Outlook Over to a business that works, in the form of Betfair. It looks like a winner. The gambling company jumped to the head of the field by trouncing the City's profit forecasts and handed out sugar lumps to the shareholders in its stable with a chunky dividend hike. The shares duly raced even further ahead of a 950p indicative offer that was withdrawn in May by a major shareholder in cahoots with private equity.
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Thursday 14 June 2012
If the meeting seems set to open with two regal processions, rather than one, then at least some proper, unruly competition looks guaranteed soon after the monarch has admired Frankel following her down the straight at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
Tuesday 12 June 2012
The wretched weather is giving an unhappily literal quality to the way the domestic programme treads water between Epsom and Royal Ascot. The card at Salisbury today is subject to a morning inspection, and likewise the turf races at Lingfield. And while the French did contrive a fleeting moment of quality yesterday, deteriorating conditions locally may also limit its significance.
Tuesday 05 June 2012
Such is the nature of the game, barely have the tweets about the Derby vanished into the ether than there is chirruping about the 2013 Classics. After winning his first two races, the Irish colt Dawn Approach was the subject of some tentative trading for the 2,000 Guineas next May; now, after making it three from three at Naas yesterday, he is quoted at 14-1 as the early market leader in some bookmakers' lists.
Tuesday 29 May 2012
Camelot so bestrides the Investec Derby that some bookmakers now offer odds that would qualify him as the hottest favourite since Tudor Minstrel was beaten at 4-7 in 1947. Only 11 other colts were left in the race yesterday, four of them from the same stables in Co Tipperary, and he is just 8-13 with Betfred to win on Saturday.
Friday 04 May 2012
On the eve of the first Classic, Chris McGrath finds some lesser lights it will pay to follow
Saturday 21 April 2012
Once again, as when Most Improved hobbled away from the Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday, the favourite for a key Qipco 2,000 Guineas trial has dropped out at the 11th hour. Roger Charlton has decided that it would be looking for trouble to run Top Offer in deteriorating conditions at Newbury today, just a fortnight before the Guineas, and duly scratched him from the Aon Greenham Stakes.
Sunday 25 March 2012
For Flat racing fans, that business at Aintree that has to be consigned to the formbook before full attention focuses on the purest form of the sport is frustratingly delayed this year; because of the religious calendar, no Grand National will ever have been run on a later date than this year's, on 14 April.
Saturday 27 August 2011
Friday 19 August 2011
The prospect of Mick Easterby saddling a Group One winner at his big local meeting – in the colours, moreover, of Lee Westwood and Chubby Chandler – is too delicious for many to concern themselves with the odds against Hoof It in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York today. He certainly warrants a crack at an elite prize, after thriving so extravagantly in handicaps, and should cope with the return to five furlongs after travelling so powerfully over a sixth.
Wednesday 10 August 2011
With the search for a sprint star still on, the spotlight will be on next week's Nunthorpe Stakes at York and, in particular, the latest Group One-winning speedster to put a newly gained reputation on the line. Step forward Prohibit, who made his first appearance at the top level in this country a winning one when he beat one of Australia's best, Star Witness, fair and square in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Friday 29 July 2011
Richard Hannon, despondent and defiant after the defeat of Canford Cliffs on Wednesday, can cheer himself up today with a colt who could yet develop into a successor to his stable star. Harbour Watch runs in the same colours, and the early signs are that he will prove another advertisement for the champion trainer's tried-and-tested system. By a young commercial sire, and bought in the middle tier of the yearling market, he made a striking debut at one of Hannon's favourite tracks, Salisbury. He then pulverised some smart types at Newmarket, bursting four and a half lengths clear of Burwaaz.
Thursday 28 July 2011
To reach for the stars is not always as remote an ambition as Frankel made it seem yesterday. Today's two big races, lacking truly dominant operators in their very different disciplines, could both demonstrate the proximity between the top handicappers and the ostensible elite.
Tuesday 26 July 2011
Fiorente should continue his upward curve in the Gordon Stakes on opening day of Glorious Goodwood
Friday 01 July 2011
The Royal Family is to receive a recession-proof financial deal that guarantees it an annual income of around £35m in future years.
Monday 20 June 2011
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
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