Saturday, 17 November 2018

Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) Archive (Just Like Wikipedia)

Alpha Delphini Nunthorpe Stakes (Group one) Winner for Bryan Smart
Sprinterstogo has been chomping at the bit since the revamp. However, it needs a focus. 

Sure, we will be detailing lots of sprint race action but we need something that sets us apart from the general blogs which say a bit about this and that...

We need a niche. 

And so we have it. What better sprint to focus our attention than the Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) at York. It has a rich history- some exceptional thoroughbreds. 

The likes of Dayjur (1990) just for starters.

I'm sure all readers have their favourites. If you want to leave a comment feel free to detail your memory. 

So what are we going to detail about the Nunthorpe Stakes? Winner, of course. And, perhaps, one or two runner-ups as they are often as deserving as those who get sunburnt from the flash of cameras. 

We are paying a top writer to make us an archive of some of the biggest winners. 

Just for those who don't know much about this great race, here are the basics.

Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) 

Inaugurated: 1922
Distance: 5f 
Race type: Flat/turf
Qualification: 2yo and up 

Bio: Did you know that the Nunthorpe Stakes was first run in 1903. It was a low-grade affair being at Selling class. 

Since 2011 the Nunthorpe Stakes has been part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge with the winner gaining the automatic right to compete in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. 

Two horses have won the race 3 times: Tag End (1928 - 1930), Sharpo (1980 - 1981)

Lester Piggott has won the most times from Right Boy (1958) - Solinus (1978) 

Friday, 16 November 2018

Chelmsford Void Race Fiasco Leads to Meeting Abandoned

Looks like someone forgot to put a 50p in the electric meter.

Well, that's what happened to punters as Chelmsford fell into darkness. 

The 5:15 Extra Places At Handicap over 7f.

Unlucky punters were left fuming when a power cut meant the race was void as Florencio, trained by Jamie Osborne, won the race. However, it was void. 

The remainder of the meeting abandoned.

However, ''winning'' trainer Jamie Osborne insisted Florenico, owned by globetrotting Melbourne 10 should have taken the prize. In fact, Osborne recorded the win on his phone, ridden by Nicole Currie.

The trainers said: ''I am annoyed. It's blatantly obvious to me and the racegoers watching just who finished first, second, third and fourth.'' 

"They probably could have limited the damage of this by allowing the result to stand but the stewards had no interest in seeing my film, and apparently the rule is that if the judge can't determine the first four home, then the race has to be void."

However, there were reports that some riders eased their mounts. While Luke Morris and P J McDonald reported their horses were spooked. 

The official inquiry into voiding the race stated: "The judge was interviewed. The judge explained that due to insufficient light he was not able to verify the full result. The stewards were unable to view the last two furlongs of the race and, taking into consideration the judge’s evidence, the stewards declared the race void."

There was some good fortune to connections if not punters when Osborne Tweeted that the racecourse had honoured the win prize money. 

"Just when you think you have seen it all in racing! It's lucky that Florencio, the winner, is owned by the Melbourne Ten, me and nine of my mates. "I am sure the boys will probably have another drink and celebrate like they've had a winner."

Asked about how Currie had seen things, Osborne added: "It would take more than a little darkness to frighten her."

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Can You Remember Klute? (The World's Fastest Horse)

I know what you are thinking... 

That name sounds familiar. If you love your horse racing - it's there, trust me, dancing about the grey matter. Synaptic nerves firing like an old Ford Escort on a frosty morning. The popping sound of the exhaust: Klute, Klute, Klute...

Yes, I have a vivid imagination. 

However, do you remember? I must admit I had to turn right at the traffic lights of the frontal lobe (images of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest) to recall this story that hit the headlines about a racehorse called Klute. Something to do with him/her (I can't remember the beasts sex at the time) being, wait for it, the fastest horse to ever set foot on God's earth since Adam & Eve. 

We are going back in time to dig up the remnants of this story. It was 1988. The venue Haydock Park. 

The event was billed - 

The World Speed Challenge 

The background to Klute being the ''fastest horse in the world'' had been sneered at by trainers. It was understandable. Why? Because Klute was raised as a pet and never raced officially except for fun on the beach. However, he had seemingly run a remarkably fast half furlong at Haydock Park clocking a world record of 44.91mph. This beat the former record set by a Mexican quarter horse back in 1945. That Speedy Gonzales went 43.26 (miles to the gallon). 

Whether people liked it or not, Klute had his name in the Guineas Book of Records. Official. His proud owner and trainer, Lesley Bruce, was confident Klute could stand his ground against the best racehorses and she wasn't frightened to take them on. 

So the contest was on!

12th August 1988 - 

5:15 Haydock -  Philip Cornes Match (The World Speed Challenge) 

Distance: 5f 

Going: Good

Klute would race against his sole rival So Careful, trained by Jack Berry, famous for wearing his lucky red shirt (pictured). 


So Careful - 1/9f 
Klute - 9/1 

Jockey: John Carroll
Jockey: Lesley Bruce

Race comments: So Careful: ''made all, soon clear, unchallenged. Klute: speed 2f, soon ridden and outpaced.''

Klute was beaten 25-lengths. 

A tearful Miss Lesley Bruce said: 

There was something wrong with him. He's been ill. 

Whether Klute had run a world record pace for the first half furlong (I'm not sure) but he was humiliated by So Careful who had an official rating of just 71. 

So Careful was a hard-as-nails horse who ran 38 times in her in a four-year career which saw her win 6 times. She achieved total earnings of £42,973. An all-time high official rating of 80 detailed a capable horse. 

The story of Klute made the headlines around the world. 

Whether Klute had been ill rumbled on for the next year. Klute and his reputation were left in tatters. But he wasn't done!

''In 1990, Klute would fight to save the day''

2:15 Catterick - Philip Cornes World Speed Challenge Match 

Venue: Catterick Bridge 
Distance: 5f
Going: Good to Firm 

Once again, Jack Berry would prove a worthy challenger in the shape of Valldemosa. The bookies had given up all hope on a Klute victory with Valldemosa 1/33f. Klute showing no support in the betting at 16/1. 

Race comment: Valldemosa ''Made all, ran on final furlong, easily''

Klute's title ''World Fastest Horse'' made a mockery. 
What about these two America speedsters: Secretariate (exceptional)

Did you bet on Klute?

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Racehorses are getting quicker and quicker!

Racehorses are continuing to get quicker, a study of winning times spanning 165 years of racing indicates. This may come as a surprise to many in the racing industry who believe that racehorse speed has reached its limit. 

Researchers say more work is required to determine whether the increased speeds are due to breeding techniques or changes in training and riding. 

The study has been published in The Royal Society Journal Proceedings B. Previous studies had shown that racehorse speeds had not increased since 1950. Many in the race horse industry had concluded that thoroughbreds might have reached the limits of their speed. This raised the question as to whether it was worth horse owners paying large amounts of money to stud farms aiming to breed future winners. 

Patrick Sharman, a PhD student at Exeter University and race enthusiast, decided to take a closer look. He found that previous studies were not comprehensive. They only analysed the winning time of a small number of races. These studies included middle distance (8 to 12 furlongs) and long distance (14 to 20 furlongs) races, but excluded sprints (5 to 7 furlongs). Mr Sharman analysed the times from every single so-called elite race involving the very fastest horses between 1850 and 2012, and also included all race meetings since 1997. He found that there had been little improvement in speeds between 1910 and 1975. But since then there has been a steady improvement in sprint races. The average winning time for a six-furlong race over the past 15 years has been cut by more than a second - which is a huge amount by sprint standards! 

''A modern-day horse would beat a horse from the early 90s by seven horse lengths'' 

However, there was little, if any, improvement at middle and longer distances. Speed over endurance? Mr Sharman says that this could be due to the fact that horses are being bred for speed rather than endurance. If that is the case, then speeds at middle and long distances could also be improved if breeders changed their methods. 

The improvement could be explained by a change in riding techniques since the 1970s - with jockeys adopting Lester Piggott's style of riding with shortened stirrups or improved training methods. But Mr Sharman wonders why there has been no improvement in the longer distances.

"My hunch is that we are seeing a genetic change, with breeders focusing on speed rather than endurance," he told BBC News. "I don't believe that over the longer distances horses have reached their limit."

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Dayjur: The Horse Who Jumped Shadows

The Mighty Dayjur
Think of a sprinter...

 A horse so fast it captured the attention of fans across the globe. A class act crowned a champion but still, to this day, assessed with a measure of hard luck for an act that saw him lose a race he should have won.

For those who love their sprinters, there is only one horse who comes to mind. 


He was born on the 6th February 1987. This American-bred son of Danzig out of a dam called Gold Beauty. Bred in Kentucky. Dayjur raced under the ownership of Sheikh Hamdan Al-Maktoum. An expensive yearling purchase for that decade costing $1.65M. Considering such an outstanding horse had total earnings of £327,280 it details his incredible price tag. 

The association of Dayjur went hand-in-hand with his trainer Major Dick Hern, who had been seriously injured in a hunting accident in 1984 which left him wheelchair bound. Both man and horse had a will of steel. 

This brown horse made his two-year-old debut at Newbury on the 15th June 1989. His reputation was tall - he started 8/15f. He won ''easily'' by a length. However, his second race at Listed class didn't go to plan when he was beaten by half a length at odds of 8/13f by Rushmoore, trained by Clive Brittain. 

At the end of the two-year-old season, he had a wind operation (to improve his breathing).

In a relatively short career of eleven races, his three-year-old season would be his last. 

However, this season would give him credit as one of the greatest sprinters of all time but, in the process, break the heart of his trainer and race fans around the world. 

Once again, Dayjur suffered disappointment on his return to racing in 1990. Major Dick Hern had him earmarked for 2000 Guineas (which proved to be a mistake). Racing over 7f in the European Free Handicap saw him disappointing to finish seventh of ten runners. 

Plans were quickly changing. 

Dayjur was dropped back to 6f and given a confidence-boosting run at Nottingham. However, he was beaten a head by Tod, at Newbury. 

At this stage, he looked far from a supreme talent. 

The Major hadn't lost faith. In fact, he entered Dayjur for the Temple Stakes at Sandown over the minimum trip of 5f. 

His jockey, Willie Carson, led from start to finish - winning by two lengths in good style. 

Now connections knew they had a serious horse on their hands and all illusions of him racing beyond sprint distances were forgotten.

In June, he won the King's Stand at Royal Ascot by two-and-a-half lengths although Major Hern was concerned about soft ground. The runner-up, Ron's Victory, was many lengths clear of the third and then went on to frank the form by winning the Diadem Stakes by ten lengths. 

Dayjur was made 8/11f to win the Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) racing over 5f at York. He won by an easy four lengths and achieved a course record of 56:16. The Racing Post comment stated: ''very impressive''. (The only horse to beat his time is Borderleescott  (56:09) in 2008.) 

The latter part of Dayjur's career was coming to a conclusion. A few races to add to his credentials as being a true sprinting legend. 

In September, connections decided to attempt six furlongs in the Ladbroke Sprint Cup at Haydock. It was a stiff race with highly-rated Dead Certain a major opponent. Could Dayjur last the extra furlong? 

He led from start to finish. Going clear at the two-furlong pole, he held the late challenge of Royal Academy to win by one and a half lengths. 

To boost the form, Royal Academy went on to win the Breeders' Cup Mile in the United States. 

Dayjur won his final race in Europe when beating four rivals in the Prix de l'abbaye at Longchamp, France. 

Winning, and being eased at the line, Dayjur appeared to jump a shadow cast across the course!

By this time Dayjur had been heralded a sprinting sensation. He would represent Europe by travelling to the United States of America to contest the 1990 Breeders' Cup Sprint, at Belmont Park. A wide draw made life difficult. However, a gutsy Dayjur contested the lead and then headed Safely Kept and looked to have the race sealed. In the closing strides of the race (heartbreaking) Dayjur saw a shadow cast across the track and jumped losing momentum. Then, unbelievably, jumped another shadow at the finishing line. He lost by a neck as the filly took advantage of his ill fate. 

Dayjur Bio: (6th February 1987 - 25 September 2013)

Race record: 

11 runs, 7 wins, 3 seconds and unplaced on one occasion


British Horse of the Year 1990
European Champion Sprinter 1990 

What are your memories of this great sprinter? 

Monday, 12 November 2018

4:15 Chelmsford Racing Tips (13th November)

A ten-runner sprint over 6f on Standard going. A fair selection of two-year-olds, a few been given significant entries. 

Always go to see Mick Easterby have a decent horse. Not particularly known for his two-year-olds, he has hit something of a purple patch this last month or so with two or three juvenile winners. Jack Berry House pulled off a surprise when victory on debut when winning at Newcastle at odds of 80/1 (it wasn't a fluke). A fine judge of horses, Easterby started Brandy Spirit at the deep end when making this gelding's debut in an All-Weather Fast Track Qualifier. To most, it would seem a bold, if not foolish, escapade against quality opposition. However, this son of Charm Spirit - a 50,000 guinea breeze-up buy - was nibbled in the market from 50-1 - 33/1. Taking advantage of a few horses with win penalties may have been a wise move. This February foal dwelt but soon moved up with panache. Trouble in running didn't help his cause, but connections must have been pleased to see him hit the frame. The Racing Post comment ''promising'' detailed an exciting horse in the making. 

It's a rematch with an old adversary Fares Kodiac who was just half a length behind for Marco Botti. This is one of the better two-year-olds in the stable (a lean year). A nose-winner on debut and far from disgraced in this better company since. Has been entered at Listed class. 

Michael Bell has a fair number of juveniles in his stable this year. A few have proven very capable (Pretty Polianna, Lady Aria & James Watt). Regular, in the ownership of The Queen, ran well on debut when finished second at odds of 3-1. It wasn't a bad run next time out at Doncaster when fifth, although I had expected more. He drifted markedly in the betting, before having the corners chipped off near the death. Interesting to note connections are dropping this gelding back to six furlongs. 

Andrew Balding's Grandstand has raced five times to date with an element of success. The best of those efforts came when running at Windsor on his third start when second best, losing by one length. Looked to struggle on his last two starts at nursery class. An official rating of 76 detail a horse with the ability to win a race but susceptible to a horse with a touch of class. 

Legend Island has run twice for Ed Walker in the familiar red/black striped silks of owner P K Siu. 

Robert Cowell fields one of two debutantes. Turquoise Friendly is an Irish-bred son of Holy Roman Emperor. This 40,000 guineas breeze-up purchase is out of an unraced dam. The stable can win on debut although often difficult to pinpoint when. If backed it would add to confidence. 

The other horse making its racecourse bow is Patrick Chammings' Opportune Moment. This gelding is a son of Slade Power is out of an exceptionally good mare named Carry On Katie, who was trained by Jeremy Noseda/Saeed bin Suroor, winning her first three starts, including the Lowther Stakes (Group 2) & Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1). She returned in the ownership of Godolphin to compete at the 1000 Guineas, finishing sixth, although beaten just three lengths. Then retired to stud after a disappointment at Longchamp, France. This horse must have looked a weak link at the yearling sales selling for just 14,000 euros. Interesting to see what he can achieve on this debut. A wide draw is negative. 

Brains, Tunky and Isabel Red are best watched. 

Conclusion: An intriguing race. A couple of potentially decent juveniles in Brandy Spirit and Fares Kodiac. The latter is no slouch and a proven winner. These win penalties make life harder although he wasn't too far behind Mick Easterby's charge last time out. There was a lot to like about Brandy Spirit on that first start. It spoke well that connections plumped for that option because to many it looked illogical. There should be ample improvement although not much meat on the bone at 6/4. May drift in the betting, which could give some value. Regular needs to show more for dropping in trip. Opportune Moment is bred like an expensive horse but cost ''pennies'' at the sales.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Boogie in the Morning!

Musselburgh stages a Class 4 5f Handicap at 2.40 today. The going is currently Good to Firm and a drying day ahead. There are 13 runners and the stalls will be on the stand side as usual.

There are a few in form horses here notably Lydiate Lady and Tanasoq but whether they can live with the pace of Fethiye Boy were he to return to his Class 3 winning Sandown form from last July is debatable. 

He's had a wind op and a change of stable since then and this is his second run since. This will be his 18th career start which leaves room for improvement and he is back on the same mark as that Sandown win where he beat a decent field which had Class 2 horses stepping down a grade rather than Class 5 stepping up. He showed blistering early pace in that and although he tired on the uphill finish he held on to win. He probably then came out to soon when running at Bath just 5 days later and he was last of eight on his next and last start the season.

He returned from a 220 day break at Wolverhampton on 24th March where he was quickly into a lead before understandably feeling the effects of his first run back. The stable have had 2 wins from their last 10 runners and it all looks set for a good show today.

Royal Brave won this race last season and has run well here on other occasions so should be in the mix under Daniel Tudhope. He has the plum draw but he will be dropped in rather than forcing the pace so it wont be of any benefit. Lydiate Lady has been on a steady upward curve since joining Eric Alston-she started her winning run off 48 in Class 6 and is now on a career high of 77 in Class 4 but on this quicker going the assured fast pace could well catch her out on this quick 5f track.

With Rapid Applause being a non runner we look at the second from that Beverley race that he won so convincingly and that is Tanasoq who came home two and a quater lengths in front of the third. Take the rejuvenated winner out of that race and he'd have looked impressive too. He's only up 2lb and is improving for his new trainer and is handily drawn in stall 12.

Fethiye Boy should give a good run for his odds of 12/1 and he is a value ew bet as he could well take higher rank than Class 4 as the season progresses.

Friday, 9 February 2018


There's a Class 2 sprint at Lingfield in the afternoon but as there's now only 4 runners I'll give that one a miss.
Later on at 7.45 Wolverhampton stage another Class 2 handicap over 5f worth £28,000 to the winner and its a pretty uninspiring field of runners for the decent pot.
Some of these horses have run more times against each other than Coe and Ovett did in the eighties!
You usually need a draw near the rail in the sprints here and although Kimberella is drawn in 5 you would hope that would be good enough given there's not much on his inside. He was only beaten a short head behind Kachy last time out at Lingfield in the Listed Cleeve Stakes and a reproduction of that effort should see him go close.
None of the others jump off the page to make me think they are going to run out of their skin or trouble Kimberella and hopefully this 8yo can have another winning day.
I don't think he needs to be ridden in any particular way and he can usually be relied upon to put in a solid shift and Paul Hanagan firms the selection up a bit more.

1 point win at 4/1 with Paddy Power 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Head for the Tropics!

Another tight knit handicap on the AW at 7.00 on Thursday at Chelmsford.
This one may prove more difficult to find the winner than the other day at Southwell as nothing particularly stands out.

RECKLESS ENDEAVOUR - has not run here before and he's still on the same mark of his last win at Dundalk in September and not sure I can see him winning.
SIGN OF THE KODIAC - His last win was also at Dundalk when beating the admirable Gordon Lord Byron off a mark of 94 by half a length last March. He's still on the same mark now but he's had his chances since and not won.
HAKAM - Was a running on 2nd last time out at Wolverhampton over 5f following 3 runs over 7f - but he's not getting any respite form the handicapper and although he might be thereabouts at the finish I don't think he will win.
ZAC BROWN - This will be his 49th career start but not sure I'm that keen - although he is dropping down the weights.
ASCOT DAY - Has only 9 career starts to his name so is open to improvement. He recently had his first run after a 168 day break finishing last of 9 behind Reflektor. Prior to that he had beaten Boundsy at Newcastle over 6f off a mark of 85 - Boundsy was rated 78 and that rival followed that run up with 2 wins off marks of 82 and 86 at both Chester and Haydock so off 5lb higher there are possibilities for Ascot Day if he comes on for his recent return and he will go close.
FAST TRACK - Has 36 career starts with just the one run here. His last win came just over a year ago off a mark of 85 - he's now on 82. He was beaten 2 lengths by Tropics at Wolverhampton recently but he's 8lb better off with that rival in this so he should be bang there too.
UPAVON - Has 54 career starts and this will be his 15th start here and after winning his first two runs at the track he's never been better than 3rd although he is running at a consistent level. He couldn't win a Class 4 off a mark of 80 when 3rd to Aleef at the track recently and off the same mark he's unlikely to win a Class 3. That race was run in a time 1 min 10.35s.

That leaves us with TROPICS - Although the veteran of the field at 10 years of age he's only had 37 starts to date. He was rated 111 at the start of his 2017 campaign and he's off 92 here having won a Class 3 at Wolverhampton over 6f before finishing 4th at Lingfield when he was swallowed up late as most are. Robert Winston replaces the 3lb claimer here which is a positive move and this former group class performer has another big chance of getting back in the winners circle whilst he's in form.

1 pt win TROPICS @ 4/1 - Bet365, Coral and BetVictor.

Exacta picks - Tropics, Ascot Day, Fast Track.

A 9/2 Winner !

A great start yesterday with Foolaad winning as I expected at the starting price of 9/2. Not sure if he will be able to follow up off his new rating but we will just have to see what the handicapper does.

Some people question speed against class in that class always prevails but it doesn't always work out that way as Foolaad proved. There was every chance that he could run another fast time particularly as he was carrying a stone less in actual weight carried and so it proved.

Today there is nothing to get excited about sprint wise as the most we can look forward to is a Class 7 handicap at 4.40 at Kempton. Form looks sparse but the 3 currently at the top of the market face each other again. Rapid Rise came out on top last time they met but its whether he can overcome a 3lb higher mark which he could well do as he was going away from the other two at the finish last time having made his run from further back - and he has a 7lb claimer on board this time. He's being backed in though as others cotton on.

However its not a race to get involved in and we look forward to a Class 3 tomorrow.

Good Luck! 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Don't be Fooled!

Southwell stages a Class 2 sprint this afternoon at 3.05 in which 8 go to post and of those only 5 have run here before and it usually pays to follow course form at this track.

Robot Boy, Compas Scoobie and Shamshom are the three having their debuts at the track. 

Robot Boy usually runs well on his second start after a break - 72121 and he returned at Chelmsford last time out after 117 day break to finish 5th behind Udontdodou albeit he wasn't really pushed there and he can go close.
Poyle Vinnie is now 2lb lower in the ratings than when he won this race last season in a time of 58.09s carrying 8-13-however he returns off a 115 day break and his form after a break reads 0737 so although he may run well he'll probably need the run.
Compas Scoobie has only had the 20 starts so is still open to improvement compared to some of these battle hardened performers but you would need to see how he handles the surface before risking any cash.
Midnight Malibu won here last time out and is 2-2 at the track so clearly handles it. His times for those wins were 57.82 and 58.44 and he should be bang there at the finish.
Tricky Dicky has run here 5 times (11222) but all runs were over 6f and he may be a bit outpaced on the straight track but will be staying on.
Classic Pursuit may struggle here.
Shamshom has not run here before and doesn't appear to be in the best form.
That leaves Foolaad who at 7 is still improving having only had 19 starts. He started last season off  a handicap mark of 64 and he is now on 88. He put up his best performance yet last time out when winning over this course and distance by an eased down one and a half lengths and in doing so recorded a hand time of 57.55s whilst carrying 9-12. He's gone up 6lb for that and he carries 8-11 today so he should in theory be able to record a similar time or better which would be good enough to win this in my view with further improvement likely over this distance.

Foolaad - 1 point win @ 4/1 with several bookmakers.

Exacta Picks - Foolaad, Midnight Malibu, Robot Boy.