A jockey from Northern Ireland may be the toast of Town Moor today, but this time the rider in question is not Tony McCoy, but a young woman making her way in the racing world whom few casual followers of the sport will have yet heard of.
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Wednesday 18 April 2012
After such a miserable experience at Aintree, it will come as a profound relief for the Turf community to turn its gaze today upon a featureless Suffolk plain. Not that the Rowley Mile is entirely flat. In fact, it is precisely the opportunity to acquaint potential Classic candidates with the Dip – even as a race enters its decisive phase – that gives the Craven meeting its purpose. That is most obviously true of those whose rehearsals qualify them to return in barely a fortnight, for the Guineas, but will also apply to some whose target is instead the Investec Derby over the rollercoaster at Epsom.
Monday 16 April 2012
Reading can clinch promotion to the Premier League tomorrow if Brian McDermott's side defeat Nottingham Forest and West Ham fail to win at Bristol City, or if the Championship leaders draw and the Hammers lose.
Saturday 31 March 2012
Though the whole purpose of this meeting is to bring together disparate racing cultures, punters can hardly know beforehand how the varied form lines will measure up. In pure value terms, however, it seems a little presumptuous to be making So You Think a warm favourite for the Dubai World Cup, not least when the reputation that preceded him from Australia last year ultimately seemed to be placed in due perspective.
Friday 30 March 2012
It seems that one of the defining tenets of Godolphin is quietly being abandoned. Last year, its overseers seemed pleasantly surprised to win the 1,000 Guineas with Blue Bunting, who had not joined the usual winter exodus to Dubai following a minor injury. This time round, two rather more obvious candidates for the same race – Lyric Of Light and Discourse – are likewise being prepared in Newmarket. It turns out that the Al Quoz media morning, an institution of Dubai World Cup week, was not staged this year for the very good reason that Godolphin's best prospects are 3,500 miles away.
Thursday 29 March 2012
Education Secretary Michael Gove today said a report into the torture of two young boys was "insufficient" and showed the current system of serious case reviews is "failing".
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 17 March 2012
PJ Proby, the veteran pop singer, has been cleared of benefit fraud after the prosecution dropped its case following the discovery of new evidence. Proby, 73, was acquitted on all nine counts after being accused of cheating the benefits system out of more than £47,000 by claiming he had just £5 in the bank.
Friday 16 March 2012
American-born pop singer PJ Proby has been cleared of benefit fraud after the prosecution dropped its case following the discovery of new evidence.
Wednesday 14 March 2012
Derby have apologised to the family of the late Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty over offensive chants from its supporters during the npower Championship clash at Pride Park on Tuesday night.
Wednesday 14 March 2012
For the second year running, Donald McCain's lorry took the Champion Hurdle runner-up back to his Cheshire stables – but it also contained a horse that might redress matters next time round. For while Cinders And Ashes had to be driven out to win the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle by barely a length, with four horses breathing down his neck, McCain has no doubt of his calibre. "If you watch, Jason [Maguire] was taking a pull because he was getting there too soon," he said. "I told Jason to ride him with balls, and that's what he did."
Friday 09 March 2012
In the acknowledgments to Marina Lewycka's wonderfully funny fourth novel, she thanks her editors for "killing off several minor characters". It's no surprise. Lewycka's fictions fill up with occasional figures, rather as if they were Altman films. Although it means that readers have their work cut out remembering who fits in where, the sheer jubilation of her plots and sub-plots comes in part from the bedlam that her invented population causes. The fun is hectic or nothing.
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