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Author Archive for Chris Cook

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Talking Horses: Jonjo O’Neill proud but not gushing over son’s success

The trainer, who was champion jump jockey 40 years ago, gave Jonjo Jr no illusions about life in the weighing roomJonjo O’Neill is, of course, very proud that his son managed to win a big race on Saturday, aboard Big Time Dancer in Kempton’s Lanzarote….

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Jockeys’ chief urges more testing after Irish increase riders’ cocaine bans

• Paul Struthers against introducing harsher penalties • Irish officials say anti-drug message not workingRacing’s ruling body should refrain from copying the Irish example in seeking harsher penalties for jockeys who fail drug tests and instead consid…

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Talking Horses: Cogry has the class to collect Warwick prize

The Nigel Twiston-Davies runner can add the Classic Chase to his season’s haulDrying ground will ensure that Warwick’s Classic Chase is not the slog it has often been in the past and that should suit Cogry (3.00), who has plenty of form on a sound surf…

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Talking Horses: Samcro news is bad but it’s not over until it’s over

A Champion Hurdle bid may be ever so doubtful but let’s remember that it remains a possibility for the time beingFrom a punter’s perspective, the key detail to bear in mind from yesterday’s news about Samcro is that he has not actually been ruled out o…

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How viruses and January colds hit racing – Talking Horses

Ill health among their horses has prompted the two trainers to cut back on runners and others may have similar problemsIt’s that time of year when it becomes apparent that some yards are operating way below their usual level and, in some cases, ill hea…

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Talking Horses: Venetia Williams fears fine winning run may dry up

‘Santa came down our chimney,’ said the Herefordshire trainer on Monday, but the festivities could now be overNothing can stop Venetia Williams just now, except possibly the weather. After a slow autumn, the Ross on Wye trainer has her horses bursting …

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Master Dino stakes Cheltenham claim with impressive Plumpton success

• French raider now 6-1 favourite for JLT Novice Chase• Battleoverdoyen shows his class at NaasGuillaume Macaire is one step closer to righting an old wrong, his Master Dino having enlivened Sunday’s Plumpton card with a comfortable success that is par…

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Talking Horses: Houblon Des Obeaux can lift valuable veterans’ prize

The selection has form on good to soft ground and, at 20-1, makes a lot of appeal with the Venetia Williams yard also in formSandown’s increasingly popular final to the veterans chase series has once more produced a big field of familiar names but the …

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Talking Horses: Houblon Des Obeaux can lift valuable veterans’ prize

The selection has form on good to soft ground and, at 20-1, makes a lot of appeal with the Venetia Williams yard also in formSandown’s increasingly popular final to the veterans chase series has once more produced a big field of familiar names but the …

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Talking Horses: some good things in racing’s shifting TV presence

There is something to be said for the changes made this week by both of racing’s dedicated channelsFor someone who’s instinctively resistant to change, I find myself surprisingly unworried about all this week’s shifts in the landscape of racing broadca…

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Talking Horses: some good things in racing’s shifting TV presence

There is something to be said for the changes made this week by both of racing’s dedicated channelsFor someone who’s instinctively resistant to change, I find myself surprisingly unworried about all this week’s shifts in the landscape of racing broadca…

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Balnaslow mat be stripped of 2018 Foxhunters’ Chase victory

• Result of Aintree race in April may be overturned• Rival owner says impending decision is ‘common knowledge’Balnaslow’s success in the Foxhunters’ Chase at Aintree last April appears to be at risk, according to comments made this week by connections …

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Talking Horses: racing in need of leadership as Irish replays disappear

With the Cheltenham Festival on the horizon, it’s a bad time for racing’s followers to lose access to such a precious resourceThe latest example of racing tripping over its own feet came on Tuesday when video replays of Irish races disappeared down a h…

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Talking Horses: Rooneys tell trainers not to run horses at Cheltenham

Prolific owners are said to have safety concerns about home of jumps racing, where their Starchitect died in 2017The Guardian has had confirmation from a trainer that the Rooney family, Paul and Clare, have decided to have no further runners at Chelten…

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Talking Horses: Aintree not Cheltenham may be Frost’s best bet

Lauded jockey doesn’t have the sort of job that leads straight to Festival glory but could still land a plum Grand National rideHell is, of course, full of people typing up novelty bet offers for the New Year but there’s some morbid fascination that dr…

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Waiting Patiently could be on collision course with Altior at Ascot

• Ruth Jefferson’s star entered in Ascot’s Clarence House Chase • Trainer seeks stepping stone to Cheltenham FestivalWaiting Patiently’s next task, after a luckless exit from the King George on Boxing Day, could be to take on the mighty Altior at Ascot…

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Talking Horses: Gold Cup winner Native River can land King George

It is odd for the reigning Gold Cup winner, Native River, to be so cold-shouldered in this big race at Kempton (3.05)As any schoolboy ought to know, Cheltenham and Kempton are very different tracks and horses which prosper at Prestbury are by no means …

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Talking Horses: Might Bite and Samcro head talent on holiday cards

The depth and range of competition at Leopardstown almost make it a parallel Cheltenham FestivalKempton 26-27 Dec Winter FestivalIt’s fun to get presents and eat your own weight in turkey but any racing fan knows that Christmas is just a prelude to the…

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Confidence growing in successful defence of King George by Might Bite

• Yogi Breisner: ‘He was very impressive in his work at home’• Nicky Henderson’s star heads to Kempton on Boxing DayThe big question before Wednesday’s King George is how much faith do you still have in Might Bite? Last year’s winner of the Boxing Day …

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Talking Horses: Katie Walsh hopes Baie Des Iles can win Welsh National

Eight months after retiring from the saddle, Walsh is once more part of a plot to bag a major British jumps raceEight months after retiring from the saddle, Katie Walsh is once more part of a plot to bag a major British jumps race. Baie Des Iles, train…