Horsetalk Thursday December 23rd 2021

Naps Table Update

Jamie’s turn on Wednesday to carry the blog on his shoulders with a winning nap in Patsy Fagan at 5/2: well done.


I wonder who pays that settlement? Do jockeys have insurance for this kind of thing as individuals, or maybe through the PJA? I was surprised the defence did not try to use Gibbons’ record – going back 15 years with various on and off course offences, not least 4 drink driving bans. Jim Crowley, a witness said in evidence that GG ‘stank’ of booze on the day in question, but this was a ‘regular occurrence’ with GG. I’m sure I read in the Post that other jocks had confirmed smelling drink on his breath regularly, but not necessarily on the day of the accident.

So, why didn’t the defence say, ‘Okay, everybody knew he had alcohol problems, everybody knew he’d regularly come to work smelling of booze, so why did no one report him to the authorities? Had they done so there is a fair chance he would not have been able to carry on race riding and thus the accident would not have happened. Not reporting him means you had assessed the level of risk in riding alongside him and accepted that risk.’

I’ll be amazed if the insurance company doesn’t ask for a reduction on this basis.

Betfair Naps Table

Starting November 1st 2021, Betfair have kindly agreed to provide two tickets each month to the winner of the naps table for one of their sponsored racedays.

Please post your nap each day using the comments section below this thread. All welcome. You need not post every day and can join in at any point in the month, as one big priced winner could win you the prize, which is settled on the tipster showing the biggest profit at the end the month. But, bear in mind that on days your name does not appear on the Daily Naps Results winners list, you’ll be assumed to have picked a loser.

For example, if at the end of the month your name is on the list once with a 25/1 winner, you will have your £250 profit from that nap deducted from assumed losing stakes for each other day. Assuming a 30-day month, your total stakes would be viewed as £300, returns as £260, for a loss of £40. I hope this makes sense. If you can think of a better way or a way to express this more clearly, please leave a comment below.

You need post only the horse’s name, but feel free to elaborate on your reasons for picking it.

If your selection secures a return – EW naps are allowed – please post the result in the Winners Thread stating it was your nap and mentioning the SP. Non runners will be settled as a break even day.

Profit will be calculated to a £10 stake on each selection. EW selections will be staked at £5EW.

All naps will be settled at SP, so please do not include an early price. This will help maintain clarity and reduce the chances of disputes. We will use standard place rules a la Tattersalls to settle EW naps. Otherwise I need to start checking place offers, non runners affecting it, etc. Doubtless some will suffer because of this, but I think it will even out in the end.

This Site

This site is open to all. It’s free and there’s no need to enrol formally, but if commenting, please choose a username when making your comment.

We discuss horse racing mostly, but have a Lounge if you want to bring up any other subject.

You are welcome to enter our Daily Naps Challenge – a fun competition for which Betfair kindly donates two Raceday tickets every month for the winner.

The rules for the site are basic: be kind to everyone, and please don’t swear. We are not prudes, but we do not have a moderator other than me – Joe McNally, and I don’t want to spend a lot of time monitoring the site. If you see something you want to report, you can do so confidentially using the Contact page. Play the man and not the ball, by which I mean you can castigate heavily someone’s point of view, but do not castigate the poster personally.

Finally, there are some hardened and skilled tipsters here and each has their good and bad runs. When one starts a good run, it can seem to the less experienced that all prayers have been answered, and a holy grail of winners has been found. But please never make that assumption. It’s not the way things work in betting, for anyone. Sharks flogging baited tips would have you believe that this holy grail does exist. Well, there is a collective punting experience on this site numbering, I’d say, close to 500 years. Not a single tipster here will tell you that reliable profits can be made from betting racehorses.

So, this is not a mild and dutiful problem betting disclaimer. I’ve been in the business since 1971 and have seen any amount of God’s misery caused by betting beyond means. Punting is a brilliant pastime, but a horrible compulsion, a fantastic servant, but a dreadful master. Never bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile … and there’s plenty of big smiles in small stakes.

Good luck



  1. Yup. Good stuff. Hopefully as George Baker says in the Post stewarding here tightens up and gains teeth despite the rather vague BHA response so far. That might also have the effect of deterring jockeys saying they’ll ‘murder’ one another (in addition to the chucking around of vile epithets) in cases where interference may have been caused. Otherwise, it seems like testing of jockeys for various substances must have improved since 2016 -Oisin Murphy probably thinks so anyway .
    Nap: Meet the Captain, 1.15 Vaal.


  2. NAP 12.50D Super Super Sonic – in honour of the new film out next year; Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which I bet everyone here can’t wait ti see!!!


      1. Absolutely and ‘Miles’ better than the movie I expect. Not the same trying to play Sonic on the mobile – the controls are so finicky.


  3. A comment on Joe’s discussion point in the Gibbons-Tylicki case.

    Regardless of the employer’s responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act the employee also has responsibilities. So too, does a person who is self employed. All must consider the “‘risk to the health and safety of others”. There is a duty (and a duty of care) to report hazards. There is no get out clause for anyone. From what Joe has said (I have not read the details of the case), it does appear that there was a collective failure to report the hazard which Joe identifies. Where is the alleged protective environment where jockeys all look out for one another (weighing room culture)? It appears to have failed in this case.

    I am sure that there is regular reporting of many hazards which jockeys identify from day to day in respect of courses, fences, even dangerous riding, etc, in one way or another.

    Nobody wants to be regarded as a “snitch”. But where is the line drawn? It’s only when the feared hazard turns into a real event that people might question their part in a multiple “collective” failure.

    There are many examples of hazards which were known to exist but which were never acted upon and which led to accidents and tragedies.

    I see it as a matter of having the guts to stand up against the collective view, the group norms which most people feel constrained to obey. I think that group norms are one of the most dangerous forces in society. That many of them are unspoken and unwritten makes them all the more dangerous. Children should be taught to recognise and to have the individual courage to tackle and to face down a collective view which they feel to be wrong. Had one person had the backbone and commonsense to tackle Gibbons’s risk to others (by whatever means, personally, reporting to stewards, PJA, etc,) until the question was resolved, then arguably Tylicki would not be paralysed today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ludicrously ATR make his stablemate Fantasio D’Alene the 11/4 fav in their tissue for that race. Gerri will be long odds-on. You can double Gerri with the equally exciting O’Toole in the 12.48.


      1. Agreed Harry, that 5/2 would be some Christmas present. It’s going to open nearer to 4/5, nearer the mark with the 8/11 on O’Toole. Not a working man’s price, save for a good multiple bet.


  4. Not sure if this has already been seen but I found an article written by chris cook in 2019 about the drink drive charge which reported that other jockeys voiced concerns over GG getting his license back due to the risk posed on course so it seems it had been reported. Apologies if I’m stating the obvious


      1. Shame indeed that’s 2019 while the FT incident was 2016 – its tragic for him. Kevin Blake is always calling for tougher more centralized stewarding and that “shutting the door” as it were on other riders coming up inside gets you banned n most countries while here its “clever riding”… You only have to watch a few races at Happy Valley say to see horses flying up the inside unimpeded to see the massive difference


        1. Yea, sorry I’m getting my dates mixed. For some reason I thought the FT incident was a lot more recent and the article was before.


    1. “The Guardian understands that some jockeys are concerned about the prospect of Gibbons recovering his licence, on the grounds that it could pose a threat to their safety if he were to ride under the influence of drink or drugs. The BHA declined to confirm whether any such concerns had been brought to its attention.”

      Either the BHA denied that jockeys had brought their concerns to the its attention, or the BHA listened to those concerns and did eff all about them. Either way, it’s a disgrace. I wonder if the IJF needs to expand its remit to jockeys’ mental health and their addiction problems. Organisations like Tony Adams’s Sporting Chance have done good work with people in other sports, but somehow jockeys seem to be left to their own devices in this area.


  5. Excellent points one and all, deepening the understanding. It looks the sort of thing which an independent outsider should review, though I think the chances of that are slim as organisations will be running around trying to cover their backs. (Just look at the Grenfell Tower inquiry).


  6. Saying at a hearing a certain person stank of booze is hearsay and meaningless whether true or not. It could be described as malicious. Cowley is a senior jockey, I don’t think it does his reputation good by making that accusation but not reporting it to anyone. You might think it would be automatic to intervine in some way. Was Gibbons up before the beak because he had been drinking or was suspected of it because of his behaviour, I didn’t see that in the findings. His condition on the day will be crucial regarding the insurance that I presume all jockeys are compelled to pay for. Gibbons premium will have been high. What was decided at the hearing was dangerous riding took place not that Gibbons was under the influence. But maybe I missed something. Either way what we have heard recently has done nothing to enhance the reputation of these senior jockeys or for the weighing room which sounds more like a Masonic Lodge with its hierarchy and vows of silence that seem compulsory. The comment by Cowley is snide, pointing a finger, a Johnny Giles tackle where he used to kick someone then run away.


    1. Agree, there’s a fair bit of hearsay and hindsight in the case and not difficult to find for FT given the consequences of it all. . . Not sure why Gibbons insurance premium would be higher than others tho- unless there is a bit on the form that says “Do you intend to ride under the influence of substances?” – which looks a red flag if answered in the affirmative.


    2. Cowley? This wasn’t an episode of the Professionals, so I think you perhaps mean Crowley. Interesting take making him to be the villain of the piece…by ‘interesting’ I mean utterly bizarre, of course. It was his job to ride his horse the best he could not to do random testing on his fellow jockeys. Lest we forget he was also injured in the incident and was lucky to escape with just a broken nose. He, and Ryan Moore especially, were found to be very credible and informative witnesses and without their testimony the guilty verdict – which nobody sensible has quibbled with- might not have been delivered. They are both to be commended imho.


      1. A simple spelling mistake, nothing more. Is it so bizarre? As far as I know Gibbons was not prosecuted for being drunk or over the jockeys limit which is virtually zero alcohol in the blood stream. The incident took place a long time before FT got his case to court, no suggestions were made at the time about alcohol so I couldn’t see the relevance of saying his breath reeked of alcohol. A cheap shot I thought especially as GG has a well documented problem with alcohol. I have very little tolerance of drug use and little for jockeys who drink, its surprising to say the least Gibbons was not more closely monitored considering his history but as I say their is an assumption being made.


    3. I’m not so sure it’s hearsay; it’s a fact as far as Crowley is concerned. Whether you believe what he says is another matter, but he was giving his evidence first hand and that is not hearsay in my book. It could indeed be described as malicious, but so could a million things. In a ‘normal’ case you might say Crowley’s claim was irrelevant, but GG’s lengthy record, including a jail term, is evidence of a deep and long-running affliction, where such accusations by a colleague ought to carry considerable weight.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I would have thought that legally speaking only a medical professional (or someone authorised to administer a breathalyser test) could have decided if he was drunk or not.


    1. Presumably it comes under the same law that authorises workplace drink/drug tests if it states in employee contracts that the employer reserves the right to ask staff to undergo the tests when there is reasonable suspicion. Although saying that, do freelance jockeys sign such undertakings to apply at any racecourse? How do they stand with abiding by the terms of their BHA licence if they decline to take such a test? And taking the thought further, for a jockey who has been wasting all week to ride light on the Saturday, who is to say that they are in full rational command of a horse attempting to go through a tight gap on the final bend at 30mph when the money is down?


  8. Given the light returns from the last few weeks tipping wise, seems that the focus on France/Meydan has released a new vein of insight, we’ll done to all for today’s tips


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