Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has broken his silence on the Godolphin doping scandal and said that "the truth" would emerge from an ongoing inquiry.
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Friday 28 September 2012
His many admirers would not be short of reasons to celebrate a first trainers' championship for John Gosden, who yesterday nosed his way past Aidan O'Brien at the top of the prize money table. Even beyond his skill, decency and intelligence, however, they might treasure the certainty that not one Clarehaven horse will be declared to run this autumn with Gosden's title challenge in mind.
Tuesday 28 August 2012
Contrary to many perceptions about the Flat game, there are some horses who hang about long enough to acquire a faithful fan base, much in the way that jumpers do. One such is the sprinter Borderlescott, who first raced in June 2004 and is set to have his 63rd contest at Beverley on Saturday.
Wednesday 22 August 2012
At such short odds, over a new trip, even a true great like Frankel can hardly appeal as a betting medium at York today. In fact, the Juddmonte International Stakes market is more likely to interest each-way "thieves", who will surely cover their money on St Nicholas Abbey. His two pacemakers should guarantee a sufficient test over the long Knavesmire straight for the Ballydoyle raider to outstay all bar the champion for a podium finish.
Tuesday 31 July 2012
For those who sighed over Danny Boyle's version of long-lost, bucolic Britain, perhaps a visit to Goodwood is the answer. This isle's most glorious setting for a race meeting is now into its third century as a venue. And just as in 1802, when Pantagruel galloped six miles in three heats to win the first race on the third Duke of Richmond's estate atop the Sussex Downs and when peasants still wore smocks, the English Channel still shimmers silver to the south and rolling ripe cornfields glitter gold to the north.
Monday 30 July 2012
A winner-finding system is always welcome and the past six weeks have produced one that has proved very nearly infallible. Of the past five fillies-only Group One races in the European calendar, John Gosden has taken four. The sequence was started by Fallen For You in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, followed by Izzi Top (Pretty Polly Stakes, Curragh), Great Heavens (Irish Oaks, Curragh) and completed yesterday by Elusive Kate in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville. So, presumably, look out for their stablemate The Fugue in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.
Saturday 21 July 2012
One way or another, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes has gradually lost its traditional role as a showdown between generations. With the Prix du Jockey Club nowadays reduced to a brawl with milers over an intermediate distance, French three-year-olds had to wait until last weekend for their Group One opportunity over a mile and a half; and the Derby winner, Camelot, has been the latest to be put away for the autumn, after following up in the Irish version. That leaves just one three-year-old prepared to take on his seniors at Ascot today – and he has come all the way from Tokyo to do so.
Friday 20 July 2012
In signing a retainer for Sheikh Hamdan, Paul Hanagan knew perfectly well that he had almost certainly forfeited any chance of a third consecutive jockeys' title. A four-timer at Hamilton yesterday reiterated that he can still accumulate the quantity, whenever the quest for quality permits. But the big meeting at Ascot this weekend could well provide equal impetus in both the race to succeed Hanagan, and the one for the trainers' championship.
Saturday 14 July 2012
While acknowledging the superior claims to sympathy of other communities, few are more thoroughly fed up with the weather than those who like a bet. High summer is when punters hope to make hay, with the form working out reliably on consistent going. Instead one of the busiest Saturdays of the whole calendar stretches before them like a no man's land of mud and foxholes.
Friday 13 July 2012
The Wildensteins have a long history of success and controversy on turf
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 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.
Saturday 26 May 2012
O'Brien contender looks value as Bolger preps his Derby hope on seasonal debut in Irish Guineas
Wednesday 16 May 2012
Yet again the strength in depth of the Classic generation at Ballydoyle is inviting invidious comparisons with the Turf's other superpowers. At Godolphin, in particular, a recent mood of renewal was abruptly suspended after both the first two Classics were won by their great rivals. Godolphin failed even to muster a runner in the 2,000 Guineas, while its two fancied fillies in the 1,000 Guineas both finished tailed off. The stakes will be uncomfortably high, then, when the unbeaten Mandaean measures his Investec Derby prospects in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York tomorrow. And there is commensurate significance, surely, in the fact that the imported colt will be ridden by another new recruit from France.
Saturday 05 May 2012
Born To Sea will test O'Brien's hot favourite as trainer aims for Newmarket Classic double
Tuesday 24 April 2012
Though serving its traditional role as both the final fling of the jumps season and a test of the new order established at Cheltenham last month, the Punchestown Festival must this week absorb one or two challenging incongruities.
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