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Author Archive for Chris Cook

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Talking Horses: Slate House stands out on Cheltenham Festival Trials day

The selection makes more appeal than the underwhelming Santini and it is surprising to see him at a much bigger priceColin Tizzard’s yard has been awash with classy staying chasers for the last few seasons and he has another on his hands in Slate House…

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Talking Horses: Gérald Mossé hails British rehab facilities as best in world

Much-travelled French jockey, now based in Newmarket, is being helped back to action at Oaksey HouseThe rehabbing facilities available to jockeys in Britain have been hailed as the best in the world by Gérald Mossé, who speaks with authority after more…

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Talking Horses: Defi Du Seuil can win Ascot reunion with Un De Sceaux

The Clarence House Chase sees two top talents facing off again following last month’s Sandown thrillerEvery great race deserves a replay and last month’s thrilling Tingle Creek could be played out once more at Ascot, where the first and second face eac…

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Talking Horses: drop in fatality rate is disputed by animal rights body

Racing’s ruling body says there were fewer equine fatalities last year than in 2018, but its figures were challenged by Animal AidRacing’s ruling body issued a reassuring assertion on Thursday that the number of horse deaths at the track last year was …

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Brian Hughes: ‘It would be brilliant to be named champion jockey’

The 34-year-old on his challenge to AP McCoy and Richard Johnson’s hegemony and lying about his weight to get a start in jump racingIf you require your sports to keep you hooked by providing a new, fresh-faced champion at regular intervals, jump racing…

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Talking Horses: hurdles the only way to Festival for injured Thistlecrack

Veteran missed the King George with a bruised foot, which continues to trouble him, and the Gold Cup is not an optionThe bruised foot which caused Thistlecrack to miss the King George VI Chase is still troubling him three weeks later, Colin Tizzard sai…

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Talking Horses: Rival trainers to stick with Phoenix after Meade quits

Peter Chapple-Hyam and Karl Burke are among the trainers to support the high-profile bloodstock operationThe high-profile bloodstock operation Phoenix Thoroughbreds suffered another setback on Friday morning when it was reported by the Racing Post that…

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Talking Horses: BHA urges Nicky Henderson to clarify Altior plans

Ruling body intervened on Wednesday evening to point out that the steeplechaser is still entered at Kempton on SaturdayIn a startling development, racing’s ruling body announced on Wednesday evening that Altior was still entered in Saturday’s Silviniac…

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Talking Horses: why a five-day Cheltenham Festival is a terrible idea

Odds-on favourites have become more common since a fourth day was added. Do we want thrilling battles or processions?If you enjoy a thing, it’s only natural to want more of it, as those of us who have done extremely well at the trough in the past fortn…

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Bad practices list for horse racing trainers includes allegation of assault

• ‘A degree of frustration’ lay behind the decision to publish• Jamie Osborne claims industry is misrepresented“A degree of frustration” lay behind the decision to publish a list of allegations against the bad employment practices of some trainers, a u…

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David Muir, racing’s conscience, has his eyes on another hurdle

The RSPCA consultant, honoured with an MBE for racehorse welfare, predicts an end to the use of the whipNew Year’s Eve brought the end of an era as David Muir, who has spent 21 years as racing consultant to the RSPCA, completed his final shift by overs…

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David Muir, racing’s conscience, has his eyes on another hurdle

The RSPCA consultant, honoured with an MBE for racehorse welfare, predicts an end to the use of the whipNew Year’s Eve brought the end of an era as David Muir, who has spent 21 years as racing consultant to the RSPCA, completed his final shift by overs…

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Talking Horses: saddle up for Sandown reward with Wild West Wind

The selection can win the Veteran Chasers series final at Sandown for Tom George, who has landed a couple of significant prizes in the past fortnightThe Veterans Chase series is made for horses like Wild West Wind (3.00), who was never the fastest and …

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Sandown will toast absent friends in honour of Houblon Des Obeaux

One of the gamest of chasers who died of a heart attack at the track will be commemorated in the Veterans Chase Final“Absent friends” must be the toast at Sandown on Saturday, where a big effort will be made to memorialise Houblon Des Obeaux, one of th…

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Talking Horses: Gay Kelleway claims trainers are running lame horses

The trainer has made a strongly worded call for more pre-race checks of horses and accused colleagues of sending racehorses to the track which are not fit to raceGay Kelleway has made a strongly worded call for more pre-race checks of racehorses and ac…

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Talking Horses: picking the five best races of the last decade

From Ascot to Cheltenham, here’s a personal countdown of the races since 2010 that will live longest in the memoryYou might take the view that the end of the decade is actually a year away, but at least it’s 10 years since I last did something like thi…

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Talking Horses: Bank on Irish raider Ex Patriot to collect bookies’ cash

Ex Patriot was attracting support soon after betting began on the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Cheltenham and there is a lot to like about Ellmarie Holden’s runnerIt is a new year at Cheltenham racecourse but some things will never change at the home …

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Gold Cup winner Sizing John takes dramatic fall on comeback race

• Horse unscathed after tipping up at third-last in hurdle race• Pelvic injury had kept runner off track after dominating in 2017Sizing John’s comeback ended badly and dramatically when the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner of 2017 fell at the third-last flig…

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Jockey Hollie Doyle: ‘I never relax – you make yourself very vulnerable’ | Chris Cook

The female jockey of the year on weight-training, festive eating and getting her own back in the saddleIt is a time of year for sports enthusiasts to remember those less fortunate than themselves, which obviously includes jockeys, whose line of work me…

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Talking Horses: Lostintranslation looks perfect type for King George

The selection’s superb fencing will help him and it is easy to imagine him outstaying most of these rivals in the straightThe King George VI Chase, more than any other major jumps race, achieves an impressive balance in demanding both speed and stamina…