Entries by Tony Stafford

Monday Musings: An APT Comparison?

Last March, as Rachael Blackmore urged her mount in the Cheltenham Gold Cup to close on stablemate Minella Indo and Jack Kennedy up the hill after the last fence, she would have been excused for saying: “A Plus Tard” or “see you later” in the English version, writes Tony Stafford. The comment might have been […]

Monday Musings: Skeltonham

The 2021-22 jumps season – in a sort of foreplay since the end of April – began on Friday with three days’ intense action at Cheltenham, writes Tony Stafford. The top five protagonists for the jump trainers’ championship, always supposing that Messrs Mullins, Elliott and De Bromhead do not intrude on a private domestic issue, […]

Monday Musings: Breeders’ Cup Digest

It has taken 362 runs from 126 individual horses and many thousands of motorway miles in their distinctive royal blue vans to earn the Charlie Appleby stable £4,827,062 in win and place money this year, writes Tony Stafford. Thus he enters the last seven weeks of 2021 with an unchallenged situation, guaranteeing his first trainers’ […]

Monday Musings: The New Phar Lap?

A lot of my friends are setting out today for the trip to the beautiful racecourse of Del Mar, just north of La Jolla (and Torrey Pines golf course) in Southern California, close to the wonderful City of San Diego, writes Tony Stafford.  That makes it not too far from the border with Mexico and […]

Monday Musings: from Luxembourg to Oz

Luxembourg’s emphatic success in Saturday’s Vertem Futurity, the final Group 1 race of the year in the UK, reminded us not to under-estimate the power of the Aidan O’Brien team, writes Tony Stafford. As he conceded after the victory, things have been going rather less his way than we have come to expect, but a […]

Monday Musings: Champions

An epic Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday definitely settled one major argument and all but decided another, writes Tony Stafford. In all honesty though, Murphy versus Buick and Appleby contra the Gosdens were the sideshows to an overwhelming afternoon for the Shadwell Estate Company, Jim Crowley and William Haggas. There was a tinge of […]

Monday Musings: Newmarket Rejuvenation

I had intended writing copiously 24 hours after my first wholly enjoyable, nay rejuvenating, visit to Newmarket racecourse for two years about a brief conversation of which I was the sole observer, writes Tony Stafford. The conversants were those two genial giants of our sport, Charlie Appleby and Aidan O’Brien, but I will leave that […]

[Belated] Monday Musings: Of Arc and Opel

Suddenly the Arc is upon us and Charlie Appleby couldn’t have set a more difficult conundrum, writes Tony Stafford. In the blue corner is the Epsom Derby hero Adayar, ridden by stable jockey and championship contender William Buick. In the red corner the Irish Derby and St Leger winner Hurricane Lane. Both have added Group […]

Monday Musings: Gordon’s Cunning Plan?

Six months is a long time in politics, writes Tony Stafford: ask all the Tory ministers who either got sacked, demoted, moved sideways or occasionally up in the latest reshuffle. It’s a long time in the Covid19 story too, ask John Gosden’s mate, former Health Minister Matt Hancock, but it seems it is but a […]

Monday Musings: Very Few Racing Certainties

As a certain young tennis player showed the world last week, nothing is guaranteed in sport, writes Tony Stafford. Certainly, when Aidan O’Brien assembled the cavalry for their dual skirmishes around the Curragh and on the manicured lawns of Longchamp last weekend, he and the Coolmore owners were expecting more than a single winner. Okay, […]

Monday Musings: A True Goodwood Celebration

There was a lovely moment at Goodwood racecourse on Saturday afternoon, writes Tony Stafford. The Celebration Mile, initially the Wills Mile and a feature of the late summer fixture since 1967, was always a post-York and pre-St Leger highlight. In the early 1980’s no trainer did better than Guy Harwood with three wins in four […]

Monday Musings: Sonny Side Up Again for Irish Raiders

Throughout the Cheltenham (especially) and Aintree spring jumping Festivals, much of the conversation within the media but more importantly among trainers and owners was the manner in which Irish trainers’ horses seemed not just to outrun their handicap marks but almost to transcend them, writes Tony Stafford. For ages Willie Mullins has been able to […]

Monday Musings: Smith still having all the laughs

Thirty-eight years ago Littleton Stud owner Jeff Smith was at Royal Ascot to watch 10,000gns bargain yearling buy Chief Singer make his debut in the Coventry Stakes, the most important two-year-old race at the Royal meeting, writes Tony Stafford. Trained by Ron Sheather, Chief Singer, a giant at 16.3hh, stood out in the field of […]

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