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Author Archive for Greg Wood

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Talking Horses: Masar can defy Derby winners’ drought at Newmarket

Masar has an excellent chance to end the poor record of recent Derby winners with victory in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes at NewmarketThe last four winners of the Derby at Epsom have managed only a single victory between them in six subsequent starts…

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Talking Horses: everyone a loser with William Hill closures news

Racing is facing up to heavy losses from annual media rights payments and the pressure on prize money will be brutalWednesday’s news that William Hill will close about 700 betting shops over the next few months, around a third of its retail estate, put…

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Talking Horses: racing moves to ease workload and improve wellbeing

The demands that racing’s year-round schedule can place on its staff may be eased by ending meets earlierTracks which hold evening meetings in high summer could be obliged to run their final race by 9pm or even earlier in 2020 as the sport explores way…

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Talking Horses: new BHA chair warns racing must make no-deal Brexit work

The new chair of the British Horseracing Authority says the sport will be ‘using all our connections and skills to get something that will work’ if faced with a no-deal BrexitAnnamarie Phelps, the new chair of the British Horseracing Authority, said on…

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Talking Horses: Enable set for thrilling return in Coral-Eclipse

Her return to action at Sandown on Saturday promises to be one of the season’s defining momentsThe outstanding dual Arc winner Enable, who has not raced since extending her winning streak to nine at last year’s Breeders’ Cup, is odds-against to make a …

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Wimbledon’s nice psychopaths continue to scare off the next generation | Greg Wood

Few would bet against Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic or Rafa Nadal triumphing again this year as thirtysomethings march onThe three names at the top of the betting for the men’s singles at Wimbledon this year are so familiar that they can almost be take…

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Talking Horses: Wild Illusion can shine on Irish Derby eve at Curragh

Traffic issues and a clash with a major Gaelic football game are making this quite a challenging weekend for Irish racing Irish racing has been quite innovative with the scheduling of some of its biggest events in recent years, including decisions to s…

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Female jockeys took Cheltenham glory but still underestimated by punters

• Research reveals backers’ bias against women riders• Parity in rides for men and women at least 50 years offThe betting public is behind the times in its assessment of female jump jockeys according to a statistical analysis of 1.6 million rides over …

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Talking Horses: Fatalities may force Breeders’ Cup switch from Santa Anita

Breeders’ Cup officials meet to decide whether to switch the meeting from Santa Anita after a sudden spate of fatal injuriesThe board of the Breeders’ Cup will meet on Thursday with a decision seemingly imminent on whether to switch this year’s $28m tw…

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William Hill latest bookmaker to declare bets void at short-notice

• Hills’s decision follows similar moves by BetBright and 188BET• Bookmaker to stop taking bets from customers in SwitzerlandWilliam Hill, one of the most famous names in betting, has become the latest bookmaker to declare a significant number of ante-…

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Talking Horses: Royal Ascot a hit on TV but live crowd figures fall

Dettori’s exploits helped boost viewing figures but Ascot still has work to do in attracting a bigger audience over five daysThe stories came thick and fast at Royal Ascot and the good news audience-wise was that ITV’s viewing figures were impressive t…

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Frankie Dettori’s Ascot exploits had online firms rushing to sell punters short | Greg Wood

With a payout in excess of the jockey’s Magnificent Seven on the cards at the Royal meeting, the big firms did no one a favour by refusing multiplesThere were some memorable and historic achievements at Royal Ascot last week, including Hayley Turner’s …

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Why a bookie-bashing Royal Ascot may add to racing’s money misery

Results at Cheltenham and the Grand National meeting have left a £17m shortfall in the sport’s finances and a good week for punters would be bad news for racingThere will be quite a few individuals at Royal Ascot this week for whom £17m is the rough eq…

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Eve Johnson Houghton convinced lightning can strike twice at Ascot

A year after Accidental Agent’s improbable triumph, the trainer is again a hungry underdog – with a chance to make historyEven now, if I watch it back, I get chills,” Eve Johnson Houghton says, 12 months after saddling both her first winner at Royal As…

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Royal Ascot 2019: Nicola Currie a good bet to end 32-year female drought

There has only ever been one woman jockey win at Royal Ascot but Currie on Raising Sand is well placed to double that numberHats, pageantry and winning jockeys with a Y chromosome: it is all part of the tradition at Royal Ascot. Lizzie Kelly, Bryony Fr…

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Punter’s case against Bet365 for £1m unpaid winnings discontinued

• Megan McCann placed a £25,000 stake on 12 horses in 2016• Bet365 claimed student’s bet breached its terms and conditionsThe long-running legal case in which Megan McCann, a student from Northern Ireland, was suing the bookmaker Bet365 for £1m in unpa…

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Talking Horses: punters left short-changed by Hamilton stalls swap

If a race is not run with the horses in the correct stalls, as it was on Thursday, it is difficult to argue with any certainty that the result has not been affectedWhen is a race so far removed from what was billed that it is a different race entirely?…

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Magna Grecia hopeful for Royal Ascot after reason found for Guineas flop

• Colt pulled hamstring when disappointing at The Curragh• Hermosa being switched to Ascot target from French Oaks Magna Grecia, one of the first horses beaten in last month’s Irish 2,000 Guineas, remains among the possible runners for an outstanding …

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Talking Horses: Debate over switching Derby back to a Wednesday is over

In the early 1990s, Derby day was visibly dying from one year to the next and the switch to Saturday gave it a huge boost and opened up the race to new potential audiencesAs soon as Lucas Moura scored his winning goal in Amsterdam last month, it was ob…

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Aidan O’Brien draws French Derby blank as Sottsass wins at Chantilly

• Cape Of Good Hope finishes a game fourth for Irish trainer• ITV Racing’s Epsom Derby peak viewing figures slightly downThe Derby failed to find a clear-cut leader of the three-year-old generation as five horses crossed the line within a length of ea…