Monday, 12 August 2019

Sir Mark Prescott Elated As Pivotal Wins Nunthorpe Stakes For Cheveley Park Stud

Foaled on January 19, 1993, Pivotal was a lightly-raced, but nonetheless high-class, sprinter, sired by Polar Falcon, a top-level colt over distances between 6 furlongs and a mile and winner of the Ladbroke Sprint Cup in 1991. Bred and owned by Cheveley Park Stud and trained by Sir Mark Prescott at Heath House Stables in Newmarket, Suffolk, unusually for such an early colt, Pivotal did not make his racecourse debut until October, 1995, late in his second year. 

On that occasion, ridden by Colin Nutter, second jockey to Prescott, he was sent off at 16/1 for a maiden stakes races, over 6 furlongs at Newbury; he missed the break and was never really involved, eventually finishing ninth of 20, beaten 6 lengths, behind Fly Tip, trained by Barry Hills. Eleven days later, when ridden by stable jockey George Duffield, he won a similar race at Newcastle and, six days after that, won a minor conditions stakes race, over 5 furlongs, at Folkestone in taking fashion. 

After a 228-day break, he reappeared in the King’s Stand Stakes, over 5 furlongs, at Royal Ascot – at the time, demoted to a Group Two contest – for his first attempt at earning some ‘black type’. He was successful, catching Temple Stakes winner Mind Games, who had attempted to make all, in the shadow of the post to win by a half a length, with the two of them separated by the width of the course. 

On the strength of his first Group win at the first attempt, Pivotal was sent off 9/4 favourite for the July Cup, over 6 furlongs, despite tackling Group One company for the first time. Ridden with more restraint over the extra furlong, he made headway at halfway and held every chance with two furlongs to run, but could only keep on at one pace to finish sixth of ten, beaten 5¼ lengths, behind French raider Anabaa. 

The following month, Pivotal met his old rival Mind Games over 5 furlongs again, but this time on 4lb worse terms compared with Royal Ascot and in the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York, worth over £72,000 to the winner. Mind Games was sent off favourite at 7/4, with Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp winner Hever Golf Rose second favourite at 11/4 and Pivotal marginally third favourite at 100/30. Despite being pushed along in the early stages, Pivotal once again made headway at halfway and, under maximum pressure, led in the last stride to beat Eveningperformance, trained by Henry Candy, by a head.

All told, between October, 1995, and August, 1996, Pivotal ran in just half a dozen races, but won four of them, including two which were, and still are, prime targets for specialist 5-furlong sprinters. In his brief racing career, he may have been awarded a Timeform Annual Rating of ‘just’ 124, more than 10lb behind the best winners of the Nunthorpe Stakes, but could only beat what was out in front of him and, in so doing, established himself as one of the leading sprinters in Europe. Interestingly, from a Nunthorpe Stakes perspective, Pivotal was the sire of Kyllachy, who won the race, ironically, for Henry Candy in 2002 and the grandsire of Sole Power, who won the race twice for Edward Lynam, in 2010 and 2014.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

3:35 York (23rd August) 5f Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (2yo+)

Alpha Delphini wins 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes for Bryan Smart
Are you ready for the Nunthorpe Stakes? A race where the horse goes so fast you can hold your breath without fear of turning blue. 

That's got to be the definition of a sprinter's dream. 

York is the venue for this thrilling five-furlong sprint (5f). We've seen some remarkable horses colts and fillies race to the line. Favourites and outsiders alike.Horse trainers big and small. But here's a question:

Which horse will win the 2019 Nunthorpe Stakes?

If you are reading this page, then chances are you have an opinion. a fancy, a dead cert. I certainly hope so because I love to hear readers' opinions. I'll be having a word with our very own Sprint King Eric Winner, who many of you may know is one of the best sprint analysts in the country. What makes him so different from the crowd. He has a secret: The Official Median times are FLAWED. 

Believe it or not but he lets all the other folk use this inaccurate data while he has formulated his own rating system. I have never known a tipster to pick so many double-figure odds winners. In fact, he even tipped a 100/1 winner, that was amazing backed to 12/1. I guess they were using Eric's speed figures, too. 

Anyway, I'm hoping Eric Winner can do us a favour (I don't mind tempting him with gold bullion) to write a post specifically for the Nunthorpe Stakes 2019.  We want to have the best chance possible of picking the winner of the Nunthorpe Stakes and I'm going to do my very best to help you find it. 

Sprinterstogo is very much dedicated to past winners of the Nunthorpe Stakes. All the great and good. We all have our favourite winners. 

For me, it has to be Robin Bastiman with Borderlescott. To win back-to-back races in 2008 - 09 is a remarkable achievement. 

I think there have been a few other horses to win in consecutive years:

Right Boy (1958-59)
Mecca's Angel (2015,16)

Do you remember which horse won three races on the trot?

Jeremy Tree's Sharpo (1980,81 & 82)

Probably the most prestigious winner of all is Major Dick Hern's Dayjur (1990)

At present, there are 27 horses entered to race, with a maximum of 22 runners on the day. 

At the time of writing (23rd July) we have joint-favourites with high-class performers Battaash, trained by Charlie Hills, and Ten Sovereigns, racing in the familiar silks of  Smith, Magnier & Tabor for Aidan O'Brien. 

It's intriguing to see we have a few two-year-old entrants with Royal Ascot Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) winner A'Ali, trained by Simon Crisford. 

The last two-year-old winner of the Nunthorpe Stakes was back in 2007 when Kingsgate Native proved victorious for John Best, ridden by Jimmy Quinn. 

One other two-year-old is entered to run in this greatest sprint race of them all. Andrew Balding's Symbolize who is priced 33/1. 

Last year saw Alpha Delphini win for trainer Bryan Smart. The seven-year-old flashed home, just holding the late challenge of Mabs Cross. 

We will have a post for this race on the day - so keep coming back for more updates.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Mozart Wins Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1)

Embed from Getty Images Foaled in Ireland on February 13, 1998, Mozart was sired Ladbroke Sprint Cup winner Danehill out of Victoria Cross, an unraced half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero. Owned by Mrs. Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor and trained by Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle Racing Stable in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, Mozart made his racecourse debut in a minor maiden race, over 7 furlongs, at the Curragh in July, 2000. Sent off at prohibitive odds, of 2/9, he was pushed clear by Seamie Heffernan in the final quarter of a mile and stayed on strongly to win, easily, by 8 lengths. 

Following an 86-day break, Mozart was stepped up in class in the £400000 Tattersalls Houghton Sales Stakes, again over 7 furlongs, on the Rowley Mile Course at Newmarket in September. Despite facing 25 rivals, he again started favourite, at 11/10, and, although his task was made easier by the second favourite, Eminence, refusing to race, Mozart took the overall lead inside the final furlong and held on well, under Mick Kinane, to win by a length. The following month, Mozart was stepped up in class again in the Dewhurst Stakes over the same course and distance but, having held every chance with two furlongs to run, weakened in the final hundred yards to finish fourth, beaten 2 lengths, behind comfortable winner Tobougg. 

Mozart reappeared in the 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes, over a mile, at Leopardstown in April, 2001, but finished only third of five, beaten 3¼ lengths, at odds of 1/4. He was again beaten, albeit narrowly, at odds-on in the Tetrarch Stakes, back over 7 furlongs, at the Curragh the following month, before taking his chance in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, over a mile, at the Co. Kildare track three weeks later. Despite carrying the third colours of owner Michael Tabor, Mozart belied odds of 20/1 by finishing second, although he was easily brushed aside by his equally unfancied stable companion, Black Minnaloushe, in the closing stages. 

Consequently, Mozart started favourite, at 7/4, for the Jersey Stakes, back over 7 furlongs, at Royal Ascot. Reunited with Mick Kinane, he made most of the running and, despite being hard ridden, held on well close home to beat the strong-finishing Alderbaran by a neck and record his first success at Pattern level. 

However, it was on his next start, when tried over 6 furlongs for the first time, and pitted against specialist sprinters at the highest level, in the July Cup at Newmarket that Mozart proved something of a revelation. Sent off favourite again, at 4/1, he made all on the stands’ side and was ridden clear in the final furlong to beat King’s Stand Stakes winner Cassandra Go decisively, by 3½ lengths, with Sprint Stakes winner Misraah a further length behind in third place. On-course going officially described as ‘good’, the winning time, of 69.86 seconds, was only three-tenths of a second slower than the record set by Stravinsky, also trained by O’Brien and ridden by Kinane, two years earlier. 

After such a devastating demonstration of speed, O’Brien had no qualms about letting Mozart take his chance in the Nunthorpe Stakes, over 5 furlongs, at York the following month. In fact, shortly after the July Cup he simply said, ‘If we run in that [the Nunthorpe Stakes] we would have to let him go a bit earlier, that’s all.’ It appears that the betting public took the Master of Ballydoyle at his work because, on the Knavesmire, Mozart started 4/9 favourite and never gave his supporters an anxious moment, taking the lead just after halfway and running on strongly to beat subsequent Haydock Sprint Cup winner Nuclear Debate by 2 lengths. 

Sent to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, back over 6 furlongs, in October, Mozart missed the break and was never involved, eventually finishing eleventh of 14, beaten 10 lengths, behind Squirtle Squirt. Nevertheless, his two domestic Group One victories resulted in Mozart being named Cartier Champion Sprinter of 2001.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

La Cucaracha Wins Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1)

Embed from Getty Images Foaled on March 26, 2001, La Cucaracha – Spanish for ‘Cockroach’ – was a daughter of high-class sprinter Piccolo, who finished second, beaten 1½ lengths, behind Blue Siren in the Nunthorpe Stakes in 1994, but was awarded the race in the stewards’ room. La Cucaracha would win the Nunthorpe Stakes, too, as a four-year-old, in 2005, but the fact that she was still in training at that stage of her career, never mind winning a Group One race, owed much to the skill of her trainer, Barry Hills. 

Bred and owned by the late Guy Reed, in whose recognisable colours –gold and black check, pink sleeves and cap – she raced, La Cucaracha was, like many of the progeny of Piccolo, a fast, precocious juvenile. She made her racecourse debut in a lowly median auction maiden stakes race, over 5 furlongs, at Leicester in April, 2003, which she won, easily, by 5 lengths, from the odds-on favourite Fine Silver. Stepped up in class in a fillies’ conditions stakes race at Newbury, also over the minimum trip, the following month she comfortably landed odds of 1/2. 

Thereafter, though, her career was plagued by injury and she wasn’t seen again until 347 days later in April, 2004. Indeed, her entire three-year-old campaign consisted of just three starts in Listed company in April and May – on all of which she ran well, without winning – before she was off the course again, for a further 313 days, until April, 2005. 

However, despite being restricted to three starts in the better part of two calendar years, she made a winning reappearance in the Cammidge Trophy, over 6 furlongs, at Doncaster. The following month, La Cucaracha was stepped up to Group company for the first time in the Duke of York Stakes, again over 6 furlongs, at York. On her one and only outing on soft going, she weakened well over a furlong out, eventually finishing ninth of 11, beaten 5 lengths, behind The Kiddykid, whom she’d beaten half a length, on 2lb better terms, in the Cammidge Trophy. 

Nevertheless, La Cucaracha won her first Group race, the Ballyogan Stakes at the Curragh, on her very next start and, although subsequently only second in the Summer Stakes at York, she also won the Sky Bet Dash, over the same 6 furlongs on the Knavesmire, off top weight of 9st 10lb. Now rated 110, having officially improved by 12lb since the start of the season, she faced her toughest task so far, the Nunthorpe Stakes, over the fast, flat 5-furlong course at York. 

Despite tackling Group One opposition for the first time and her three wins that season having come over 6 furlongs, she was sent off 7/1 fourth-favourite behind Chineur, who had won the King’s Stand Stakes – run over the same course and distance as the Nunthorpe Stakes that year, during the redevelopment of Ascot Racecourse – on his most recent outing in June. Drawn in stall eight of 16, La Cucaracha was held up in midfield before quickening to lead inside the final and holding on for a narrow victory. At the line, just a neck separated her from The Tatling, whose task was made no easier by a slipping saddle, with Majestic Missile, who was hampered close home, a further length away in third. Her victory, albeit narrow, was the first at Group One level for prolific owner-breeder Guy Reed, after nearly 40 years’ involvement in British horse racing.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Which Professional Darts Player Won The Bronze Bully on TV Programme Bullseye

Bullseye TV Game Show (Jim Bowen)
Darts is popular. 

I'm sure many readers can remember Bullseye a TV game show television programme based, not surprisingly, on a darts theme. 

Originally made for ITV network by Associated Television in 1981. Later, by Central Television from 1982 - 1995. It was hosted by Jim Bowen, a stand-up comedian who was influenced by Ken Dodd and television personality. 

Bowen was a straight-faced comic known for his bad jokes, who used to make fun of guests on the show. 

The animated mascot named Bully wore a red/white striped shirt and blue trousers. 

The show also featured Tony Green who helped with scoring the dart games and sideman for Bowen. Green was an amateur player who became BBC's lead commentator when showing the annual World Professional Darts Championships staged at the Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey. He worked alongside Sid Waddell, a talented Geordie entertainer and well respected within darting circles and known as ''The Voice of Darts''. He was also a gifted writer, comedian and nicknamed the ''Theif of Bad Gags''. Waddell wrote 11 published books including autobiographies of John Lowe, Jocky Wilson & Phil Taylor. 

He also wrote a racy novel in 1973 named Bedroll Bella (about a Georgie groupie) that was banned by W. H. Smiths. 

Back to Bullseye. 

In total there was 16 series of Bullseye and an incredible 354 episodes. The run time for the programme was 30 minutes. The programme was created and owned by Andrew Wood and comedian Norman Vaughan who had a successful career in television and theatre. 

The game show was based on three pairs of contestants with one person the darts player and the other answering questions. Prizes included a car, speedboat, holidays in addition to a tankard and silver goblet alongside a Bendy Bully (the show's mascot). 

The show was originally on Monday evening before being moved to its popular spot on Sunday. Later it was to be shown on Saturday afternoon. The show was planned for 1996 but cancelled after the network pressured Wood to modernise the programme which he deemed unsuitable. 

One part of the show saw a professional darts player throw nine darts and their total score would give a pound a point for the given charity chosen by the contestant. If the professional dart player scored over 301 the money would be doubled. Alongside this, the highest score of the series would win the Bronze Bully Trophy. This was based on series 5 - 13 (1985 - 1994).

Interesting that the highest charity points scorer was Alan Evans in 1984 with a score of 401. 

However, the Bronze Bully Trophy started in 1985. 

Here is a list of the winners:

1985 - 86 : John Lowe (380)
1986 - 87 : Lionel Smith (365)
1987 - 88 : Ray Farrell (340)
1988 - 89 : Mike Gregory (380)
1989 - 90 : Eric Bristow (380)
1990 - 91 : Bob Anderson (380)
1991 - 92 : Mandy Solomans (363)
1992 - 93:  Mike Gregory (340)
1994 -    :   Kevin Painter (380)


Professional Gamblers: Do They Really Need Luck to Win

Professional Gamblers: Do They Really Need Luck to Win
Professional gambler stories. 

They are always an interesting read. In some respects, they have a mythical feel. Like a knight on his trusty stead, fight a dragon with fire in its belly. To be a professional gambler takes dedication. It takes a lot of learning and understanding via trial and error. But here's a question: 

Do Gamblers Really Need Luck To Win?   

Perhaps this seems a pretty foolish question. Surely they win or lose based on skill? Well, that is certainly the case because without an advanced knowledge they are unlikely to beat the bookies. I have been a successful gambler for a number of years and still see the highs and lows. It isn't about being the best gambler in the world, just a little better than most. To understand your niche. Why a niche? Simply because there aren't enough hours in the day to know everything. Also, you don't need to know everything because you can simply bet more on what you do know. It's like you times your knowledge by 5 when you bet five times the money on your wager. I'm just saying this as an example of how to work. If you work hard at being good in your niche, you will have a fighting chance of beating the layers. 

But what about luck? Does it really play a part in successful betting? It does play its part. 

How come?

If you have ever watched a horse race closely you will see that, in truth, any number of horses may have won with a bit of luck. Sure, some horses win with ease but a horse which wins by a nose often has had a touch of luck. It may have won by a whisker. 

Also, when you get a win then a touch of luck can make the difference between a small and big win. 

The days you have a chance to win big, you would rather that horse win than a normal routine wager. I remember a few times when a huge priced winner has, basically, made my season. 

So luck does play its part. 

Monday, 17 June 2019

Royal Ascot 2019: Zombie Betting

I used to love watching The Walking Dead. 

I figured out, I thought, why it worked. The old style zombie films - there have been some great ones - could never find an apt ending. If there was a part of the film which didn't quite live up to its billing - it was the end. 

With The Walking Dead being a series it didn't really need an end. It could just go on forever in a zombie kind of way. Dragging a leg, covered in blood and always following some poor victim until they were cornered in a cul-de-sac. 

Well, I thought it was the answer. Perhaps it wasn't. As I'm sure many fans of The Walking Dead looked on in ''horror'' that the storyline goes so stupid that is just wasn't worth watching anymore.  

Do you think Royal Ascot brings out a kind of zombie betting? Like a zombie chasing after a sheep. There's no particular reason for the chase, endeavour, addiction whatever you want to call it. 

I'm sure plenty of punters aren't betting on Royal Ascot 2019 in some kind of zombie state. They bet with intelligence. I guess when a good meeting with top-class horses comes along it's going to catch the interest. 

However, if you feel compelled to bet on Royal Ascot more than normal you may have become a zombie bettor without realising. 

Friday, 14 June 2019

(Why Does My Blog Post Get 10 Page Views?)

I'm not sure what it is with this website. 

I keep uploading quality articles about horse racing but the page views are going lower than an Olympic limbo dancer. I dedicated the website to the Nunthorpe Stakes, thinking this is one of the greatest sprint races in Great Britain if not the world. Surely that would be of some interest? (Banging my head against the wall).  

In fact, I paid good money to get a number of articles written as I am busy working on other websites. 

Does it make much a difference? Not a lot from what I can see. 

I guess I will just have to pin my hopes on the day the Nunthorpe Stakes rears its beautifully-ugly head and see if the page view ramp up like a moment in the life of Evel Knievel [I always feel like writing Evil, for some strange reason]. Perhaps on the day of the race at York, page views will skyrocket to a point we have never seen before.  

I'm not holding my breath. 

I don't know about any other bloggers, but it can be pretty frustrating writing posts and seeing the number of readers dwindle like words are going out of fashion. Then you see some kid on YouTube removing a toy from a box and receiving a few million hits. 

Double frustration. 

I think with so many websites in their little niche that there is so much competition for the limited number of readers that even quality content isn't enough at times. 

Anyway, I'm not going anywhere and the articles, posts and scribblings will follow month by month. 

Bloody Nunthorpe. 

Thanks for reading. 

Share this post and we may hit 11-page view very soon. 

Presently 30 page views...

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Brian Yeardley Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes: History, Betting, Winners & Trends

Brian Yeardley Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes: History, Betting & Trends
Beverley has seen some exceptionally talented horses in its racing history which dates back to 1767. 

There must have been some outstanding two-year-olds which have started their careers or won significant races at this course. In this modern era, one filly which stands out in my mind. Think back to the 2003 Hilary Needler Trophy Conditions Stakes, trained by Mark Johnston. 

I'm sure many of you avid race fans will be shouting at me (not usually) that it is the beautiful, crooked-legged, Attraction, who went on to win the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket. What a racehorse, hey. So few horses defy the odds of greatest success but she did so with conformation that would have had most running for the hills (only not as fast as this daughter of Efisio). 

That must be the longest introduction to a race she didn't even compete! Sometimes, we need to let the mind wander to thoughts of yesteryear in this hectic world that wishes for us to travel at the speed of light. 

Jungle Inthebungle Wins The Brian Yeardley 2018

''Which race goes with the Hilary Needler Trophy?'' I know many are saying it's the Brian Yeardley Two Year Old Trophy Condition Stakes.   

How right you are...
The Last 16 Brian Yeardley Stakes Winners 

           2018 Jungle Inthebungle - Mick Channon   - 8/1
           2017 Cardsharp         - Mark Johnston  - 6/4f
          *2016 Prince Of Lir      - Robert Cowell  - 6/1  
           2015 First Selection    - Simon Crisford - 3/1
           2014 I'm The Won For U  - David Barron   - 11/4f
           2013 Langavat           - Richard Hannon - 5/4f
           2012 Bungle Inthejungle - Mick Channon   - 7/2 
           2011 Gabrial            - Richard Fahey  - 6/5f 
           2010 Boundless Spirit   - Bryan Smart    - 4/1 
           2009 Archer's Road      - Mick Channon   - 9/4f
           2008 Able Master        - Bryan Smart    - 11/10f
           2007 Fred's Lad         - Mick Easterby  - 3/1
           2006 Everymanforhimself - James Givens   - 7/1
           2005 Mytton's Pride     - Alan Baily     - 7/1
           2004 Bolton Hall        - Richard Fahey  - 10/1 
           2003 Great Scott        - Mark Johnston  - 1/1f 

* Won on debut    

Brian Yeardley Trends

Perhaps the most remarkable trend is that in the last 16 years no winner has been priced over 10/1. Six favourites prevailed, the biggest odds 11/4. One debutante made it first time lucky - Prince Of Lir. Trainer James Givens and owners The Cool Silk Partnership have won the Hilary Needler Trophy with a debutante [Chica La Habana] so it is their modus operandi. A number of very talented two-year-olds have won the Brian Yeardley before going on to win at Group class. 

Class Performers

2012 Bungle Inthejungle - trained by Mick Channon. This son of Exceed And Excel run 17 times and achieved four wins. Competing in the Brian Yeardley Stakes on his third starts, only five two-year-olds took part and Bungle Inthejungle stayed on strongly to win by three-and-three-quarter lengths. All successes came at two. He on the Molecomb Stakes (Group 3) by a head at odds of 14/1. Similarly, winning the Cornwallis Stakes (Group 3) by a head - beating Garswood - to conclude a great formative season. He raced seven times at three and once at four before retiring to stud with a stallion fee of 12,000 euros. 

2017 Cardsharp - trained by Mark Johnston. Probably the best thoroughbred to win this race. He won the Brian Yeardley on his fourth start, staying on well at odds of 6/4f to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths. A very good juvenile who won on debut, the Woodcote Stakes (after De Bruyne Horse was disqualified). Headed to Royal Ascot where he was placed in the Norfolk Stakes (Group 3). Perhaps his best success was winning the July Stakes (Group 2) at Newmarket. Cardsharp concluded his two-year-old season finishing fifth in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1). Racing at the highest grade at three saw a season without a victory. Unplaced in the 2,000 Guineas. Two wins came at the age of four. However, these were in handicaps. Cardsharp concluded his racing career with a comfortable win at York.   

3:15 Beverley (Saturday)

As always, it's a small field of just six two-year-old, and familiar trainers who target this race. All horses have racecourse experience and a competitive heat. 

1) 12  -  Oh Purple Reign - Richard Hannon -  9/4 
2) 1   -  Dream Show      - James Tate     -  4/1
3) 3   -  Summer Sands    - Richard Fahey  -  4/1
4) 12  -  Xcelente        - Mark Johnston  -  5/1
5) 2   -  Cool Sphere     - Robert Cowell  -  8/1 
6) 122 -  Rodnee Tee      - David O'Meara  - 10/1 

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

2019 Royal Ascot: Coventry Stakes Betting Odds

Royal Ascot 2019. 

The Coventry Stakes (Group 2) takes place on Tuesday 18th June. 

This Class 1 race is run over 6f. The race was established in 1890 after the 9th Earl of Coventry. However, this race was upgraded in 2004 to Group 2 status. It has been won by some exceptional horses. 

Always a supporter of the underdog, I have fond memories of Bill O'Grman's Mac's Imp who won in 1990. 

Last year saw John Gosden prevail with Calyx, ridden by Frankie Dettori. 

So what about this year: 2019 Coventry Stakes (Group 2).

Taking a quick look at Odds Checker, who have a few prices on offer. 

I have no idea about the Irish contenders which will be strong. Readers may remember that Caravaggio won the Coventry Stakes in 2016, for Aidan O'Brien. War Command won for Ballydoyle in 2013 with Seamie Heffernan in the saddle. 

Monarch Of Egypt hails from the mighty O'Brien stable, after winning comfortably at Naas back in April. This son of American Pharoah cost $750,000 at the yearling sales. Another major fancy from this stable is the twice-raced Arizona

Other rivals include Hurricane Ivor, who is a son of Ivawood, who is trained by F Chappet. A seven-and-half length winner at Chantilly, France.  

The British challengers are a little easier to assess. That is assessing from their perspective of winning rather than their merit of being the victor of the 2019 Coventry Stakes.

Richard Hannon (Senior) is no stranger to making the Coventry Stakes his own. The stable hit a purple patch in 2009/10 with Canford Cliffs and Strong Suit prevailing at the Berkshire racecourse. 

Hannon junior now holds the reigns these days and the stable always send a juvenile or two to compete in this pattern race. 

Cheveley Park Stud has a live prospect in Threat, who was something of a surprise package when winning well on debut at Newmarket. This son of Footstepsinthesand ran in a four-horse race and was made 10/1. This February foal ran out a tidy winner. However, there will be a lot more to prove to win the Coventry. Sure, this is a statement which can be attributed to most of the colts and fillies in this field. 

A couple of prospects I have noted are:

Bomb Proof. He ran out a fair winner at York on debut for Jeremy Noseda. This son of Society Rock cost 100,000 guineas is a good-looking type and I was impressed how he travelled throughout the race and was pushed out by Frankie Dettori to beat Monoski [trained by Mark Johnston] who won easily the second start and held in high regard by the stable. That initial race was over 5f and this step up to 6f trip should be positive. 

Another horse I like the look of is Ventura Rebel. Richard Fahey's son of Pastoral Pursuits got a slow start on debut at Thirsk but ran on well to steal a win. That win was decent but this juvenile caught the attention when running on with purpose at Ascot, beating Wesley Ward's Lady Pauline who was a 4/11f when running out of petrol in the closing furlong. Ventura Rebel should appreciate over 6f although with his strong finish over 5f it may be positive to stick to the shorter trip. 

Coventry Stakes 2019 Betting:

Monarch Of Egypt 5/1
Hurricane Ivor 7/1
Arizona 8/1
Threat 10/1
Pierre Lapin 10/1 
Ventura Rebel 16/1
Bomb Proof 20/1
Take a look at 2018 Coventry Stakes Winner

Monday, 27 May 2019

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, 20 May 2019

Kingsgate Native Wins Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1)

Kingsgate Native Wins Nunthorpe Stakes
Foaled in Ireland on February 20, 2005, Kingsgate Native was sired by Mujadil, a prolific source of precocious, speedy types, out of Native Force, by high-class sprinter Indian Ridge. Owned by former bookmaker John Mayne and trained, initially, by John Best at Scragged Oak Farm in Hucking, near Maidstone, Kent, Kingsgate Native missed his intended racecourse debut twice, at Goodwood because of a passport irregularity and at York because of a waterlogged track, before connections decided to send him straight to the Windsor Castle Stakes, over 5 furlongs, at Royal Ascot. 

Ridden by George Baker, Kingsgate Native belied odds of 66/1 by finishing second of 20, beaten just a head, by Drawnfromthepast, trained by Jamie Osborne. Consequently, on his next start, in the Molecomb Stakes, also over 5 furlongs, at Goodwood the following month, he lined up as 4/1 second favourite behind 5/2 favourite, Starlit Sands, trained by Sir Mark Prescott, who’d been beaten just half a length in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot on her previous start. 

The field split and jockey George Baker, having initially headed for the far side, realised his mistake and belatedly switched to the stands’ side at halfway. Kingsgate Native disputed the lead inside the final furlong but, despite running on well in the closing stages, was held in the last 50 yards or so and beaten a neck by subsequent Cheveley Park Stakes runner-up Fleeting Spirit, trained by Jeremy Noseda. 

Despite still officially being a maiden, in August, Kingsgate Native was stepped up to Group One level in the Nunthorpe Stakes, again over 5 furlongs, at York. He was described by Timeform as a ‘strong, lengthy’ colt and was clearly precocious, so lacked nothing in terms of the size or maturity required to take on older horses at the early stage of his career. His connections were also, no doubt, tempted by the generous 24lb weight allowance offered to two-year-olds in the Nunthorpe Stakes. 

Carrying just 8st 1lb, and ridden for the first time by lightweight jockey Jimmy Quinn, Kingsgate Native was sent off 12/1 seventh choice of the 16 runners in the Nunthorpe Stakes behind 9/4 favourite Dandy Man. He took a keen hold in the early stages but, having chased the leaders, led in the centre of the course approaching the final furlong and, despite edging left in the closing stages, kept on strongly to beat Desert Lord by 1¾ lengths. In so doing, Kingsgate Native caused a considerable upset and became the first two-year-old to win the Nunthorpe Stakes since Lyric Fantasy in 1992. 

Having beaten the older sprinters, at the highest level, on just his third start, Kingsgate Native proved his Nunthorpe Stakes win was no fluke by finishing second, after missing the break, to Benbaun in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp on the final start of his two-year-old season in October and by winning the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot the following June. He subsequently ran in the Nunthorpe Stakes another five times, in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, but never won the race again. 

His best subsequent finish came in 2008, when he finished third, beaten 1½ lengths, behind Borderlescott in a rescheduled race run on the July Course at Newmarket. Indeed, in 2009, Kingsgate Native was bought by Cheveley Park Stud and retired from racing, but returned to training with Sir Michael Stoute after proving infertile. That year, he finished sixth, when favourite, behind Borderslescott again, in 2010 he finished sixth behind shock 100/1 winner Sole Power, in 2011 he finished fourth behind Margot Did and, in 2013, on his final attempt, when trained by Robert Cowell, he finished fifth behind lesser-fancied stable companion Jwala.

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