Ten Minutes that changed the Jumps Season

by Carine06 Cheltenham’s Open meeting is forever going to be recognised as something of a watershed moment in the jumps season. Three days of action at the spiritual home of national hunt racing, a point in the season that signals loud and proud, this is where it all gets a little bit more serious! From this point the reality of the Cheltenham Festival itself is more forward in the subconscious of every racing fan. The concluding afternoon of the Open meeting this year provided the most seismic ten minutes in jumps racing that we’ve witnessed in some considerable time. On opposite sides of the Irish Sea, we witnessed moments of monumental significance for two venerable equine superstars. Sprinter Sacre roared home at Cheltenham as boldly as ever he had done before to the sort of […]

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Galway preparing for the Dermot Weld Show

Galway preparing for the Dermot Weld Show photo by  John Picken  There are certain things in sport that have come to be relied upon over the years. Rafael Nadal’s vice-like grip on the French Open tennis – the Spaniard had won nine times in ten years at Roland Garros prior to this year. Phil Taylor’s stranglehold on the World Matchplay Darts in Blackpool – a record of 11 wins since 2002 including seven straight from 2008 onwards. And Dermot Weld’s complete domination of the Galway Races. Nadal and Taylor have questions to answer with new young challengers coming to raise the bar but can anyone stop the ‘King of Ballybrit’? The name of DK Weld has adorned the top of the trainer’s table on a staggering 28 occasions to date and with the seven-day festival about to get […]


Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase

Bookmakers Betway have announced taking over the sponsorship of the Champion Chase for the next three years. Being the first major race sponsored by Betway, online betting on the Queen Mother Champion Chase tripled with Sprinters Sacre favourite to win. To our surprise Dodging Bullets beat the odds of 9/2, winning the Champion Chase in an epic race. Paul Nicholls, who is Dodging Bullets’ trainer, has explained he has had to learn a lot about the six year old, who faced a few problems, but those were overcome and he showed us what a top horse he is. The Queen Mother Champions Chase is the fourth race of the second day’s action at the Cheltenham Festival and is featured as the main race of the day. The race was formerly known as National Hunt Two Mile Champion Chase […]

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Book review – The Black Horse Inside Coolmore 5

Book review – The Black Horse Inside Coolmore (William Jones) Reviewer David Cormack The rise and further rise of Coolmore has been the pre-eminent success story of the bloodstock world during the last forty years. One of the features of that growth has been the air of mystery which surrounds the organisation. Shrouded in secrecy, the decisions taken behind closed doors by an inner circle of powerful and rich individuals, the code of silence also extending beyond the boardroom to what might be termed the shop-floor of the operation, the studs and training centres where the elite group of stallions, broodmares and racehorses are conceived, born, raised and raced. Not by chance has the group who control John Magnier’s vast global bloodstock enterprise been dubbed the ‘Irish mafia’ and very little of what goes in […]


King George Preview

KING GEORGE VI CHASE By Tom Boardman   Boxing Day has always been a day of great sport, great British sport. It bares its’ mantle as the day immediately following Christmas proudly. Full fixture lists up and down the country bring excitement to otherwise doughy-eyed worshippers. Bookmakers have barely told the punchline of their Christmas dinner cracker gags before accumulators are thrust in their face demandingly. It certainly is a day of sport that is awaited annually and seldom bettered. Although never itself a shrinking violet however, it this year steps out of the yuletide shadows and becomes the cornerstone of this festive period. In our sport of horse racing there’s a bit of a battle taking place this December 26th. The league of staying chasers has never been considered greater. At ten past three […]


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Book Review – The Irish Derby by Sean Magee

Book Review – The Irish Derby – Celebrating the 150th running of Ireland’s greatest race Jack Hobbs’s win in Saturdays Irish Derby marked the 150th time horses had galloped across the Curragh in pursuit of Ireland’s premier racing prize. While the Irish Derby is now a race which attracts some of the very best three year old thoroughbred talent from around Europe, it was not always thus and Sean Magee’s new book ‘The Irish Derby – Celebrating the 150th running of Ireland’s greatest race’ tells the history of what started as a low key event, two previous attempts at copying the Epsom Derby format in Ireland having failed, before its place of prominence in the European flat race calendar was assured in 1962 when Joe McGrath contrived to pull together a deal with the Irish […]