Weekly Eye-Catchers

  • Jun- 2019 -
    10 June

    Liberty Set for Royal Ascot

    Just seven days ago we were looking back at a weekend of Classic action. High class racing that took place under blue skies and warm sunshine. What a difference a week can make… Granted there was no lack of racing around the country. But it wasn’t the strongest summer Saturday in terms of quality. Even worse, the weather was more…

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  • 3 June

    John Burke Monday EyeCatcher

    In this week’s article I look back at the Derby & Oaks, and some interesting stats for those punting at Brighton. We’ve had four of the five English Classics already run, and the flat season is just two months old! Frankie’s Famous Five My decision to look at bigger priced horses in the Oaks meant I didn’t back Anapurna who…

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  • May- 2019 -
    27 May

    Epsom Derby & Oaks Previews

    Hard to believe, but by the beginning of June four of the five English Classics will have been run and this time next week I will be looking back at the Epsom Derby & Oaks. Today I will be concentrating on previewing both next week’s Classics. I have to say both races have an open look about them. Let’s begin…

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  • 13 May

    Lingfield Hosts Derby & Oaks Trials

    It’s Monday again and my weekly look back at the best of last weekend’s action. On Saturday it was Derby & Oaks Trials Day at Lingfield. The track is like Epsom, although overall, it’s a much sharper track. However, the conventional wisdom of most racing pundits is if a horse handles Lingfield it should be able to handle Epsom. Well…

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  • 6 May

    The Flat is Definitely Back!

    There’s no doubt the flat season is with us now. I’m writing this just after the finish of the first colts classic, the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, with the first fillies classic the 1,000 Guineas to come on Sunday. This week’s post concentrates on Saturday’s action from Newmarket, but there is time at the end to take a quick look…

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  • Apr- 2019 -
    29 April

    Goodbye to Jumps

    Just over a week ago I had my right kidney removed so it’s hard to believe that I’m able to write this week’s Monday blog post. The pain and soreness are still there and, although each day I feel better, I’m pacing my way back to full fitness. It was the final day of the British jumps season on Saturday…

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  • 8 April

    Tiger Rolls into History

    Tiger Roll became a Grand National legend on Saturday. As he became the first horse since Red Rum to win the race two years on the trot. Like Red Rum, Tiger Roll is bred to be a flat horse, and he’s not exactly built to jump a fence either. But like “Rummy”, he’s just a freak of horse. Travelling powerfully…

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  • Mar- 2019 -
    26 March

    Sean Bowen: A Future Champion Jockey?

    I am big fan of Sean Bowen, the son of trainer Peter Bowen, and brother of James. Indeed, I have praised his riding a few times this jumps season. Well there is no doubt he’s riding at the very top of his game now. At Kelso on Saturday, Sean’s talents were once again showcased. Bowen won the first two races…

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  • 18 March

    The Good, the Sad and the Ugly

    It’s just 359 days to the start of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival! And for some the countdown has already began, with a few bookmakers having already opened books on next year’s major races. I don’t know about you, but I find the few days after the end of festival hard to come to terms with. Suddenly you have that empty…

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  • Feb- 2019 -
    25 February
    horse racing

    Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

    Cheltenham Countdown As Andy Newton said in Saturday’s post . “Are you getting excited for the Cheltenham Festival yet?” The answer from me is a big…YES! I hope it’s the same for you too. Will the Cheltenham Trends Hold? Now it’s possible, that the all the trends/profiles that many punters have used at the Cheltenham Festival over recent years, will be…

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  • 18 February
    horse racing

    Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

    Thankfully British horse racing resumed last Wednesday with a few minor restrictions. All horses must have been given a booster influenza vaccination within the last six months before they can race again. That aside, it’s been business as usual, as horse racing bids to make up for lost time. There was plenty of high-quality racing on Saturday at both Ascot…

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  • 11 February
    horse racing

    Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

    It’s been a terrible few days for British horse racing, as the sport was shut down for at least a week due to an outbreak of equine flu. Late on Wednesday evening the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced three cases of equine flu, which we later found out had come from the Donald McCain yard, which led to the cancellation…

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  • 4 February
    horse racing

    Weekly Eye-Cathers – Horse Racing

    Last week’s blog post had a Cheltenham Festival feel and today is similar.  This week, and each Monday for the next six weeks, I will be taking a look at a festival race from an ante-post perspective. Starting with the Champion Hurdle. Before that, lets have a look back at the weekend, and a good Saturday for owner J P…

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  • Jan- 2019 -
    28 January
    horse racing

    Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

    Today’s post has a real Cheltenham theme to it. Cheltenhamheld its last fixture before the Festival on Saturday. Trials Day, as it’s become known, has developed a reputation for pinpointing winners for the Cheltenham Festival in March. More of that and some other Cheltenham Festival stats later. Firstly, let’s have a look at the story that was making the racing…

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  • 21 January
    horse racing

    Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

    Altior: The Best National Hunt Horse I Have Ever Seen! Since winning a Chepstow novice hurdle, back in October 2015 by 34 lengths, Altior has never been out of the winner’s enclosure. On Saturday he made it 17 wins from 17 runs, 12 of them over fences, when beating two rivals to win the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot. Jockey…

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  • 14 January
    horse racing

    Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

    It’s hard to believe that a Gold Cup & King George VI winning jockey can still claim 3lb. Sam Waley-Cohen has won both those races, but still gets a useful 3lb for his troubles. He even managed to get down to 9-12, to make full use of his claim, when winning Warwick’s Classic Chase on Impulsive Star. Impulsive Star , trained by…

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  • 7 January

    Weekly Eye-Catchers

    Veteran’s Day A fairly low-key weekend on the racing front, not really surprising given the feast of racing over Christmas period. Sandown hosted a race to warm the cockles of the most cynical racing heart. Yes, it was the Veterans’ Series Final. The race, and its series of qualifiers, have quickly found favour with jumping fans. As a battle-hardened group…

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  • 3 January

    Weekly Eye-Catchers

    Is 2019 The Year of The Clan? Well my holiday already seems far away, but I had a very relaxing time and the break was definitely needed. I returned from Mexico on Boxing Day, and just managed to see the action from Kempton, and what great racing it was too. The King George VI provided a bit of a shock…

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  • Dec- 2018 -
    17 December

    Weekly Eye-Catchers

    Frost Returns to Cheltenham Not for the first time I find myself praising the riding skills of Bryony Frost as she steered Frodon to victory in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup on Saturday. It’s a long time since I have seen a Cheltenham meeting runs in such gloomy conditions, but Frodon’s win did add some brightness to the day. It…

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  • 10 December

    Weekly Eye-Catchers

    The last two weeks have seen some top-class Championship performances from Bristol De Mai and Buveur D’Air on their seasonal reappearances. This week it was the turn of Altior at Sandown. There have been some great winners of the Tingle Creek Chase over the years, like Moscow Flyer, Kauto Star and Sprinter Sacre, and this year’s victor is up there…

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