Entries by Tony Stafford

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. […]

Monday Musings: We’re On!

So finally, after 76 days, 330 lost meetings and something of a cliff-hanger, the wait is officially over, writes Tony Stafford. Oliver Dowden, Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, was in the saddle to announce the go-ahead at Saturday’s coronavirus briefing in Downing Street. Thus, unlike his government’s much-maligned advisor Dominic Cummings, Newmarket trainers […]

Monday Musings: On the Resumption

After a first week of a successful and seemingly uneventful return to racing on the Flat, over jumps and, no doubt, while unseen on our screens, the equally popular trotting, the French government surprisingly invoked their colour co-ordinated map to ban racing in the Northern and Paris regions, but allowed it to continue elsewhere, writes […]

Monday Musings: Chapeau, Barty

Since racing in the UK ended abruptly on March 17th there have been few enough opportunities to admire the sport’s largely-hidden professionals, but the past week has provided a solo virtuoso demonstration of the commentating skills of Ian Bartlett, writes Tony Stafford. Racing in France began again last Monday with no spectators, but deep in […]

Monday Musings: Allez France

We were simply kidding ourselves, writes Tony Stafford. Friday May 15th sounded a nice date for racing in the UK to resume and, with three meetings in France today as the shining example and some of the domestic trainers suggesting they would be ready by then, we waited for Boris to offer some encouragement on […]

Monday Musings: A Minor Miracle in the Numbers

Most numbers associated with the last two months of life in the UK, first under the imminent threat, and then quickly the awful reality, of the Coronavirus pandemic have been shocking, writes Tony Stafford. More than 28,000 deaths with at least 75% of them in the 75-and-above age group justifying the Government’s initial and apparently […]

Monday Musings: The End is Nigh?

At last some movement, writes Tony Stafford. The five-week-long stretch of mockingly-sunny days with unblemished blue skies is about to break in the South of England according to a weather forecast I took scant notice of on Saturday evening. Horse racing is about to start in Germany, on May 4th, and in France a week […]

Monday Musings: Time Flying By

Logic told me time would pass slowly during lock-down. Five weeks in, it’s definitely speeded up, writes Tony Stafford. I spoke to my son twice last week, briefly on Sunday and then again for a few minutes more on Friday and I swore that there could only have been a couple of days between the […]

Monday Musings: The Month Long Day

Four weeks in and I don’t know about you, but it’s almost impossible to tell the days apart, writes Tony Stafford. I know I’m writing this on what they tell me is Easter Sunday; but with little varying day to day – even the weather, with the sun blazing incessantly and perma-warm temperatures – what […]

Monday Musings: Different Numbers

Did you miss me? I missed myself. I think that was only the second blank week since I started my musings more than eight years ago, writes Tony Stafford. I relayed my withdrawal symptoms to the boss and he gave me the all clear to resume, but no 4 a.m. Monday for me. The other […]

Monday Musings: The New Abnormal

Just nine days ago my over-riding thought as I contemplated the very strong card at Kempton was still how awful it was that Goshen had been cruelly robbed of his rightful crowning as the best four-year-old hurdler in memory, writes Tony Stafford. Sympathies for Gary and all the Moore family and the owners were intruding […]