Entries by Tony Stafford

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 […]

Monday Musings: Joseph is coming!

Something remarkable happened at Fairyhouse yesterday, writes Tony Stafford. Joseph O’Brien had six runners on the second stage of the track’s December Festival as it was billed and none of them won! Has the magic run out? I bet a few trainers at the top of the Irish jumping scene will be hoping so, not […]

Monday Musings: Almond’s Japan Cup Record

Early yesterday evening I was flicking through the channels and was slightly surprised to land on Eurosport’s showing a recording of the closing stages of the Japan Cup, run overnight in Tokyo, writes Tony Stafford. The winner was named as Almond Eye and my ears pricked up when the announcer related that the race had […]

Monday Musings: Apres le Deluge

Early in the summer, I went up to Hedgeholme Stud in Co Durham to catch up on the boss’s breeding stock after their switch to that farm, writes Tony Stafford. Three of his remaining mares had safely delivered their offspring and had also been tested in foal for the coming season. After some serious thinning […]

Monday Musings: When the name sounds the same

One of the few pleasures for generally-beleaguered owners, weighed down by ever-increasing costs and hard-to-secure prize money in the age of the three G’s – Gosden, Godolphin and Galileo – is to name one’s own horses, especially when it’s a home-bred, writes Tony Stafford. Raymond Tooth approaches the task with a mixture of intelligence, research […]

Monday Musings: Breeders’ Cup and stuff

Second marriages are definitely different, writes Tony Stafford. I would never have entertained putting on a gorilla mask to “scare” Halloween callers to the house in search of those Haribo scare sweets as happened (see picture) last Wednesday. First time round, all Halloween meant to me was the top-class jumper who won the King George […]

Monday musings: there but by the grace…

From the moment I saw the six-day entries for last Saturday’s Conundrum Consulting EBF Fillies Stakes at Newbury, my thoughts very rarely strayed far from King Power, writes Tony Stafford. The two-year-old Frankel filly of that name, a £2.5 million Andrew Balding-trained filly who was in the first division of 12, while Ray’s debutante had ten […]

Monday Musings: A Royal Scoop!

What was different, indeed unique, about Saturday at Ascot? With the sun shining and the temperature climbing into the 20’s it could have been the warmest Qipco Champions Day yet, writes Tony Stafford. With 30,000 in attendance the day confirmed Ascot’s ability to pack in the crowds, and John Gosden collected three big prizes with […]

Monday Musings: International Flights of Fancy

The anticipated appeal of watching Big Brother, either in the alleged Celebrity version, or the original warts and all with its calculatedly-outrageous young contestants, ended the minute John McCririck hove into view all those years ago, writes Tony Stafford. Around the owners’ room bar at Yarmouth races today, though, talk will inevitably turn to the […]

Monday Musings: Johnny vs Obie

Ever since Ascot’s Champions Day in late-October (20th this year) became an integral part of Britain’s autumn racing schedule, the Cambridgeshire and Cesarewitch meetings at Newmarket have had to be moved forward by a week from their traditional place in the calendar, writes Tony Stafford. Meanwhile, some of the major juvenile events have consequently been […]

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