Entries by Tony Stafford

Monday Musings: A Paisley Tinted Festival

It is three months since I first met Andrew Gemmell at Tattersalls December Sales in Newmarket’s Park Paddocks, writes Tony Stafford. From the outset I was astonished by the acuity of his hearing which clearly compensates to a degree of his denial from birth of what most of us will agree is the most vital […]

Monday Musings: The Power of the Pen

They used to call it the power of the pen, writes Tony Stafford. If the response to my plea last week for anyone who might normally have expected to have heard from me over the previous couple of weeks, to call and /or send me their number, that power is much diminished as we approach […]

Monday Musings: Beating Addiction

Last September – it seems as though it was the other day, but actually it’s half a year ago – I enjoyed a wonderful few days in Ireland over the Champions weekend with Harry Taylor and Alan Newman, writes Tony Stafford. We raced at Leopardstown and the Curragh, and at Newbridge and Shelbourne Park greyhound […]

Monday Musings: Some Anglo-French Relations

It’s funny who you see when you go racing, writes Tony Stafford. On Saturday I had decided upon Kempton rather than Lingfield’s Winter Derby principally because Nicolas Clement was running a debutant four-year-old in the closing bumper. When I spoke to the Chantilly trainer in midweek his plans were fluid. In the end he didn’t […]

Monday Musings: Catching Heatstroke!

Nicky Henderson said it himself on the Lambourn trainers’ site yesterday before Heatstroke made his jumping debut at Huntingdon, writes Tony Stafford. To paraphrase: “We have a good record for Jim and Fitri Hay, but if we manage to win with this gelding after almost two years off it would be quite an achievement.” Apologies, […]

Monday Musings: Klassical keeps the Dream alive

Last August, I had a brief drink before racing at York with Mark Smith when he told me about a horse his closest friend John Coleman had bought from France and sent to Willie Mullins, writes Tony Stafford. Sadly, since buying Klassical Dream, the name of the horse, John had died. “You must remember John, […]

Monday Musings: Hearing is believing

Spectacular! Scintillating! Jaw-dropping! Eye-opening! All of the above, except for Paisley Park’s owner Andrew Gemmell who, of necessity, merely listened to the brilliant performance of his fast-improving hurdler as he romped to victory in Saturday’s Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham, writes Tony Stafford. The Emma Lavelle-trained gelding is deservedly now favourite for the Sun Racing Stayers […]

Monday Musings: The Four Doyennes

The virtual ink had no sooner metaphorically dried on last week’s article before I noticed an unlikely coincidence, writes Tony Stafford. It’s strange that I hadn’t registered it on any of the previous January 15th’s I’d bought the Racing Post, but last Monday morning I finally did. In my rather random progress around the horseracing […]

Monday Musings: Some Luck on Saturday

I sometimes tune into Luck on Sunday, Nick Luck’s show on Racing TV, and always enjoy at least some of it, writes Tony Stafford. The odd regular might not be quite so welcome around my Sunday breakfast table but it was great that this morning he devoted half an hour to the brilliant Colin McKenzie, […]

Monday Musings: Hong Kong? Phooey!

Why do people own horses? That’s a very good question in these days of high costs and, apart from at the top level, pretty ordinary prize money levels, writes Tony Stafford. In simple terms you have to love the game,  I assume, but some syndicates and racing clubs also manage to tap into social aspirations […]

Monday Musings: Altior by a distance

By a quirk of fate, Altior is destined not to be celebrated as the best hurdler since triple Champion Hurdler Istabraq, writes Tony Stafford. I remember joining the throng attending Nicky Henderson’s stable opening as part of the 2016 Lambourn Open Day on Good Friday (March 25)  when Altior shared attention with the great Sprinter […]

Monday Musings: A Happy Past

When your past catches up with you, it doesn’t always bring back the happiest of memories, writes Tony Stafford. But one chance encounter at my regular vantage point in the buffet restaurant at Tattersalls sales almost three weeks ago defies belief, but in a positive way. My wingman – actually it’s the other way round […]

Monday Musings: If Only…

If only – the phrase of my life, as when taking people along to the old deserted Hackney Greyhound stadium and failing to get them to fork out £5 million for the basis of the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, less than a mile from where I now live, writes Tony […]

Monday Musings: A Global Game

Racing at Sandown on Saturday was like going back in time at least 30 years, writes Tony Stafford. Traffic built up a couple of hours before the early start; car parks were packed but then came the major difference: going into the track, racegoers were funnelled through a narrow opening where the Saturday staple drug-detecting […]

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