BLOG



Hot Tip At Great Yarmouth

I love going to Great Yarmouth races. It's a course which holds many childhood memories, staying up the road from the caravan park at Caister-on-sea. Dad used to take us to the track. Not sure if he put a bet on for me at the age of five or six! Anyway, I went to the races the other week and it was a great day considering my brother won over £1000. I lost a little but won the football card in the Feathers public-house on the way home for £25. I think that only happened because my brother picked the box and put my initials JC. Five minutes later I had the money in my pocket. Well, I checked the news and noticed at Wednesday's meeting that the course had a fire. It was on the golf course, that sits in the middle of the track. The fire brigade put it out only for another to appear shortly after. Thankfully, the smoke was blown away from the course so there was only a ten-minute delay for the second race. I never thought a hot tip at Yarmouth would be an actual fire. Thank God no one was injured.


Staring At Wilson Avenue

I couldn't help but smile as I listened to Simon Holt announce the 2:10 Brighton commentary which saw Richard Hannon's two-year-old Big Baby Bull run out a nice winner after being slightly bewildered by the idiosyncratic course. This chestnut son of Tagula was making his second start and backed to 5/4f to win today's Novice Stakes over 7f. Holt said:  ''Big Baby Bull is on the inside in the red jacket back in fourth place. Having a look at Wilson Avenue. He's staring at the road as if he might have to jump it!'' A classic bit of commentary from Mr Holt and his love of Wilson Avenue which he mentions at regular intervals. See the full result here. You can watch the race if you have a Sky Bet account. 


It's A Mute Point

Love them or hate, every time I watch horse racing on TV my senses are hit by a wall of commentators, pundits and Matt Chapman. Take Glorious Goodwood for example, covered by ITV. In many ways it is great. However, do you find the never-ending list of pundits is a bit too much at times? They go from one to another - it's distracting. I'm sure we all have our favourites who we can tolerate but a few really drive me bonkers. Jockeys are the worst. Here's a good idea, so and so is banned for a week or injured so we will get them on the show. I'm not sure if I love or hate Jason Weaver. Most dressed up in their Panama hats looking about as authentic as a plastic ice cream. As for Matt Chapman. Well... I don't even think the trainers like him. A few who I like: Steve Mellish and Lydia Hislop. A few presenters are like cliche machines. If they had a gun it would fire a volley at will. Racing is full to the rafters with cliches. Who on earth comes up with the phrase ''lovely hands''? I'd hate to imagine where that originated from and by who. Sometimes the best decision is to press the mute button before your senses are overwhelmed. 



Paddy Power Gives Pubs A Boost

I don't often sing the praises of bookmaker promotions because they have a kind of shady, sinister feel like a preying mantis eyeing up a grub. The ethos: let's get someone hooked on gambling with a free bet and hope they lose all their money. When they close winning accounts they really don't give punters a chance. Take, take, take... And all this ''when the fun stops, stop...'' Isn't it a pathetic disclaimer for taking money from many people who are simply addicted. It's a subject that I could ramble on about for years. Four of us went to Great Yarmouth races the other week and before and after racing went for a quick pint in the Feathers public-house just off the market square. A cheap pint and a nice setting - a true, old-fashioned boozer. Loved the70s music in the background which echoed Dean Friedman's Lucky Stars. I do like that song. Well, the pub has plenty of TV's and Goodwood racing was on. Paddy Power had a great promotion where if you picked the winner, you win a free pint or whatever you had been drinking. Dan The Man said let's go for the favourite. It ran on well and won! So we had a pint of lager and three pints of dark fruit cider. I heard the landlady say one race had cost them 50 pints. I guess Paddy Power was paying the bill so they didn't care. The pub was packed and in total, about 200+ pints paid out. I think more pubs need to ask about this.



Dina Asher-Smith
Banking On Asha-Smith For Tokyo Olympics

I do enjoy watching athletics. Track and field. The European Championships have given us a few rare moments to savour. Who couldn't be impressed with 100m winner Dina Asher-Smith? She is a wonderful talent. Such a bubbly woman who is achieving her dream by beating the best sprinters in the world. The 22-year-old holds the British record for both 100 & 200 metres. Her triumph in Berlin when winning with a time of 10:85 second proves she is ''world-class''. I can't wait for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because she will be a live chance. 



High Jumper Inika McPherson
What Have I Just Seen? 

Sports stars - they come in all shapes, sizes, attitudes, and looks. Well, I've seen a high jumper who looks like nothing on earth. Meet Inika McPherson. You may have seen the distinctive American at the London Olympics. What makes her even more incredible than her 30 tattoos and her striking appearance is that she is only 5' 4'' tall. In fact, she holds the record for the only women of her height to clear 6 feet 6 inches. She was tested for cocaine and banned in June 2014 and served a 21-month doping ban. 



His Wife Said: ''Don't Bet On Frankie Dettori...''

Die-hard Frankie Dettori fan got in trouble from his wife when she heard he had bet £67.58 in a multi bet that his favourite jockey would win all 7 races at Ascot's Champion Day back in 1996. Darren Yates had lost too much money betting on Dettori but the failing carpenter decided today was his day. He went to play football and the 4 - 0 scoreline may have been a bad omen. However, when he got home he found out he had won £550,823. I wonder what his wife said later that day? 



A $1000,000 Loser For Phoenix Thoroughbreds 

Money talks but it can give no guarantee. That's probably how Karl Burke and connections felt when Mistress Of Love failed to deliver on debut at Ayr, trailing home in 5th place. The daughter of Scat Daddy cost $1000,000 when purchased as a yearling at the Keeneland sales. A slow start didn't help the 2/5f, although she picked up mid-race and looked to hold some chance. However, she tired in the softening ground conditions, which may have been against her. It wasn't the best start to proceedings but I'm sure this expensive two-year-old will be seen in a better light next time out.