Latest Blogs

Thrilling Tingle Creek offers pointers to future

Leading racing writer Kevin Blake gives his verdict on a top-class renewal of the Tingle Creek Chase, where Un De Sceaux defeated the likes of Sire De Grugy, God’s Own and Ar Mad, and analyses the electric two-mile novice chase division.

John Oxx: Down, but not out

Kevin's latest blog reflects on the fate of the John Oxx yard and discusses Thistlecrack's second outing over fences at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The sad loss of Vautour

Leading racing writer Kevin Blake pays tribute to Vautour and analyses the pick of the weekend action from the Breeders' Cup and Down Royal.

Dundalk SP farce highlights bigger-picture issue

A bogus gamble failed to materialise at Dundalk on Friday October 28. In the process, it highlighted the poor Starting Price mechanism currently in operation in Great Britain and Ireland. Here, Kevin Blake takes a closer look at the issue.

  • Champions Day reflections

    Champions Day reflections

    Kevin Blake has reflective thoughts on British Champions Day - action that took place on the track itself and also some negative headlines that arose off it - while also discussing recent negative politics arising from within Horse Racing Ireland.

  • Aidan O'Brien cracks the Arc puzzle

    Aidan O'Brien cracks the Arc puzzle

    Kevin Blake looks at Aidan O'Brien's achievement of saddling the first three horses home in the 2016 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, a feat spearheaded by the brilliant and tough filly Found.

  • What the Mullins/Gigginstown split means for NH racing

    What the Mullins/Gigginstown split means for NH racing

    Following Wednesday morning's news that Champion Owner Gigginstown House Stud were removing 60 horses of their horses from the care of Champion Trainer Willie Mullins, Kevin Blake analyses what affect this is likely to have on National Hunt racing.

  • Colm Murphy retirement paints worrying picture

    Colm Murphy retirement paints worrying picture

    Following Colm Murphy's shock decision to retire from the training ranks, Kevin Blake says the number of Irish-based trainers to call it a day in recent years paints a worrying picture.

  • Mehmas retirement is modern reality of Bloodstock industry

    Mehmas retirement is modern reality of Bloodstock industry

    Following the news that Mehmas will be sent to stud after his run in the Middle Park Stakes this weekend, Kevin Blake explores the commercial reasons why some top-class 2yos are retired after just one season racing.

  • Irish Champions Weekend reflections

    Irish Champions Weekend reflections

    Leading racing writer Kevin Blake analyses the third edition of Irish Champions Weekend which saw the Irish Champions Stakes go to France, Joseph O'Brien train his first Group 1 winner and Willie Mullins capture his first Classic.

  • Sympathy for connections of Any Currency

    Sympathy for connections of Any Currency

    In his latest blog Kevin looks at the decision to disqualify Any Currency from his memorable Cheltenham Festival victory and argues why it's difficult not to feel sympathy for connections.

  • What’s going on in French Racing?

    What’s going on in French Racing?

    Leading racing writer Kevin Blake looks the at the underperformance of Chantilly-based trainers so far this season and calls on their British and Irish counterparts to peruse the French programme book for contests that could be more winnable than usual.

  • Are betting coups bad for Horse Racing?

    Are betting coups bad for Horse Racing?

    Following the fallout from the betting coup landed by trainer Charles Byrnes at Roscommon last Tuesday, Kevin examines whether such coups are bad for the sport.

  • Charles Byrnes betting coup sets Roscommon alight

    Charles Byrnes betting coup sets Roscommon alight

    In his latest blog leading racing writer Kevin Blake analyses the betting coup that took place at Roscommon on Tuesday evening where the bookmakers were hit with a Charles Byrne-trained 3,314/1 treble.

  • Galway Festival reflections

    Galway Festival reflections

    Kevin looks back on the 2016 Galway Festival where Dermot Weld missed out on the top trainer award for just the second time in 30 years as the all-conquering Willie Mullins captured the crown.

  • Coral guarantee puts other Bookmakers in the shade

    Coral guarantee puts other Bookmakers in the shade

    Kevin salutes Coral's latest guarantee policy - laying any bet on any horse running in Great Britain or Ireland to lose £500 after 11am in shops - and calls on other bookmakers to follow their lead and introduce guaranteed minimum bet liabilities.

  • Sprint division has a new star

    Sprint division has a new star

    Kevin Blake takes a closer look at the performance of Limato's brilliant Darley July Cup victory while also having words of encouragement for Air Force Blue fans.

  • Stable staff in Ireland deserve better treatment

    Stable staff in Ireland deserve better treatment

    Following the inaugural Stable Staff Week in Great Britain, Kevin calls for better treatment across the industry of stable staff in Ireland in order to retain existing and recruit new members of a dwindling workforce.

  • Royal Ascot 2016 reflections

    Royal Ascot 2016 reflections

    Kevin examines the main talking points from Royal Ascot 2016 and suggests changes to the race programme to make a most wonderful meeting even stronger.

  • Royal Ascot is out on its own

    Royal Ascot is out on its own

    On the eve of Royal Ascot 2016 leading racing writer Kevin Blake looks forward to the meeting that can’t be matched for depth of quality, international relevance and historical prestige.

  • Harzand shines brightest in pulsating Derby

    Harzand shines brightest in pulsating Derby

    Kevin Blake looks back on a historic Investec Derby at Epsom for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen after Harzand's victory. Kevin also assesses Minding's amazing performance to win the Investec Oaks.

  • An uplifting weekend at the Curragh

    An uplifting weekend at the Curragh

    Leading racing writer Kevin Blake reflects on a memorable Irish Guineas weekend at the Curragh which saw remarkable victories in both of the Classics.

  • Is The Gurkha the answer to the Derby question?

    Is The Gurkha the answer to the Derby question?

    Kevin Blake takes a closer look at the brilliant success of The Gurkha in the French 2000 Guineas at Deauville in the context of him now potentially contesting the Derby at Epsom.

  • Plot thickens in Galileo Gold Derby saga

    Plot thickens in Galileo Gold Derby saga

    Kevin Blake gives his thoughts on the Galileo Gold narrative - which sees this year's 2000 Guineas winner potentially swerve a crack at the Derby - assessing past mile Classic winners performances in and after their Derby runs.

  • A weekend of two halves for Ballydoyle

    A weekend of two halves for Ballydoyle

    Kevin reflects on the two versions of the Guineas at Newmarket which yielded very different results for Ballydoyle and examines how differently Aidan O’Brien prepares his colts and fillies for the season’s first Classics.

  • Change afoot in Irish stewarding?

    Change afoot in Irish stewarding?

    Kevin Blake discusses a potential turning of the tide amongst stewarding in Ireland, a change that may have been catalysed by the recent Noble Emperor case.

  • Mullins and Nicholls set for thrilling battle

    Mullins and Nicholls set for thrilling battle

    Kevin Blake takes a closer look at the battle between Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls to become Champion Trainer in Britain, which is set to go down to the final day of the National Hunt season at Sandown on Saturday.

  • Grand National hits the right notes

    Grand National hits the right notes

    Leading racing writer Kevin Blake reflects on the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National where Rule The World, a maiden over fences, scored for National debutant jockey David Mullins, 19, and top target trainer Mouse Trainer.

  • Geraghty ban puts Stewarding under the spotlight

    Geraghty ban puts Stewarding under the spotlight

    Kevin Blake looks back at limerick on Sunday where Barry Geraghty was given a 30-day ban and calls for a centralised panel of professional stewards to deal with serious issues such as running and riding enquiries.

  • Cromwell comes to the fore at Fairyhouse

    Cromwell comes to the fore at Fairyhouse

    Kevin Blake pays tribute to those who have recently made the headlines - both human and equine - including trainer Gavin Cromwell, who by passed Cheltenham with 4yo filly Jer's Girl and she instead beat her elders in a mares' Grade 1 at Fairyhouse.

  • The myth of the Cheltenham Hill

    The myth of the Cheltenham Hill

    In his pre-Cheltenham Festival update leading racing writer Kevin Blake examines how stiff the famous Cheltenham Hill actually is and offers a word of caution for punters placing bets before the day of racing.

  • Pendleton articulates all that is great about our sport

    Pendleton articulates all that is great about our sport

    The day after Victoria Pendleton's maiden win as a jockey thrusted horseracing into the mainstream media, Kevin Blake gives his thoughts on the former Olympian's journey and what it has done for the Sport of King's.

  • How many winners have you ridden?

    How many winners have you ridden?

    In his latest update leading racing writer Kevin Blake looks at the use of jockeys in the media and asks whether jockeys are better qualified to comment on horse racing than non-jockeys.

  • What is really going on in National Hunt racing?

    What is really going on in National Hunt racing?

    Kevin Blake takes a closer look at the health of National Hunt racing in Great Britain and Ireland, delving into the statistics of the respective horse populations, number of races and the number of graded events over a nine year period.

  • Upsetting incident highlights differing attitudes

    Upsetting incident highlights differing attitudes

    Kevin Blake reflects on the Leopardstown Inn Hunters Chase on Saturday where the winner, You Must Know Me, had to be put down after breaking his leg, and says the media coverage it received highlights differing attitudes on either side of the Irish Sea.

  • Scene set for an incredible Irish Champion Hurdle

    Scene set for an incredible Irish Champion Hurdle

    Leading racing writer Kevin Blake looks ahead to Sunday's BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown where the top three in the Champion Hurdle betting, who all hail from Willie Mullins's all-conquering yard, are set to do battle.

  • Bookmakers braced for Willie Mullins Cheltenham four-timer

    Bookmakers braced for Willie Mullins Cheltenham four-timer

    Willie Mullins's domination of National Hunt racing in Ireland is threatening to spill into Great British racing. Here, Kevin Blake discusses four more potential Mullins winners at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival which may have bookmakers running for cover.

  • Racing’s terrestrial TV coverage debate

    Racing’s terrestrial TV coverage debate

    Kevin's blog this week focuses on the news in Great Britain where horseracing's terrestrial television rights have changed hands, a move that has generated much debate.

  • Dissecting a pulsating King George VI Chase

    Dissecting a pulsating King George VI Chase

    Leading racing writer Kevin Blake dissects a pulsating King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day in which Colin Tizzard's Cue Card narrowly defeated Vautour in a thrilling finish.

  • Irish betting tax rise still on the cards

    Irish betting tax rise still on the cards

    In his latest update Kevin Blake examines the implications of a rise on betting tax turnover on racing in Ireland and suggests a way to increase betting turnover as a means to increase tax yield.

  • Don Poli is custom made for Gold Cup Glory

    Don Poli is custom made for Gold Cup Glory

    Having been firmly of the belief since last March that Don Poli win will the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup, the 6yo's winning seasonal reappearance at Aintree on Saturday has further convinced Kevin Blake that Don Poli will land the Blue Riband.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (30 November)

    Kevin Blake's blog (30 November)

    Kevin looks at events at Fairyhouse on Saturday where five running-and-riding enquiries were called, resulting in two bans under the non-triers rule.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (23 November)

    Kevin Blake's blog (23 November)

    Following Vautour's seasonal reappearance, leading racing writer Kevin Blake ponders whether the King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup are the most suitable objectives for the 6yo.

  • Kevin Blake's Blog (22 November)

    Kevin Blake's Blog (22 November)

    Kevin's fifth and final part of his 'A Foal's Life' series covers the two foals last part of their journey under Kevin and the Tinnakill House team.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (16 November)

    Kevin Blake's blog (16 November)

    Kevin analyses two of the biggest talking points from Sunday – Sprinter Sacre scoring for the first time since April 2013 and Nichols Canyon lowering the colours of the previously unbeaten Faugheen.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (11 November)

    Kevin Blake's blog (11 November)

    The fourth and latest instalment of Kevin Blake's mini-series 'A Foal's Life' is now live as they take another step closer to their sale's date.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (3 November)

    Kevin Blake's blog (3 November)

    Following jockey Michelle Payne's shock success in the Melbourne Cup, Kevin examines her comments that racing is 'chauvinistic' and argues that her outburst is likely to do more harm than good to the reputation of the sport.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (2 November)

    Kevin Blake's blog (2 November)

    Kevin looks at the issue of horses running on Lasix in the USA and Canada and says why Ireland and Great Britain should follow Germany and Hong Kong and ban Lasix and any other anti-bleeding drugs for horses that are in training.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (29 October)

    Kevin Blake's blog (29 October)

    The third instalment of Kevin's series 'A Foal's Life' discusses the foal's eating and exercise regimes as the clock ticks down on the their sales date and how they will be presented.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (26 Ocotber)

    Kevin Blake's blog (26 Ocotber)

    Kevin Blake lets us in on what discipline excites him most in National Hunt racing while also giving us a few horses to follow in said category.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (19 Ocotber)

    Kevin Blake's blog (19 Ocotber)

    Kevin takes a closer look at the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup where he praises the winning ride while also signalling out, what he feels, was a moment of dangerous riding.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (14 October)

    Kevin Blake's blog (14 October)

    In the second part of 'A Foal's Life' - Kevin Blake's new mini-series - Kevin talks us through the next stages of the foal's journey to the sales ring.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (12 October)

    Kevin Blake's blog (12 October)

    Kevin discusses impressive Dewhurst Stakes winner Air Force Blue, takes a closer look at the stallion War Front and has comments on dangerous riding rules in Ireland.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (5 October)

    Kevin Blake's blog (5 October)

    Kevin reflects on the 2015 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe while also giving his thoughts on an amended result at Tipperary on Sunday October 4.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (30 September)

    Kevin Blake's blog (30 September)

    In the first part of 'A Foal's Life' - Kevin Blake's new mini-series - Kevin talks us through the early stages of the horse, and its life, and what it takes to prepare them for life as a racehorse.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (28 September)

    Kevin Blake's blog (28 September)

    Kevin looks at the implications of the decision to reinstate Simple Verse as the St Leger winner and fancies an Irish raider to outrun his huge odds in Sunday’s Arc at Longchamp.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (1 September)

    Kevin Blake's blog (1 September)

    Leading racing writer Kevin Blake pays tribute to Hurricane Fly and explains why he will remember the superstar hurdler as The Greatest.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (24 August)

    Kevin Blake's blog (24 August)

    In his latest exclusive column, leading racing writer Kevin Blake argues why British interference rules require urgent attention and identifies a solution to help level the playing field for female jockeys.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (17 August)

    Kevin Blake's blog (17 August)

    Why don't more female jockeys succeed? In his latest blog Kevin asks just how level the playing field is and asks if it is time racing took a lead from other sports.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (10 August)

    Kevin Blake's blog (10 August)

    Kevin takes an in-depth look at how bookmaker restrictions and account closures are affecting the industry and identifies solutions to level the playing field for punters.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (4 August)

    Kevin Blake's blog (4 August)

    Kevin reflects on the Galway Festival where Dermot Weld was the top trainer at the meeting for the 29th time, but the week also saw impressive training performances from the likes of Tony Martin, Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Henry de Bromhead.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (20 July)

    Kevin Blake's blog (20 July)

    Kevin looks at the issue of on course catering for jockeys and says Richard Hughes's decision to retire early from the saddle will pay dividends when he soon takes up training duties.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (15 July)

    Kevin Blake's blog (15 July)

    Kevin looks at how the Classic generation have come to the fore in 2015 and ponders whether being the best 3yo and then beating older rivals receiving weight-for-age is enough to secure a lasting legacy for Golden Horn.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (6 July)

    Kevin Blake's blog (6 July)

    In the week following Victoria Pendleton's first ride in public, Kevin Blake assesses the negative press surrounding the former Olympian's long-term goal of riding at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (29 June)

    Kevin Blake's blog (29 June)

    With Galway revising distances following a survey of their tracks, Kevin argues it's a turning point in the campaign for accurate info - he also ponders whether the handicapping system needs addressing given the dominance of the British in Irish sprints.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (22 June)

    Kevin Blake's blog (22 June)

    Kevin reflects on Royal Ascot where dual Guineas hero Gleneagles landed the St James's Palace Stakes to set up a clash with Queen Anne winner Solow at Glorious Goodwood - he also urges for Wesley Ward to target the Ebor Festival for even more UK glory.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (15 June)

    Kevin Blake's blog (15 June)

    On the eve of Royal Ascot 2015 leading Irish racing writer Kevin Blake looks at how hot favourite Gleneagles could be vulnerable in the St James's Palace Stakes and believes the conditions can bring out the best in Coventry hot favourite Round Two.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (8 June)

    Kevin Blake's blog (8 June)

    Leading racing writer Kevin Blake gives his verdict on the Classics at Epsom where Golden Horn ran out a brilliant winner of the Derby while favourite Legatissimo was narrowly denied by huge outsider Qualify in the Oaks.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (1 June)

    Kevin Blake's blog (1 June)

    Kevin looks at the BHA's consideration to make it mandatory for trainers to declare if one of their horses has had a breathing operation, and asks whether, in an era of data driven sport, racing could be left behind should the proposal not be implemented.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (26 May)

    Kevin Blake's blog (26 May)

    Leading Irish racing writer Kevin Blake salutes trainer Jim Bolger following the maestro’s stunning success in Sunday’s Irish 1000 Guineas with another perfectly executed daring plan.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (19 May)

    Kevin Blake's blog (19 May)

    This week leading Irish racing writer Kevin Blake looks at an issue he feels is holding back Irish racing with regards the reporting of race distances.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (11 May)

    Kevin Blake's blog (11 May)

    Leading Irish racing writer Kevin Blake looks at the decision by a Turf Club referrals committee to exonerate Ted Walsh and two members of his staff of any wrongdoing in the case of Foxrock and his missing shoes at Leopardstown in early December.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (5 May)

    Kevin Blake's blog (5 May)

    Kevin reflects on a memorable Punchestown Festival 2015, which saw big-race victories from the likes of Douvan, Don Cossack, Jezki and Faugheen.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (27 April)

    Kevin Blake's blog (27 April)

    In his latest blog Kevin Blake analyses the legacy of the now retired 20-times champion jumps jockey A P McCoy.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (21 April)

    Kevin Blake's blog (21 April)

    With the flat season stepping up a gear Kevin nominates two rising stars of the training ranks - one of which already has Qatari-owned horses in his care - and identifies an apprentice who provides great value for his 7lb claim.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (13 April)

    Kevin Blake's blog (13 April)

    In his latest blog update leading racing Kevin Blake looks back on an enthralling Crabbie’s Grand National, where racing showcased itself to the wider public.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (7 April)

    Kevin Blake's blog (7 April)

    In his latest blog, Kevin Blake says it's time for racing to back it's showcase event, the Grand National, and asks if Ireland is ready to make the most of an Easter opportunity.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (30 March)

    Kevin Blake's blog (30 March)

    Leading racing writer Kevin Blake presents his views on the week’s big stories including jockey arrangements at Ballydoyle plus Tony McCoy’s announcement that he’ll bow out before the Punchestown Festival.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (23 March)

    Kevin Blake's blog (23 March)

    Exclusive to attheraces.com! Leading racing writer Kevin Blake analyses the week's big stories including the controversial changes made to the British Flat Jockeys' Championship.

  • Kevin Blake's blog (16 March)

    Kevin Blake's blog (16 March)

    In the first instalment of a new exclusive blog on attheraces.com, leading racing writer Kevin Blake looks back on the Cheltenham Festival 2015 and extensively analyses the main talking points.

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