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The Irish Outsider Awards 2013

The Irish Outsider – Wednesday, 18th December Horse Racing Ireland had their awards ceremony earlier in the month at Leopardstown where the great and good of the game were recognised for their achievements; as ever I was left off the guest-list for this annual back-slapping match. The recipients were mostly as expected, the likes of […]

The Irish Road to Cheltenham : 17th December

The Irish Road to Cheltenham – December 17th, 2013, by Tony Keenan After wins for Briar Hill and Sizing Tennessee at Navan on Sunday, Willie Mullins said he has his best team of novice hurdlers yet. That’s a bold statement given some of the luminaries of the past in that division, notably Mikael D’Haguenet and […]

The Irish Outsider : A Fair Crack of the Whip from the Media?

The Irish Outsider – Wednesday, December 11th 2013 Racing tends to define its media differently to other fields; the publications and outlets that cover the sport are often gentler than would be the case elsewhere. Sensible arguments can be put forward for the chummy atmosphere between journalists and subjects they cover – mainly that the […]

The Irish Road to Cheltenham : 3rd December

The Irish Road to Cheltenham – December 3rd, 2013, by Tony Keenan The highest rated horse to run in Ireland in the past fortnight was Jezki and he’s also the one shortest in the betting for Cheltenham though he was pushed out by some layers after his win in the Hatton’s Grace. That was a […]

The Irish Outsider : The Mullins Monopoly Conundrum

The Irish Outsider – November 27th 2013 A quiet weekend for Willie Mullins then with just the four winners at odds of 8/13, 4/5, 4/6 and 3/1, so the questions about the competitiveness of Irish national hunt racing should be quelled until the Hatton’s Grace meeting at least. There has been plenty of comment on […]

The Irish Outsider : November 20th 2013

The Irish Outsider – November 20th 2013 I’ve covered my ten to follow elsewhere (available in the November issue of Racing Ahead) but for anyone who cares they are: Bayan, Felix Yonger, Gilt Shadow, Inish Island, Jezki, Mala Beach, Marito, Quevega, Sizing Rio and Un De Sceaux. Now readers can add those to the plethora […]

The Irish Road to Cheltenham : 19th November

The Irish Outsider – November 19th, 2013, by Tony Keenan Small-field graded races have dominated the Irish national hunt scene this past fortnight, none more notable than the five runners that took part in the Hurricane Fly’s record-breaking Morgiana, four of those trained by Willie Mullins and the other a 106-rated 50/1 shot. Clearly this […]

The Irish Outsider: Sales Lustre and Aussie Bluster

The Irish Outsider – November 12th, 2013, by Tony Keenan The Autumn Horses in Training Sale, held at Tattersalls in late-October, tends to produce some crazy results – horses that seem much too expensive, others that appear great value – though there’s likely a story behind every one, and not all of them that you’d […]

The Irish Road to Cheltenham: 3rd November 2013

The Irish Road to Cheltenham – November 3rd 2013  In the first of a new series, Irish racing expert Tony Keenan brings us his interpretation of the major action from the Emerald Isle, marking your card with a view to the Cheltenham Festival 2014. One area where the jumps season succeeds ahead of the flat […]

The Irish Outsider : October 30th 2013

The Irish Outsider – October 30th 2013 Next week, among these pages, I’ll be beginning a new fortnightly series of articles on the Irish Road to Cheltenham, taking in the key horses and races that are likely (and unlikely) to impact on the four days that dominate national hunt racing in March. Before looking at […]

The Irish Outsider : October 23rd 2013

The Irish Outsider – October 23rd 2013 The start of the jumps game proper means stable tour season and I’ve written often on the subject of trainer talk before; basically, one needs to avoid being too credulous when reading what they say as such views tend to be too heavily reflected by the market. A […]

The Irish Outsider : October 16th 2013

The Irish Outsider – October 16th 2013 After attending the Arc De Triomphe for the first time recently, it’s clear that the French are good at a few things: food – the delights of getting crepes and baguettes at Longchamp was unusual in light of our own limited racetrack catering, and that’s not even to […]

The Irish Outsider : October 9th 2013

The Irish Outsider – October 9th 2013 The breeding side of racing clicks up a gear around this time with a number of big sales taking place and it seems as good a time as any to explore the whole idea of black type and its meaning or meaninglessness. I should preface this by saying […]

The Irish Outsider: September 25th 2013

The Irish Outsider – September 25th, 2013 Last week, I picked up a strange Twitter follower in the shape of @Australia_Horse, described in its profile as ‘the greatest horse that has ever lived.’ One can only assume this account is a wind-up as anyone who tweets about winning the Derby and Nunthorpe in the same […]

The Irish Outsider: September 18th 2013

The Irish Outsider – September 18th, 2013 An Open Letter to the Turf Club, To Whom It May Concern at the Turf Club, I love Irish racing and rate it the best in the world in a pure sense; we have great trainers, jockeys, racecourses and not least horses. All of this makes what I’m […]

The Irish Outsider: September 4th 2013

The Irish Outsider – September 4th, 2013 In terms of a single day’s racing, Champion Stakes day at Leopardstown is probably the best meeting of the year and the current Derby favourite Free Eagle will add further intrigue with a likely appearance in a Group 3 on the card. This fixture will look different in […]

The Irish Outsider: August 28th 2013

The Irish Outsider – August 28th, 2013 The Turf Club’s institution of minimum weights for apprentices has been one of the most interesting off-track developments of the year and praise must go to Doctors Adrian McGoldrick and Giles Warrington for their forward-thinking approach to dealing with wasting among apprentice jockeys. The new rules can be […]

The Irish Outsider: August 21st 2013

Things have cooled off a little for Connor King of late, just one winner in the last ten days, but he’s been one of the stories of the Irish flat season so far, his four-timer at Cork earlier in the month the standout moment. Yet one has to ask is it all too much, too […]

Irish Racing Review: 14th August 2013

Irish Racing Review – August 14th, 2013 Jim Bolger has long had his own way of doing things – indeed it could be said that he rewrites the book on training racehorses, so much so punters find him hard to read – but last Sunday we saw what can go wrong when the Bolger method […]

The Punting Confessional: A Galway Review

The Punting Confessional – Thursday, August 8th 2013 After five losing days out of six, I drew stumps on Galway before Sunday’s all jumps card and if I’m being honest I called just one race at the meeting meaningfully right, the mile and a half premier handicap on Friday in which my main play Curley […]

The Punting Confessional: Ascot Debrief

The Punting Confessional , Wednesday, June 26th After Cheltenham, I wrote about some lessons that could be learned from the flagship jumps meeting of the year and it’s worth doing the same with Royal Ascot. Many of the pointers apply at both events; for instance, hype horses or handicap blots can get overbet in competitive, […]

Irish Racing Review: Naas, June 3rd 2013

Naas – Monday June 3rd 7f Maiden A poor race that took little winning; Ramsa, one of least exposed, got first run on second, good attitude, was taped up for this and may not want the ground this quick, an opinion voiced by trainer/jockey afterwards. One True Love an unlucky loser, going well swinging into […]

The Punting Confessional: More on Non-Triers

The Punting Confessional , Wednesday, June 12th Last week I looked at some ideas around non-triers and inside information and before exploring the issue further it’s worth mentioning a couple of tweets I received on the subject since. Declan Meagher (@declanmeagher76), an Irish professional gambler, mentioned that it is only the ‘dunces’ who get caught […]

Irish Racing Review: Naas, May 15th 2013

  Meeting Review: Naas – Wednesday, May 15th 6f 2yo Maiden The action took place up the centre of the track. Heart Focus is one that would find the stiff 6f here her minimum and trainer of same opinion afterwards; step up to 7f will suit though had looked limited before this. Pulled clear with […]

Irish Racing Review: Leopardstown, May 12th 2013

  Meeting Review: Leopardstown – Sunday, May 12th 6f 2yo Maiden This was slowly-run like many other races on the card and it was pretty boring to watch in truth; the first four in the same positions throughout. Sacred Aspect has come from the Focus On Venice race over course-and-distance and trainer was at pains […]

Irish Racing Review: Naas April 20th 2013

Meeting Review: Naas – Saturday, April 20th 1m Maiden The pace here looked very strong for an ordinary maiden; time much the fastest over the trip on the day, spread out from an early stage and many well off it turning out of the back. Pay The Kitten put up a likeable show, finding plenty […]

Punting Confessional: My Day At The Races

The Punting Confessional – Wednesday, April 10th 2013  Curragh – March 24th I thought I might take a periodic look at an individual day’s racing over the next few months, taking in the betting shape of the card as a whole, and where better to start than the opening day of the flat turf season […]

The Punting Confessional: the Flat is back!

Everyone has their own particular favoured type of racing, many people prefer the gritty battles of winter jumps racing, watching the old warriors plough through miles and miles of mud sodden races. Yet for others, the almost serene appeal of the flat season is their preference. Tony Keenan prefers the latter and he now explains […]

The Punting Confessional: Cheltenham Debrief

Prior to this year’s excellent Cheltenham Festival, Tony Keenan gave us a fascinating insight into how he prepares for and ultimately tackles the UK’s centrepiece of the jumping calendar. Today, Tony takes a retrospective look at how the festival panned out for him and he played it in… …The Punting Confessional – 20th March, 2013 […]

The Punting Confessional: at the Festival

Last week Tony Keenan set about showing us how he approaches the Cheltenham Festival and began to work out whether or not we should treat this meeting any different to the thousands of other meetings we see each year. He concludes those thoughts this week by summing up his own feelings about the Festival in… […]

The Punting Confessional: Tackling Cheltenham.

Much is (quite rightly, of course!) made of the four-day racing jamboree better known as The Cheltenham Festival. After all, it is jumps racing’s Wembley or Wimbledon and this leads Tony Keenan to ponder whether or not we should approach this meeting any different to our normal betting approach in… …The Punting Confessional – March […]

The Punting Confessional: My 2012 Review

Tony Keenan’s first piece of the New Year is an honest, warts & all appraisal of his own performance over the last 12 months, as he reviews the events of 2012 from his own personal perspective in… …The Punting Confessional – January 2nd, 2013 Last time I wrote I discussed how one would review a […]

The Punting Confessional: Reviewing the Year

The Punting Confessional – December 20th, 2012 Bar weekly fixtures at Dundalk, there’s little flat racing to speak of at present in Ireland so this is the time of year when I look back at how the previous twelve months punting has gone. This week I will write about how this is done generally before […]

The Punting Confessional: Reviews and Remarks

The Punting Confessional – November 14th, 2012 by Tony Keenan So you’ve got your video replays together, what next? You have to give each meeting the time it deserves. Broadly speaking, I would take about ten minutes per race so that’s an average of seventy minutes per meeting but some races/meetings will take longer or […]

The Punting Confessional: More of The Right Type

Last week, Tony Keenan started to explain to us how important it is to find “the right type” of horse to back and how to spot them. He expands on those thoughts in more detail in this week’s instalment of… …The Punting Confessional – October 17th, 2012 Last week we covered off some angles about […]

The Punting Confessional: Finding The Right Type

This week, Tony Keenan starts to explain to us how important it is to find “the right type” of horse to back and how to spot them in the latest instalment of… …The Punting Confessional – October 10th, 2012   Dundalk/Curragh – September 28th/30th After a quiet few quiet weeks, there was some relief over […]

The Punting Confessional: Further Thoughts on Racing Fandom

Last week, Tony Keenan broached the subject of differentiating between racing fans and racing punters. It certainly caused some debate and Tony’s back this week with some more thoughts on the same thorny issue in… …The Punting Confessional – Wednesday, October 3rd 2012 Last week I wrote addressed the idea of racing fandom and I […]

The Punting Confessional: The Follies of Racing Fandom

Tony Keenan maintains there’s a great difference between racing fans and racing punters, a point not always recognised by everyone. Tony explains more about this in… …The Punting Confessional – September 26th, 2012 Some horses are set to frustrate you. Royal Diamond has been my ‘frustration horse’ of this year and probably any other year […]

The Punting Confessional: Back to Business

Last week’s Punting Confessional told the tale of Tony Keenan’s decision to take a two-week break from betting, this week he explains more about his time off and how he intends getting back to business. Wexford, August 24th This was the final day of my planned break from punting outlined last week and I hope […]

The Punting Confessional: Break Time?

In this week’s Punting Confessional, our warts and all look at the life of a “professional punter”, Tony Keenan begins to explain why it isn’t always prudent to continue betting all year round. Sometimes it’s better to take a step back, have a fresh look at things and come back recharged. Tony has very recently […]

The Punting Confessional: When the Going gets Tough

Last week, Tony Keenan gave us an incisive preview of how he would approach the entire 2012 Galway Festival. Today he brings us his thoughts after the event, as he looks back on how the Soft Going affected not only the Festival itself, but the more wide-ranging impact of variable going conditions. Galway, July 31st […]

The Punting Confessional: The Galway Festival 2012

This week’s Punting Confessional concerns itself with this week’s Galway Festival as Tony Keenan shares his thoughts on the festival as a whole, rather than just a betting medium. Galway, July 30th through August 5th I’m going to be a bit pre-emptive this week and talk about a meeting before it happens, the Galway Festival, […]