It’s a long, hot, incredible summer where women have been right at the forefront. Two remarkable triumphs on the track that will have a huge impact off course are the highlights from a brilliant week at Goodwood which started with rain but brought us some of the most magical moments of the year so far, writes William Kedjanyi


  1. Queen Khadijah

Four months ago, 18-year-old Khadijah Mellah had not even sat on a racehorse. On Thursday she became perhaps the most famous rider in Britain. That is the easy way to sum up what might be one of the stories of the racing year.

Recap: By now, you surely know this, but Mellah won the Magnolia Cup at Glorious Goodwood this week on the Charlie Fellowes trained Haverland.

Who’d she beat? Amongst others, professional event rider Sophie van der Merwe and Victoria Pendleton, the Olympic cycling champion turned jockey. Here's the winning moment.


Mellah started riding at the Ebony Horse Club, an organization based in Briton that helps young people escape social difficulties by partnering with horses. There’s some background here and it is an amazing project which is worth getting to know.

She learned to ride in a four-month period, but what’s perhaps more remarkable is the sharp learning curve she overcame. She galloped for the first time only last week – essentially having seven days before the race to learn how to ride at speed.

It was a magical moment on and off-track for many, but especially for ITV’s Oli Bell. Bell is a patron of the Ebony Horse Club, and also has been personally involved in this journey. He obviously took delight:


The story has reverberated around the media, and indeed the world. Mellah was making history as the first person in Britain to appear in a competitive race while wearing a hijab, something that was not lost on the mainstream news outlets before the race.


It was also a heartening moment for the social media community.

Oh, and if you haven't already, read Lee Mottershead on the whole thing. And if you have, read his piece again.

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The Next Phase: ITV have announced that a documentary telling her story will debut on the channel in the autumn. Here's a sneak peek.

From ITV: “Riding A Dream will show how the 18-year-old student from Peckham in South London went from never having even sat on a racehorse until April this year to riding the winner in the high profile Magnolia Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival – her first ever race - barely four months later against well-known figures including Olympian Victoria Pendleton and model Vogue Williams".


Stat Of The Week:



  1. Dear Deirdre

Japan is one of the world’s great racing nations. More than 21,000 races are run in the country each year, including 26 Group 1’s such as the Japan Cup, Tenno Sho, Queen Elizabeth II Cup and more. The sport is also fantastically well attended: Tokyo racecourse holds and receives over 200,000 fans and Nakayama regularly fills it’s + 170,000 capacity.

So when Deep Impact, arguably the most famous and greatest racecourse the Japanese have produced, died aged 17 because of complications from surgery, it was a bitter blow to a proud racing nation.


The Japanese are also big travellers. They have become a fixture at the Arc, a race they long to win; they are Dubai World Cup regulars, and their fans follow their horses wherever they go. Those trips have included plenty of jaunts to Britain, but sadly without the successes one might have hoped for after Agnes World’s win in the July Cup at Newmarket in 2000.

But, 19 years later, this.


Deidre, a five-year-old mare trained by Mitsuru Hashida, had already been in the UK once – indeed the Prince of Wales’s Stakes start time was changed so that an international audience could watch – but the monsoon which hit Ascot was against her and she couldn’t show her best.

That was not the case at Goodwood, where Oisin Murphy bided his time before finishing strongest of all to collar Mehdaayih and the rest of a high class field. Cue delirious celebrations on course, and across the other side of the planet too.

How did it happen? A big thanks to Jane Chapple-Hyam, who has played an instrumental amount in helping the visitors get to grips with Newmarket’s system.

From The Horse’s Mouth:

“It was a glorious day and everything just fell right for her. Goodwood is very different to Japanese racecourses, which are usually oval-shaped [but] we were sure that she would like this track and it worked out very well. The quicker ground [than at Ascot] was another important factor for her today and it is very special to win a Group One event in Britain. A lot of credit has to go to Oisin Murphy. We did not give him any instructions and just decided to let him ride the horse in the way he felt right.” - Seiko Hashida Yoshimura, daughter of Mitsuru Hashida


“There was no pressure on me and so I rode her as I felt from instinct [and] it paid off. I kept looking at her price, but thinking she had a wonderful chance and to go and win against a decent field was something else. Last year was the first time I’d qualified to go to Japan and I was lucky to have really good connections when I got there. I worked really hard and it’s paid off and a day like this makes it all worthwhile. Until you go to Japan it’s hard to understand their love of horse racing but it’s on a different level.” – Oisin Murphy


  1. Too Darn Hot

Hardly a groundbreaking title, but it’s the truth – he was simply too good in the Sussex Stakes.

This was a victory with many stories: a red hot trainer, who was kicking himself for how the horse’s season had started; a red hot jockey, having the summer of his life; and a horse who now has two Group 1 wins as a three-year-old.

Too Darn Hot has been a regular feature on these pages, but on Wednesday we saw what probably was one of the most important moments of Gosden’s season – many had been so disappointed by his three defeats earlier this season but how important the call to send him to the Jean Prat looks now.

In behind, Circus Maximus ran a fine race to be second, and in doing so he opened a lot of doors – he gets ten furlongs well but is tactically handy enough for mile races. Happy Power ran above his odds to finish third and might have seven furlong events like the Park Stakes on his agenda, whilst I Can Fly Confirmed herself to be a consistent and high class miler, even if she appears to find winning tough.

Lord Glitters was not helped by being last off a slow pace, although the sections suggest he was not doing enough to be considered unlucky. If that was his true running then it can only be considered a blow for the elder generation – long story short, the milers are muddled. Phoenix Of Spain was disappointing considering the relatively easy time he’d had out in front, and he faded as if something was up.

Where next? It could be America for Too Darn Hot, as he qualified for the Breeders’ Cup Mile with this victory and his tactical pace and turn of foot ought to be an asset at Santa Anita's tight inside turf oval.


  1. Advertisement: A Jockey In Form

What can stop Frankie Dettori? Apart from the Japanese, it seems like the answer is nothing.

Advertise’s third top-level success in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville yesterday made it 12 Group 1’s since the end of May for Dettori, who has won eight of the 21 Group Ones in Britain run this year and four more outside the country. Another four, and he’ll match his best ever tally in a single year. It’s only the beginning of August.

In behind: Brando was right back to form with an excellent second and Space Blues ran his race again. Both have plenty of options whilst Spinning Memories travelled much better than a 33/1 shot, building on solid efforts in 7f races earlier this season. The Foret could be a target for him and it certainly will be for One Master, who found this trip too short, whilst Pretty Pollyanna didn’t last but could find easier opportunities.


  1. Best of the GeeGeez


  • Battaash made it three wins in the King George Stakes on Friday – no, not that one – holding off the late charge of the Australian mare Houtzen

  • Khaadem justified 4/1 favouritism in style when landing the Unibet Stewards' Cup in truly terrific style, giving owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, trainer Charlie Hills and jockey Jim Crowley another big sprint success.

  • Crowley also took the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes in style with Enbihaar, who beat Manuela De Vega by an impressive five lengths.

  • Beat Le Bon completed his hat-trick when winning the £150,000 Unibet Golden Mile, getting the better of Vale of Kent and Escobar.

  • Golden Horde reversed Coventry Stakes form with Threat in the Qatar Richmond Stakes, as the first two pulled clear of the rest.

  • Borice gave Gordon Elliott a third win in the last four runnings of the Galway Plate, as he finished best to beat the badly hampered topweight Black Corton, with Snugsborough Benny third and Peregrine Run fourth.


  • Tony Martin took the Galway Hurdle with Tudor City, who came with a brilliantly timed challenge under Robbie Power to get the better of Due Reward and the well-fancied Band of Outlaws.


  • Saltsonstall came from last to first to land the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap, Galway's Day 2 feature.

  • Stradivarius won another Goodwood Cup, beating Dee Ex Bee and Cross Counter in another thrilling contest

  • Sir Dancealot successfully defended his crown in the Qatar Lennox Stakes at Goodwood, collaring Hey Gaman in the last furlong.


So, all in all, a quiet week. Ahem!

- WK

The latest in a periodic feature designed to showcase various elements of the Geegeez Gold toolkit, as well as hopefully bag winner or three, I've run the rule over two races on Saturday. Both feature draw and pace biases which might help to shortlist the winner.

The Chester race has a positive bias while the Goodwood heat has a negative bias. Of course, horses do overcome biases but that is not generally the way to wager (unless the price vindicates the play).

Have a watch of the video and sharpen up your usage of the draw and pace tools in particular.


York Ebor

It's York Ebor Day This Saturday.......

It's York Ebor day on the Knavesmire this Saturday, while the C4 cameras also head to Goodwood for three races...... Read more

BDH Stewards' Sprint Stakes Review: Yeeoow! I feel Good(wood)!

Time to bolster our BDH hit-squad with a Badly Drawn Horse from Saturday's Goodwood action...

BDH Review…

Race in focus: 2.05 Goodwood (03-08-2013): Robins Farm Racing Stewards' Sprint Stakes – 6f, Class 2 Handicap (24 ran)

How the race played out…

Reserve Stewards Cup Review

Pace wise this was simple; if you weren't drawn up the top end you had little to no chance of being involved in the finish. The first 2 were drawn in 2 of the 3 highest stalls and the first 4 home were all drawn in stall 17 or above. They ended up drifting down the bottom side in the final half a furlong but that is irrelevant as they were comfortably ahead by that stage. TAKE COVER was the main pace-setter from up high with ABOVE STANDARD also doing his best to get involved from his middle to high posi. TAX FREE tried to hook onto the pace from box 12 but he could never really get there, with the same being said about NOVERRE TO GO from stall 2.

The pace map gives us clear indicators that the high numbers were where the pace was emanating from and in the end that played right into the hooves of those drawn middle to high.

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The end result…

First home SEEKING MAGIC came from the highest stall of all the runners and this easily allowed him to hook onto the pace setters and grab them late on in the shadow of the post. He has taken his form to a new level this term (posting career best figures) and his previous 2 runs fully suggested he was getting ready to strike and land a tasty pot. With only 19 career starts to his name he may yet have improvement to come before the season is out. Second placed TAKE COVER has to go down as unlucky here. He led everywhere but the line in this race and despite this being a big step up in class he showed he is more than ready for it. He is another that is lightly raced and may have more to give yet. Third placed CHOOSEDAY was never too far away and dug deep in the closing stages to record a career best RPR figure. My feeling is that he may just need a wee bit of respite from the handicapper to get himself back to winning ways. ABOVE STANDARD was on a hat-trick and a career high mark and battled on well for 4th and a career best on the figures. The ground probably wasn't quite quick enough for him and he could still have another big run in him off his mark. Fifth placed OUT DO was the best of the middle to low drawn runners but he is still 10lbs higher than his win at Yarmouth in June and the signs are that he needs to drop a couple before winning opportunities come his way. Sixth home YEEOOW was drawn at the complete opposite end of the stalls from the winner and this effort was an improvement on the form he has shown since his win at Ascot in May. This was a fine effort from a very difficult draw and he stuck in well at the business end.

BDH to follow…

YEEOOW (6th) (Mrs K Burke)

This Holy Roman Emperor gelding was the first home of the low stalls and was comfortably ahead of the others drawn in the same vicinity. Essentially he is a horse that has to come with a late run and the way this race unfolded meant there was little chance of that happening here, with regards to the runners that finished ahead of him.The way the race panned out from a pace perspective gave him little to no chance of victory so his 3 length 6th gains the utmost respect from myself.

The Burke's have a decent team at their disposal this season and this 4yo would be near the top of their tree with this run very much suggesting that he can still do some damage off his current mark (only 3lbs higher than his last win).

A scrutiny of his form doesn't really give us much in the way of angles to work with (apart from his obvious liking for Kempton - 1212) but a quick squint at the Burke yards form with their sprinters suggest we should possibly be looking at a Redcar (4 wins from 14) , Carlisle (3 wins from 5) or Ffos Las (2 wins from 3) as future targets. There is, I admit, nothing concrete in any of that for YEEOOW and he is one we should probably play by ear, race upon race.

Conditions – As already mentioned there is nothing stand-out obvious about the horses turf form and I'm happy to take him as he comes and scrutinize him on a race by race basis. He probably doesn't have masses up his sleeve from the 93 mark but there should be enough for another victory to be squeezed out, preferably with Martin Harley on-board who seems to know the horse well.

YEEOOW now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

Current BDH Squad

The following are the current members of our BDH Offensive line...

BACCARAT | DANCE AND DANCE | DINKUM DIAMOND | DUKE OF FIRENZE | DUNGANNON | JACK DEXTER | REDVERS | STEPS (soon to be featured on my guest post for | TAWHID | WAKING WARRIOR (featured in my guest post for Make Your Betting Pay) | YEEOOW

You can read about all members of the BDH squad by visiting the Blog at, there are also other pointers, analysis and views so come along and join the BDH/NTF community and join in the chat.

Ben Aitken (BDH)

Goodwood GGIt's the final day of the Glorious Goodwood Meeting, plus the C4 cameras are also taking in two races from Newmarket - Andy Newton's got all the key TV trends. Read more

Glorious-GoodwoodAhead of this week’s 5-day Glorious Goodwood Meeting Andy Newton’s got 3 stables that do well at the track and 3 not so well…… Read more


It's the Temple Stakes at Haydock!

A huge day this Saturday with the C4 cameras heading to Haydock, Goodwood and York, plus they are taking in the Irish 2,000 Guineas over at the Curragh too. Read more

Dawn Approach

Dawn Approach Land the 1st Classic?

It's 2,000 Guineas Day at HQ this Saturday, while the C4 cameras are also taking in two races at Goodwood. Read more

It's Champions Day at Ascot.....

A huge day of TV action with BBC races at Ascot, while the C4 cameras head to Cheltenham, Kelso & Catterick.... Read more

Can Dr Marwan Koukash Land Another Gold Cup?

It's Ayr Gold Cup Day, while there's also decent cards at Newbury and Newmarket - We've got all the C4 TV races covered from a trends angle...... Read more

Stat of the Day 26/8

Stat of the Day 26/8

Stat of the Day, 26th August 2012

Yesterday was kind to SotD and its followers as John Quinn maintained his excellent Cartmel form with both his runners winning. Our selection Royal Bonsai was trimmed from the advised 11/2 into the 4/1 odds he won at, but it's yet another victory for us.

Hopefully, we can find another winner to close out the week and our search takes us to Goodwood for a Class 5 handicap over 7 furlongs on Good ground that may be a little firmer in places. We currently expect 18 runners to contest the..

2.10 Goodwood

Alan Jarvis has really got his string firing at present with a 25% strike rate over the last month, helping him record a level stakes profit of almost 58pts at SP. He is also one of the standout trainers when it comes to finding winners at Goodwood. Over the last two years he has had four winners from just ten attempts for a fantastic profit of 45pts in the process. A further two of the six losing horses still managed to make the frame.

Alan has a couple of runners today: Navajo Charm runs at 4.30 and doesn't seem to have much of a chance, but the opening race on the card looks more promising. King Vahe is the selection for today after producing his best form last time out. He was a comfortable winner at Salisbury at 17/2 on that occasion (just 11 days ago) on his return from a 10-week break. The manner of his victory that day suggested that better things are still to come from him and I believe that the 5lb penalty shouldn't inconvenience him too much.

King Vahe is very handily drawn in stall 2 and a repeat of his last performance should easily be enough today. We don't often back favourites at SotD, but this one seems to justify its position at the head of the market, yet despite this, is still available at an attractive-looking 6/1 BOG with Paddy Power, but you can always...

Click here for the latest odds for the 2.10 Goodwood.

Well I Declare: 25/08/12

Well I Declare: 25/08/12

There's an action-packed day in store for us all with racing coming from all angles, courtesy of Day 4 from York's Ebor meeting as well as Goodwood, Newmarket, Redcar, Windsor and Cartmel. Saturdays can be notoriously difficult when it comes to picking winners, so let's remind ourselves of Mal Boyle's pointers for the day's action, as he turns his attention to...



General stats: Ron Harris has enjoyed a year to remember and his 25% strike rate here at York is testament to the trainer’s ability.  Only four winners can be reported though that said, the LSP figure of forty-four points catches the eye in no uncertain terms. 

Listed City of York Stakes scheduled for 2.00: Five favourites have won via the last fourteen renewals, whilst ten market leaders have reached the frame in the process.

‘Melrose’ 3YO Handicap scheduled for 2.30: Three of the ten renewals since the turn of the Millennium have been won by market leaders.

Group 2 Lonsdale event due to be contested at 3.05: The last ten winners have been returned at odds of 7/1 or less, whilst five clear market leaders and one joint favourite have won during the last fourteen contests.

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Ebor Handicap scheduled for 3.40: The last ten winners have carried a maximum burden of 9-4. Two favourites have won via the last fourteen renewals with eight market leaders securing toteplacepot positions in the process.  Eight of the last ten winners have been drawn fourteen or higher, with only one winner drawn in single figures during the study period.

Roses Stakes scheduled for 4.15:  Three favourites have won via the last fourteen renewals, whilst eleven of the other twelve market leaders failed to reach the frame.



General stats: Luca Cumani and Sir Henry Cecil both boast 21% strike rates which is commendable, whilst Roger Charlton’s ratio of 11/55 makes for decent reading, especially given the level stake profit of twenty-four points.



General stats: As the ‘July season’ heads towards its end at Newmarket, Clifford Lines will be hoping to improve his 3/8 tally via Proud Chieftain who potentially represents the trainer in the scheduled 4.35 event.  



General stats: Ian Williams has his team in fine form (under both codes of the sport) at the time of writing and Ian’s 4/9 record at the Cleveland venue makes for impressive reading. 



General stats: Robert Eddery is chalking up good figures at the alternative royal venue via a 4/12 ratio, whilst other ‘unsung’ heroes to consider are Sheena West (3/11) and Tom Tate (2/3).



General stats: I should have mentioned Harriet Graham regarding Cartmel’s Thursday stats, as the trainer held five entries over the course of the two days at the time of writing, Harriet boasting 6/20 figures during the last five years.

York and Goodwood provide the LIVE C4 action this Saturday - We've got all the key trends and stats to help you.... Read more

Well I Declare: 24/08/12

Well I Declare: 24/08/12

It's a typically busy Friday today with plenty of action to take in, including meetings at Goodwood, Hamilton, Newcastle and Newmarket alongside Day 3 of York's Ebor meeting and a rare mixed card at Ffos Las: something for pretty much everyone today.

Here's what Mal Boyle makes of it all for ...

FRIDAY 24/8:


General stats: If John Dunlop’s fortunes are ever going to change this year it is likely to be here at York with the trainer still showing an impressive 28% strike rate via ten winners, gold medallists which have produced forty-nine points of level profit stakes. 

Class 2 mile and a half handicap scheduled for 2.00: Sir Michael Stoute and Mark Johnston have both saddled two winners during the last five years, whilst the last six gold medallists carried a minimum burden of 8-12.  One clear and one joint favourite have won via nine renewals during the last decade, with four winners scoring at odds ranging between 33/1 and 50/1.  That said, four of the last six favourites have secured toteplacepot positions.

Group 2 ‘Gimcrack Stakes’ scheduled for 2.30: Odooj was the only William Haggas declaration at the five-day stage, the trainer having saddled two of the last six winners of the race.  It’s worth noting that William was not represented on one occasion during the period, whilst the trainer saddled the 16/1 runner-up in 2009.  Only one favourite has obliged during the last nine years, albeit six of the last winners were returned at odds of 8/1 or less. Seven of the eleven market leaders finished in the frame during the last decade.

Strensall Stakes scheduled for 3.05: Saeed Bin Suroor has won three of the last five renewals, whilst four of the last eight favourites have scored.  The biggest priced gold medallist was returned at just 8/1 since the turn of the Millennium.

Nunthorpe Stakes due to be contested at 3.40: Five favourites landed the ‘Nunthorpe’ in successive seasons between 1999 and 2003, though the other ten market leaders failed to add to the record during the study period.  Just three of those beaten favourites managed to snare additional toteplacepot positions.

'Draw factor' (five furlongs):

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2011: 11-15-7 (15 ran-good to soft)
2010: 11-13-2 (12 ran-good to firm)
2009: 2-11-9 (16 ran-good to firm)
2008: Race run at Newmarket--not applicable
2007: 13-7-16 (16 ran-good)
2006: 6-16-2 (14 ran-soft)
2005: 8-12-13 (16 ran-good to firm)
2004: 5-11-15 (12 ran-soft)
2003: 2-3-1 (8 ran-good to firm)
2002: 15-16-11 (17 ran-good to firm)
2001: 4-8-3 (10 ran-good)
2000: 1-14-10 (13 ran-good)
1999: 13-1-3 (16 ran-good)
1998: 2-4-8 (17 ran-firm)

‘Convivial Maiden’ over seven furlongs due to be contested at 4.15: One of the three favourites (via two renewals) has secured a toteplacepot position (no winners) in a race which has been revamped in recent years.

'Draw factor' (seven furlongs):

2011: 6-4-8 (17 ran-good to soft)
2010: 4-12-13 (17 ran-good to firm)

Six furlong Nursery contest scheduled for 4.50: Six of the last seven winners have carried weights of 8-13 or less, whilst one clear market leader and one joint favourite have scored via ten renewals of this two-year-old handicap.  Four of the last five winners have emerged from stalls ten, eleven and twelve.



General stats: Elaine Burke has sneaked an entry into Goodwood’s meeting which will escape many people, the trainer having scored with her only runner at the West Sussex venue to date.  Duke Of Aricabeau is scheduled to contest the 7.50 three-year-old Class 5 handicap in an attempt to add to Elaine’s previous 20/1 gold medallist at the track. 



General stats: Amy Ryan’s 26% strike rate (via eleven winners) is even more impressive when you take the LSP reading of fifty-two points into account!



General stats: I have talked about Sir Palomides before now and this is the only possible runner for William Haggas at Newcastle, the trainer boasting recent stats of 38% at Gosforth Park.  The Mr Greeley colt might be a winner at rewarding odds if given the green light by the trainer. 



General stats: The best combined stats (strike rate and level stake profits) going into this week at Newmarket (relating to potentially represented trainers) belong to Mahmood Al Zarooni who boasts respective figures of nineteen and sixty-five. 


Ffos Las:

General stats: This is a mixed meeting which is to be applauded though that said, the card complicates the workload.  On the flat front, William Haggas boasts 5/12 figures, whereas under the NH banner, Anthony Honeyball (5/11) and Nicky Henderson (20/50) lead the way relating to potentially represented trainers on Friday.

We’ve got all the trends you need ahead of the LIVE C4 action from Newbury, Newmarket and Ripon this Saturday... Read more