Entries by IanS

A National Surfeit

The Grand and Scottish Nationals have rightly taken centre stage on the last two Saturdays, writes Ian Sutherland. They are as good an indicator as any that the jumps season is all but over. Yet there is still one more National to run before the curtain falls, Perth's Highland National, taking place this afternoon. Matt's […]

Racing People 4: Mark Johnson (Part 2)

In this second part of our look at the work of a racecourse commentator, writes Ian Sutherland, Mark Johnson explains his approach to calling the race itself, and looks back on some of the races he's particularly enjoyed covering. [Part 1 can be found here] IS: I wondered how much you use binoculars when you're commentating. […]

Racing People 4: Mark Johnson

In the latest of our occasional series about racing people, we take a look at the work of Mark Johnson, racecourse commentator, writes Ian Sutherland. Today Mark explains how he became involved in racing, how he goes about preparing to call the horses at a race meeting, and the tools of his trade. Tomorrow, Mark […]

Newmarket Racecourses: We Are 350

British racing and the town of Newmarket in particular owe a huge debt to the two disasters that befell London in successive years over 300 years ago. In 1665 King Charles fled the Plague, and although his court went to Salisbury, and parliament met in Oxford, Charles also spent some time in Newmarket, a town […]

Anabel Murphy stable tour

The village of Wilmcote lies in Warwickshire, almost smack bang in the middle of the country. It's here that Anabel Murphy has her stables. With Stratford a matter of five miles away, and both Mary Arden's house and Anne Hathaway's cottage even closer, it's no great surprise to find William Shakespeare making reference in one […]

Going for a song

  A rare piece of racing memorabilia went under the hammer yesterday. Fortunately no damage was done, as the hammer in question belonged to Isabel Balmer, of Hansons Auctioneers, near Derby. Up for sale was silver racecourse admission token 42, dated 1830, and measuring no more than an inch in diameter. This had belonged to […]

50 years of starting stalls

Fifty years ago today saw a major change to flat racing in Britain, with the introduction of starting stalls to our racecourses. At the time, stalls were under trial, but by the end of the 1965 season, the authorities had decided that they would be employed to start all races, and over the following year […]

Any Questions?

“There are more questions than answers,” sang Johnny Nash back in 1972. The song went on, “And the more I find out the less I know.” Words that resound in many different fields, not least that of training racehorses. Well, we’re nothing if not ambitious at Geegeez, and over the next year, we’ll be setting […]

David Dennis – racehorse trainer

I was lucky enough to meet Worcestershire trainer David Dennis recently after he had a winner on the opening day of Cheltenham’s racing season. David very kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his time in racing, ending by highlighting the horse in his stable he’s most looking forward to this season. That horse, […]

Walking the course: Cheltenham

Fair weather welcomed racing back to Cheltenham for its opening fixture of the 2014/15 season. I always enjoy the Showcase meeting; although it’s too early for the established top quality horses to be strutting their stuff, the racing remains competitive, and with two of the races on Friday won by a distance of a head, […]