The Stig has been something of a legend on Top Gear since his first appearance in 2002. Over the years three different drivers have regularly donned the full face helmet and racing suit to blast powerful cars round the Top Gear test track at Dunsfold aerodrome in Surrey, and another half dozen or so have […]
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Entries by IanS
I remember Get It On first time round as a number 1 single in 1971 for T. Rex. By the time of its release Marc Bolan had long moved from the music of the psychedelic folk/rock duo Tyrannosaurus Rex that filled my student rooms, and was a full on leader of glam rock.
John William “Jack” Barker (1906 – 1982) was an English footballer who played over 350 matches for Derby County and won 11 England caps. He later managed Derby County and Bradford City.
Brendan Bracken [/caption]The First Viscount Brendan Bracken (1901-1958) was an Irish born journalist who turned politician and became Conservative MP for North Paddington.
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho is a Brazilian footballer who plays for Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro. He is also captain of the Brazilian national team. His main playing position is as a attacking midfielder or forward. He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2004 […]
When John Betjamin visited the Valley of the Racehorse, he captured his thoughts in a poem called Upper Lambourn. It’s probably not one of his best, and certainly not one of his better-known pieces. He takes us to the tomb of an unknown trainer who, in 1923, trained a hundred winners. Was it a real […]
Racing is no different to any other walk of life in that most of its participants are neither born great, achieve greatness, nor have greatness thrust upon them. Almost all are honest in their toil, and a proportion of them do make their mark in some way or other.
In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue. So begins the poem describing the historic journey in which Cristoforo Colombo set out to find a western passage to India, ended up in the Bahamas and was declared the first white person to land in what later became called America. He had a big team […]
Sam Spade is the fictional private detective at the heart of Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 novel The Maltese Falcon. Hammett saw him as blond, well-built and mischievous, a far cry from the dark haired, slender, crisp questioning portrayal given by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film.
Danny Mullins has racing in his blood. He’s only 20 years of age, and already Mullins has been riding ponies and then horses for over half his life. Now he has landed a plum job in Ireland, where he will ride all the horses owned by major owner Barry Connell.
Winston Churchill died on 24 January 1965. During his long life he was involved with racing in both his political and personal life.
A trainer whose best total is 13 winners in a season tends not to register very highly in the minds of people. That many do recognise the name of David Bridgwater is largely down to the success he has had with one horse, the Giant Bolster, and in particular from his second place in last […]
The current cold snap sees early (and sometimes late) morning inspections before pretty much every jumps meeting. One course where it looks as though things will go ahead without having to cross the inspection hazard is Hereford, which stages its final day of racing on Sunday.
In a week in which there has been a lot of attention on cocaine, it is appropriate to consider Dunlough Bay, a point about as far South and West as you can go in Ireland. It’s a quiet area, with a few villages scattered around its shores, and quite popular for sea fishing in a […]
Sydney Francis Patrick Chippendall Healey-Kay has rather too many letters to be registered as the name of a racehorse with the Jockey Club. And Patrick Kay, as young Sydney was known as he grew up, wasn’t anything special. He needed a name with rather more chutzpah if he was to make it in his chosen […]
Conditions were pretty filthy at Stratford yesterday, very suitable for a horse that shares her name with a character from one of the murkiest musical operas ever to be staged. In that you can take your pick between John Gay’s 18th century The Beggars Opera and Kurt Weill’s 20th century re-working, The Threepenny Opera.
Yeats was a racehorse of which it could be argued that his biggest break was a major setback at the time in 2004. He ran only once as a two year old, an effortless win in his maiden. Yeats followed up with two equally impressive successes early the following season.
Ella Fitzgerald might be a late developer. When she ran in the maiden for three year olds at Windsor yesterday it was only her second race. Nothing compared with her rivals Homeboy and Lupo Doro, who had already run 21 and 16 times respectively. She showed promise, as she had done when a beaten favourite […]
John Gosden has had to be patient with Michelangelo. The bay colt, sired by Galileo, did not race as a two year old. It was clear then that he was a horse that would not show its capability over short distances.
Debussy has had three incarnations as a horse. The earliest, foaled in 2002, raced exclusively in America, mainly in claiming races. He had eight different trainers, which rather suggests he may have been claimed several times and moved on to a new trainer each time.
As usual there was no win for Jay Kay at Southwell on Tuesday evening. After all, Danielle McCormick’s three-year-old gelding has only had that honour once in his 13 races, although that was earlier this month at Southwell.
Shostakovich was a horse trained by Sylvester Kirk. Over the two seasons he spent in the yard he was kept busy, running 13 times as a two year old in 2010, and 16 times the following year.
Chris Brasher was most widely known for his achievements in the world of athletics, where he had three major achievements, the distance growing in each of them. In 1954 he led Chris Chataway and Roger Bannister for the first two laps of Oxford’s Iffley Road athletics track in Bannister’s historic mile race when the four-minute […]
Australian superstar Black Caviar will take an extended break from racing and won’t return to the track before October. The decision to give her more time to rest following her round the world trip to Royal Ascot means that she will miss the Melbourne Spring Carnival this year.
Racing found itself caught up in the shareholder spring when almost half the shareholders of bookmaker William Hill voted against a £1.2m retention bonus for the chief executive Ralph Topping.
Qipco, sponsors of the Sussex Stakes, are doing all they can to entice the connections of Frankel and Black Caviar to race their horses against each other at Goodwood on 1 August. They have promised to increase the prize money for the race by over 200%, taking it up from last year’s £300,000 to a […]
To train any horse to win a race is a worthwhile achievement. To train one to win the same race more than once takes some doing, though it can be helped if the horse in question comes into its best at the time of year that race is run. But to target the same race […]
I’ve posted before about the progress of the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards, and round off this series with the news that following the final judging Clifford Baker was named ‘Employee of the Year’ at an awards ceremony in London over the weekend.
Philip Hobbs has become so concerned about the poor jumping of his stable stars Captain Chris and Menorah that he has enrolled them in school with Swedish ace Yogi Breisner before they head to Cheltenham.
It’s easy to understand how the Lanzarote Hurdle, run today at Kempton, got its name. It’s run in memory of the 1974 Champion Hurdle winner, Lanzarote, who was trained by Fred Winter and ridden most regularly by Richard Pitman.
Chelsea football club yesterday hosted the inaugural Leaders in Racing conference alongside a similar event for Leaders in Football. Had you attended you might well have come away wondering whether racing was a sport at all.
Few racehorses go through their career unbeaten, but one that did was Ormonde, widely recognised as the best horse ever to race in the 19th century. 15 September 1886 was a landmark day in his career, as on that day he won the St Leger and so completed the Triple Crown for that season.