Monthly Archives: January 2014

What Barney Did Was Wrong, Right?

On the 22nd January, the infamous gambler returned. With four horses, the Curley man did it again. Eye of The Tiger, Seven Summits, Indus Valley and Low Key all went in for Barney Curley, with an accumulated SP of 9000-1 the night before, 44-1 at lunchtime and an SP of 16-1.

Is this wrong? A moral viewer could easily come to that conclusion, especially if that moral viewer didn’t have a bet on… or they’re a bookmaker. Not allowing a horse to run to it’s full potential in a race, so it will drop in the handicap and its odds will increase is wrong. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to do it. In actual fact, there’s incentive to do so; those that follow the rules get punished for it. Just take Lough Derg for example, who after the handicapper realised he was a bit above average and not afraid to show it, rarely carried anything less than top-weight in good handicaps. Consistently placed horses shoot up the handicap, where – in some cases – they stay for the rest of their careers, while occasional winners slip and slide whenever connections feel it would be appropriate. Continuing to reward dishonesty isn’t the way forward.

Moreover, you have to consider the potential losses the betting industry took. Estimations of how much Barney took are all over the places, but with a possibility of millions of pounds going his way you can imagine the bookies will be seething. Many punters or onlookers may see this as a victimless crime and although it’s obviously not for the bookmakers, it’s difficult not to see their point of view when it comes to the bookmakers’ relationships with racing. Just glancing at the BHA Fact Book in 2011/12 , you can see bookmakers have been putting increasingly lower amounts back into racing [see here] from 2007-2011, although they did increase in the 2011/12 year. This steady fall doesn’t appear to correlate with bookmakers’ profits however, which continue to grow. Looking at figures provided by the large bookmakers in their annual press releases, their profits haven’t experienced such a decline. Why wasn’t more put back into racing? The profits of bookmakers are eight or nine figures just for one company, why are only five figure sums being provided by them all to put back into racing? In a complete turnaround, Barney Curley could actually be symbolised as Robin Hood, with his charity DAFA likely to benefit enormously from today’s gamble. Barney Curley simply found the loopholes of a fractured system and took from the rich to give to the poor.

The notorious Barney Curley has in truth worked miracles. Even with the control he had, horse racing remains, on the whole, an unpredictable sport where literally anything can happen (anybody remember Cotton Mill, or Fingal Bay?). Flat racing is potentially easier, as you’d expect fewer things to go wrong, but he showed he was just as capable over jumps with a ¼ of his gamble, Seven Summits, winning over the sticks. It is a masterpiece in which many people will be assessing, analysing and investigating for years to come. Our sport would perhaps be less colourful without it.

Martin Smith Weekly Blog

Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards

I am delighted and extremely proud to announce that Toni Hunter (@toni_hunter92) who has worked for us for over a year, has made it into the top 10 nominees for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards. We have been told by the judging panel that the Rider/Groom category was the most competitive of all which makes her achievement all the more impressive.

There is still a way to go however… The three finalists in each category will be invited to meet with the judges in London on Tuesday 25 February to decide the winner. The winner in each category will be announced during the awards ceremony at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in London that evening, hosted by Clare Balding.

There is a list of nominees available at:

As you will see the list is almost entirely dominated by much bigger and more established yards so it makes Toni’s achievement all the more meaningful. We also owe a thank you to Lisa Cowdrey (@LjcTime) for helping us writing the nomination letter as I’m sure her help made all the difference!

As for the horses, Ossie’s Dancer (Toni’s favourite!) is entered at Southwell in a novice hurdle on Wednesday. We were very pleased with his first run over hurdles at Fakenham on New Year’s Day where he finished a respectable 5th in bottomless ground.

We also bought a new horse out of a seller at Lingfield last week, Hillbilly Boy who won his race at 14/1 has settled in very well and we are very pleased to have him on board. I’m sure he will give his new owner Macguire Bloodstock a lot of fun.

Although most of us might be watching the racing at Meydan and wishing we were there, we certainly have plenty going on to keep us warm over the next couple of months 🙂

From all of us here at Ontheotherhoof, well done Toni!!



Land Seeks to Score at Lingfield

Good Morning/Evening Racing fans, I trust we are all rested for a big weekend of racing and to hopefully make a bit of money. Last week was a bit of a damp squib with none of the three runners doing too much, but we will hopefully leave that well behind today. They go to post today at Ascot who stage their yearly Sodexo Clarence House Chase (formerly known as the Victor Chandler) where Sire De Grugy is a warm order. They also race at Haydock who hold the Peter Marsh as well as three other Grade 2 events in which we see Ptit Zig take on Melodic Rendezvous. The supporting cards today come from Lingfield, Naas and Taunton if it passes a precautionary inspection at 7:30am.

As always we have a video prepared for you covering today’s racing, joining me this week are a couple of the regulars in @Calummadell and @Adamwebb121. Find the show in the link below and let us know your fancies either on twitter or in the comments section below. Enjoy!

Also before we start today’s selections id like to ask of a favour from you all, which is rare for me! Late last year a good friend of mine lost his mother to MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Along with 3 other mentalists he is running the Brighton Marathon in April in honour of Helen Cook and to raise money for MS Research Treatment and Education. It would mean a lot to me and to Rob if you could sponsor them as Helen wasn’t just a mother but a dear friend to… Well, everyone she ever met. If you have a winner today please have a think about sponsoring Rob, Jack, Tom and Matt. Thank you very much, lets raise some money!! Oh did I mention they are all running as Teletubbies!?

Once again, thank you very much for sponsoring if you do, if not then no worries 🙂

Now, onto today’s selections!!

2:25 Ascot – Get Back In Line

We start today off with the Jonjo O’Neill trained Get Back In Line, who was running a big race in the Gerry Feilden on seasonal reappearance when unseating two out. He has only graced the racecourse with his presence three times but looked full of potential on the first two outings at Plumpton and Catterick. He started off in a strong Novice hurdle when second to his useful stable mate Mr Watson under today’s jockey Maurice Linehan. He went one better next time out at Catterick when winning nicely over a longer trip beating King Of The Wolds by two and a half lengths. I would be surprised if he isn’t off a winning mark today especially with a 5 pound claimer on board, who in my mind is the best claimers around at the moment. (5/1)

2:35 Lingfield – Seek The Fair Land

Lee Carter trains a course specialist here in Seek The Fair Land who seldom runs a poor race at Lingfield and proved that once more when 2nd over course and distance last time. He reopposes Valmina that day who beat him by three quarters of a length but he faces the selection on 3 pound worse terms today. Seek The Fair Land was raised 2 pounds for that effort after being forced wide round the home turn, when the winner got a dream split late on. In truth he would probably be best over 7 furlongs here but has more than enough pace to win over a furlong shorter, so expect him to be finishing fast and late. One last mention that the in form Louis Steward takes off a very valuable 7 pounds meaning he is running off 18 pounds lower than his last winning mark. Seek The Fair Land to find the Lingfield winners enclosure once more. (6/1)

3:15 Haydock – Katenko

Today would appear an all or bust task for Katenko in a sense that if he doesn’t win today the Gold Cup dream for this year could be over. He made his seasonal reappearance in the Hennessy and was still travelling strongly when he fell at the 14th fence but jumped very well before that mistake. He then had an outing at Aintree just a week later and was disappointing to say the least in a race he would win if 100% fit. It is best to forget that run after a potentially well needed break to get his confidence back when jumping a fence. There is every chance that he is still of a fairly low mark as I still dont think we have seen the best of Katenko, but if he shows that today he will be very hard to stop. Katenko to win with the main danger being Vino Griego after an impressive Sandown display. (9/2) 

3:50 Haydock – Wuff

First of all id like to say what an incredible name this horse has and I’m not barking mad to fancy it… Anybody get the pun? No? Ok we’ll carry on then. He first caught my eye when second to Desoto County on his debut bumper run, he is the type of horse that isn’t built for bumper races at all yet almost made all. Since then he has run over hurdles at Uttoxeter when beating the promising Allow Dallow with a fantastic battling display. Turning for home he looked beaten but then stamina kicked in to get up late in the race under today’s jockey, Paddy Brennan who was in good form in the week. He looks the perfect horse to take to these fixed brush hurdles and a fast pace would be a huge positive. Wuff to take his tally to 2 from 2 over hurdles in Terrier like fashion… Ok fine ill stop now!! (No Price Yet)

4:15 Lingfield – Dutchartcollector

We round off today’s blog with a Gary Moore runner at Lingfield in what could be a big day for the yard with Sire De Grugy and Vino Griego out. Dutchartcollector should be able to give him at least one winner in the last after last time losing his maiden tag at Kempton. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a better horse than a rating of 64 and over a further 2 furlongs than last time he should be too good for these. Throughout the whole race last time George Baker was pushing him along which was odd but after he showed enough speed for 6 furlongs previously. It could just be that he was winning when having an off day which could mean he is thrown in today. Dutchartcollector to follow up his win last time. (10/3)

NAP – Seek The Fair Land

Nb – Get Back In Line

Happy Punting as always, Good Luck!!

Longsdon Holds The Quay to Warwick

Good Morning/Evening racing fans, I hope we are all rested and after last week’s disappointment ready to get back with some top class racing. Obviously last weekend was a bit of a washout, but we still had two selections run at Newcastle but I think you’ll agree the less said the better. As I write this all meetings are currently going ahead albeit in very testing conditions, but that is better than no racing at all of course.

They go to post today at Kempton, Warwick and Wetherby over jumps as well as action from Lingfield on the all weather. They also race at Punchestown over in Ireland where we will get another chance to see Vautour who is the favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

As always we have a video prepared for you guys as we managed to overcome some technical difficulties, better late than never though, right? Joining me this week were the regulars who are more affectionately known as @Adamwebb121, @Mytentoryours and @Calummadell. You can also follow me on Twitter by searching for @Lukeelder13. Hope you enjoy our preview.

Now onto the selections!!

12:10 Warwick – Flementime

Martin Keighley could have a good mare here with Flementime after she chased home the smart Legacy Gold at Uttoxeter last time off the back of a long layoff. Previously she won her first bumper in nice style before finishing 6th in the big mares bumper at the Aintree Grand National meeting. After that run she picked up an injury hence the reason why we didn’t see her for 606 days but left a good impression albeit in a lower class. The step up in trip will help her cause markedly today and with a season aim of winning the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, she looks an exciting sort. Flementime to make up for lost time. (9/1)

2:50 Wetherby – Lord Protector

Last week we had Lord Protector as one of the days main fancies before the meeting got called off at Wincanton, but we persist this week. He left a big impression on me when winning at Sandown but faces an 11 pound rise for his troubles which I can’t see as being too much of an issue. He is a very imposing type that will almost certainly improve for a fence as mentioned last week but off a mark of 121 could still do some damage over the smaller obstacles. Behind him at Sandown were two very likable types in Uhlan Bute and a horse that I hold in high regard called Reverb, with a break back to the fourth placed horse. This looks an easier race than his last outing and despite strong opposition from Shimla Dawn, preference is for Lord Protector. (7/2)

3:00 Warwick – Killala Quay

Killala Quay won on the same day as Lord Protector at Sandown when landing a similar event to this one albeit maybe a touch weaker. I clearly had placeitis that day as a horse that I really like called Beat That was back in second and would have arguably won if he didn’t make a mess of the last. That is taking nothing away from Killala Quay who kept on in good fashion after looking beat two hurdles from home. Stamina is clearly one of his strong points and the softer ground today will undoubtedly help him on that front and Jason Maguire is riding out of his skin at present. Killala Quay to boost his Cheltenham credentials and burst a bubble or two in the process. (5/1)

NAP – Lord Protector

Nb – Killala Quay

As always happy punting!!

Year Of The Horse

I hope you’re ready for this!!

 Well 2013 was certainly a year we will never forget! We finally managed to get our license to train in England and have met some wonderful people who have been more supportive to us than I could ever describe.

 In December, after hitting the crossbar quite a few times with Batgirl and Balti’s Sister, Boris The Bold made all under George Buckell to give us our first winner! A day we certainly will never forget!!

At the time of writing this we’re only 3 days into 2014 and so much has happened it’s hard to believe the year has barely begun. On New Year’s Day we faced absolutely horrendous conditions to see Ossie’s Dancer have his first run over hurdles at Fakenham.

 Conditions were so bad that half the field had pulled up with 3 hurdles left to jump yet Ossie’s Dancer showed some true grit and although he got tired he battled on to finish 5th behind Fennel Bay, a half brother to the memorable Rising Cross who finished 2nd in the Oaks to Alexandrova and Howdigo who is trained by my father in Bahrain where he won several of their biggest races including the Bahrain Gold Cup. So all things considered we were delighted with the performance.

 As if that wasn’t enough, yesterday we discovered that my wife Michelle is pregnant! To be honest I’m still in shock but I’m sure most of you can imagine just how happy I am. It somehow seems fitting that we should be expecting our first child in The Year Of The Horse.

I’m hoping to run Special Mix again at Lingfield next week, he has come on leaps and bounds since his 2nd there last time out so I’m hoping for another great day at the races with some great friends. There are still a few shares remaining in Special Mix but they are going fast so I would encourage people to contact us soon if they are interested in joining us in the winner’s enclosure!

 To everyone, a very Happy New Year from all of us and we hope to see you soon 🙂

From everyone here at Ontheotherhoof we would like to congratulate Martin and Michelle on their exciting news. Champion Jockey in the making for sure!! (Luke)

Hobbs to be Lord of Wincanton

Good Morning and welcome to the first blog I have written in 2014, lets hope it’s a lucky one for us all. Our New Year’s Day blog was a tad disappointing in my eyes, but at least Double Ross got us out of trouble when landing his second NAP for us. Call me arrogant but i’m still not prepared to tip Oscar Whisky as a potential top chaser, time will tell I suppose.

Unfortunately Sandown has had to abandon today’s meeting but the Tolworth Hurdle has been rescheduled for Kempton next week so it’s not all bad news. Racing will hopefully go ahead at Wincanton but they must pass an inspection this morning however they remain hopeful. Two meetings that aren’t under threat are Newcastle and Lingfield who stage an all weather meeting on Channel 4, they also race in Ireland at Cork.

As always we have a video prepared for you today as we preview all the Channel 4 races tomorrow and hopefully tip some winners. Joining me this week is @Adamwebb121 and @Mytentoryours as we run through the races at Lingfield and Wincanton. Hope you enjoy!!

Now onto this week’s selections!!

12:35 Newcastle – Dancing Art

Dancing Art looks the obvious selection in what looks a fairly weak race involving just four participants. He returned from just over a year off last time out and needed it badly but still ran creditably for a long way before being found out. That came over a six furlong further trip and it proved too much hence the drastic drop down to the extended two miles. This is a much weaker race today and you’d fancy if he has progressed at all from his reappearance that he will take some catching. It is also worth noting that the stable look to be in decent form and the two pound ease in the handicap wont hold him back. (2/1)

1:40 Newcastle – Etxalar

Lucinda Russell’s representative was back to form last time when making all at Carlisle after being dropped to 3 miles having previously tackled further. His jumping won him the race that day and was absolutely faultless at all of the obstacles while staying on in determined fashion. He was raised 5 pounds for that win which is eye catching for me as he looked better value for the 5 length victory as it was never really in doubt. The only nagging doubt is the form of the yard as they haven’t particularly been amongst the winners lately but have shown glimpses of a revival. Etxalar to run his rivals into the ground. (7/2)

2:05 Wincanton – Consigliere

Consigliere is somewhat a veteran these days but has shown some of his old sparkle on his last two starts, most notably last time out when sixth behind Lancetto at Ascot. That was over 2 miles and a furlong which these days is too sharp for the old boy, today’s return to two miles and five furlongs will be much more to his liking. As a result of the poor efforts so far this season he has dropped down to a lowly 136 with Kieron Edgar’s 7 pound claim on top of that. The ground today will be absolutely perfect for him as he loves getting his toe in and its very notable that early money is coming for him. Consigliere to roll back the years and gain his 2nd victory in this race. (11/4)

2:40 Wincanton – Lord Protector

I have spent most of the week debating whether Lord Protector will go to Sandown or come here instead, that decision was made for him with the other meeting being abandoned. He left a huge impression on me when winning nicely last time at Sandown beating Uhlan Bute and a horse I really like called Reverb. The ground wont be a problem for this big stamp of a horse and it could just be that he has taken a little bit of time to grow into himself. The big question mark today is whether he can contend with a hefty 11 pound rise from last time, personally I don’t think we have brushed on his ability and it shouldn’t be a problem. (6/1)

NAP – Consigliere

Nb – Lord Protector

As always happy punting and be lucky!