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Monday Musings: The Day Pat Changed The Law

I only met Pat Smullen once, as against bumped-into as we do or rather did on the ever-moving canvas that is or was until March 2020, the world of horse racing, writes Tony Stafford. I’m sure I smiled across at him on one or more of my increasingly-rare trips to Ireland, or his sporadic jaunts […]

Monday Musings: Quelle Weekend!

Compacting the 2020 racing season in Europe’s three major nations has caused some difficulties, but when weekends like the one we’ve just witnessed happen, then assuredly it will be remembered for many years, writes Tony Stafford. The last of four days of the St Leger meeting started on Wednesday with a trial gathering of 2,500 […]

Monday Musings: Weird Ky Derby Looks Authentic!

It’s been a topsy-turvy world for everyone this year, writes Tony Stafford. I bet the connections of Tiz The Law, 7-10 favourite for Saturday night’s re-scheduled Kentucky Derby, run in 2020 as the second rather than first leg of the Triple Crown, wished the race had simply been erased from the schedules. Instead it took […]

Monday Musings: Never Mind The (Gender) Gap

Watch out Oisin, and for that matter Tom, Hollie’s on the prowl! The estimable Master Murphy might be a 6-1 on shot to retain his title in the 2020 Flat Jockeys’ Championship, but in the world of sport (yes Sky it’s sport not sports!) momentum is everything, writes Tony Stafford. The 23-year-old pocket battleship already […]

Monday Musings: Pocket Talk!

We were looking for performances of championship quality at York last week and Ghaiyyath, Love and Battaash certainly provided them, writes Tony Stafford. Battaash maybe didn’t need to be quite at his best to win a second Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, benefiting from unexpectedly disappointing runs from Art Power and A’Ali as well as the absence […]

Monday Musings: Lies, Damned Lies, and…

Don’t look now, but York starts on Wednesday and every year for me that means the beginning of the end of summer, writes Tony Stafford. The nights start to draw in; evening race meetings begin at 4 p.m. and if they want to stage ten-race cards as they have been doing recently, they’ll need to […]

Monday Musings: Trouble’d Times

Last week I wrote in this space that I would not be trying to join the 5,000 racing optimists who were all set to travel to Goodwood for the test meeting set to confirm that the country is indeed coming out of the worst effects of the now almost five-month agony of the Coronavirus pandemic, […]

Monday Musings: Marvellous Mares

The prize money may not be there, but thanks to sensible planning by the major European authorities, since racing resumed, the races and the horses assuredly have been, writes Tony Stafford. Over the past weekend, Enable and Magical put in typically dominating performances at the top level. These two mares, respectively the greatest and arguably […]

Monday Musings: Noel Martin’s Quest Lives On

Two events, either end of the past seven days, were a cause for sadness and poignancy, writes Tony Stafford. Last Monday Noel Martin, the Jamaican-born Birmingham resident, died age 60. Yesterday at Chantilly, the three-year-old filly Onassis, daughter of Martin’s brilliant but luckless race-mare Jacqueline Quest, won a Listed race at Chantilly. Martin’s life story […]

Monday Musings: No More Lockdown Barnett!

As one of the world’s leading football agents, Jonathan Barnett, with his business partner David Manasseh, through their Stellar Group, heads up probably the biggest “stable” of footballers in the world, writes Tony Stafford. Always a racing fan, Barnett has lately been making tentative moves into racehorse ownership but for much of this year he […]

Monday Musings: Bjorn to be King?

Almost a month in from the resumption of racing, today we await the publication of the names of the horses that will comprise the first-ever five-day entry for the Derby, writes Tony Stafford. Historically a race which closed long before any of its eventual protagonists had even flexed their muscles on a racecourse, this year […]

Monday Musings: He Who Dares…

In the event, I didn’t dress up for Royal Ascot, writes Tony Stafford. Lockdown Tuesday has become our day for Tesco shopping and Mrs S didn’t see any reason to alter the schedule even for a fixture she likes to visit once every year. She timed it nicely, so I was able to watch the […]

Monday Musings: Trainers with Form

A few hours from now (I’ve started even earlier than usual today) UK betting shops will be opening for the first time in three months, writes Tony Stafford. Those frustrated souls who do not have access to computer or telephone betting will therefore be back in the game. With the two-metre social distancing rule, sort […]

Monday Musings: Rapid Start Far From Flat

The two unbeaten favourites didn’t collect the first two Classics of the UK racing season as many, including the bookmakers, were expecting, writes Tony Stafford. Pinatubo was a slightly one-paced third as Kameko gave Andrew Balding a second UK Classic in the 2,000 Guineas, 17 years after Casual Look was his first in the Oaks. […]