by Stable Lad Have you noticed recently the number of non-runners that we encounter each weekend as the season goes by, also, although not for the same reason, the number of handicaps that are cropping up at every single meeting? Over last weekend we had the guts of around 40 withdrawals, which makes the punters task in picking winners all the harder. This is the time of year, of
by Stable Lad Well, do we have another champion? For me, at any rate, the jury is still out, with the pot still not properly on the boil, on our latest “wonder” horse, the Ballydoyle trained Australia, who came to the Curragh last weekend and won the Irish Derby, to add to his Epsom triumph, easily enough it must be said, but not in a race that, opposition wise,
Well, what do you think now? Have you changed your horse in mid stream as regards who you imagine will win the World Cup! I must admit, having viewed the vast majority of the games to date, that this World Cup has turned out to be one of the most open that I have ever come across. We do realise that in any of these type of tournaments, that unusual
by Stable Lad The coming weekend, racingwise, is absolutely chockful of top class contests, but I do suppose that most people’s attention will be grabbed by the Dubai Irish Derby at the Curragh, if only for the obvious fact that The Aidan O’Brien trained Epsom Derby winner, Australia, will be trying to complete what would be really regarded as a notable double in any racing season.
by Stable Lad. If you asked around amongst the punter fraternity as to when and where, and in what race, that they had their first ever bet, the answer you invariably would get, would be, on the Grand National, or on the Epsom Derby. Well, on this weekend, the latter of these races will be run at Epsom, in a program that is chockful of racing goodies These two
by Stable Lad The aftermath of the Newmarket Guineas Classic weekend often throws up more problems than positives, and this time around the same old chestnuts were in all of the papers. This of course is on account of the problematical nature of the early classics, when horses that were bought for millions can either soar to the stars, or plunge to the bottom of the barrell.
by Striker This week, I will deal with the bargain basement problems first, as, after the weekend games, the eventual outcome is a little bit more cut and dried than the top end of the table. To all intents and purposes, Cardiff and Fulham look dead on for the high jump, and Norwich, with a more than tough run-in, very likely to complete the trio of misfortunates for relegation. The
by Striker Well, as I quoted in that old Shakesperean adage last week of, ” there’s many a slip” etc, this is just what happened in some of those vital Premiership ties played.
by Stable Lad At the outset, it must be said that the traditional opening of the flat racing season, in Ireland last week, and in Britain this week, is so far removed from what it traditionally was, that it seems hardly recognisable.
by Striker The pace at the business end of the Premiership is really hotting up, with the higher rated teams gradually opening up a reasonable gap between their erstwhile rivals and themselves.
by Stable Lad Well, the Cheltenham Festival has passed us by for another year, and while some punters will be counting their good fortune and winnings, it must be said that the vast majority of the punting brigade will be counting their losses, and contemplating just what might have been.
by Striker The battle for the lead in the Premiership is really hotting up, as one can see from every weekend, when the pace of most of the games would be certainly comparable to a really competitive cup-tie.
by Stable Lad An incredible story of a past Grand National that may help to entertain you this week happened in 1967, and surely would rate amongst the oddest of all time. This particular piece of Aintree history has come up as a question in many a sporting quiz in the past, and indeed, is very likely to come up again in the future.
by Striker Well, wouldn’t ya just know it! There I am, for many occasions over the years, constantly preaching about people who sometimes get so involved with the subject matter that they are dealing with, that they actually forget things that are going on around them. This is just what happened to me last week, proving once again the fallibility of the human animal in any given situation.
by Stable Lad Something that a seasoned punter said to me last week put me in mind to go over a few things about punting in general. When, on Sunday, I asked him what sort of a punting Friday and Saturday he had been through, he sadly told me that no matter how hard he tried, or what he did, he just could not hit the winning trend, so much
by Striker As the season progresses, this years Premiership looks like being the best in a long time, with the top four tightening up, and the next three teams close up and waiting for any slip-up that the leaders are bound to make as we go along our way. Last Saturday was a day of reckoning for our leading four, as they were all on the carpet to prove their
by Stable Lad Has it ever struck you that, in a county as big as Cork, along with the number of training establishments that are dotted around the county, that this Rebel County of ours has only one recognised racecourse to its name.
by Striker The renowned magic of the FA Cup was very evident over last weekend, and, strange as it might seem, there were no really major shocks in the series of matches played. You know, it often has amazed me as to why certain teams and managers place little value on this competition, seeing that it is the oldest in the soccer world as we know it.
by Stable Lad One of the better organised stables in Great Britain and Ireland in this year of 2014 just has to be the yard of Willie Mullins, which is based at Closutton, in Mhuine Beag, in Co Carlow. Willie was born on the 5th September, 1956, and from an early age, being from the famed Mullins racing family, was always fated to eventually move into the racing business. He
by Striker The so-called January transfer window, every single year, ever since it came on board , has been a largely a non-event over the years, and, it seems to me, at any rate, that most managers, having been sorting out their teams in the first half of the season, don’t really like to disturb a team that is already in a settled shape, so to speak.
by Stable Lad The art of doping horses, and the trying to fix races, has been part and parcel of the racing game ever since the the first ever jockey threw his leg across a horse, and, will unfortunately be with us, in one form or another, for as long as the sport of horse-racing will be with us.
by Striker It is a fact that the lot of the player has come an awful long way in the money stakes since the early sixties, when, in a period from 1960 to 1964, the wage, which was called the “Maximum Wage”, rose from £14 per match, to a very heady £20 per match, plus bonuses of course. This was pretty good money at the time, for the
by Striker The fluctuations in soccer form have never ceased to amaze me over the years, for, how often have you seen a team getting up a head of steam early on in the season, only to fall by the wayside as the season progresses. For instance, West Ham won their very first game this season, and were riding proudly in the top six or so for a
by Stable Lad One of the most famous horses that was ever associated with the West Cork area surely had to be the perennial Captain Christy, a horse that since he first saw the light of day was fated to be the centre of controversy for the most of his racing life.
by Striker You will have heard that famous old saying, “ask not for whom the bell tolls, for now it tolls for thee”, or words to that effect. What it effectively means is that the time of reckoning has come when concerted action must be the order of the day in whatever task is facing those involved.
by Stable Lad The famous old adage of “fortune favours the brave” is all fine and dandy, especially when the so-called brave can readily avail of it, but, in point of fact, while all of this chivalrous type of conduct is going on, it must be remembered that the same “fortune” normally does little or nothing for the unlucky person.
by Striker Well, as mentioned last week, for the benefit of those at the moment hard-pressed Man Utd fans, the present manager David Moyes ought to be given every chance to prove his suitability for this very prestigious manager’s post, given the cold fact that very few managers in the history of the game have went into a club and took it on a winning spree immediately.
by Stable Lad On Sunday next, the 6th of October, one of the greatest horse races in the racing calendar will be run at Longchamp, and will feature some of the best middle distance horses on the face of the planet. This race is the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which at this point in time is the third richest turf race in the world, after both the
by Stable Lad This weekend at Newmarket there is the first of two very important meetings, that which sees the running of the Cambridgeshire Handicap, which in years gone by was one of the legs of the traditional Autumn Double at Newmarket, the other half of which is the Cesarewitch Handicap, which will be run over the same course in about two weeks time.
by Striker At last, the dust has settled on the Trappatoni era as manager of our national team, with him and his management team receiving satisfactory severance packages for their trouble.