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Author Archive for Chris Cook

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Talking Horses: Ventura Rebel can prove far too speedy in Super Sprint

It is hard to see past the Richard Fahey runner after the colt’s excellent run in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal AscotIn most years the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury is a tremendously competitive contest among two-year-olds of broadly similar ability…

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Talking Horses: Ventura Rebel can prove far too speedy in Super Sprint

It is hard to see past the Richard Fahey runner after the colt’s excellent run in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal AscotIn most years the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury is a tremendously competitive contest among two-year-olds of broadly similar ability…

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Talking Horses: Britain can’t match pace set by female jockeys in France

Seven of France’s top 50 Flat jockeys this year are women, up from zero in 2016 and five more than in BritainWhile waiting at Longchamp for Japan to win Sunday’s big race, it crossed my mind to check how female jockeys are faring in France, two years a…

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Talking Horses: Frankie Dettori to grab more glory on Advertise

Advertise (4.40) is taken to follow his Commonwealth Cup success at Royal Ascot in the July Cup at NewmarketNow that he is available at around 10-1, it is quite tempting to take a chance on Ten Sovereigns in the July Cup, the feature race on a hectic d…

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Talking Horses: Ryan Moore needs change of luck after blank fortnight

Still rated the best jockey in the world by some, Ryan Moore has been second 11 times since his most recent winnerWhat to make of Ryan Moore? At his best, he’s one of the most effective Flat jockeys I’ve ever seen but he seems short of his best just no…

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Talking Horses: 900,000 reasons for tracks to learn how to tell time

The Levy Board has provided a big incentive for British courses to start churning out sectional times data right awayGod bless the Levy Board, which has thrown its weight behind the idea of sectional times in British horse racing. This is an idea whose…

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Talking Horses: sacré bleu! British rulers ask for French name change

Je M’En Fous is no more, the French authorities having indicated they would not have allowed a horse to be so namedWith a soupçon of schadenfreude, I bring you news this morning that the rulers of British racing have performed a reverse ferret over a H…

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Talking Horses: strike-rate says Frankie Dettori better than ever at 48

The Italian jockey could hardly buy a winner in 2013 but is back at the top of his sport and has the bookies running scaredOnly a tiny number of athletes are so good that they change the way the game is organised. In racing, Arkle is remembered for bei…

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Sea Of Class fights for life after colic attack ends her career

• Filly had been second-favourite for this year’s Arc• Sea Of Class receiving intensive care after operationSea Of Class is fighting for her life after a devastating attack of colic that has caused an immediate end to her racing career. The news was br…

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Talking Horses: Regal Reality can eclipse hot favourite Enable

Regal Reality impressed in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown Park in May and can surprise Enable in the Eclipse at the same trackEnable is at the centre of a fascinating Eclipse Stakes on Saturday at Sandown and the winner of two Arc de Triomphes …

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John McCririck’s buffoon act sold a seriously skilled journalist short | Chris Cook

When he was not hamming it up for the television Big Mac’s manner could be a lot milder, even courteous and kindThe trick of being John McCririck, or one of them, lay in his ability to make people smile while putting their backs up. He was outrageous, …

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Talking Horses: a kick in the groin and how best to describe it

A brief report from the Windsor stewards provoked outrage on Twitter but the background detail provides a lot of mitigationI like that stewards reports are posted on Twitter these days but some care needs to be taken with the wording, as we learned yes…

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Frankie Dettori makes light of Enable’s readiness for Eclipse

• Dettori says of dual Arc winner: ‘We’re very pleased with her’• Jockey ebullient as British stables clean up at Saint-CloudFrankie Dettori has given a significant indication of his confidence in Enable, six days before the superstar mare is due to ma…

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Talking Horses: Speedo Boy may prove too quick in Northumberland Plate

The wholesale gamble on Gibbs Hills at Newcastle could be thwarted by the Ian Williams-trained runnerThose who got the fancy prices about Gibbs Hill for this Northumberland Plate can feel very smug, but following them in at 4-1 hardly appeals, as he ha…

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Talking Horses: Graham Bradley back in the game as an owner in Ireland

The controversial former jockey, who was banned for five years at one stage, now owns a horse that could run on FridayGraham Bradley is back in the game, the authorities in Ireland having decided to allow him to register as a racehorse owner. Indeed, h…

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Betfred refuse punter £189,000 ‘winnings’ after ‘error’ on betting slip

• Gambler will take case to arbitration in claim for £212,000• Punter says was told bet would be settled on intended wagerA bookmaker has refused to pay £189,000 to a punter who made a mistake in writing out a six-horse accumulator and included Bailari…

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Talking Horses: no need for questioned trainers to feel ‘like a criminal’

Ronan McNally was not happy about repeated questioning at Southwell but stewards were bound to take an interestLet’s start with a plea for everyone in racing to be grown up about the need for stewards asking questions. It shouldn’t be necessary but app…

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Talking Horses: The Tin Man can win the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot

The Tin Man (4.20), who took Saturday’s main prize in 2017 and was a marginally unlucky fourth last year, looks the value to take the last big race at the royal meetingAn international field assembles for the big race on Royal Ascot’s closing card, the…

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Talking Horses: Back Watch Me in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot

The selection has a lot of speed and can be seen to better effect on this ground than when floundering in the French GuineasHermosa seeks to complete the Guineas/Irish Guineas/Coronation Stakes hat-trick that was achieved by her stablemate Winter just …

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Talking Horses: Stradivarius can win second Gold Cup at Royal Ascot

The selection can outclass Dee Ex Bee and Cross Counter, whose globetrotting exploits, while impressive, still leave him something to prove hereSome interesting new opponents line up against Stradivarius in this Gold Cup, suggesting the chestnut is sti…