Welcome To The Winning Post!

The Winning Post is a must for horse racing fans, featuring big-race previews, original photography, news, reviews, and general racing culture.

Still need convincing? Here are five reasons to visit the Winning Post!

Be sure to subscribe, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and generally get involved!

Alex @ The Winning Post.

Welcome To The Winning Post!

AN UPDATE OVERDUE!

Winning Post readers may be wondering where my WordPress content has disappeared to and, with my last post dating all the way back to the French Guineas, this is an entirely justified enquiry.

As you may have seen via my social media channels, I have now left France and am based in Daejeon, South Korea. This move, a busy summer, and a new job have left little time for writing, unfortunately.

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Seoul racecourse – ©AlexCairns

Being at such a distance from Europe, I am less implicated in the racing scene there and therefore unlikely to post regular European race previews, but this is certainly not the end.

Since being in Korea, I have attended the most significant race meeting in the country’s history at Seoul racecourse, enjoyed privileged access to the Korean Racing Academy, and had the pleasure of getting acquainted with numerous Korean racing figures.

You can see my photo album from Seoul racecourse here: goo.gl/7MLtsh

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Jockeys emerge at Seoul racecourse – ©AlexCairns

Now I have plans to visit Busan racecourse on the south coast, experience pony racing on the famous Jeju Island, and take a tour of the Korean Racing Authority’s studs, where stallions such as Hawk Wing, One Cool Cat, and multiple Korean champion sire Menifee do the business.

My first ever trip to Japan is also in the offing!

All of my output can be followed via social media, with each platform offering something a little different:

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My 15 seconds of fame on the big screen at Seoul – ©AlexCairns

I am also very pleased to have recently launched my own racing photography website: winningpost.net

The site includes a portfolio of some of my best work, a run-down of the photography services I offer, contact information, and also a blog. I hope you will be kind enough to check it out and spread the word.

I will also continue to post here when time and inspiration align and appreciate your support.

Here’s to many more years of racing passion!

Alex @ The Winning Post

AN UPDATE OVERDUE!

PREVIEW! FRENCH GUINEAS – 15/05/2016

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With Longchamp closed for reconstruction, the French Guineas (or ‘Poules d’Essai’) take on a new complexion in 2016, having been transferred to the straight mile at Deauville.

For several prominent figures in French racing, this enforced migration would be welcomed on a more permanent basis due to the decisive role played by the draw over Longchamp’s turning mile course.

However the massive investment being made in the new Longchamp suggests that France Galop would not be keen to disturb the established calendar, especially as ‘change’ often seems a dirty word in these parts.

Personally, I must confess to being somewhat put out at the lack of a draw bias this time around, as the stalls are usually my point of departure (pun intended) when approaching the ‘Poules’.

Yet as one door closes, another opens.

Asked about the new Guineas course, French trainer Antoine de Watrigant suggested that a straight 8 furlongs (1,600m) amounts to 8 and a half (1,700m) over a turning course and therefore proves more of a test, particularly in the adrenaline-driven atmosphere of a Classic.

I am inclined to concur with this assessment and so cruising speed and staying power seem more likely to settle matters at Deauville, as opposed to the finishing kick off a slow pace that has often proved potent at Longchamp.

With this in mind, let’s see if we can find some likely candidates.

 

FRENCH 2,000 GUINEAS – POULE D’ESSAI DES POULAINS
(3yo, Group I, 1m, 13 runners) 

Zarkava won the eternal affection of Christophe Soumillon in the course of a 2008 season that saw her land 4 consecutive Group Is, including the ‘Poule d’essai des pouliches’ (French 1,000 Guineas).

Due to various complications, only one of her progeny has made it to the track so far, but connections’ frustration must be somewhat alleviated by the prospect of her sole runner being set to put an unblemished record on the line in the ‘Poule d’essai des poulains’.

By the unstoppable force that is Dubawi, Zarak has been brought along slowly by Alain de Royer-Dupré, but has taken his two victories convincingly, if not explosively.

Last time, in a conditions race over the straight mile at Maisons-Laffitte, he travelled with ease and did everything Soumillon asked of him to win by a neck, without demonstrating a cruising speed or final flourish to rival his dam.

With illustrious origins seemingly ‘guaranteeing’ progression, he has been favourite for the ‘Poulains’ ever since and is available at a not-unreasonable 4/1.

But this is an open renewal, with few horses seeming to have shown their hands and relatively little top-class 2yo form to rely on, so it may be wise to seek an angle among the favourite’s less feted rivals.

Like Zarak, Jean-Claude Rouget’s Zelzal has not known defeat in 2 outings. Indeed, he has hardly known what it is to have a race, though admittedly his rivals have seemingly been far below Guineas class. Having shown plenty of speed and with a strong stamina influence in the pedigree, he has obvious claims, but again fails to tick the value box.

My selection will be another Rouget runner: GEORGE PATTON.

This grey colt by War Front was well touted as a 2yo and landed 2 victories in as many outings during his juvenile campaign, including a sound beating of subsequent Group I winner Robin of Navan over the ‘Poulains’ course and distance.

He did taste defeat at the hands of Zarak on his only outing this year at Maisons-Laffitte, but travelled keenly during the race and looked very green when asked for an effort, which makes me think he might yet find a deal of improvement off a stronger pace.

Having only gone down by a neck under kind treatment from jockey Ioritz Mendizabal and finished with plenty in the tank on ground that might have been softer than ideal, he makes good each-way appeal at 12/1.

Some have claimed that the straight course at Deauville may play into the hands of the British contingent, who are perceived as being more at home on such courses.

Of the 3 UK envoys, Birchwood appears the strongest candidate, having enjoyed a fruitful 2yo campaign. However the ‘Poulains’ will be his first run almost 200 days and this is enough to put me off.

Aidan O’Brien adds a little extra spice to the mix with The Gurkha, another of his endless stream of Galileos, who won by no less than 9 lengths when taking his maiden at Navan last month. There was a severe speed bias that day however and Coolmore have tended to save their best prospects for the British and Irish Guineas in recent years, so he is best watched for now.

Of the remaining French contenders, Attendu should come on for his 2nd in a heavy-ground Prix Djebel, while Dicton should not be discounted, despite having 10 races in his legs, including a Claimer!

SELECTION
GEORGE PATTON – EW @ 12/1

FRENCH 1,000 GUINEAS – POULE D’ESSAI DES POULICHES
(3yo, Group I, 1m, 14 runners)

Two fillies contesting the ‘Pouliches’, Alice Springs and Nathra, will already be well accustomed to a high-speed straight mile having run in the English 1,000 Guineas on the Rowley Mile last month.

Neither ever looked like troubling an admittedly top-class winner in Minding, but Alice Springs won many admirers thanks to her battling attitude.

Though not the cream of the Coolmore crop, her Newmarket run leaves here head and shoulders above her French rivals on form, even if she is exposed after 9 runs.

I’m sure she’ll go well again under Ryan Moore, but feel the latent potential of a strong home team will see this prize stay in France for a 14th consecutive year.

Jean-Claude Rouget has taken the last 2 renewals of the ‘Pouliches’ and looks to have an excellent chance of bringing up the hat-trick thanks to QEMAR and LA CRESSIONIÈRE.

LA CRESSONIÈRE is one of 2 unbeaten fillies in the field, along with Godolphin’s Come Alive, and has proved wholly dominant in her career to date.

Being by Le Havre, sire of 2014 ‘Pouliches’ victor Avenir Certain, a strongly run 8f should pose no problem and the fact that she is available at 7/1 makes her an irresistible each-way prospect.

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AVENIR CERTAIN (left) on her way to victory in the 2014 ‘Pouliches’ – ©AlexCairns

QEMAH marked herself out as a high-class filly when running 3rd in the Group I Prix Marcel Boussac behind English 1,000 Guineas 2nd Ballyodyle last year.

She returned in the Group III Prix de la Grotte, a key ‘Pouliches’ trial, at the end of last month and left no doubt that she had built on the potential shown on Arc day. Having travelled enthusiastically, she swept rapidly past her rivals under a hands and heels ride and was showing no signs of stopping as she crossed the line.

With cruising speed, stamina, and acceleration seemingly all in her possession, QEMAH appears a worthy favourite, yet remains eminently backable at 7/2.

The aforementioned Come Alive represents the formidable André Fabre, but her form makes notably less appeal than Rouget’s runners and, with insufficient disparity in price at 5/1, she is therefore passed over.

One horse that could make plenty of price appeal is 25/1 shot Spectre. Her connections may not be the sexiest (she is bred, trained, and owned by little-known German handler Markus Münch), but her Prix Imprudence win should not be discounted as a fluke and she will benefit from the assistance of the red-hot Pierre-Charles Boudot.

SELECTIONS
QEMAH – WIN @ 4/1
LA CRESSONIÈRE – EW @ 7/1

 

This year’s French Guineas meeting will be memorable for its displacement to Deauville. Let’s hope a successful day for Jean-Claude Rouget will make it unforgettable!

Check us out on Facebook and Instagram for video replays and full photo coverage.

Alex @ The Winning Post.

 The WP – Where every Post’s a Winning one!

PREVIEW! FRENCH GUINEAS – 15/05/2016

PREVIEW! LE PRIX DE DIANE – 14/06/2015

AVENIR CERTAIN takes the 2014 Prix de Diane - ©AlexCairns
AVENIR CERTAIN takes the 2014 Prix de Diane – ©AlexCairns

CHANTILLY
14.45 – Le Prix De Diane
(3yo, 1m 2f 96y, Group I, 17 runners)

After a damp Jockey Club, in which we were lucky to have the hugely talented NEW BAY light up the day, France Galop have been placing the usual marketing spin on the Prix de Diane, hoping that the prospect of hats and picnics and pop groups and expensive watches will help attract a more healthy crowd than the sparse spattering who braved the rain of French Derby day.

For those of us who visit the track in order to watch and enjoy horse racing (we are unfortunately not very numerous here in France), this circus is always an unwelcome distraction from the day’s sport. Of course, it can’t outweigh the spectacle and intrigue of one of the world’s great races, but it would be nice to see the powers at be focus their attentions on the promotion of racing itself and the experience of true racing people, rather than prioritising the one-off outing of the fly-by-night reveller.

‘Fly-by-night Reveller’. That might be a good name for a horse…

Anyway, on to the action!

In 2015 we have a bumper field of 17 going to post for the Prix de Diane, which means the question of stalls position has been even more prominent than usual. Here is a rundown of the field and their draw:

The 2015 Prix de Diane field and their draw - ©AlexCairns
The 2015 Prix de Diane field and their draw – ©AlexCairns

As can be noted above, hot favourite Queen’s Jewel, who took her unbeaten run to 3 when winning the Group I Prix Saint-Alary over 10f at Longchamp in a record time on 24/05, has had the misfortune of drawing 17 of 17.

Despite this disadvantage, the Freddy Head-trained daughter of Pivotal remains clear in the market at a best-priced 7/4, having been so consistently impressive since starting her winning streak in March.

Having not raced at 2, her margin for progression remains massive and she will also benefit from the assistance of a leader, Clarmina. A good pace could see Queen’s Jewel to even better effect, as she took a while to warm up in a slowly run race at Longchamp, but finished strongly to leave her rivals floundering.

So Queen’s Jewel certainly has a very attractive profile, especially as the Diane has gone to an unbeaten filly for each of the last 7 years. A poor draw, a lack of Chantilly experience, and a restrictive price are enough to convince me to invest my money elsewhere however, though it will of course be no surprise if she goes on to offer Freddy Head his first Prix de Diane as a trainer.

With the favourite discounted as a betting option, my attentions turn to one of the other unbeaten fillies in the race: MOJO RISIN.

Like WAR DISPATCH, who landed us a place at 10/1 in the Jockey Club, MOJO RISIN has a rather unconventional background for a Classic contender, having been unsold at the 2013 Tattersalls yearling sales due to her light frame before being purchased privately for just 6,000 guineas.

Also like WAR DISPATCH, she is trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, who has won 3 of the last 6 runnings of the Diane, including last year with AVENIR CERTAIN. Under Rouget’s tutelage, this daughter of 2010 Prix du Jockey Club winner LOPE DE VEGA has recorded 3 wins from 3 outings, including a Toulouse Listed race when last seen on 25/04.

Jean-Claude Rouget - Trained 3 of the last 6 Diane winners - ©AlexCairns
Jean-Claude Rouget – Trained 3 of the last 6 Diane winners – ©AlexCairns

Though light-framed, MOJO RISIN has a lovely top-of-the-ground action and has been described as a ‘gazelle’ by her trainer. Admittedly, she has not had much to beat so far and has not taken a conventional Diane trial, but Rouget says he is confident of her ability, having tested her against good horses at home, and her Listed win at Toulouse certainly left a strong visual impression.

With last year’s winning jockey Gregory Benoist in the saddle and a prime draw in stall 8, MOJO RISIN is my each-way selection at 8/1.

The final filly with an as yet unblemished record is Physiocrate, who is in the care of up-and-coming trainer Henri-François Devin and runs in the black and white colours of famous French chaser SHANNON ROCK. She too has a huge potential, having only hit the turf on 04/05. Her 2 victorious outings have both been over the Diane’s track and trip and it is only her less attractive pedigree and the good record of Jean-Claude Rouget that cause me to favour MOJO RISIN.

With the Aga Khan’s KATANIYA having been taken out the race, Christophe Soumillon is free to ride Pascal Bary’s Désirée Clary, who has shown quality in 4 outings, but was beaten by Physiocrate when last seen and will do well to land a place.

Famous French owners the Wildensteins have had some great moments in the Diane thanks to the likes of ALLEZ FRANCE (1973), PAWNEESE (1976), and AQUARELLISTE (2001). This year they have 2 candidates in the shape of Little Nightingale and Âme Bleue.

As might be expected, both fillies have enviable Classic pedigrees, with Âme Bleue being by DUBAWI out of the afore-mentioned Diane heroine AQUARELLISTE. Neither take my fancy for Sunday’s race however, as Âme Bleue has been a little laboured in landing 1 Maiden win from 5 starts, while Little Nightingale had to really work for her Prix Cléopatre victory and this form has since been let down by Oaks 8th AL NAAMAH.

ÂME BLEUE at Longchamp - ©AlexCairns
ÂME BLEUE at Longchamp – ©AlexCairns

This year’s Diane is notable for the number of international participants, with a total of 5 runners from the UK, Germany, and Italy taking their chance in a race not won by a foreign-trained filly since 1996.

The likes of John Gosden’s Musidora winner Star of Seville and Italian Derby 2nd Sound of Freedom certainly bring some extra spice to the race, however Star of Seville will have had just 9 days to recover from the exertions of her turbulent run in the Epsom Oaks, while the value of Sound of Freedom‘s Italian form is hard to assess.

So it seems there is a strong chance that the Diane trophy will be remaining in France once again this year, as Queen’s Jewel, Physiocrate, and MOJO RISIN appear likely to fight out the finish. It could be a close run affair, but I am hopeful the latter will prove the most potent!

Check us out on Facebook and Instagram for video replays and full photo coverage.

Selection:
MOJO RISIN – 1pt EW at 8/1

Alex @ The Winning Post.

 The WP – Where every Post’s a Winning one!

PREVIEW! LE PRIX DE DIANE – 14/06/2015

PREVIEW! The Epsom Oaks – 05/06/2015

2014 Oaks winner TAGHROODA - ©AlexCairns
2014 Oaks winner TAGHROODA – ©AlexCairns

EPSOM – 16.30
Investec Oaks
(3yo, 1m 4f 10y, Group I, 11 runners)

Who will succeed the top-class Taghrooda and win today’s Epsom Oaks?

This is the question on the lips of racing fans the world over, as 11 fillies prepare to compete for supremacy on Epsom’s famously demanding Downs.

Legatissimo finds herself 3/1 favourite on the back of a dominant 1,000 Guineas success. She will have the assistance of Ryan Moore and should appreciate today’s 12f trip, but a draw in stall one in what appears a highly competitive renewal encourages me to look elsewhere for a bit more value.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Zvezda made a great impression when winning a Listed race at Newbury last time and recorded a notable time in the final furlong. This is a big step up in class however and she’ll surely struggle to employ the same tactics in an end-to-end gallop over 12f.

My pick is Musidora 2nd TOGETHER FOREVER, who was conceding weight when just failing to catch the reopposing Star of Seville at York on what was her first outing of the season. She still ran a stormer, looking like a mile and half would be up her street, and should have come on a great deal.

Aidan O’Brien also runs Chester Oaks winner Diamondsandrubies, while Jessica Harrington sends over Irish 1,000 Guineas 4th Jack Naylor. Both have shown serious quality, with the latter seemingly more likely today having stayed on well at the Curragh and shown good form on better ground.

Lady of Dubai, Jazzi Top, and Bellajeu are all bred in the purple, as you might expect, and are certainly entitled to play a part, however we can’t back them all and their form is markedly below that of some of their rivals.

And finally, in a race packed with class, the French maestro André Fabre runs Al Naamah, who is a full sister to 2012 Oaks winner WAS and cost 5m guineas as a yearling. She hasn’t set the world alight so far, but could surprise a few as she has seemingly done enough at home to encourage her shrewd handler to send her over.

As you might have guessed, this could be a really exciting race and I will be sure to post a replay on our Facebook page this evening!

SELECTION:

TOGETHER FOREVER – 1pt EW at 10/1

Alex @ The Winning Post.

The WP – Where every Post’s a Winning one!

PREVIEW! The Epsom Oaks – 05/06/2015

PHOTOS! Prix du Jockey Club 2015

NEW BAY sweeps to victory - ©AlexCairns
NEW BAY sweeps to victory – © Alex Cairns

Last weekend I enjoyed my 3rd Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly and, following INTELLO in 2013 and THE GREY GATSBY last year, I was once again treated to a performance of great class thanks to the highly talented NEW BAY:

Having been an unlucky 2nd from a wide draw in the 8f Poule d’essai des poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) at Longchamp, NEW BAY made no mistake over the Jockey Club’s 10½f trip thanks to a tactically astute waiting ride from his 21-year-old pilot Vincent Cheminaud.

This was only the Dubawi colt’s 4th start, so he remains full of potential and will surely be campaigned to perfection by the ever-inspired André Fabre. In any case, he appears to have plenty of options for the future, whether he returns to a mile in a race like the Jacques Le Marois, remains around 10f for something like the Eclipse, or steps up to 12f for a tilt at the ultimate French prize, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

NEW BAY’s win will have been savoured by race fans around the world, but it provided me with a little additional satisfaction as he had been my 5/1 selection. And it was also nice to see WAR DISPATCH, our each-way fancy, take third spot at 10/1!

WAR DISPATCH before the off - ©AlexCairns
WAR DISPATCH before the off – © Alex Cairns

The big news following the race was that winning jockey Vincent Cheminaud will be taking a break from his highly successful jumps career to focus on the flat. This certainly seems to make sense as he is without weight problems, has the support of some of the biggest names in global flat racing, and has shown the potential to go to the very top of what is a lucrative game. The fact that he might not fall off quite as much is probably a fair attraction too!

Cheminaud will be having his last jumps rides for the foreseeable future at Sunday’s Grande Course de Haies (French Champion Hurdle) meeting at Auteuil. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for coverage.

As always, I was endeavouring to capture the key moments and the general ambiance of Sunday’s meeting for Winning Post followers and you can access my full Jockey Club photo album here: goo.gl/zGcRnr All shares are much appreciated.

My next outing will be back at Chantilly for the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) on 14/06 and I will be posting a preview and photos in due course.

Keep up to date with all of our output by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thanks for you support!

Alex @ The Winning Post.

The WP – Where every Post’s a Winning one!

PHOTOS! Prix du Jockey Club 2015

PREVIEW! Le Prix du Jockey Club – 31/05/2015

The home straight at Chantilly - © Alex Cairns
The home straight at Chantilly – © Alex Cairns

CHANTILLY
15.45 – Le Prix du Jockey Club
(3yo, 1m 2f 96y, Group I, 14 runners) 

The Prix du Jockey Club 2015 marks the tenth anniversary of what we might call the ‘French Derby 2.0’, with a decade having slipped by since the distance was dropped from 12f (2,400m) to a 10½f (2,100m) in 2005.

Some of French racing’s most prominent figures continue to lament the shorter trip, which was aimed at offering a more steady progression between the 8f Guineas and the 12f Arc, and it is notable that since the change no French Derby winner has gone on to score over 12f in any Group I race, never mind winning the Arc.

Another issue with the shorter trip is that the draw can play a role in a contest that is supposed to assist in the selection of the ‘best of breed’. Stalls position already has a major influence in the French Guineas, so this is of course far from ideal, though a field of 14 suggests such arbitrary allocation will not prove as pivotal on Sunday.

A horse who has already been inconvenienced by the draw is the André Fabre-trained NEW BAY, who did well to overcome a wide starting position when finishing 2nd to Make Believe in the Guineas. Unfortunately for connections he finds himself in stall 13 of 14 on Sunday, but rider Vincent Cheminaud certainly possesses the tactical acumen to see him home from there, despite his lack of experience on the flat.

What is more, horses who were placed in the French Guineas have a good record in the Derby and the way NEW BAY finished at Longchamp suggests he should have no problem with the Derby distance. With this in mind, this handsome son of Dubawi seems to have the necessary attributes to emulate Intello and gain compensation for an unfortunate Guineas run by grabbing some Jockey Club glory.

New Bay finishes fast in the French Guineas - © Alex Cairns
New Bay finishes fast in the French Guineas – © Alex Cairns

Despite NEW BAY’s positive profile, the Aga Khan’s Karaktar currently finds himself favourite, having proved untouchable in 2 outings so far this season. Being trained by Alain de Royer-Dupré, ridden by the in-form Christophe Soumillon, and sired by top middle-distance performer High Chaparral, he certainly has a great deal in his favour, though the draw has not been particularly kind (12/14) and I am happy to side with NEW BAY at the prices.

Two horses come into the Jockey Club unbeaten, namely Silverware and Sumbal.

Silverware certainly wouldn’t appear a typical Jockey Club contender, being in the care of provincial trainer Alain Couétil and ridden by the relatively unknown André Fouassier, but he has done nothing but improve and beat Group I winner Epicuris to the tune of 4 lengths when taking the Group III Prix La Force at Longchamp at the beginning of April.

Despite appearances, Sumbal’s form wouldn’t be up to the same level however, as he was gifted an easy victory in a 3-runner Prix Greffulhe when the aforementioned Epicuris was withdrawn and trainer Francis-Henri Graffard has not sounded overly confident in his pre-race comments.

It should also be noted that both unbeaten horses have shown their best on a soft surface and, with the ground at Chantilly likely to be good, may find themselves at a disadvantage.

Another horse with questions over the ground is WAR DISPATCH. With a dirt pedigree and 5 of his 6 runs having come on the fibresand, this attractive grey might not be your ‘classic’ Classic winner, but the manner in which he took the Group III Prix de Guiche on the Chantilly turf when last seen suggests he could yet defy his origins. Being trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, who knows a Derby horse when he sees one, will certainly not prove a hindrance and WAR DISPATCH will therefore be my EW punt.

Finally, I can’t sign off without mentioning the Irish contingent, as Aidan O’Brien sends an envoy of Ballydoyle’s aristocratic inmates in an attempt to land his first French Derby.

Highland Reel was well fancied for the French Guineas, but failed to make much of an impression when finishing 6th. Being by Galileo, he is entitled to improve for this step up in trip, but jockey bookings suggest he is not the yard’s first string and Joseph O’Brien has not been at his best at Chantilly in the past.

Highland Reel - © Alex Cairns
Highland Reel – © Alex Cairns

Having been campaigned solely over 6f at 2, Cape Clear Island has shown plenty of middle-distance promise this term, only giving best to André Fabre’s well-regarded Ampère in the dying strides of the 10f Prix Hocquart on 10/05. With Moore on board and a visor applied, he could well make the frame, though O’Brien’s French Derby record (1 place from 15 runners) does not bode well.

So there you have it. I am very much looking forward to getting back to the delightful surroundings of Chantilly for what should be a race to remember!

Check us out on Facebook and Instagram for video replays and full photo coverage.

SELECTIONS:

New Bay – 2pts WIN at 5/1
War Dispatch – 1pt EW at 6/1

Alex @ The Winning Post.

The WP – Where every Post’s a Winning one!

PREVIEW! Le Prix du Jockey Club – 31/05/2015

A Quick Update

2008 RSA Chase winner OUR VIC on the British Racing School gallops - © Alex Cairns
2008 RSA Chase winner OUR VIC on the British Racing School gallops – © Alex Cairns

It’s been quiet on these Winning Post pages of late, but I can assure you that I haven’t lost my appetite for racing writing. In fact, it has if anything increased!

The reason for the absence is that I have been participating in the British Horseracing Authority’s Graduate Development Programme and was hence busy with 2 weeks’ training at the British Racing School in Newmarket and am now on a 2-month placement at Timeform in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Before embarking on this experience I wrote a short piece on my racing background and ambitions for Careers In Racing. You can read this here.

I have since had an incredible time in Newmarket, enjoying privileged access to prestigious yards and tracks, as well as hearing from and discussing with some of the central figures of British racing.

You can read the first part of my blog on these adventures here.

And since starting at Timeform I have been keeping up my race preview work. This week I looked at the King George and the International Handicap and will hopefully have picked out a couple of weekend winners!

Over on Facebook, I have been sharing a steady stream of photos, such as this nice number of NEW APPROACH:

NEW APPROACH plays it cool at Godolphin's Dalham Hall Stud - © Alex Cairns
NEW APPROACH plays it cool at Godolphin’s Dalham Hall Stud – © Alex Cairns

 If you haven’t already then please do LIKE the Facebook page and while you’re at it why not follow me on Twitter!

I will be getting back to regular Winning Post service once I return to France at the beginning of September and thank you for your continued support.

Have a great weekend and…

BE LUCKY!

Alex @ The Winning Post.

The WP – Where every Post’s a Winning one!

A Quick Update