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  • The next racing selections will be available in Wednesday for meetings staged on Thursday February 22 . . .

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    By on 20th February 2018
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  • I heard a passionate phone-in call from a West Brom at the weekend. He spoke well. A supporter for decades, he said that results and impending relegation were not the reason he did not go to watch West Brom play Southampton in the FA Cup. It was, he said, because he had no respect for the West Brom players who decided that the way to represent the club on a 'jolly' in Spain was to get pissed, go for a McDonalds at 5.30am, make the Barcelona taxi driver go in to the branch of McDonalds to collect their . . .

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    By on 18th February 2018
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  • Soon the betting market for the big races at the Cheltenham Festival next month will shake down and we'll have a clearer idea which horses will take each other on in what look like being some mouthwatering contests. I can hardly wait. But we must.

    This weekend some horses well fancied to land big prizes at Prestbury Park next month have their last prep race prior to the festival. Win this weekend, and the prices for them winning a feature race a month from now will be slashed in the ante-post market. Lose when fancied to win this . . .

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    By on 16th February 2018
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  • All eyes are looking ahead to some good racing on Saturday, when a few horses destined for the Cheltenham Festival a month from now have their final prep runs.

    I have my own ideas about the winners at Sandown on Saturday, and the current best ante-post bets for the festival. The former will be with you on Friday. The latter, early next week.

    As is often the case at this time of the year, the racing the rest of the week rhymes with the word white!

    But, as they say, something has to win. 

    Friday

    Fakenham

    1 . . .

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    By on 15th February 2018
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  • So PSG aren't all many cracked them up to be. I for one am not surprised. And Liverpool went to Portugal and thrashed Porto. A great result for the Reds. English teams are back front and centre in the Champions League, and that's good news. But it should not be a great surprise.

    The French league is poor. PSG lead it by 12 points not because they are a great side. It's because the opposition is weak. Porto, who won the Champions League in 2004 when managed by Jose Mourinho, top a Portuguese league that lacks strength . . .

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    By on 15th February 2018
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  • Manchester City continue to run away with the Premier League. It's really a one team league with lots of also runs making up the numbers.

    If Manchester United under Jose Mourinho are the second best team, then the Premier League is not all that, is it?

    Manchester United lost at Newcastle. Something that should not happen when you have acquired so much talent in your squad. It seems to me United are collecting players in the manner that Real Madrid did a few years ago. But failing to build a team ethic. Jose Mourinho has for a long time . . .

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    By on 12th February 2018
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  • In atrocious conditions on Saturday, we saw that Kalashnikov is everything the Novice promised to be when members of VG Tips won backing him early in his racing career at odds of 12/1. The 5 year old stepped up in class and company and saw off his olders and some experienced at that level - and saw them off with plenty to spare.

    I now think Kalashnikov could shoot them up at the Cheltenham Festival. He has two entries there, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on March 13th and the Ballymore on the 14th. I would expect him to race in . . .

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    By on 10th February 2018
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  • I always feel sorry for the stable staff when they lose a horse to injury. Fountains Windfall died today, Friday, but not on a racecourse. He died in a schooling accident at the stables of trainer Anthony Honeyball.

    I wrote glowingly about Fountains Windfall 24 hours ago and he was due to race at Warwick on Saturday, prior to a big race fixture at the Cheltenham Festival.

    When a relatively small yard such as that run by Anthony Honeyball have a star in their midst, such a death is felt all the more. Nobody cares for or about thoroughbred racehorses . . .

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    By on 9th February 2018
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  • Managers, they come and they go.

    Leeds fans were up in arms (again) this week when the club appointed as their latest manager a man who had previously declared his hatred of the club. But, let's face it, unless you are a Leeds United fan, you have a healthy dislike for Leeds. Don't you?

    I think Leeds supporters should be glad that Paul Heckinbottom has walked out on Barnsley only a week after signing a new contract at Oakwell. He's one of the more promising young British managers around. You have to be bold, or persuaded by . . .

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    By on 7th February 2018
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  • With one or two notable exceptions, the Dubin Irish Racing Festival staged last weekend seems to have gone down well with those who relish quality National Hunt racing.

    I thought it was a splendid meeting and a fantastic addition to the pre-Cheltenham racing schedule. It is true that some of the races may not have produced results that we should take literally as they relate to what might happen at the Cheltenham Festival, but other races did.

    Going forward to the festival, Footpad impressed and may once again get the better of my darling Petit Moucher if, as expected . . .

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    By on 7th February 2018
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