Epsom Derby Preview 2019

By Samantha

The Epsom Derby is the race every breeder, trainer, owner and jockey wishes to win. It is the pinnacle race of the flat racing world. Thousands of foals are born each year but just one of that group will win it. Thirteen horses attempt to win it this year.

There are many different trials, on both sides of the Irish Sea, which have given us hints to the winner of the 2019 Derby. I’m going to focus on these trials in my preview today…


The Chester Vase (8th May) was won in incredible style by Sir Dragonet, trained by Aidan O’Brien. Previous to that, he’d only ran in one race, a maiden, which he won nicely, but stormed down the outside as they went round the home turn to win by eight lengths, going away. He is sure to stay but Epsom will be a new test for him. The track is like no other. We saw the argy-bargy nature of it when the favourite for the Oaks, Mehdaayih, got squeezed for room through the most critical stages. It is whether he is mentally ready for this test as he is the most unexposed in the line up.

He was followed in by stablemate Norway. The chestnut son of Galileo was very keen at Chester and couldn’t get close to Sir Dragonet when he kicked for home. He won the Zetland Stakes over one mile two furlongs last year and receives the services of Jamie Spencer. I think he will stay but there are better horses in the line up. He’ll appreciate the firmer conditions in comparison to Chester.


Traditionally, this race is a good clue to the Derby and three of the runners will line up against each other again. They went very quick along the Knavesmire in the Dante Stakes (16th May) and the eventual winner Telecaster was sat in second most of the way. He edged into the front at one furlong out and never looked like he was going to be beaten. That was sixteen days ago and connections had to supplement this New Approach colt into the race. It was a hefty sum of money but when you have a horse who won a premier trial for the biggest flat race of them all so well, you can’t not can you? His ownership won the Oaks with Anapuna on the Friday so they’ll be hoping that the winners keep coming – and they have a good chance too!

Aidan O’Brien had Japan in that race and it was one of the only major trials he didn’t win. Japan had no change of gear and ended up fourth at the finish. He had previously won the Beresford Stakes at two, beating Sovereign, and his pedigree is for the middle distances so the Dante run can be crossed out as he definitely needed the run. I don’t fancy him to win but Wayne Lordan has won classics before on less fancied horses.

Line Of Duty was seventh and he made no impression at all. He’s a classy horse as he won the grade one Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf beating Anthony Van Dyck in November. He appears to be a horse who is best at one mile and I don’t expect him to stay one mile four furlongs but connections did win this last year.


Anthony Van Dyck was victorious for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore in the Lingfield Derby Trail (11th May) and ran on nicely that day so I’m sure he’ll stay. He really impressed me and I’ve always thought that he was a Derby type. He notched up three runs on the trot at two before finding Quorto, Advertise and Too Darn Hot too much in group ones at a mile. The American run can be ignored and I think he’s a leading player. I’m surprised that Ryan and Donnacha have abandoned him but Seamie Heffernan is an extremely good replacement.

Hiroshima was never on terms in the Dante so I can’t see him placing this as he has a huge amount of ground to make up on all of these from the looks of it.


Broome, trained by Aidan O’Brien, was a short priced favourite for the Derrinstown (12th May) and went through the gears well to run out a nice win. That was over one mile two and Donnacha O’Brien also thinks he’ll stay otherwise he wouldn’t be riding him. I wasn’t overly impressed with that win and I think he needs some cut in the ground as his three wins have all come on those conditions. Saying that, Donnacha has been on the right one a lot lately.

Stable mate Sovereign was beaten eight lengths by Broome in the Ballysax and three lengths in this Derby Trial. He’s 66/1 and is the likely pacemaker under Padraig Beggy from stall four.


Circus Maximus was yet another trial winner for Aidan O’Brien as he won the Dee Stakes (9th May) in decent style. From that, it doesn’t give obvious signs he’ll stay. His dam never raced a mile past so I’m not too sure he’ll stay but he has Frankie, who won the Oaks, on him. Cheek pieces have been added to try and wake him up a bit.


Bangkok would be a fairytale winner of this race after his owner tragically died in a helicopter crash outside King Power Stadium in Leicester. He showed a nice turn of foot to win the Sandown Classic Trail (26 April) and fuel the dream of Derby Glory. He may have been a bit forgotten about as he was last seen on the 26th April. He never won at two but he beat Telecaster in a maiden at Doncaster in March so that proves he’s a classy individual and probably will stay.


Madhmoon was last seen as a fast finishing fourth in the 2000 Guineas (4th May). He won his two starts at two and he will relish the good going. He beat Broome in a group two in September but there isn’t much stamina in his pedigree so I have my doubts. Kevin Prendergast is a great trainer and it would be fitting if he could win.

Humanitarian is by Frankel’s brother Noble Mission and the latter will be looking to replicate his older brother in winning a Classic in 2019 but his offspring is a 100/1 shot. He won well the last twice at class five level but this is about the largest step in class you can get. Would be nice for his seven year old owner is he could go well.


Like the Oaks, this is extremely open and there are about five you could give a chance to. ANTHONY VAN DYCK is the horse that has been sticking in my head when I think about the Derby. I think he’s tailor made for this test and he will be primed to perfection by his trainer. I also give a chance to Telecaster as you can’t not after such an impressive trail victory. Experience could be the issue. The same comment applies to Sir Dragonet but the ground could be the undoing of him. Overall, he’s probably the best horse in the race. If the ground come up soft for the Irish Derby, lump on. It’s as simple as that. Bangkok has place claims.

1st Anthony Van Dyck
2nd Telecaster
3rd Sir Dragonet
4th Bangkok


Luke – Broome / Madhmoon
Max – Telecaster /Madhmoon
Lois – Anthony Van Dyck
Killian – Madhmoon


R1 – Red Hot
R2 – Nyaleti
R3 – Zaaki
R4 – Hathiq
R5 – Anthony Van Dyck
R6 – Sextant
R7 – Lake Volta

Oaks Runner By Runner Guide 2019

By Samantha

Two of, arguably, the biggest days in flat racing are upon us. It’s the Oaks and Derby weekend! Three year old colts and fillies from Britain and Ireland put their reputations on the line in a bid to land the coveted, pinnacle race of them all the Derby. The Fillies’ equivalent is the Oaks and that come first on the Friday.

Here is your runner by runner guide to this year’s Investec Oaks……

J – Frankie Dettori
T – John Gosden

This filly is the only distance winner in the line up after she won the Lingfield Oaks Trial easily by six lengths to Tauteke. Eased down, she was only a half second slower than Anthony Van Dyck in the colts’ equivalent. She is a leading player and has the services of Frankie Dettori.

J – Jamie Spencer
T – David O’Meera

This filly ran five times last season and it was on her fifth start that she finally won. It was a Listed race in early November at Newmarket by a neck. She ran in the Musidora and ended up ffith on her first start this year. She was beaten three lengths but was running on at the finish. Her half brother won over one mile four and I think she’ll stay this trip. 100/1 could be a big price.

J – Seamie Heffernan
T – Aidan O’Brien

The first of the four Aidan O’Brien fillies. She won her maiden in October and ran in two group threes this season, so far. She followed in Tarnawa in the Blue Wind and was ahead of Peach Tree. Even still, she has a bit to find.

J – Wayne Lordan
T – Aidan O’Brien

This Zoffany filly is second highest rated in the field but won’t be the first pick of the O’Brien jockeys. She won on debut but was then last at the Curragh in a group three and then third in the Flame Of Tara behind Peach Tree. She won the May Hill at Doncaster with Peach Tree in tenth. She was last seen finishing last in the 1000 Guineas and steps up to one mile four furlongs for the first time.

J – James Doyle
T – William Haggas

She won nicely on debut but was extremely novicey when she ran in the Musidora. She missed the break and was running on well to dead heat for second. She is most definitely progressive and I think she will stay but she is drawn in 14 – the widest stall – which, for a novicey filly who has issues starting, this is the worst possible place to be drawn. Hopefully she will have grown up a bit since last time and it won’t be too much of an issue.

J – Silvestre De Sousa
T – Amanda Perrett

Amanda Perrett’s filly won well on debut over a mile and then ran at Newbury on Lockinge Day in a listed race and she was a decent second. Silvestre De Sousa rides her for the first time in this and she is nicekt bred being by Sea The Stars and out of a four time winning mare who amassed over £200,000 in prize money.

J – Harry Bentley
T – Ralph Beckett

This Lope De Vega filly won on debut and then won a Pontefract Listed race in October. She made her seasonal debut in the Cheshire Oaks and found trouble in running but still managed to get second. She didn’t get close to Mehdaayih but will come on for that run and stay the trip.

J – Jim Cowley
T – William Haggas

The Hamdan Al Maktoum filly was a maiden until her first three year old start when. On one of her runs at two, she was third to Mehdaayih so that means she has a bit to find with her. Saying that, she did win the the Pretty Polly by five lengths, going away, which has made her a lot of people’s idea of the winner. She will stay and is a leading player.

J – Robert Havlin
T – John Gosden

First of all, I’m delighted that she will be partnered by Rab Havlin as he deserves this kind of opportunity. He’s partnered her for four of her five starts and, on her third, they ended up in the winners enclosure at Yarmouth in a Novice with Maqsad in behind. She began this season by winning a two runner race which put her spot on for when she bolted up in the Cheshire Oaks. She’s a lovely big filly who I think will be suited to Epsom and will run well.

J – Donnacha O’Brien
T – Aidan O’Brien

Second string O’Brien, she won at the Curragh on her second start and has been kept in high company and beaten ever since, apart from in a Listed race at Navan when she beat Tarawa. They reversed the form in the group two Blue Wind on her reappearance. Apparently, she wasn’t fully fir that day but Delphinia finished ahead of her.

J – Ryan Moore
T – Aidan O’Brien

She followed in nice horses on her first two starts and won a maiden at Gowran on heavy. She ran in the Parix Marcel Boussac and ended up fifth, not beaten far at Longchamp in October and was last seen winning a Listed race in April. She’s the pick of Ryan Moore and one of the favourites.

J – Tom Queally
T – Jane Chappel-Hyam

This filly is the outsider of the lot. She won a class four in September and was then beaten four and a half lengths in a Listed behind Lavender’s Blue.

J – Chris Hayes
T – Dermot Weld

This irish horse is ultra consistent. She was third in debut, one and a half lengths behind dual Guineas winner Hermosa, second in a maiden and then second to Peach Tree in a Listed. She finally got off the mark in April. A couple of weeks later, she followed in Pink Dogwood at Navan but, last time out, she won the Blue Wind Stakes. Had to have a good chance.

J – Andrea Atzeni
T – Roger Varian

Roger Varian’s filly was third on debut and then won at Chelmsford by a head. She was fancied when running in the Lingfield Oaks Trial but couldn’t get close to Anapuna. Bit to find.


This is an extremely open race and I think that it can go to MEHDAAYIH. Her name is incredibly awkward to spell but I think she’s the standout filly as she bolted up at Chester in such a taking way. She’ll stay; will like Epsom and Rab Havlin knows her inside out. Her stablemate Anapuna is a smart horse but Mehdaayih seems the most promising. Irish filly Tarnawa is progressing well and so is Frankellina. Blue Gardenia could out-run her odds too.


Samantha – Mehdaayih
Max – Maqsad
Lois – Frankellina
Luke – Pink Dogwood

Leicester Raceday Review 28/5/19



By Samantha

It is the school holidays this week so me and my family and some friends went to Leicester Races for the afternoon on Tuesday. It was their first ever Student Race Day meeting and the students from colleges and universities all around Leicester were out in force with over one thousand attending to enjoy a day out at the races.

The racing on track didn’t disappoint! The card kicked off with the Saffron 3-y-o Fillies’ Handicap, which was won by a filly named Queen Of Burgundy for jockey Joey Haynes and Christine Dunnett. She was a 40/1 chance but absolutely romped in! She won convincingly by three and a quarter lengths with Tie A Yellowribbon and Beryl The Petal filling the places. This was a huge improvement in form for the Lethal Force filly who was dropping to six furlongs for the first time since her debut.

Queen Of Burgundy wins the first.

Next was the fascinating looking British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes over five furlongs. Six of the eight runners were making their debut and there were some very flashy looking horses in the race – particularly the chestnut Orb colt Cool Sphere (you could 100% understand why they spent a whopping 120,000 Guineas on him!). He led all the way but was tackled in the final furlong by the other Cool Silk Partnership horse Majestic Sands and Barry McHugh. This was a big performance by him considering he is bred to stay one miles four plus as he is a half brother to top-class stayer Trip To Paris. In the end those two, along with Ivor, pulled a long way clear of the remainders. They are likely to go on to better things.

The Stathern Claiming Stakes was one I was most looking forward to see as in the field was Jungle Inthebungle. Last season, he was a ‘cliff horse’ for me. Once again, I backed the flashy chestnut but he found two horses too good. Archie’s Lad surged clear, under Paddy Mathers, in the final furlong to make it a double for Richard Fahey and win by two and three quarter lengths to Mick Easterby’s Lady Lavinia. The winner was claimed by a person named Mike Smith.

Harry Bentley was set on making the running on Victory Chime in the Leicester Students Raceday Handicap over the one mile two furlongs trip. Coming into the final two furlongs he was still up there and being challenged by Existential and Allegiant but neither could pass him. He stuck his neck out and prevailed by half a length. It was an excellent ride by Bentley and the horse, who seems to either win or be well beaten, will probably get his head in front again soon.

Sir Michael Stoute took the winning prize with his filly Mulan in the Coronation Fillies’ Handicap. By Kingman, she was the least exposed of the runners having run just three times and she hadn’t shown much good form. In the race, she appeared very green and was a bit all over the place but, when push came to shove, she ran on well and could be a smart, typical Sir Michael Stoute improver as she gets older. No Way Jose ran a huge race to be second off 10st3lbs and is likely to get her head in front soon if not put up too much for this.

2 year olds in the parade ring.

Many moons ago, Godolphin unleashed Thunder Snow, a top class, multiple group one winner all over the world, here to win on debut. They had two runners in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes – Big City and Platinum Star. Big City wore the first colours and was bought for 80,000gns whereas his stablemate was one of three having their second run in this race and the experience proved useful when he streaked clear and won by two lengths to Zim Baby and Return To Sender, two big price horses. I watched the race here near to the connections of second placed Zim Baby and they were cheering her home. I think they’ll b leading her into the winners enclosure somewhere soon. She was only bought for about £4000 I think and her connections will have lots of fun with her. Visually, the best looking in the paddock was Otago, owned by the Queen. He’s a very good looking son of Cable Bay and took it all in in the parade ring nicely. He is related to seven winners and an encouraging fifth in this makes me think he’ll be winning soon.

Last was the Oadby Handicap in which Connundrum made all of the running to win for Jack Garrity and Jedd O’Keeffe. The 7/2 joint favourite, he showed signs of still being a bit novicey when drifting left in the final furlong but won comfortably enough. The second placed horse Silkstone wasn’t given much room to challenge in the last furlong but looks to be on a winnable mark.

Overall, it was a brilliant day out. The staff were very friendly, the facilities were excellent and there was so much for youngsters to do. I strongly urge you all to visit Leicester Races as it’s an excellent course and doesn’t get the credit it deserves. 🙂

John Dance owned Bedtime Bella ahead of the first race.
Thrilling finish to the second race of the day with three with a shot.
100/1 shot Zim Baby ahead of her first ever run when she came second.
Good looking filly Fragrant Dawn ahead of the final race with Dane O’Neil on board.
Knightshayes for Henacre Racing before coming third.

Preview of 1,000 Guineas day at the Curragh

By Luke 

Yesterday’s selections were not going good until being saved in the last when Karisi won, put up at 9/1. Hopefully we can get more winners and some earlier in the card.

The feature race is the 1,000 Guineas off at 4:25. This lookes to be wide open with ten runners heading to the one mile start. This race will see the form tested from the English equivalent. I think Just Wonderful will run better here. She was out the back for most of the race before making up good late ground to finish a close sixth. She is a previous course and distance winner as a two year old. I think if she can be closer earlier on in the race she will go close at 5/1.

Race two off at 2:20

Little Carinet was a nice fourth last time over course and distance earlier this month. The first two have since came out and run good races in defeat. On his penultimate start he was second at Navan. The third, Teddy Boy has since finished second at Naas. He has won off a mark of 78 back in 2017 and he is well handicapped off a current mark of 62. I don’t think it will be long till he wins off this mark and I think he will go close at 10/1 in a competitive race.

Race three off at 2:50

Kafu has been struggling over seven furlongs on his last two starts and the drop to five furlongs will suit him. He ran a nice race for a long way at Naas last time out before emptying in the straight. Back over five furlongs he will be able to stride on without restraint. I think he is well handicapped off 79 and I think he will go close a two 11/2.

Race six off at 5:00

Eastern Racer has been in good form of late finishing in the first two in his last three starts. He was last seen finishing second behind Port Lions last weekend at Naas. He last won three starts back in Dundalk over a mile. I think he will run another good race at 7/1.

Race seven off at 5:30

Persian Lion ran a nice reappearance at Killarney earlier this month only bet half a length. He will come on for that run and the step up to two miles here. I think his handicap mark of 89 is fair and with the run under his belt I think he will be hard to beat at 8/1.



Temple Stakes and ITV Racing Preview


By Samantha

The group two Temple Stakes is the feature race in England shown on ITV Racing this Saturday but viewers are treated to the Irish 2000 Guineas from the Curragh being shown live at 15:35. Slightly after that is the Temple Stakes and is what my preview is going to primarily be about. My thoughts on the rest of the races shown on ITV are at the bottom of the article.

I think this five furlong sprint is a really tight contest. Lining up are Mabs Cross, Alpha Delphini, Bataash, Caspian Prince, Kachy and Pocket Dynamo, who are all trying to win the £56,710 first prize purse. I’m going to begin with Battaash – one of the fastest horses in the world. He seemed a different horse after being gelded and he has since won at Listed, group three, group two and group one level. His group one win was in the Prix De L’Abbaye in 2017. Last season, in 2018, wasn’t as good as the 2017 one. He kicked off the season by winning this race with Kachy in third and Mabs Cross in fourth. He was second in the King’s Stand at Ascot, won the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood and was fourth in the Nunthorpe behind Alpha Delphini and Mabs Cross. The latter snatched his crown in the Prix De L’Abbaye and Alpha Delphini also placed better than him. Now a five year old, he had a wind op over the winter and connections will be hoping that he can get the season off to a good start.

The good, sometimes confusing, thing about sprinters is how their form all ties together. Alpha Delphini followed in Mabs Cross twice last season – once when third in the Palace House at the beginning of the season when she won and when she won the Prix De L’Abbaye and he was eleventh. His biggest career win came last season at the age of seven when he won the Nunthorpe at York by a nose with Mabs Cross and Battaash in behind. She has to give the biyss weight and that will be tough for her but the way she won under a more severe penalty at Newmarket last time gives me hope.

Pocket Dynamo is getting weight from the field as he is only three years old. He won his second and third starts and was then a short head second in the Norfolk. He followed that up when fourth in a French group two and fifth in the Cornwallis. He ran in the Listed Juvenile Turf Sprint at the Breeders Cup. He’s been beaten on his two starts this season so this looks too competitive.

Kachy has been in flying form on the All Weather over the winter, which included winning on All Weather Finals Day. This is a different board game back on turf but it would be easy to pigeon hole him as an All Weather specialist but he has won a group three and placed in a group one on turf. He followed in Battaash during the back end of last year before his winning streak. He had a wind op in the gap between the two. He’s a ridiculously speedy horse and I’m sure he’ll pick up a big prize on turf this year.

Caspian Prince has ran forty seven times and won fourteen of them. The ten year old was eleventh of fifteen behind Alpha Delphini last time. He has had his fair share of trainers over time and was going well for the three races before the York disappointment. He doesn’t seem like he is up to these standards anymore and handicaps are more his scene.


This looks a really exciting contest and I’m going with the mare MABS CROSS. She successfully gave weight to some good rivals last time and I’m pretty sure she can do the same again. The big danger is Battaash. He is, as the sign said on the door to his stable door said when I went to visit him on the Lambourn Open Day, the fastest horse in the world. There must’ve been something wrong for him to have performed so poorly the last twice compared to normal standards and, if he is back to full working order after a wind up, I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out on top.


13:55 Goodwood – WILLIE JOHN

A favourite of mine Thundering Blue has too much weight in this so I’ve decided on WILLIE JOHN. He looks very progressive and he ran better than placings suggested at Doncaster over a trip further than this.

14:15 Haydock – EDEN ROSE

Four year old filly EDEN ROSE is by far and away a stayer and handled going up in trip really well to win last time out over just short of this trip. She still seems to be improving.

14:30 Goodwood – FANAAR

FANAAR was a winner at Leicester on his second start and hasn’t been disgraced since then. He won on seasonal debut in a listed race and was second in a very competitive trial for an American race so that can be excused.

14:50 Haydock – AWEEDRAM

AWEEDRAM is a nice horse and currently is looking for a three timer. He got a big hike in the weights for his win last time out but he could be the answer in a competitive handicap.

15:05 York – ALEXANA

ALEXANA won a two runner race beating subsequent impressive winner Sextant last time by making all of the running. She will stay and 12/1 could be a good price.

15:25 Haydock – CALYX

CALYX is unbeaten and an absolute speed demon. I cannot see him getting beat. That’s all I need to say.

15:35 Curragh – MAGNA GRECIA

MAGNA GRECIA won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and that is the standout form. His main rival is Too Darn Hot. He missed the English 2000 at Newmarket due to injury and ran just nine days ago. He had a tough race and for a delicate horse, this could be too much for him.

READ LUKE KEENA’S PREVIEW OF THE CURRAGH CARD HERE >> https://reinitinracing.wordpress.com/2019/05/24/seven-selections-for-2000-guineas-day-at-the-curragh/?preview=true


EL ASTRONAUTE is a legend of a horse. He won in France at the end of last season and ran a big race for a long way last time. Slightly preferred to Leodis Dream who was very good last time at Chester but been put up in the weights.

Seven selections for 2,000 Guineas day at the Curragh

By Luke

This weekends action from the Curragh marks the official opening of the upgraded Curragh. I was there for the May bank holiday and I thought the new facilities were a huge upgrade compared to the old Curragh.

The feature race of the weekend is the 2,000 Guineas off at 3:35. This race sees the clash between Magna Grecia and Too Darn Hot, and will be shown on ITV racing and RTE. I think Magna Grecia is the one to be with. He was last seen winning the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month. His two year old form is also very strong. He won the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last year beating the subsequent French 2,000 Guineas winner Persian King. He is a dual Group 1 winner and I think he can add another here at 6/4.

Race one off at 1:50

Value Chain finished second in the first Juvenile race of the year at Naas, finishing behind Red Epaulette. Red Epaulette has since ran good races in defeat behind some nice horses. I think with the experience of a race under his belt he is the one to beat at 9/2.

Race two off at 2:25

Hammersmith ran a nice reappearance to finish third at Naas earlier this month. The form of that race looks to be working out very well. The first, fourth and sixth have all came out of that race and won since. With natural progression from his reappearance I think he will go close at 9/1.

Race three off at 3:00

Ardhoomey ran a good reappearance at Naas last month finishing fourth over five furlongs which is probably on the sharp side for him these days. That was his first run since July last year. I would expect him to come on plenty for the run. It’s hard to believe it was three years ago when he won the Flying Five Group 2 here. The return to six furlongs will suit and I think he will go close at 13/2.

Race five off at 4:10

I Can Fly looks very hard to oppose. She has had three runs this season with one win at Dundalk first time out . I think it’s fair to say she didn’t run her race in Meydan when finishing down the field. Her sixth last week in the Group 1 Lockinge sets the standard and if she reproduces that, I think she will win at 5/4.

Race six off at 4:45

Downdraft was highly tried as a three year old, running in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris last July. He won nicely on his reappearance at Dundalk earlier this month. He carries a lot of weight here but I think he will be able to go close. I’d expect him to come on for the run at Dundalk and stepping back down to 10 furlongs is a plus. I think he will go close at 4/1.

Race seven off at 5:20

Karasi has never finished out of the top three and I don’t think that will change here. He made a nice reappearance finishing third in a good race with a few of those running again today. He finished ahead of Ferretti receiving 1lb but now races against him receiving 5lbs so I think he will beat him again. He will come on for the run too, I think he will go close at 9/1.

A Speech About Horse Racing

By Samantha

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a speech about horse racing for my mock Spoken Language GCSE exam at school. The team here at Rein It In Racing think that there are huge misconceptions about the realities of racing and we want to combat the negative impressions racing has. I performed this last week and it got a good reception so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Since 1839, at the beginning of April, the Grand National Steeplechase has been held at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool. The Grand National has a mixed reputation and I am going to be talking to you about this today.

The horse everyone was talking about leading up to this renewal was Tiger Roll. He won the race last year by a nose for his Irish trainer Gordon Elliot and jockey Davy Russell. He is owned by Michael and Eddie O’Leary, who own the Ryanair Air travel company. The loveable, pint-sized horse had won his two races leading up to this race and, for some people, there was no way he could be beaten. He proved those people right and won his second consecutive Grand National in a visually more impressive style than last year.

As a devoted racing fan, this was incredible. It was the first time in my lifetime that a horse has won this brilliant race two years in a row. It takes so much guts and determination to win one running of the race, let alone two. It takes so much mental strength to jump the jumps and stay the four miles two furlongs trip. Some horses just don’t have that and that is why they don’t finish the race. They get pulled up and run again later on in the season. Take a horse called Step Back for example. He got tired in the Grand National but then ran three weeks later and was third in a very competitive race on the next time he ran.

The Grand National is one of the greatest races of them all but there have been some fatalities in the race’s history and, sadly, a horse lost his life this year. As a result of this, it has an infamous reputation. Until this year, there had been no fatalities what so ever since 2012 but, in equine sports, and with horses in general, you can never completely stop the possibilities of injuries which can sometimes be fatal. Whether we like it or not, that’s just how it is. It is proven that it is 62% more likely for a horse to be fatally injured in the field compared to a just over 30% chance when ridden.

In the event of a broken leg, whether that be at home or at the track, connections have a really tough decision in deciding what to do. No one wants to end a horses life but it is important to think about the long term factors. The options would either be to put them to sleep there and then or they would have to under go an extensive recovery program. They would have to be on ‘box rest’ which means that they’d have to stand on their three healthy legs with out moving for weeks. This could lead to laminitis which affects their feet and can be extremely painful.

One of the points I think is crucial to remember is that racehorses are bred to run and to race or to at least do something. After a serious injury, all that stops. Like Thanos clicking his fingers in Avengers:Infinity War. They go from working in a morning and going out in the field to nothing at all.

So what is being done to prevent it? The start has been moved away from the stands to make it a more calmer environment for the horses. They’ve levelled out the landing areas of the fences to make them safer and less steep. In 2008, a new veterinary surgery was installed onto the course. Since 2000, £35 million has been invested into the sport for veterinary research and it is obviously working. The fatality rate has decreased by one third in the past twenty years to 0.2% of runners. And when you consider that well over 93,000 horses run each year, that is a small amount. It is still too many though and you could argue that just one fatality is too much and I agree 100%. Whether we like it or not, horses die on the track and that is the heart breaking reality of the situation.

Another thing that people don’t tend to like about racing is whips. Certain groups of people believe that it hurts the horses, but, in actual fact, the whips are only made of foam padding. I have only ever seen one case where a whip has left a mark on a horse. There are rules that the jockeys have abide by to do with the welfare of the horse or they risk a fine and a ban. In national hunt racing, where they jump jumps, jockeys are allowed to whip their horses eight times overall and five of those after the last. A tap on the shoulder could be to help keep them on task as well as being used to change legs, lengthen their strides and go faster. Animal rights activists call for the whip to be abolished but it is a key tool in promoting and ensuring the safety of the jockeys. There was a race once where a horse jumped the last and ducked to the left straight towards a crowd of people. If the jockey didn’t have the whip to aid him, they would’ve catapulted straight into those people.

Another opinion about racing is that horses who aren’t good enough get killed. I am not going to deny this. It has happened and probably still continues but there are so many things in place to stop this and give a racehorse the best possible life after their careers, whether successful or not. There are charities like the Rehoming Of Racehorses, which is probably the most famous, The Thoroughbred Retraining Centre, HERO’S and Greatwood. Greatwood use former racehorses to help educate disadvantaged young people and children with learning difficulties. Similarly, I visited the British Racing School in February and the horses they use to train the racing staff of the future are all ex racehorses, some who were extremely successful and others who maybe didn’t even run. Racehorses can be perfect riding school, competition or pleasure horses when their days on the track end if handled correctly. There are so many possibilities if the trainer/owner seeks them out, which the majority of them do.

Sometimes, a horse simply doesn’t have the right temperament to go on to be a showjumper or family pet. Like people, you get horses who are vile. On these occasions, horses are put to sleep because that is the kindest thing to do. This is where the idea of ‘killing’ the horses comes from. But trust me, there has to be a valid reason. I’m not going to ignore the fact that it has been reported that horses were sent to abattoirs just this year. That is heartbreaking. Things are being done by the aforementioned charities to combat this though.

Now, some of the information I have told you isn’t nice but please don’t get the wrong impression. For me, Racing is the best thing ever; I adore it. It brings happiness to so many people. Yes, horses do die but sadly that happens in all equine sports. The only way to stop that is to stop any activity with horses but that just wouldn’t work.

I am a passionate believer that the public need more education about what racing is actually like so I hope you all learnt something from my speech.

Thank you so much for reading!

Six selections for racing at Naas

By Luke

The feature race of Naas’s Royal Ascot trails day is the Lacken Stakes off at 4:25. So Perfect looks very hard to oppose in this contest. She ran a great reappearance to finish third just bet over a distance probably far of her optimum. A return to six furlongs will see her to better effect. This daughter of Scaf Daddy was twice placed at two in Group 1s. I think she will win at evens.

Race three off at 2:40

Rionach ran with a lot of credit last time finishing third in a Group 3. This daughter of Sea The Stars enjoyed making the running there and was only passed late on. The drop back to seven worked on that occasion and I think it will be her optimum trip. If she can get her own way infront I think she will be leading at the line at 7/2.

Race four off at 3:15

Gossamer Wings sets the standard here. She was twice placed in Group 2s as a two year old. She ran a nice reappearance in Cork when finishing under hands and heels. I think she will come on for that run and if she can recapture her two year old form she will be hard bet at 9/4.

Race five off at 3:50

In The Present has two good runs under her belt finishing third on both occasions. First time out she finished third behind the highly regarded Monarch Of Egypt at Naas over five furlongs. Since she has finished third in a Listed race at the Curragh. I think she will run another good race at 8/1.

Race seven off at 5:00

Parkers Hill has some useful form to his name from his two year old campaign. First time out he finished fourth behind some nice horses at Naas not beaten far. He then improved to win next time out at Leopardstown. He will need to improve from his first this season when finishing down the field. If he comes on from that run I think he will outrun his odds of 18/1.

Race eight off at 5:35

I think the Lucky Last will be going the way of favourite backers with Perfect Tapatino for the O’Brien brother Joseph and Donnacha. He ran a nice reappearance when finishing fourth at Cork last month. He ran into trouble in the straight and will come on for the run. He had Geological in behind on that occasion. I think he will win at 2/1.

Preview of racing at Navan and a selection in the Lockinge

By Luke

Saturday’s racing in Ireland comes from Navan with a eight race card. After a week of Derby trials we learn to more about the classic contenders. Aidan O’Brien seems to have a stranglehold on the race. My Derby selection was posted last week, Broome who won the Derrinstown Stud Stakes. When posted he was 8/1 but he is now vying for favouritism.

My first selection runs in the second race off at 1:55. Twenty Minutes won nicely last weekend at Naas. Prior to that run he had been struggling but, that was his first run on ground better than yielding. I think the quicker ground has brought more improvement out of him and I think he will go close at 4/1.

Race four off at 3:05

May Remain has been frustrating to date in Ireland. He showed good form in England and he received a rating of 86 in England. He runs now off 62 and I think he is well handicapped. He ran a nice race last weekend finishing fourth at Naas. I think it wont be long till he wins off this mark and tomorrow could be the day at 5/1.

Race five off at 3:35

Sundance Star won on seasonal reappearance at Dundalk last month. Her two year old campaign was promising with her finishing second in all but one run. I think she will improve further for the run at Dundalk and go close at 10/3.

Race seven off at 4:40

Bog War hasn’t been seen on the flat since 2018 when finishing down the field and also got a win at Dundalk. While his form over hurdles of late hasn’t been great, I think a return to the flat will spark him back. He last won off a mark of 53 and now runs off 56, I think he will outrun his odds of 20/1.

Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes off at 3:40 in Newbury.

Romanised was last years Irish 2,000 Guineas winner at the Curragh. His runs that followed that were somewhat below par. He ran a nice reappearance at Naas last time finishing a close fifth behind Imaging with Le Brivido back in third. I think he is slightly overpriced at 14/1 and I think he will run well.

5 Horses To Watch On Lockinge Day

Newbury Racecourse (Newbury Racecourse Website)

By Samantha

Here are five horses to watch out for on a very exciting day of racing all over Britain, Ireland and France!


15:40 Newbury – Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes

First of all, it is brilliant that she is back running this season. Already a five time group one winner, she took top honours all over Europe last year – at Longchamp in the Prix Saint-Alary, at Chantilly in the Prix De Diane, at Leopardstown in the Matron Stakes and at Newmarket in the Sun Chariot. She has given her connections some great days. Jockey PJ McDonald missed the last two of those fabulous wins after suffering nasty injuries to his legs in a parade ring fall. He’s reunited with the filly, who I’m sure is his favourite horse. PJ and owner John Dance have had a good start to the season and they’re going to be so excited to have Laurens out on the track for the first time this year. I was lucky enough to chat to John Dance and talk about this filly and you can tell how much they love this filly as shown in my article which you can read here > https://reinitinracing.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/john-dance-sending-racing-into-the-21st-century/?preview=true

We wish them the best of luck!

2. Crystal Ocean

14:25 Newbury – Al Rayyan Stakes

This horse is so consistent and is now five years of age but has never been out of the top three from thirteen starts. He has won multiple times at group two and three level but is still chasing that pinnacle group one victory. I think he will eventually and this race, in the mean time, looks very winnable. He won the Gordon Richard Stakes, this race and the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot last season. Then he was second once again at Ascot, second in the September Stakes and in the Champion Stakes. He manages in high class company, just not to win, and those seconds were due to him being a bit outclassed. He is treading a well-ran track, probably in preparation for the Hardwicke once again after landing the Gordon Richards last time. Miles better than the rest of the field.

3. Sea Of Faith

16:50 Newbury – Haras De Bouquetot Fillies Trial Stakes

This filly made her debut twenty two days ago in a race at Sandown where she made incredible late headway like a flash of lightning down the outside of the field to grab fourth. She was very green in the early stages and will come on a lot for that. She is by Sea The Stars and out of Jumooh, the dam of the smart Raheen House and a recent Australian group one winner Shraaoh. She has an entry still in the Epsom Oaks but I’d say that it is unlikely she will take that up because the big race isn’t that far away. The likely next target if she wins this would be the Irish Oaks like the path that stablemate Sea Of Class trod and she won the Irish Classic.

4. Al Hilalee

14:05 Newmarket – Betway Fairway Stakes

There was lots of money around for this horse before the 2000 Guineas but he didn’t show up at all that day and finished sixteenth of nineteen. Before that, he has ran two times and won on both occasions. The most recent was a Listed contest at Deauville in which he won by a short head. He had two horses who have subsequently won nicely in Listed company in behind him so that gives the form a boost. His last run is worrying but he is out of a group one winner who beat, interestingly, beat Shirroco Star, the dam of promising Derby hope and Dante winner Telecaster, in her career. There is stamina in his pedigree and should go close. Andrew Balding’s horse Rasie You is the favourite and rightly so as he was a six length winner last time.

5. Benie Des Dieux

16:00 Grande Course De Haies D’auteui Grade One Hurdle

Willie Mullins is a dominant force over in jump racing all across Britain and Ireland and sends across four horses for this French grade one from Auteuil racecourse. He has Champion Hurdle placed Melon, the quirky Yorkhill, recent Punchestown Stayers Hurdle third Bapaume, last years Triumph Hurdle second Mr Adjudicator and last flight Mares Hurdle faller Benie Des Dieux. The mare is my preferred. She won really well last time in the Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown, getting compensation for Cheltenham and is a very classy mare. She only has to carry 10st5lbs so gets 5lbs from some of her biggest rivals – particularly stable mate Bapaume – but has to carry equal weights to progressive, previous grade one winner De Bon Coeur who is a worthy favourite for the race as she has a really high rating of 182.