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Author Archive for Chris Cook

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Talking Horses: Brain Power is one to consider, reckons Nicky Henderson

Nothing has gone right for the novice chaser, who could be overpriced at 16-1 for Cheltenham’s Arkle TrophyBrain Power was one of the names I had rattling around in my head after yesterday’s media morning at Nicky Henderson’s yard. It has become a disa…

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Nicky Henderson hopes Buveur D’Air can get Kempton workout

• Trainer says Champion Hurdler needs ‘a lot of work’ for Festival• Henderson also has favourites for Gold Cup and Queen MotherBuveur D’Air will be among a handful of Cheltenham Festival contenders who will work after racing at Kempton on Saturday, pro…

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Odds fixed against betters at racecourses, claims bookmaker

• Andy Smith says fellow bookmakers target inovice gamblers• Ffos Las in Wales last August offered notably poor oddsRacecourse bookmakers collude to rip-off punters, according to a sensational claim by one of their number this week. Andy Smith, who tak…

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Waiting Patiently impresses with emotional win over Cue Card in Ascot Chase

• Ruth Jefferson may bypass Cheltenham with stable star• Colin Tizzard thrilled with back to form Cue CardGood-news stories abounded here, as Waiting Patiently won the Ascot Chase for his new trainer, Ruth Jefferson, on the day after she said a final f…

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Talking Horses: Saturday’s TV races guide on Ascot Chase day

Waiting Patiently can pay dividends for Ruth Jefferson in England’s last Grade One race before the Cheltenham FestivalIs it too much to ask that Ruth Jefferson might win a Grade One on the day after her father’s funeral? Those who watched Waiting Patie…

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Cyrus Darius gives Ruth Jefferson timely boost with Morebattle win

• Malcolm Jefferson’s daughter keeping show on the road• Waiting Patiently to represent Jefferson team in Ascot ChaseLess than a fortnight after the death of Malcolm Jefferson, his daughter Ruth saddled her first winner since inheriting his licence to …

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Talking Horses: the Grand National outsider seeking an emotional win

I Just Know has halved in price to 50-1 since the Aintree weights were revealed and trainer Sue Smith says he’s the right typeI see that Pricewise’s Grand National tip in today’s Racing Post is Total Recall at 14-1, a day after I put up the same horse …

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Sam Twiston-Davies to ride favourite Blaklion in Grand National

• Trainer Paul Nicholls frees his top jockey to ride general 10-1 shot• ‘Blaklion’s the favourite, so of course I’m going to help Sam‘Sam Twiston-Davies has been handed his best chance yet of Grand National glory, having landed the mount aboard the fav…

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Talking Horses: a new peace between British and Irish handicappers

There’s going to be less to argue about in future, alas. Plus, a new rule that makes things tricky for Grand National hopesI suspect we’ll hear renewed criticism of Phil Smith’s handicapping from Michael O’Leary at some point soon, possibly even today,…

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Grand National: Total Recall the name to remember as weights revealed

• Willie Mullins’ horse currently available at 16-1• Definitly Red given top weight but doubtful for raceA power cut at the Bafta building on Piccadilly took some of the energy out of the unveiling of the Grand National weights on Tuesday night and it …

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Talking Horses: Melon can thwart Faugheen in Irish Champion Hurdle

The great hurdler may find his bid for a second success in Leopardstown’s prestigious race thwarted by stablemateIt’s a pity ITV4 viewers will not see it but there is no doubt the focal point on Saturday is Faugheen’s return to action in the Irish Cham…

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Talking Horses: Milansbar likely Grand National ride for Bryony Frost

There’s surely going to be a ‘Frost effect’ on the odds of whatever she rides at Aintree, and it could be aboard MilansbarI enjoyed a chat with Paul Nicholls at Wincanton yesterday, the first time I’ve seen him at a racecourse since his usual midwinter…

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Talking Horses: betting firms told to cut out unfair terms online

Credit is due to punter pressure groups as bookmakers bow to government pressure over unfair termsThe firm now known as Ladbrokes Coral have provided us all with a cheap laugh this morning, saying in a statement as it agreed to make changes to the way …

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Talking Horses: why gender equality is a mile off for British racing

The Derby proves that trainers and owners in this country are unwilling to use a female jockey when it matters mostPersonally, I don’t need to be persuaded that a female jockey can be as good as any male jockey. I’ve held that view for as long as I can…

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Talking Horses: stunned by news of Frankie Dettori’s pay cut

Al Shaqab are to pay the famed jockey half as much this year, on the grounds that they expect to have fewer runners in BritainIt’s a terrible thing when middle-aged workers, having given their best years to a company, are tossed on the scrapheap becaus…

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Talking Horses: Rich Ricci dismisses ‘got at’ fears over Faugheen flop

Owner says he has no grounds for concern that top-class hurdler could have been nobbled before Christmas defeatRich Ricci has dismissed fears that Faugheen may have been ‘got at’, or doped to underperform by some malign influence, when he ran so disapp…

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Talking Horses: Definitly Red on course for Cheltenham Gold Cup trial win

The Cotswold Chase runner was short of his best when thumped by Bristol De Mai at Wetherby but that was his seasonal return and he was a lot sharper at AintreeBristol De Mai has a favourite’s chance in the Cotswold Chase, the Gold Cup trial which forms…

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Talking Horses: A well-backed 6-1 shot for the tricky Thyestes Chase

The market is speaking in favour of Monbeg Notorious, who has a fine chance in the annual slog around Gowran ParkThere’s no handicap trappier than an Irish handicap and today’s running of the Thyestes at Gowran Park looks well up to standard in the num…

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Doubts over L’Ami Serge emerge after Daryl Jacob switch to Cheltenham

• Sky Bet Chase favourite now far from certain to line up at Doncaster• Jacob will keep the ride on Bristol De Mai in Cotswold ChaseA week of agonising has been brought to a close by a team decision that Daryl Jacob should go to Cheltenham rather than …

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Bookmakers are urged to rethink closing down winning punters’ accounts

• House of Lords committee hears arguments by bookies and punters• Fears over reputation of industry as £660m wiped off market valueBookmakers were urged to “get a grip” on the subject of punters being restricted and having their accounts closed, as it…