The Punchestown Festival is set to be the battleground between Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott in deciding who becomes Champion Trainer and here leading racing writer Kevin Blake analyses the numbers behind the title hunt.
The Punchestown Festival is set to be the battleground between Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott in deciding who becomes Champion Trainer and here leading racing writer Kevin Blake analyses the numbers behind the title hunt.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake salutes Rachael Blackmore as she stands on the verge of being the first female jockey to be crowned Champion Conditional Rider in Ireland.
Kevin Blake discusses two drugs related cases that broke in Ireland this week, concerning Willie Mullins and Yeomanstown Stud.
Kevin looks forward to Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National and outlines why it will pay to follow those at the head of the handicap in the world’s most famous steeplechase.
Kevin looks at Arrogate’s incredible victory in Saturday’s Dubai World Cup and argues that the creation and success of innovative concept races can keep the best horses on the track for longer.
In his latest column, Kevin reflects on the key talking points that emerged from the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.
In his final update before the Cheltenham Festival, Kevin offers some pointers for the four-day extravanganza.
In his latest column leading racing writer Kevin Blake gives his verdict on whether there is an anti-Irish bias in British National Hunt handicapping.
Kevin Blake discusses the uncompetitive nature of National Hunt racing, both on the track and in betting terms, and suggested a number of potential reforms that could potentially see jumps racing prosper once more.
Kevin looks at the running of the Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan on Sunday where Acapella Bourgeois ran out a 32-length winner and ask why, even though the riders behind the winner didn’t do anything notably wrong, there wasn’t a stewards’ enquiry called.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake analyses the four Grade 1 contests that took place at Leopardstown on Sunday and argues that one of the winners makes appeal at the current prices for his festival target.
On Friday it was announced that female riders in France would be given a weight allowance, here, Kevin argues why the ruling should be given a fair chance.
Kevin revisits his statistical analysis of Ruby Walsh's last obstacle falls.
Kevin reflects on a tragic Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday in which 2015 Grand National hero Many Clouds defeated Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite and previously unbeaten chaser Thistlecrack but died after crossing the line.
With the precocious exploits of 17-year-old Irish National Hunt rider Jack Kennedy firmly in the headlines, Kevin Blake questions whether fledgling jockeys rising quickly through the ranks is positive across the entire young jockey population.
In his latest column Kevin analyses Yorkhill’s victory at Leopardstown on Sunday and looks at what impact the new non-trier rules that came into play at Navan on Saturday had on the stewards’ behaviour.
In his latest column Kevin looks at the Turf Club’s new non-trier rules and says they could be a watershed moment for the integrity of Irish racing.
Kevin argues that the controversial decision by Jockey Club Racecourses to close Kempton Park may help pave the way for a better future for British racing.
In his latest update Kevin presents positive changes that can be made to prevent alleged manipulation of Rule 4 deductions.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake examines some of the pressures that top jockey Bryan Cooper is under in his role as number one rider to the powerful Gigginstown House Stud operation.
Kevin reveals the latest instance of a horse whose odds more than halved in price after being declared a non-runner.
In his latest update leading racing writer Kevin Blake reflects on ITV Racing's debut on Sunday.
Thistlecrack might not be the 'perfect' chaser, but his win in the King George VI Chase has star quality written all over it.
In his latest blog leading racing writer Kevin Blake looks forward to a mouth-watering duel between the Colin Tizzard-trained duo Cue Card and Thistlecrack in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake reflects in the Jim Best case and is critical of the way it was handled by the BHA and the punishment given to the trainer.
In his latest blog Kevin looks at how racing in Hong Kong is so punter-friendly and argues if Britain and Ireland followed their lead we’d have the potential to be the best in the world.
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.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake calls for more running-and-riding inquiries to improve the reputation of the integrity of Irish racing.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake looks at the influx of talent at Colin Tizzard’s upwardly-mobile Dorset yard and assesses what it could mean for Tizzard, who also trains National Hunt heavyweights Cue Card and Thistlecrack.
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.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake pays tribute to Vautour and analyses the pick of the weekend action from the Breeders' Cup and Down Royal.
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.
Kevin Blake compares and contrasts the culture of racing and training regimes between Australia and Europe as our southern-hemisphere counterparts compete at the height of their racing season.
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.
Kevin Blake suggests a new system for Irish owners to pay training fees to trainers which could benefit the health and security of a trainer's business.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With a number of valuable handicaps to be run during Irish Champions Weekend, Kevin Blake wonders could the recent British dominance in such races continue?
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.
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.
Kevin Blake discusses the recent announcement from Horse Racing Ireland on adjustments made to the Irish National Hunt programme.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Connections of Pyromaniac with have their appeals heard at the Turf Club Appeals Body on Thursday - here Kevin Blake looks at how the Turf Club police the sport.
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.
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.
Kevin Blake discusses the announcement of sectional timing being introduced to Irish tracks and the many benefits it will have across different aspects of the racing industry.
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.
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.
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.
As we approach the Investec Derby at Epsom, leading racing writer Kevin Blake examines what actually makes it the world’s most challenging race.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake reflects on a memorable Irish Guineas weekend at the Curragh which saw remarkable victories in both of the Classics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In his latest update Kevin examines the fallout from the Noble Emperor appeal and argues for the Turf Club to implement a fair and consistent disciplinary system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In his latest blog leading racing writer Kevin Blake dissects the main talking points from the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.
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.
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.
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.
Kevin Blake assesses top National Hunt jockey Ruby Walsh in relation to the sport's other leading riders in negotiating the final obstacle over a period of just past seven years.
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.
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.
With Willie Mullins currently having the ante-post favourite for 11 of the 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival, Kevin Blake extensively examines weather the Irish champion trainer’s dominance is ruining National Hunt racing.
Following Faugheen’s best and most complete performance yet in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday, Kevin Blake pays tribute to Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci’s superstar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake looks at the key questions that will be answered on the turf on either side of the Irish Sea over the festive period.
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.
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 looks at events at Fairyhouse on Saturday where five running-and-riding enquiries were called, resulting in two bans under the non-triers rule.
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'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 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.
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's blog this week is a follow up from a previous piece relating to bookmaker restrictions.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 argues it’s time for earplugs to be declared and that Irish punters should be represented.
Kevin looks at interference rules and why British raiders are over performing in Irish sprint handicaps.
Kevin addresses the each-way betting system and assesses its relationship with bookmakers and punters.
Leading racing writer Kevin Blake pays tribute to Hurricane Fly and explains why he will remember the superstar hurdler as The Greatest.
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.
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 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 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.
Leading Irish racing writer Kevin Blake looks forward to the 2015 Galway Festival.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 reflects on a memorable Punchestown Festival 2015, which saw big-race victories from the likes of Douvan, Don Cossack, Jezki and Faugheen.
In his latest blog Kevin Blake analyses the legacy of the now retired 20-times champion jumps jockey A P McCoy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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