Entries by Tony Stafford

Monday Musings: Makin Good After Career Switch

Two young people, their promising careers as jockeys abruptly ended by injury after near-calamitous race-riding accidents, have joined forces in a bold and visually spectacular training project, writes Tony Stafford. Well Close Farm is on the A19, ten miles north of York racecourse and a couple of miles to the south of the picturesque market […]

Monday Musings: Second Time Lucky for Keightley

A former jockey who according to the meticulous Derek Thompson was the “first man to ride on every racecourse Flat and jumps in England, Wales and Scotland” 20 years on from his final ride during a four-year stint in Australia, is now making waves as a trainer at Exning in Newmarket, writes Tony Stafford. I […]

Monday Musings: Forgotten man Queally still has it…

York last week was great. Yorkshire’s eagerly-awaited four days was again the canvass to the peerless quality of Enable and Stradivarius; the delayed crowning of Battaash as champion sprinter and the emergence of Japan as perhaps the best middle-distance male racehorse in Europe, writes Tony Stafford. It also, on the seventh anniversary of Frankel’s only […]

Monday Musings: York, August’s Saviour

Let me declare an interest. Much as I love it when May comes around, I consciously detest August, writes Tony Stafford. So you have York as a racing oasis in a domestic desert and in reality you need to cast your glance across the Channel to Deauville for any meaningful action leading up to the […]

Monday Musings: Of Missed Opportunity

The portents were not good on Saturday morning for the trip to meet a couple of pals at Ascot for the Shergar Cup, writes Tony Stafford. There are three routes I can take: through town, around the North Circular Road or, if the tank is full, around the northern portion of the M25. The phone […]

Monday Musings: Poet-ic Justice

When the seven-year-old gelding One Cool Poet approached the finish of his second-ever steeplechase at Tipperary on July 21 it is unlikely that his owners, the DRFG Partnership, or trainer Matthew J Smith, who operates from Kilmessan, Co Meath, would have envisaged what the next two weeks might bring, writes Tony Stafford. After the final […]

Monday Musings: (No) Luck on Saturday

As you will know, regular reader, I love a hard-luck story, especially when I’ve participated in any way in such sorry tale, writes Tony Stafford. One happened on Saturday, at Newbury racecourse, 135 miles from my vantage point in the owners’ room on the July Course at Newmarket. I think of both tracks as somewhat […]

Monday Musings: Of Tens and Sovereigns

Aidan O’Brien wins July Cup again, writes Tony Stafford. Of course he does, and we know what the process is, don’t we? Ten Sovereigns on Saturday became number five, 20 years on from the first – Stravinsky – in 1999 and once again it was the case of another near miss in the 2,000 Guineas, […]

Monday Musings: Ballydoyle Baffles via Beggy

When is a pacemaker not a pacemaker? Sound like a M&S food ad? Well, the analogy is fair enough. A pacemaker is not a pacemaker when it’s an Aidan O’Brien pacemaker in the Irish Derby, writes Tony Stafford. In a year when no English stable even bothered to challenge for any of the €1.5 million […]

Monday Musings: Of Black Type and Newsprint

What is it about Frankie Dettori, Ascot racecourse and Magnificent Sevens?, writes Tony Stafford.  On September 28 1996, aged 25, he totally monopolised a single Champions Day (as it was to become) card by riding all seven winners. In the process he bankrupted a number of bookmakers – most vocally the larger-than-life Gary Wiltshire – […]

Monday Musings: A Visinari Visionary

Peter Ashmore and I stood hanging over the rail at the top end of the paddock adjacent to the saddling boxes before the opening race of Newmarket’s July Course season on Saturday, writes Tony Stafford. A big grey colt came by and we agreed: “It’s a giant! Surely he’s come in early before the following […]

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