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Author Archive for Greg Wood

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Talking Horses: Stradivarius looks to find right tune in Yorkshire Cup

Stradivarius, one of the best stayers of recent years, makes his five-year-old debut on the KnavesmireJohn Gosden had a mixed afternoon on the Knavesmire on Thursday, as Lah Ti Dar scraped home by a neck at 1-3 in the Middleton Stakes, half an hour bef…

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Talking Horses: now or never for Too Darn Hot to contest Classic at York

The colt has already missed his intended return at Newbury but will finally make his three-year-old debut in the Dante StakesToo Darn Hot, who finished his juvenile career as the highest-rated two-year-old since Frankel in 2010, will finally make his t…

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Talking Horses: O’Leary exit is biggest blow for jump racing in decades

The loss of one of the biggest owners in the game is arguably the first truly significant setback for National Hunt racing since its bandwagon started to roll in the mid-80sToo big, some said of Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud racing operation. Too …

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Michael O’Leary announces shock decision to quit horse racing

• Irish racing faces huge blow after O’Leary leaves sport• Tiger Roll’s owner to wind down interests over next five yearsMichael O’Leary, whose Gigginstown Stud racing operation has enjoyed immense success in National Hunt racing for nearly 20 years, s…

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Talking Horses: new study finds ‘unsustainable’ workloads in racing

Research for Racing Welfare reveals normalised extensive hours placing ‘great psychological strain on those involved’The start of Mental Health Awareness Week on Monday was marked in racing by the publication of ‘stark’ findings in research undertaken …

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Talking Horses: Sanaadh can come in under radar in wide-open Victoria Cup

Michael Wigham’s runner has impressed on his last two starts on the all-weather and is the pick of a crowded fieldWith pace in stalls one and 20 and previous winners from low, middle and high draws in the last 15 years with cut in the ground, there is …

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Talking Horses: Willie Mullins can lift Chester Cup with Whiskey Sour

Willie Mullins’ gelding is impressively consistent, a former Grade One winner over hurdles and has been in fine form already this springIt has been a wet and chilly week at Chester thus far, but the forecast is marginally better for the final day of th…

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Talking Horses: Circus Maximus to strengthen O’Brien’s Derby challenge

Aidan O’Brien runner can prove a credible Epsom candidate in waiting with victory in the Dee Stakes at ChesterThe major winners on the first day of the Chester May meeting, Sir Dragonet and Mehdaayih, both looked like very credible Group One winners at…

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2,000 Guineas: Haggas pits Skardu against the racing superpowers

The Newmarket trainer wants to add to his Derby and Oaks success in the first Classic of the season but faces tough opposition from the Aidan O’Brien and Godolphin stablesThere have been 25 Classics run in Great Britain over the last five years. Aidan …

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Talking Horses: Melon a juicy choice at Punchestown Festival

The selection fell three out in last year’s running of the race but was travelling every bit as well as the eventual winnerA fascinating race for the Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday was understandably overshadowed by the emotional farewell to Ruby Wa…

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Punchestown Festival: Surprise winning return for Unowhatimeanharry

• Unexpected victory for 11-year-old in Champion Stayers Hurdle• Harry Fry undecided on future of horse that went off at 16-1Unowhatimeanharry, a prolific winner two seasons ago but apparently on the downturn this year, rediscovered his best form to ta…

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Talking Horses: Ruby Walsh supreme in a golden age of jump jockeys

After so many well-timed runs down the years, the outstanding rider judged the final act to perfection too and went out at the top on his own termsThe end came suddenly, as it so often does for a jump jockey. But while so many of his weighing-room coll…

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Ruby Walsh announces retirement after win in Punchestown Gold Cup

• Irish jockey retires after win on Kemboy• Walsh bows out having ridden over 2,500 winnersRuby Walsh, arguably the finest National Hunt jockey that the sport has seen, announced his immediate retirement on Wednesday evening, shortly after riding Kembo…

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Talking Horses: Punchestown Festival and Royal Ascot Trials Day tips

Al Boum Photo can complete Paul Townend’s 12-month cycle of redemption in the Punchestown Gold Cup after last year’s inexplicable brain-fade on the same horseA quick rebrand has transformed Wednesday’s Sagaro Stakes meeting at Ascot into “Royal Ascot T…

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Punchestown Festival: Un De Sceaux lands Champion Chase for Willie Mullins

• Stablemate Min and Ruby Walsh seen off by Paul Townend • Klassical Dream lands Champion Novice and cut for CheltenhamUn De Sceaux, a stalwart of the Willie Mullins stable for the last six seasons, produced a ruthless display of jumping and galloping …

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Godolphin’s Arc fancy Ghaiyyath finds Longchamp’s Prix Ganay too hot

• Hot favourite fades after setting pace in Group One• Mohaather ruled out of Saturday’s 2,000 GuineasGhaiyyath, seen by the Godolphin operation as a potential challenger for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, let his supporters down on his firs…

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Richard Johnson: ‘If I go a week without a winner, it feels like a year’ | Greg Wood

The veteran jockey appears at the peak of his powers before the Jump Finale at Sandown and has no intention of slowing down“Absolutely no idea,” Richard Johnson replies, when asked if he knows how many times he endured a fall last year. “Really?” he sa…

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Talking Horses: potential pitfall in new betting age verification

New rules to prevent underage gambling – which are overdue – could ensnare a substantial number of punters from 7 MayStrict new regulations to ensure that bookmakers verify the age of their customers to prevent underage gambling are due to be introduce…

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Talking Horses: BHA commits £1m to get out in front of gene doping

The BHA’s investment is part of an international effort by major racing nations to head off the threat of gene dopingThe British Horseracing Authority has said that while it does not believe gene doping has been or is currently being used to corrupt th…

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2,000 Guineas: Too Darn Hot ruled out to leave Ten Sovereigns favourite

• Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber’s colt out of Newmarket classic• André Fabre’s Persian King has shortened to 5-1Too Darn Hot, the hot favourite for next month’s 2,000 Guineas since a brilliant win at Doncaster last September, has been ruled out of the Cla…