Talking Horses Sunday August 15th 2021

El Gran Senor is a late but very welcome addition to the Hitlist with his Friday napped EW double of Orinico River(14/1) who was placed and Twilight (11/2) who won at the Curragh. By late I mean, of course, a Friday result rather than a Saturday one which this blog covers. Nice work El Gran Senor.

Good to see Rob J back too with 9/4 winner Aratus (an impressive turn of foot from that one, I thought). Well done, Rob.

Robicheaux’s nap was a non runner, but he also tipped Sacred, a 6/1 winner. Good work, Robicheaux.

Finally, the consistent Dirty Northerner had a nice winner in France with Georgia at 10/1. Great to see you nailing another one DN.

If I’ve missed anyone, please give me a shout via the August Winners thread.

As to the blog’s nap, barely got a mention in commentary despite market support. Today we go for Keep Busy in that cracking race the flying fillies stakes at 3.10 Pontefract.

As ever, please leave your naps/tips by making a comment below. All welcome, especially newcomers; just enter a name when asked so we know who is who. No prizes, but it’s good fun here among some seasoned punters, most of whom spent years commenting at the Guardian on the original Talking Horses forum, which has now been heavily cut back.

If you tip a winner, please use the Winners thread to highlight your result and we’ll put you on the Hitlist next day. There is a Winners thread for each month.

We also have a Lounge thread for general chat, though as a forum we are a bit limited to what WordPress, our host here, provides as far as structure goes.

Thanks for looking in. Good luck with your bets today, but please bear in mind that this is meant to be ‘fun’. There are many wise heads posting tips here and we haven’t yet gone a day without somebody tipping a winner. But never bet more than you can afford to lose. Small stakes can still produce wide smiles.

All the best


  1. I can’t remember the master trainer sending horses to Ponte Carlo ? However, how they are running at present. I can’t touch them.
    Nap. Valeria Messalina. Ponte 3.10.
    Nb. Mr Orange. Ponte 5.25. 9/1 maybe worth taking.
    Best of luck !


    1. He is on a 40% strike rate at Ponte over the last 12 months, (!0 runs, 4 wins). Even Ryan has been known to ride one for him there.


  2. Brave man Joe, napping a horse drawn 13 of 15 at Ponte. Probably wins by half length of track. Flint Hill in the 4.20 at Ponte carries the remains of my rapidly diminishing fortune.


  3. Nap is safecracker at Dundalk (16:25).
    Earlier e/w fancies true conviction (9/1) and praying mantis (12/1), both at Dundalk (14:05) with most paying 4 places. Good luck all.


  4. Safra southwell 2.10 carries the nap. It’s not a confident one.

    I had a Mark j horse pop up in my tracker but still don’t think his horses running to form. He sits about 10 per cent strike rate which isn’t his usual. Maybe a York recovery where he will doubtless run plenty but I’d be wary on current form. Theyll all start dotting in now probably..


  5. I have backed Santa Barbara who won the Beverly D last night in all her starts but have never had a return as her last 2 wins were in losing doubles.
    The value of singles.
    With the ground drying out Palace Pier could be value to retain the Marois at 10/11.
    The snag for him is the depth of the field (Horses not ground).
    At least one will run a PB and if he runs a tad below form he could get done.
    A tempting alternative is Alpine Star. This is not because she was close to PP last year as the winner doesn’t like to win by much. Also there are questions to answer as to why she has finished 2nd in her last 4 races that were all winnable
    However she is a Filly I have thought will hit her full potential one day this year and at 15/2 e.w. is my nap
    I will also back Chindit who is fresh and didn’t get beaten far in his last two 5th place finishes to be placed at 3/1 which means he will come 4th.


  6. The nap is NEVER DIES 2/1 Deauville 12.58, backed in singles and multiples with IN CROWD 6/1 Deauville 3.25, BOLTAWAY 13/8 Ponty 2.35 and DOUBLE OF BUBBLE 9/2 Ponty 3.10. All backed last night, hence the prices.

    As for the Marois, it’s really best watched. But VICTOR LUDORUM at 20/1 Paddy – powered up – must have a small interest.

    Finally, respect to Ryan Moore for his ride last night and then the journey to ride at Deauville today. Of course he’s looked after, but anyone who travels a lot knows what it can take out of you.


  7. NAP is BOOLA BOOLA 1.40 Tramore, 9/1 or so…..

    Very well done to yesterday’s winning tipsters, a tough day to pick winners.

    Buona domenica!


  8. As I have been spending the last few days under a baking sun with the scythe and today being no exception and I have indeed been twisting the drying hay and this afternoon a farmer has been wuffling the hay into ridges so that he can bale it, I cannot fail to back Twist of Hay in the 17.25 at Pontefract. Follow this irrational selection at your peril.


    1. A Scythe??
      I know the UN Climate Change report last week found we will all soon be returning soon to Caveman times but those things can cut your toes off.
      It is also one of those techniques that need to be mastered at a young age. Maybe I am wrong but was there much need for a Scythe in Moss Side apart from self-defence?
      The effort to result ratio is not worth it.
      I was only able to maintain a rhythm in patches before losing the chord structure and trying to get back in to the literal swing of it is so frustrating.
      Why not use the Farmer to mechanically mow the field?
      My Father was reluctant to give up the Scythe for a mechanical mower as he could watch out for Hen Pheasants when using a Scythe who nest in hay meadows whereas a Tractor driven mower brutally cuts their legs off.
      He used to Scythe around the nest but I wonder was that a Red Flag for a Fox who sees a clump of uncut grass in the middle of a shaven field.
      Anyway they are no longer nesting so you should have got that Farmer to earn his Oats by cutting it for you.


      1. You are quite right in several respects, elgransenor. On the Moss Side point, I have to put my hands up and admit that while I attended a primary school there on Princess Road and was “born” in Moss Side, this was in a private Nursing Home, insisted on by the family doctor, given the overdue nature of my mother’s pregnancy. My family lived in a house in Whalley Range, rented from the RC Diocese. I never saw a scythe in the flesh until I went to France.

        The half acre virgin meadow is an extension of the half acre garden. The meadow has indeed been cut and wuffeld by a farmer and has been baled today, according to the method you describe. There are now two circular “boules” of hay, weighing somewhere around half a ton or more. He will remove these soon. The hay cut is a month late as this area has had the wettest July since 1977.

        The “garden” is inaccessible to the farmer’s equipment as I have constructed round raised flower beds with low dry stone supporting walls. In addition, a large part of the garden has a mandatory 150 metre sanitary system of underground perforated pipes which take the overflow from a 3000 litre two section septic tank. I wouldn’t like his tractor to run over this area. There are six pipes of 25 metres and each one ends in an access “man”hole. So it’s not tractor friendly.

        The farmer, and no doubt others, think I am slightly “originale” for using hand tools when what is called for is clearly a “debroussailleur thermique” (petrol powered brush cutter). It is normal for these diabolical screaming devices to overwhelm the silence every weekend. I have got a quieter electrically powered one, but it is incapable of tackling the thick tall tufts of high grasses whose blades will easily cut your hand like a razor.

        Your father was a wise man, I think.

        The delayed hay harvest has meant that there are no nesting birds at all in the meadow. The meadow is now beautifully flat after its cut.

        The “garden”, however, even though it was tamed, has wreaked a terrible revenge in the 21 months of untrammelled freedom. A mole or moles has thrown up a mass of hills within the rampant mass of weeds which used to be mowed grass and a vegetable patch – a relatively small patch which I scythed yesterday had, I counted, before I gave up, 48 molehills, some of which are of a substantial size. If I ever see the mole, I shall expect it to be the size of a cat. In addition there are substantial anthills which the ants construct to ascend the stems of last year’s thick grass stalks. So the ground is a treacherous unseen trap designed to turn ankles or to bring unsteady humans crashing down. Especially unsteady after consuming a sloe gin which was meant to be infused for six months, but which has been cooking up its potency for 21 months..

        I do not fear the amputation of a toe by the scythe, but more the possibility of swiftly opening a vein by careless sharpening of the blad as it has to be maintained to the keeness of razor unless the user wants to end up hacking at the tussocks which seem to laugh in impudent derision at the puffing impotence of the user.

        Have you ever read John McGahern’s “Memoir”, a superb and very moving account of a part of Ireland in which he grew up. (Joe recommended this to me as an annual read. It puts our present woes into some kind of perspective.

        Finally, as otherwise I shall never finish, and to bring it back to horseracing, I beg your indulgence to after time after my two failed selections above. I added a horse named Topinambur, which in French means Jerusalem artichoke, which I found in a list of runners at Vichy in the 16.52. The local write up in La Montagne said it might be placed. So as I had Twist of Hay and Trees Vally, i added that. I did grow Jerusalem artichokes here, but they are not favoured by the elderly locals who associate them with wartime diets. They are easy to grow, but challenging to eat as they produce an immense quantity of wind in the alimentary system. I have heard they are served to unwelcome guests as a way of ensuring a speedy departure. I remember reading in Shewell-Cooper’s “ABC of Vegetable Growng” that if the potato were to disappear from the earth the Jesualem artichoke would replace it. Casual readers should note that we are talking here of the knobbly root vegetable, not the prickly topped green artichoke which is from an entirely different family. The downside of the JA, apart from wind, is that every little chap left in the ground will grow the following year. One year when I had an allotment in Brixham, I grew so many that I had to return most of them to the allotment the following spring. The locals had never seen the plant at all.

        But Topinambur won at 16-1, so all that was well indeed ended well today.

        Good job this is at the end of the day.


        1. Quai,
          I think I have told you before that my next door neighbour (about half a mile) when I was growing up in Leitrim was a good friend of McGahern.
          He was a Teacher and they stick together even when they didn’t stick together. ‘That They Might Face The Rising Sun’ is my Fav. and not the naughty books.
          I knew stoney ground was the big problem.
          I saw my Father in tears at the 3rd time of returning to a shop in a day to buy new mower blades who show no respect to a stone. A Scythe will glance over a stone but not a fancy mower blade.
          I cannot hear Whalley Range without thinking of the rented room that Morrissey tried to avoid.
          The Mole thing is creepy.
          I was told that Ferret droppings keep away that sort of thing but where to buy them without becoming a Person of suspicion?
          I think you were hoodwinked on what you were meant to “wuffle” by your in-laws but no worries, it was all perfectly consensual.


    2. “Wuffling “…. now there’s a lovely evocative word…Is it related to “fluffing “. I’m sure you or EGS will tell me the exact meaning….


      1. I don’t know.
        Maybe Quai has done his own French translation to English.
        It should be the word as we only used to “make ridges” and I know I would back a Horse called Wuffling (has to be a filly) over Make Ridges (a gelding. To be ridged is an alternative expression for to be gelded).
        Of course this isn’t done much on a commercial farm anymore except by old bachelor farmers.
        Nowadays the hay is shaken on the ground for 24-48 hours and directly gathered in to a combine harvester.
        I suspect the area around Quai’s House is a tricky landscape and older methods are more feasible as I know he is not a bachelor farmer who can’t adapt.


      2. Baccodilupo, there is such a word and I am not translating. We first heard the term up the North East of England. My then partner, later my wife, was told by her colleague that her husband, a farmer, was going to wuffle. Unfamiliar with the term, she had to ask what it meant. Here is a use of it in respect of an agricultural machine.

        “A tedder (also called hay tedder) is a machine used in haymaking. It is used after cutting and before windrowing, and uses moving forks to aerate or “wuffle” the hay and thus speed up the process of hay-making. The use of a tedder allows the hay to dry (“cure”) better, which results in improved aroma and color.”

        Next time I might avoid indicating my selections as the few times I have done so, they have not succeeded.

        Good luck with your bets.


  9. I highlighted the brilliant Haggas group race treble yesterday, to which he added a fourth i a handicap shortly afterwards. But as I used to try and do on Guardian TH, I am always keen to draw attention to some of the smaller training establishments, particularly up north, which really are the backbone of the sport. Yesterday saw doubles from the hardworking and cheerful Sam England who trains at Guiseley. Not satisfied with grabbing the highly competitive Great St Wilfred Consolation handicap at Ripon with Mark’s Choice – just to prove her versatility when everyone had pigeonholed her as a jumping trainer, she went on to wrap up a cross-card double at Market Rasen in a handicap hurdle with the evocatively named Near Kettering.

    Another cross-card double was claimed by the shrewd Justin Landy, to whom I always give the epithet “Mark Johnston’s Farrier”, which is his day job. But he is spending more of his time now building up his string and improving its quality from his Northallerton base. I can’t remember him getting a double at two courses under Rules before, but he will have done it between the flags at some stage. Yesterday his resources were somewhat stretched by sending one up to Perth (the multiple winner Shetland Bus) and another down to Rasen (the ex-Irish Captain Cobajay, who landed some hefty bets in the process). Well done Sam and Justin.


      1. Just a postscript on Justin Landy. Looking back at his earlier career, he sent out his first point to pointer in 2014-15. In five seasons he had 48 runners of which 36 won, a 75% strike rate. He was clearly too good for the PTP sphere. Under Rules he now has 16 winners in total on a strike rate of 14%. Not surprisingly things are tougher for NH trainers when most of your horses are modest handicappers and you are a permit handler (i.e. you are licensed to train only for yourself and your immediate family). But I think you can expect to hear a lot more of him.


      2. I thought about claiming that post as nobody would have recognised your signature.
        DNB has posted anonymous at least 3 times and I thought about claiming it but people might have become suspicious if my tips started winning.


  10. My nap finished last 8L behind the penultimate loser.
    Auldchiel has suggested a monthly Booby Prize.
    It is feasible and I would be happy to manage the losers side whilst Joe manages the monthly winners in a monthly winners and losers blog if say the losing posts were all written in Italics.
    A sliding scale of points. So my napped Horse today would give me 8 points for coming 8th with a 50 point bonus for coming last.
    The big snag is that the winning naps are easily verifiable.
    People will be posting that their nap finished 12th when in fact it was 6th and nobody has the time to check and then name and shame that person.
    I know this will happen as you are a competitive bunch.

    Palace Pier must be one of the greatest milers in recent times.
    I have 3 problems with that typical Gosden post-race interview.
    He needs honest feedback from someone brave enough to tell him that (a) you cannot say your horse was 80% fit after the event. This explains the generous SP but everyone should be in the know of this fact beforehand and not a select few. Think Enable’s 2nd Arc. (b) Why have another public dig at Dettori for his tactics? Good managers save it for the dressing room.
    Then there is the idea of returning to mud at Ascot particularly the gruelling Champion Stakes that he is suggesting. Trainers can find rationalise explanations for failure and ignore the most obvious; the reality is he didn’t like the ground last year and will have a target on his back mud-lovers.
    Just save him for Del Mar.
    I know that looks like it will be a hot race but if he avoids a slog in between he still has to be odds-on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.