Tuesday 11 June 2024

Race Horses, Trainers & Broken Dreams

Give a moment's thought to horse trainers big and small. It must be a tricky business to try and make a living. I can't say I have any great connections to the training world. I've helped a few promote their services on our website Horse Trainer Directory. The ones who need that little extra promotion are generally thankful, grateful and appreciative. We promote trainers for free because without them we don't have a website. I live by the mantra: in giving we receive. The ugliness of the self is never attractive even looking in a circus mirror. 

I have known a few trainers in passing. Unless I buy a share in a racehorse or dip my hand further into my pocket to buy a whole horse it is unlikely we will have any meaningful conversations. However, you never know who is interested in what you have to offer and I have been surprised by the generous nature of many people who I wouldn't really expect. I remember receiving a phone call from Peter Doyle, the bloodstock agent, who took the time to contact me about a horse he once purchased called Western Art, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, in the ownership of Matthew Green and Ben Sangster. This son of Hennesey won at Listed class but struggled with injury at three to a point he was purchased as a riding horse for a lovely lady who I later become friends. I researched Western Art's (Artie) life story: from foal to ''champion'' racehorse. His breeder, Nellie Cox, of Rose Retreat Lodge, in the United States, remembered him well and the two ladies, who both loved him most, had the opportunity to chat about horse and foal detailing those interim years with caring words. 

This story originated from my brother, Tony, a plasterer, who while working on a private job many moons ago got talking to the customer about horse racing. They had a livery business and low and behold ex-racehorse Western Art was stabled there by his owner. It's a small world. 

Western Art stuck in my mind because I follow two-year-old horse racing and, by all accounts, he was a class horse. In truth, racing did this beautiful gelding no favours. He suffered many racing-related injuries which sadly lingered for the rest of his life.


By this chance encounter, a story came to life and the opportunity to meet some lovely people who I am still in contact today. Friendship is a creation of coincidence based on shared interests.The love of a horse from a racing perspective and a beautiful thoroughbred who without question was loved most greatly by his last owner who paid the price for others hopes and dreams. 

The pursuit to win. 

I guess it is too easy to consider that every horse trainer is a millionaire. Perhaps money makes its own luck. When you consider leading trainers such as John Gosden, William Haggas et al it is undoubtedly true. They are very wealthy individuals with the luxury of hugely rich owners. For many, money is no object. Their success is an ingredient of money and talent. Others, it is blood, sweat and years (of unpaid work).  

Smaller trainers have to fight for each and every horse, owner and success. Many, I suspect, live a hand-to-mouth existence. The National Hunt has a big heart. The story of a farmer with a horse. Perhaps that is the truth of horse training. The story built on ambition, hopes and dreams. Whether rich, poor or vagrant on the street we can all see through those eyes.  

We have all seen new trainers come and go. Imagine the passion in each individual who follows their dream. Especially so those younger trainers who are reliant on someone backing them financially. Money only goes so far and, I guess rightly so, those paying the bills can be very critical of their performance. Time is never on anyone's side and so often these fledgling trainers fall by the way. 

Saturday 1 June 2024

Racing by the Sea: Exploring the Coastal Charms of 4 UK Seaside Racecourses

Racing by the Sea: Exploring the Coastal Charms of 4 UK Seaside Racecourses
Horse racing has an uncanny ability to capture the imagination, blending the thundering hooves of noble steeds with the cheers of enthusiastic crowds. Now, picture this exhilarating spectacle against a backdrop of rolling waves, salty sea air, and breathtaking coastal vistas. In the United Kingdom, a handful of racecourses have embraced the magic of the seaside, creating an enchanting fusion of sport and nature. Join us as we journey to five exquisite UK racecourses nestled along the coastline, where the thrill of racing meets the soothing embrace of the sea.

Brighton Racecourse, East Sussex: Seaside Elegance and Racing Finesse

Perched atop the iconic Whitehawk Hill in East Sussex, Brighton Racecourse offers a unique blend of racing excitement and coastal charm. The racecourse boasts panoramic views of the English Channel, creating a breathtaking backdrop for thrilling flat racing events. The combination of vibrant colors from the jockey silks against the sparkling blue waters evokes a sense of elegance and energy. Brighton Racecourse's summer racing festivals, such as the Brighton Festival and Ladies' Day, create a delightful atmosphere where racing enthusiasts can indulge in a day of sport by the sea.

Yarmouth Racecourse, Norfolk: Historic Heritage and Coastal Splendor

Nestled on the Norfolk coast, Yarmouth Racecourse is a delightful marriage of racing heritage and seaside tranquility. With a history dating back over three centuries, this racecourse combines its storied past with modern racing events. The panoramic views of the North Sea add an element of serenity to the racing atmosphere, creating an ideal setting for a leisurely day out. Yarmouth's summer fixtures allow visitors to soak up the maritime ambiance while enjoying top-quality horse racing.

Ayr Racecourse, South Ayrshire: Scottish Coastal Thrills

Venture north to Scotland's picturesque South Ayrshire coast, and you'll discover Ayr Racecourse, a treasure trove of racing excitement against the backdrop of the Firth of Clyde. Ayr's unique location offers a dynamic mix of flat and National Hunt racing, providing a diverse racing calendar for all tastes. The Scottish Grand National, one of the racecourse's most prestigious events, amplifies the coastal charm with its electrifying steeplechase action, making Ayr Racecourse a must-visit destination for racing enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Redcar Racecourse, North Yorkshire: Coastal Views and Racing Rivalries

Tucked away on the northeastern coast of England, Redcar Racecourse offers a mix of racing excellence and captivating sea views. With its stunning location overlooking the North Sea, Redcar provides a charming setting for various flat racing events throughout the year. The racecourse's historic Two-Year-Old Trophy and Zetland Gold Cup showcase the intense competition against the serene backdrop of the coastline, making Redcar a favorite among racing aficionados seeking a blend of adrenaline and coastal serenity.


The marriage of horse racing and the seaside creates an enchanting fusion that appeals to both racing enthusiasts and those seeking a unique coastal experience. From the historic charm of Yarmouth to the elegance of Brighton, the thrill of Ayr to the relaxation of Great Yarmouth and Redcar, these five UK racecourses at seaside locations offer a remarkable blend of exhilarating races and breathtaking coastal vistas. Whether you're a fervent racing fan or a casual spectator, these coastal racecourses promise an unforgettable day where the beauty of the sea meets the excitement of the track.

Photo: JC (All Rights Reserved) 

Thursday 16 May 2024

Betting Like It Was 1970

Betting Like It Was 1970

The year 1970 was a remarkable time in the world of sports, offering fans an array of thrilling moments and unforgettable victories. From the FIFA World Cup in Mexico to the historic achievements in boxing, tennis, and horse racing, sports enthusiasts had plenty to cheer about. But in addition to being a thrilling time for fans, 1970 also presented some golden betting opportunities for those who were willing to take a chance on their favorite athletes and teams. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane to revisit the sporting highlights and wins of 1970 and consider what might have been a great bet during that extraordinary year.

FIFA World Cup 1970

The FIFA World Cup in 1970, hosted by Mexico, was a football extravaganza that showcased some of the greatest talents of the era. Brazil, led by the legendary Pelé, secured their third World Cup title with a thrilling victory over Italy in the final. Betting on Brazil's success would have been a wise move, given their dominance and star-studded lineup.

Wimbledon 1970

The 1970 Wimbledon Championships featured tennis legends such as Rod Laver, Billie Jean King, and Margaret Court. Laver claimed his fourth Wimbledon title, while King and Court faced off in a memorable women's singles final. Betting on Laver's dominance at Wimbledon was a safe bet, as he proved himself as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.

The Triple Crown in Horse Racing

1970 saw a historic horse racing moment as Dust Commander clinched the Kentucky Derby. Later, he went on to win the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, securing the elusive Triple Crown. Betting on Dust Commander to win all three races would have been a remarkable bet, as Triple Crown winners are a rarity in the world of horse racing.

The Fight of the Century: Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier

The boxing world was captivated by the showdown between two heavyweight titans, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, in March 1971. While the fight occurred in 1971, the anticipation and buildup in 1970 were monumental. Betting on this epic battle would have been a tremendous bet, as Frazier emerged victorious, handing Ali his first professional defeat in a bout that lived up to its billing as "The Fight of the Century."

The Detroit Tigers' Surprise Victory

In the world of baseball, the Detroit Tigers were not the favorites in 1970, but they managed to defy the odds and win the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Betting on the Tigers to claim the championship would have been a high-risk, high-reward wager that paid off for those who believed in their underdog spirit.


The year 1970 was a sporting spectacle that offered fans and bettors alike a wealth of exciting moments and opportunities. Whether it was Brazil's World Cup victory, Rod Laver's dominance at Wimbledon, Dust Commander's Triple Crown triumph, or the unforgettable showdown between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, there were ample chances for astute bettors to make wise predictions and potentially earn substantial rewards.

Looking back at these historic sporting highlights, it's clear that 1970 was a year filled with memorable achievements and thrilling competitions. While hindsight is 20/20, it's evident that those who recognized the potential of these sporting triumphs could have made some great bets and relished in the excitement of seeing their predictions come true.

Photo: Pixabay (free) 

Tuesday 7 May 2024

How to Put Yourself Ahead of the Crowd When Gambling

How to Put Yourself Ahead of the Crowd When Gambling
Gambling can be an exciting and potentially profitable activity, but it's no secret that the odds are typically stacked against the player. While many individuals see gambling as a purely luck-based endeavor, there are strategies and techniques you can employ to put yourself ahead of the crowd and increase your chances of winning. In this article, we will explore some tips and strategies that can help you gain an edge when gambling.

Know Your Game:

The first step in putting yourself ahead of the crowd in gambling is to become an expert in your chosen game. Whether you prefer blackjack, poker, roulette, or slot machines, study the rules, strategies, and odds associated with that game. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make informed decisions.

Bankroll Management:

Effective bankroll management is crucial in gambling. Set a budget for your gambling activities and stick to it. Never wager money that you can't afford to lose. By managing your bankroll wisely, you can reduce the risk of losing more than you can comfortably handle.

Take Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions:

Many online casinos and gambling establishments offer bonuses and promotions to attract players. These can include free spins, deposit bonuses, and loyalty rewards. Utilize these offers to maximize your bankroll and potentially gain an advantage over the house.

Practice, Practice, Practice:

If you're playing games that require skill, such as poker or blackjack, practice is essential. Hone your skills and strategies in free or low-stake games before moving on to higher-stake games. Experience can be a powerful tool for gaining an edge over your competitors.

Stay Informed:

Stay updated on industry news and developments. This is especially important in games like sports betting or poker, where knowledge about current events, player statistics, and trends can give you an edge. Being well-informed can help you make more accurate predictions..... Embrace Risk Management:

Gambling inherently involves risk, but that doesn't mean you have to be reckless. Employ risk management strategies like setting win and loss limits. When you reach your pre-determined limits, walk away, whether you're ahead or behind. This will help you maintain control and minimize potential losses.

Understand the House Edge:

Every casino game has a house edge, which represents the statistical advantage the casino has over the player. Knowing the house edge of the games you play is crucial. Opt for games with a lower house edge, such as blackjack or baccarat, as they offer a better chance of winning.

Avoid Superstitions and Myths:

Gambling is often steeped in superstitions and myths. While they can be entertaining, they should not influence your decisions. Always rely on facts, strategies, and statistics rather than superstitions.

Take Breaks and Stay Sober:

Gambling can be mentally and emotionally taxing. To stay sharp, take regular breaks and avoid alcohol or substances that impair your judgment. Clear-headed decision-making is crucial when trying to gain an edge.

Learn from Your Mistakes:

Nobody wins every time they gamble. Accept losses as part of the game and a valuable learning experience. Analyze your mistakes and adjust your strategies accordingly. Continuous improvement is key to staying ahead in the world of gambling.

In conclusion, gambling can be a thrilling and potentially lucrative pastime, but it requires careful planning, discipline, and knowledge to gain an edge over the competition. By understanding your chosen game, practicing, managing your bankroll wisely, and staying informed, you can significantly improve your chances of success. Remember that responsible gambling is essential, and it's crucial to approach gambling as a form of entertainment rather than a guaranteed source of income. With the right approach, you can enjoy the excitement of gambling while increasing your odds of coming out ahead.

Photo: Pixabay (free)

Thursday 2 May 2024

Betting Like It Was 1920s

Image by vecstock on Freepik

Betting Like It Was 1920s
The 1920s, often referred to as the Roaring Twenties, was a decade marked by economic prosperity, cultural dynamism, and the rise of new entertainment forms. Among the many trends that defined this era, sports betting emerged as a popular pastime, offering enthusiasts the chance to indulge in the thrill of uncertainty and, occasionally, walk away with a windfall. In the midst of jazz music, flapper fashion, and the economic boom, sports betting found a fervent following. 

One of the most iconic sporting events to capture the imagination of bettors during this time was the heavyweight championship bout between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier in 1921. Held at Boyle's Thirty Acres in Jersey City, this clash of titans drew massive crowds and unprecedented betting interest. Dempsey, the reigning champion known as the "Manassa Mauler," faced off against Carpentier, the charismatic Frenchman who was the light heavyweight champion at the time. 

Betting on this fight reached unprecedented levels, with millions of dollars changing hands. Dempsey was the favorite, but Carpentier's flamboyant style and the allure of a European champion challenging an American one made the match highly enticing. As the bell rang, the atmosphere was charged with anticipation, both in the arena and among the betting circles. In the end, Dempsey secured victory in the fourth round, solidifying his status as a boxing legend and leaving many bettors celebrating their successful wagers. 

Another significant sporting event that captured the betting spotlight was the 1927 World Series, featuring the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Yankees, led by the legendary Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, were overwhelming favorites. The team's dominance throughout the season had bettors placing substantial sums on their success. Facing off against the underdog Pirates, the Yankees were expected to cruise to victory. 

However, the 1927 World Series would become one of the most memorable upsets in baseball history. The Pirates, led by pitcher Wilbur Cooper and the stellar hitting of outfielder Paul Waner, managed to defy the odds and triumph over the mighty Yankees in a stunning upset. This unexpected outcome left many bettors in disbelief, as the underdog Pirates had not only won the championship but also reshaped the landscape of sports betting by proving that anything could happen on the field. 

In the realm of horse racing, the 1923 Kentucky Derby stands out as a pivotal moment in betting history. The race featured the legendary horse Zev, who went on to win and become a household name. The popularity of the Kentucky Derby as a betting event soared during the 1920s, with spectators and gamblers alike drawn to the excitement and unpredictability of horse racing.


The Roaring Twenties were indeed a golden era for sports betting, with boxing matches, baseball games, and horse races captivating the imagination of a nation eager for entertainment. The thrill of uncertainty, combined with the charismatic personalities of athletes, created an environment ripe for betting enthusiasts to test their luck. As the decade came to a close, sports betting had firmly established itself as a mainstream form of entertainment, setting the stage for its continued growth and evolution in the decades to come.

Photo: Freepik 

Thursday 18 April 2024

The Birth of a Gambling Oasis: The Origins of Las Vegas' First Casino

The Birth of a Gambling Oasis: The Origins of Las Vegas' First Casino
In the midst of the Nevada desert, where the arid land met the promise of possibility, emerged a modest yet groundbreaking establishment that would pave the way for the glittering skyline and bustling casinos of modern-day Las Vegas.

The Pair-O-Dice Club

The Pair-O-Dice Club holds the esteemed title of being the first casino in Las Vegas. Established in 1931, just as the wave of legalized gambling swept through Nevada, this venue set the stage for what would become a gambling and entertainment mecca.

Nestled along Highway 91 (known today as the Las Vegas Strip), the Pair-O-Dice Club marked a pivotal point in the city's history. With humble beginnings, it was a small establishment that primarily offered games of chance and a place for socializing, drawing in locals and travelers alike.

The casino's offerings were modest compared to the opulent and expansive resorts that now define the Strip. Nevertheless, the Pair-O-Dice Club's significance lay in being a catalyst for the gambling industry's exponential growth in the region.

The Evolution of Las Vegas

The establishment of the Pair-O-Dice Club coincided with a time of significant change in Las Vegas. The legalization of gambling in 1931 brought a surge of interest from entrepreneurs and investors eager to capitalize on the newfound opportunity.

While the Pair-O-Dice Club might have been relatively unassuming in size and offerings, its impact was substantial. It laid the groundwork for a transformation that would shape Las Vegas into a global epicenter of entertainment and gambling.

The Legacy

The legacy of the Pair-O-Dice Club, despite its eventual closure, is deeply woven into the fabric of Las Vegas. Its significance transcends its physical presence, symbolizing the pioneering spirit and the bold visionaries who saw potential in a desolate stretch of land.

The rise of this first casino marked the genesis of an industry that would evolve, growing into a colossal network of resorts, entertainment complexes, and gambling establishments that define modern-day Las Vegas.

The Ongoing Saga

As Las Vegas continues to evolve, the spirit of the Pair-O-Dice Club lives on in the glitz and glamour of the city's contemporary casinos. The legacy of that modest establishment endures in the lights, sounds, and endless entertainment options that attract millions of visitors each year.

The evolution from a humble gambling den to a sprawling metropolis of entertainment reflects the enduring allure and resilience of Las Vegas.


The Pair-O-Dice Club, as the first casino in Las Vegas, laid the cornerstone for an industry that would redefine entertainment and gambling on a global scale. Its humble beginnings, amidst the desert sands, echo the indomitable spirit and innovation that continue to drive the city's evolution.

As the legacy of the Pair-O-Dice Club persists in the modern-day extravagance of Las Vegas, it serves as a testament to the city's unwavering ability to reinvent itself, captivate audiences, and remain a beacon of entertainment and excitement for generations to come.

Photo: Pixabay (free) 

Wednesday 20 March 2024

5 Reasons Why Las Vegas Might Be a Poor Option for Gamblers

Image by TravelScape on Freepik

5 Reasons Why Las Vegas Might Be a Poor Option for Gamblers
Las Vegas, often hailed as the gambling capital of the world, draws millions of visitors annually with its promise of glitz, glamour, and endless opportunities to strike it rich. However, beneath the dazzling lights and ringing slot machines, there are several reasons why Las Vegas might not be the optimal destination for serious gamblers. Here are five key factors to consider:

High House Edge:

Las Vegas casinos are notorious for their high house edge, which refers to the mathematical advantage the casino holds over the player in any given game. While games like blackjack and poker offer some of the best odds for players, the majority of casino offerings heavily favor the house. Slot machines, for instance, often have a house edge upwards of 10% or more, making them a particularly unfavorable choice for gamblers looking to maximize their chances of winning. With such steep odds stacked against them, visitors to Las Vegas may find their bankrolls dwindling faster than expected.

Limited Variety of Games:

Despite its reputation as a gambling mecca, Las Vegas can be surprisingly limited in terms of game variety. While staple games like blackjack, roulette, and craps are widely available, niche or specialty games may be harder to come by. Furthermore, many casinos tend to offer similar selections, leading to a lack of diversity across different venues. For gamblers seeking unique or exotic gaming experiences, this lack of variety can make Las Vegas a less appealing destination compared to other gambling hubs around the world.

Intense Competition:

Las Vegas boasts a staggering number of casinos, with dozens of establishments vying for the attention and wallets of visitors. While competition can theoretically benefit consumers by driving down prices or improving service quality, in the realm of gambling, it often means casinos are more focused on maximizing profits than catering to the needs of players. This can translate to tighter slot machines, higher minimum bets, and fewer perks for gamblers. Additionally, the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming, making it difficult for players to discern which casinos offer the best value for their money.

Distractions and Temptations:

Las Vegas is synonymous with excess, offering visitors a dizzying array of entertainment options beyond gambling, including extravagant shows, world-class dining, and pulsating nightlife. While these attractions can enhance the overall experience for tourists, they can also serve as distractions for gamblers trying to stay focused on their bankrolls. It's all too easy to get swept up in the excitement of Las Vegas and lose sight of prudent gambling practices, leading to impulsive decision-making and unnecessary losses. For individuals with addictive tendencies or limited self-control, the constant allure of excess in Las Vegas can be particularly dangerous.

Lack of Value for Low-Rollers:

While Las Vegas caters to high-rollers and big spenders with luxurious accommodations, exclusive perks, and VIP treatment, the same cannot always be said for low-rollers or budget-conscious gamblers. Many casinos prioritize high-stakes players, relegating those with modest bankrolls to the margins. Comp programs, which reward players for their loyalty and spending, often favor big spenders, leaving low-rollers feeling overlooked or undervalued. For gamblers looking to stretch their dollars and maximize their enjoyment, Las Vegas may not offer the best bang for their buck.

In conclusion, while Las Vegas undoubtedly holds a special allure for many gamblers, it's important to recognize that it may not be the ideal destination for everyone. From high house edges and limited game variety to intense competition and distracting temptations, there are several factors that could make Las Vegas a poor option for serious gamblers. Ultimately, individuals should carefully consider their priorities and preferences before planning a trip to Sin City.

Photo: Freepik