Willie Mullins: My Cheltenham Festival team

Filed on 19 Feb 2015 @ 10:00

"Douvan is as nice a horse as we have ever had going to Cheltenham"

Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins has given an update on many of his leading contenders ahead of this year's Cheltenham Festival at a media day organised by Cheltenham Racecourse on Wednesday.

Godolphin purchase Night Of Thunder

Filed on 19 Feb 2015 @ 09:58

Classic winning son of Dubawi to remain with Richard Hannon

Last season's 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder (Dubawi) has been bought by Godolphin. The four-year-old will remain in training with Richard Hannon.

2015 Cheltenham novice hurdle and chase acceptors and ratings

Filed on 19 Feb 2015 @ 09:50

The acceptors for the three Grade One novices' chases, the four Grade One novices' hurdles plus the Listed Toby Balding National Hunt Chase at next month's Cheltenham Festival have been unveiled.

Four days of outstanding racing action gets underway with the £120,000 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1.30pm), the opening contest of Champion Day, Tuesday, March 10. Willie Mullins has won the two most recent renewals of The Festival's curtain raiser and Ireland's champion trainer has another strong hand this year, headed by Sky Bet's 15/8 favourite Douvan. The five-year-old posted a pair facile wins at Gowran Park and Punchestown and has been given a rating of 170P by Timeform, which has L'Ami Serge top-rated on 171p.

Phil Smith: Grand National weights less compressed this year

Filed on 18 Feb 2015 @ 08:04

More progressive horses entered for Aintree spectacular

Phil Smith, the senior BHA handicapper who is his 17th year of handicapping the Grand National said at the publication of the weights for the 2015 renewal on Tuesday: "The result which gave me the most satisfaction was Neptune Collonges in 2012 because of the closeness of the finish - that is what we are paid to try and achieve.

Carlingford Lough and Lord Windermere head Grand National weights

Filed on 18 Feb 2015 @ 08:01

Carlingford Lough and Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Lord Windermere have been jointly-allotted top-weight of 11st 10lb for the £1-million Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 11.

Balder Succes surges clear in the Ascot Chase

Filed on 14 Feb 2015 @ 18:56

Alan King's aiming at the Ryanair Chase after superb round of jumping

The Alan King-trained Balder Succes put in a superb round of jumping under Wayne Hutchinson en route to a dominant victory in the Betfair Ascot Chase on Saturday.

Champagne Fever coasts home at Gowran

Filed on 14 Feb 2015 @ 18:52

Champion Chase or Ryanair Chase the target for Mullins-trained grey

The Willie Mullins-trained Champagne Fever registered a straightforward victory in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park on Saturday, putting a final fence fall on his last start behind him. The grey now heads to Cheltenham, where he will line up in either the Champion Chase or Ryanair Chase.

Blue Heron makes all in the Kingwell Hurdle to give Skelton first graded winner

Filed on 14 Feb 2015 @ 18:36

Skelton aiming at Aintree with Wincanton winner

The Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday saw the Dan Skelton-trained Blue Heron make all under Harry Skelton for a decisive six length victory over Fighting Fifth winner Irivng.

Dissident claims his fourth G1 in the CF Orr Stakes

Filed on 14 Feb 2015 @ 18:32

Australia, 14 February 2015

The Peter Moody-trained Dissident (Sebring) proved a class above his rivals in Saturday’s Group One Sportingbet Powered by William Hill C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

Goffs February Sale concludes with 31% rise in turnover

Filed on 13 Feb 2015 @ 08:34

Oasis Dream mare Dreaming Of Rubies sells for €220,000

The Goffs February Sale reaffirmed its position as the European market leader in its category following a strong two days that recorded significant growth across all sectors. Overall, 33 lots sold at an 81% clearance rate for an aggregate of €5,350,500, a 31% rise on last year. The average was up by just 1% to €16,214, but the median rose by 43% to €10,000.

Maftool lands the UAE 2000 Guineas

Filed on 13 Feb 2015 @ 08:30

Dubai, 12 February 2015

Godolphin’s Saeed Bin Suroor stable were the team to follow at Meydan on Thursday, taking the UAE 2000 Guineas with Maftool (Hard Spun) and landing two other races on the night.

Holywell states Gold Cup case with 25 length Kelso win

Filed on 13 Feb 2015 @ 08:23

The Jonjo O'Neill-trained Holywell, a winner at Cheltenham and Aintree last spring, got his season on track with an emphatic victory in the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase at Kelso on Thursday, where he dictated terms under AP McCoy, winning by 25 lengths from Fentara.

Newmarket announces creation of Future Champions Festival

Filed on 13 Feb 2015 @ 08:17

Newmarket Racecourses has announced changes to its autumn programme, with the creation of a two-day Dubai Future Champions Festival at the Rowley Mile. This will run on Friday 9th October 2015 featuring the Group One Dubai Fillies' Mile and Saturday 10th October 2015 with the Group One Dubai Dewhurst Stakes and Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap. The Group One Middle Park Stakes moves into September, to create a two week gap with the Dewhurst Stakes.

Goffs February Sale opens with 44% rise in turnover at weanling session

Filed on 12 Feb 2015 @ 08:40

€145,000 Shamardal weanling takes centre stage

The 2015 sales year at Goffs opened in style on Wednesday as strong weanling trade on Day 1 of the February Sale recorded major gains across the board. Turnover grew by 44% to €2,474,900, while average and median both rose by 30%, to €16,610 and €10,000 respectively.

Ptit Zig heads Ascot Chase entries

Filed on 12 Feb 2015 @ 08:21

Tizzard hopingf or bold show from Theatre Guide

Ptit Zig is the 15/8 favourite for Saturday's Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase over an extended two miles and five furlongs after stringing together four consecutive novice wins over fences. The Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old captured pair of minor events at Exeter and Warwick before an impressive nine-length victory from Josses Hill in the Grade Two Mitie Novices' Chase at Ascot on December 19.

Faugheen heads Champion Hurdle ratings as main contenders stand their ground

Filed on 12 Feb 2015 @ 08:11

Cheltenham Festival 2015 championship race acceptors revealed

The acceptors for the five main Grade One championship contests - the Stan James Champion Hurdle, the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, the Ryanair Chase and the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, plus the newly-promoted OLBG Mares' Hurdle - at next month's Cheltenham Festival have been unveiled, with the main contenders all standing their ground.

Dubawi filly tops Arqana February Sale

Filed on 12 Feb 2015 @ 08:00

Sale returns trade on a par with 2013

Tuesday's second and final session of Arqana’s February Mixed Sale saw 122 of the 170 lots that went under the hammer change hands (a clearance rate of 71%) at an average price of €8,300, grossing €1,014,900.

Gentlewave colt tops steady Arqana February opener

Filed on 10 Feb 2015 @ 09:06

Trade drops back to 2013 levels

Monday's opening session of the Arqana February Sale saw 127 of the 176 horses on offer change hands (a clearance rate in excess of 72%) for an average price marginally above €7,000. Following on an outstanding 2014 renewal, and for its first-ever two-day format, the February Mixed Sale returned to its level of 2013. The aggregate for day 1 reached €895,500.

Shared Belief sees off California Chrome in the San Antonio

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 11:11

Santa Anita, 8 February 2015

Candy Ride colt comes out on top at Santa Anita

Jerry Hollendorfer’s Shared Belief (Candy Ride), a tough-luck loser of the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Classic last November, established himself as the nation’s top older horse with a convincing 1 ½ length win over reigning Horse of the Year California Chrome in Saturday’s Grade Two San Antonio Invitational at Santa Anita, as he negotiated 1 1/8 miles under Mike Smith in 1:48.45.

Tapit's Constitution makes all in the Donn Handicap

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:49

Gulfstream Park, 8 February 2015

2014 Florida Derby winner lands Gulfstream Grade One

The return to Gulfstream Park on Saturday brought out the best in Constitution (Tapit), when the Todd Pletcher-trained four-year-old colt led throughout the 60th running of the Grade One Donn Handicap to register a three-quarters of a length victory over 2014 winner Lea.

Mshawish takes Grade One honours in the Gulfstream Turf Handicap

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:38

Gulfstream Park, 8 February 2015

Stuck behind horses with the wire in sight, Al Shaqab Racing’s Mshawish (Medaglia D'Oro) found a narrow opening in deep stretch to split horses and outfinish Slumber for a thrilling nose victory in Saturday’s Grade One Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

A P McCoy to retire by the end of the season

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:27

19-times champion jockey announces decision to retire

A P McCoy, the dominant force among National Hunt jockeys for the last two decades, announced his decision to retire by the end of this season at Newbury on Saturday, immediately after he had brought up his double century of winners for the season when piloting Mr Mole to victory in the Game Spirit Chase.

Front-running Violet Dancer wins the Betfair Hurdle

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:19

Trainer Gary Moore won his third Betfair Hurdle in recent years when the front-running Violet Dancer won the valuable event at Newbury on Saturday.

Ridden from the front by Josh Moore, Violet Dancer was well clear at the third-last, and found plenty when Cheltenian challenged, coming home three lengths to the good. Activial was third, with the favourite Calipto fourth.

Mr Mole wins the Game Spirit as Sire De Grugy unseats

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:08

Coneygree an impressive winner of the Denman Chase

The Paul Nicholls-trained Mr Mole won an eventful renewal of the Betfair Price Rush Chase (Registered As The Game Spirit Chase) at Newbury on Saturday, prevailing under A.P. McCoy despite having lost 10 lengths at the start. The seven year old took advantage after Sire De Grugy and Uxizandre both departed in the home straight, coming home 13 lengths clear of Upsilon Bleu.

Vibrato Valtat impresses in the Kingmaker Chase

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:05

Nicholl's main contender for the Arkle wins in style

Last December's Henry VIII Chase winner Vibrato Valtat was an impressive winner of the Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick on Saturday, sweeping four and a half lengths of Top Gamble after the second last fence.