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Horse RacingApril 23, 20210

Grassroots Gamble

Racing at its purest, point to pointing, has been hit hardest during the pandemic. Being classed as an amateur sport their season has been badly truncated, unable to continue, even behind closed doors unlike its under rules counterpart. There was a sigh of relief when racing was able to resume albeit under very strict rules when Covid restrictions were eased. With plenty of horses out there to race, point to point meetings have been well-supported with entries since their resumption in April. Sadly, for it’s army of followers, racing between the flags has been held behind closed doors with only essential staff and latterly connections able to attend.

Horse RacingApril 20, 20210

Jockey Lorna Brooke dies after a fall at Taunton Racecourse

The racing world was rocked on Monday when 37 amateur jockey Lorna Brooke passed away as a result of injuries suffered from a fall at Taunton on April 8th. She was airlifted to Bristol Southmead Hospital after her mount, Orchestrated, fell at the third fence in the Pontispool Equine Sports Centre Handicap Chase.  She was said to be in intensive care undergoing tests for a suspected spinal injury and was in a serious, but stable condition, and was conscious.

Horse RacingApril 16, 20210

Newmarket Craven Meeting 2021

Newmarket’s first meeting of the year is one that has thrown up clues for the forthcoming season since it was held in 1771 didn’t disappoint this year. The three days bristled with action though sadly no general public. The feature race of the opening Tuesday, the bet365 Feilden Stakes (Listed) has thrown up a couple of Derby winners in recent years. This renewal belonged to trainer Charlie Appleby who saddled the first two home. Highland Avenue beat Secret Protector a length and a quarter under James Doyle. The winner is a best-priced 16/1 chance for the 2000 Guineas. 

Horse RacingApril 15, 20210

The Achilles Heel Of The Industry SP?

It was a lovely afternoon’s racing at Newton Abbot on Tuesday. Even better that the light appears to be at the end of the pandemic tunnel for racing. Some owners could attend, with one bookmaker there to service them. The bookie was happy to be there too but it’s fair to say that had it been a pre-Covid day’s racing he’d have been considering if he’d ever bother again given the business. I spoke to him just before the sixth race where he just laid his 32rd bet of the afternoon, £600 – £100 the ultimate winner of the race, which returned 5/1.

Horse RacingApril 12, 20210

Rachael Blackmore’s National

There were tremendous scenes after the Grand National this year, though most of us had to witness them from home. Rachael Blackmore rode Minella Times to victory thus becoming the first lady rider to win the historic race. Asked how it felt, she told ITV Racing, ‘I don’t feel male or female right now – I don’t even feel human, this is just unbelievable!’ It wasn’t that unbelievable though given her incredible record at Cheltenham this year and the faith put in her abilities by winning trainer Henry de Bromhead and owner J P McManus. Her mount was returned a respected 11/1 by the bookies for good reason, she’s a better rider than the majority of men.