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Author Archive for Greg Wood

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Talking Horses: Virtual Grand National generates £2.6m for NHS after 4.8m tune in

Bookmakers will donate to NHS Charities Together as viewing figures for the Virtual National reached a peak of 4.8mBookmakers will donate profits of more than £2.6m to NHS Charities Together after Saturday’s Virtual Grand National, which was “won” by t…

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My favourite game: Cubs v Indians, World Series 2016, Game 7

The Cubs had gone 108 years without winning the World Series and I was in a bar in Pasadena when they ended the droughtIn 1989 a scriptwriter called Bob Gale needed to sort out a plot twist for Back to the Future Part II, the one where Marty McFly ends…

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Loss of Grand National leaves £500m hole in racing’s balance sheet

Aintree owners are not expected to set new dateBookies set to miss out on turnover of around £400mAny faint hope British racing would follow the lead of its Irish counterpart and attempt to stage its Grand National in the autumn has been swiftly exting…

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Talking Horses: millions will tune in for ITV’s Virtual Grand National

The strict UK lockdown means that this virtual race could pull in more viewers than the actual Aintree spectacular couldAround lunchtime on Saturday, somebody somewhere will hit “enter” on their keyboard and, a fraction of a second and many millions of…

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Talking Horses: Punchestown Festival scrapped to bring end to jumps season

Punchestown and Irish Grand National will not be rearrangedWillie Mullins and Paul Townend take champions’ awardsIrish racing bowed to the inevitable on Wednesday with an announcement that the five-day Punchestown Festival, which was due to open on 28 …

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Talking Horses: Newton Abbot feels pinch from ‘cruel hand’ of coronavirus

Enchanting jumps course on Devon’s Riviera line could be biggest victim of racing’s suspension Newton Abbot is one of British racing’s great delights: a small, independent jumps course a short walk from a station on the famous Riviera line from Exeter …

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BHA putting plans in place for 1 May resumption of racing if permitted

Flat all-weather racing could be first to resume actionBHA cuts monthly budget by £1m during lockdownThe British Horseracing Authority’s overall plan to steer the sport and industry through the coronavirus pandemic became much clearer in the space of a…

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Racing Post launches digital version after coronavirus puts paper on hold

Newspaper suspended earlier this weekDigital edition will cover international racingThe Racing Post, the sport’s daily trade newspaper, will relaunch a digital version of its print edition from Saturday, just 24 hours after suspending publication in pr…

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Talking Horses: How safe is the money in your online betting account?

Horseracing Bettors Forum warns punters that not all bookmakers guarantee the money in online accounts if they go underWith all European racing and most global racing and sport likely to be suspended for many weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandem…

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Cork racecourse to become coronavirus testing centre

• Horse racing is suspended in Ireland until April 19• Sustained period without racing is ‘potentially catastrophic’Cork racecourse will become a testing centre for coronavirus from Thursday morning as Irish racing lends its support to government effor…

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Talking Horses: PM Leo Varadkar calls halt to racing in Ireland

The country’s attempt to host one meeting per day behind closed doors turned out to be a shortlived oneIreland’s attempt to continue racing behind closed doors during the coronavirus crisis came to an abrupt end on Tuesday when Leo Varadkar, the countr…

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Fiver on Fifa? Bookmakers get creative in gambling’s changed world

Bookies hope punters will open up to esports betting as share prices fall with no regular sport on the horizonSince the essential raw material of their business is chance, bookmakers tend to assume that they will, for the most part, enjoy an unlimited …

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Talking Horses: Flat trainers show their support as Ireland keeps racing

There are double-figure fields for all but one of the eight races at Dundalk, as horse racing continues behind closed doorsIreland’s Flat trainers have come out in force to support the first meeting in the country since Horse Racing Ireland decided to …

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Talking Horses: ITV to cover Irish racing with contract outlook muddied

ITV Racing will already be concerned about the prospects for the Derby in early June and Royal Ascot soon afterITV Racing will broadcast five races from Thurles in Ireland on ITV4 on Saturday presented by its regular anchor Ed Chamberlin and using “the…

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Talking Horses: Racing industry left to contemplate cost of suspension

Horse racing will not take place until the end of April at the earliest, leaving many to worry about the consequencesGlencassley at 9-4 was the last winner to go into the British form book, until May at least, when he won the 5.25 at Wetherby on Tuesda…

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Talking Horses: Grand National the latest racing domino to topple

How long can racing behind closed doors be maintained? And how will the sport recover when it finally does stop?The Grand National has been cancelled, all British racing is now behind closed doors and the question facing an industry that supports the e…

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Grand National 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak

Aintree race scheduled for 4 April is called offCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe 2020 Grand National at Aintree on 4 April, in which Tiger Roll had been expected to attempt an unprecedented third victory in the world’s mo…

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Talking Horses: Kelso leads racing’s move behind closed doors

The meeting, and subsequent spectator-less fixtures, will have an ‘industry SP’ generated off-courseIt is anyone’s guess how long it will last, but British racing will head behind closed doors at Kelso on Monday and, from “later in the week”, at the re…

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Horse racing in England and Wales set to be run behind closed doors

BHA has briefed government on staging Grand NationalKelso first meeting without spectators in BritainBritish racing is likely to go behind closed doors from later this week, initially until the end of March but potentially for much longer, following a …

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Cheltenham Gold Cup can go to Kemboy, last year’s fall guy

Willie Mullins’ Kemboy, who unseated his rider at the first fence in 2019, looks a value bet on Festival’s final dayThe busiest Cheltenham Festival market over the last week has been on Betfair, where around £1.5m has been staked on whether it will hap…