at Great Yarmouth. Sure he came third in a race when I bet and I remembered him from that day, watched out for him running and one day felt slightly alarmed when I see he was entered to run in a lowly hurdle race. I considered that a hurdle race shouldn't be a problem. 

Sadly, I looked at the race results at Fontwell. It wasn't a fall that saw his demise, he pulled up after the fourth fence and must have suffered a bad injury and ''put to sleep''.  Reading those words felt like someone had knocked the wind out of my body. I couldn't help but wonder how many people cried a tear for the six-year-old trained by the late Ferdy Murphy. It was back in 1990, so you really would have to have known this chestnut gelding, a son of General Assembly, to have his name in mind.  

He was owned by Geoff Hubbard. I can imagine the lad or lass of Clopton had a tear in their eye unless hardened by one too many losses. Perhaps most said a farewell with pathos in their words. 

They should have and in my mind, I will consider they did. 

Life is often too difficult to put into words. To a point, we are all so very selfish in our ways but conversely caring and kind. 

Life goes on, they say. It doesn't pay to dwell. He had a good life. 

Man, women or beast. From the bumblebee to great white shark there is a pulse of life, a beating heart and hope that today will be a good day. 

There will always be loss. There will always be someone who couldn't care a less. I wonder what happened to those people to be that way? Then there will be those who care. Who sigh with heartfelt emotion. Please get up. One, two, three, four legs all moving in time. You live to run another day. 

God bless. 

Sunday, 24 February 2019

If Your Betting Slip Could Talk

At times gambling is a cruel teacher of lessons. However, with every harsh word, it is literally coated with sugar, not to deceive the senses but inform there is a sweet road to success. 

That bet lost. 

What can it tell you? If it could talk, what would it say? It is a wise, old many with wit and wisdom trying to help you cross a busy road. At times his words may feel like a punch to stomach but they are said to prevent the next big hit. 

To succeed at gambling it is about trial and error, simply learning by putting one foot in front of the other until the journey is almost, but never, complete. As youngsters, my brother and I were very good at gambling. We were about 17 years of age and so knowledgable that someone could have said the name of a two-year-old horse (our niche) and we could detail ever aspects as if reading the Racing Post. In many ways, we may have been even better than today. 

We had something to tell the world. ''We know our stuff''. I don't know if it was an age thing, but people thought we were a couple of cocky know-it-alls if not idiots. I guess they thought they didn't know anything so how could they. Perhaps they turned into the green-eyed monster. Thinking if they know so much they will make a fortune. Money changes people, often those around you. 

My Dad said it all. At the time, I couldn't see beyond the fact that I wanted other's praise. What a pointless way to think. All you need is yourself. It is your strength or weakness in life which sees you succeed or fail. 

He said: ''If I knew something I would keep it to myself and smile.''

How wise are those words? What can others offer in the sense of praise to add to your own accomplishments? Like the person who loses weight, it results in one word of compliment, then the conversation moves on. Do it for you. Whatever you do in life, do it for your pleasure. If you can help people along the way always try. Some people are worth their weight in gold. Not for their richness in monetary terms, but in their words of kindness, hope and appreciation. 

If someone doesn't believe in you, me, them, it should never feel like a threat, a fear, worry or concern. True confidence just looks back and smiles. It is an expression that goes beyond the thoughts of others who simply cannot understand. They are the limited ones, not you. They can only imagine but never hold onto their dreams.

If anything, those words strengthen the heart and mind. Be thankful for the success of the journey so far. Those losses taught me a valuable lesson which returned a knowledge worthy of the highest regard. 

The next time you bet and win or lose. Think before you throw away that betting slip and move on. What is it saying? What wise words are being told? You may be ignorant to understand but the day will come when you understand so clearly.

The battle is won before it is fought.     

Thursday, 21 February 2019

If Sam Ovens was a Professional Gambler

Most readers won't have the slightest idea about Sam Ovens. 

Who is this man?

He isn't a professional gambler. 

He runs an online business showing entrepreneurs how to turn their business into big money. He is very successful at what he does and unlike a huge number of these marketers who sell ''shiny new objects,'' he speaks a lot of sense. His company Consulting (.com) (the domain must have cost an arm and a leg) sells online courses and a very structured, systematic approach to scaling a business to make lots of loot, wonga or even Hungarian luncheon vouchers (Only Fools & Horses). 

I read Sam's posts, which frequent my timeline on Facebook and follow me around the internet with retargeting. Do I mind? Not at all. Why? Because of his wise words about business actual echo for successful gambling, too. 

His recent post caught the eye. 

The first words that spoke to me: ''The battle is won before it is fought.'' Never a truer word when it comes to gambling to a high level. A professional gambler doesn't just wake up one morning with ''winning'' knowledge. 

Sam says: ''Business isn't about coming up with an idea, it's not about luck, it's not about timing, it's not about any of that crap! It's about personal development, practice, and preparation.'' 

The same with gambling success at a high level. 

''The battle is won before it is fought'' 

''The person who prepares the best has already won, the future is decided today, it just materializes at a later date.''

The foundation of gamblers successful is a lifelong pursuit of excellence.  

So... How do you best prepare yourself to win? 

To become the ultimate apex predator, you start by defining the traits that matter given the competitive environment. I've spent years building this list. To give this species a name, I call them: 


Read the words that Sam uses and consider how they relate to successful gambling:


''The (betting) market is changing so fast these days, skills that are valuable today, are worthless tomorrow. Therefore, what matters more than skills, and experience is raw mental horsepower. The ability to analyze, learn, synthesize immense disparate sources of data, form judgements, assess risk, and have the conviction to bet big when the rest of the world is drowning in uncertainty and chaos.'' 


''To win big in business (gambling), you can't play by the rules of the market leader, that's their game, they literally invented it. You have to think differently, you have to attack what is weak and avoid what is strong. You have to invert the status quo and become a master of asymmetric warfare. Most people believe what's popular is what's best, they copy what everybody else is doing. Never do this.'' 


''Intelligence and innovation aren't enough, you also need to work more intensely, more frequently, and for more time than everybody. You've gotta win on pure volume of practice. 

Athletes understand this better than anybody, who trains the most wins. Business (gambling) is a competition, and if you're not competitive, you'll lose. No competitive strategy is stronger than working hard. You must be driven to be great, to be number one. This doesn't happen 9-5. I was NOT this person when I was 21-years old and getting started. I was the antithesis of this. That's why I achieved nothing and had no confidence. 

Nobody is born with these traits, they're developed. You're the architect, builder, and maintenance staff of you. You built and will build, you. 

So if you want to WIN in business (gambling), stop looking for the easy way out, stop looking for the trend, gimmick, or template, start building a better player.'' 

Become Intelligent, Unorthodox & Athlete.

Credit: Sam Ovens

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

My Child Wants to Bet on the Grand National?

It's not quite as embarrassing as a child asking about the birds and the bees. 

In this conversation, your child asks about horses. That little brown-haired sponge who absorbs information like Einstien's notebook has noticed I like a bet. In fact, a small army of children will be listening to mums, dads and grandparents as they mention the upcoming Grand National. 

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, it's a question every gambling parent must consider wisely. Sure, you can stand on the moral ground if you have never placed a bet.

''Bingo isn't like betting'', says the wife. 

Grandpa says, ''It never done me any harm''. 

While a passing policeman says, ''You know it's illegal to place a bet until you are 18 years of age. 

So little Mark Thomas Sponge says: ''Well, can I bet on the Grand National?

I'll leave you with that problem while you explain the birds and the bees.

I can only talk from my perspective - right or wrong. My dad loved a bet and I can only imagine I was fascinated by the Grand National. Why? Because my dad loved it and he talked about Red Rum. How a thoroughbred racehorse trained by a man called Ginger McCain won the ''National'' three times. It seemed more interesting than my Action Man, as I awaited the new Jungle Bridge Kit accessory. 

I remember seeing my uncle Roy play on the one-armed bandit at the social club. I seemed to find myself watching those reels go round and hearing the money pumping out when four oranges come up, but hoping it would be melons as that paid £50. 

I got told off a few times because he loved to gamble his small wins. That £1 could become two or three. I must have been more prudent as I kept pressing the button to collect before he had a chance to gamble. 

''Don't do that!'' he said. 

It didn't stop me. 

He kept telling me over the next hour as he played the slot machine. I guess I must have stopped collecting at some point but I really can't remember. 

For so many people gambling is a beastly word. It's shunned like a social leper. But for every gambler, there is a first time they put that coin in a slot machine more interested in the toy they can win than cold, hard cash. 

I remember playing the one-armed bandits as a child when holidaying at Caister-on-sea. I loved a good gamble. It was one of those now antique slot machines with the bronze native America Indian head on the front. All chrome and smelling of oil. The reels stopped with a shudder. I loved that machine.

As it happened, betting as a child made me appreciate gambling for what it is. I rarely play fruit machine these days as they are fixed odds meaning long term you cannot win. So, I learned a few things from a misspent childhood let alone youth. 

Do I still gamble? Yes. Why? Because it became my business and profession that pays me very well. It's actually a hobby which turned into a ''job''. 

Would I let a child of mine gamble underage? I guess I could only answer that question when the time arrives. And that is something unlikely to happen at my time of life.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Gay Kelleway's Global Spectrum Potential Group Class

Global Spectrum trained by Gay Kelleway Why do the followers of Group Horse take note of our inside info? Because it reveals hidden talents which, most often, do their talking on the track. 

To be fair Gay Kelleway doesn't have the best string of juveniles. Never quite in the same league as her father Paul, who used to love to tilt at windmills and showed other trainers how to win. One of few trainers who used to love sending out his better two-year-olds to debut at Listed class. It always seemed a touch crazy to me but they often went well. 

Global Spectrum, a bay son of Dutch Art out of the dam Lady Darshaan (a smart filly trained by Stan Moore) ran out a nice winner on debut at Kempton when racing over seven-furlong for owner Dr Johnny Hon. He won by almost three-lengths at odds of 16/1. Followers of Group Horse made note of this particular day because many readers filled their pockets with cash. Take a look at the post we wrote here. We identified that this colt was well respected and an expensive breeze-up purchase at 130,000g. 

Note: Nice to see him win at Group 2 in Doha, Qatar, now heading for the French 2000 Guineas. 

Shock News!!!! Gay Kelleway Plans to Train in France

There was a lot to like about that debut and the way he won gave the impression much greater things were expected. 

Making his return to the racecourse on the 2nd February to compete at Kempton over seven furlongs (carrying a winning penalty and a wide draw) didn't prevent punters from getting stuck in. The early price of 7/2 (Betfair) was soon hoovered up and a sustained wave of cash chipped away at the price until 4/6f was returned at SP. 

Leading from the early stages, he never looked to be threatened by the opposition and won ''readily'' by one-and-a-half lengths. 

Connections will be looking to step up to a higher grade come the Flat turf season. Interesting to hear the views of Kelleway as they may even be thinking about a trial for the 2000 Guineas. Perhaps that is wishful thinking on my part, but you can guarantee that this able colt will be looking to step up to pattern class in his next race or two. 

Group Horse has other notable wins this week with a couple of horses which had looked disappointing. John Gosden's Albert Finney finally go off the mark on this fifth run. This gelding had been far to keen in his earlier races which made life difficult. However, he won well at Wolverhampton (30th January).

Another horse to leave his debut far behind was Charlie Appleby's Wings Of Time who we detailed on one of our two Ten Dark Horse Mailings. This bay gelding, a son of Invincible Spirit, went unfancied on debut Newmarket when starting odds of 20/1. He was definitely in need of the race and between into seventh losing by fifteen lengths. However, a gelding operation, time and stepping up to one mine and half a furlong proved positive moves. This March foal was backed to odds of 4/9f. Although suffering problems in running, he ran out an easy enough winner giving the impression there is a lot more to come.