Thursday, 1 September 2011




PETER SCARGILL “A special investigation into the increase in number of young horses sold to race abroad as prize-money and opportunity dry up in Britain.
“THE extent of the overseas exodus of British – trained horses has been underlined by figures provided by the  Hong Kong Jockey Club, which reveal  a 200 per cent rise in five years ….

RODNEY MASTERS  "TURNER AGONY as broken ankle puts her out for two months
"HAYLEY TURNER'S dream season took a painful turn for the worse yesterday, when the most successful female rider in British racing history was left nursing a broken ankle following a freak pre-race incident at Bath.
“Turner, who has won two Group 1 sprints this year, is set to miss the bulk of the rest of the season and a potentially lucrative autumn campaign in which she was poised to bid for another top-level success aboard her Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes – winning partner MARGOT DID in the Qatar Trix de L’Abbaye.

“Initial diagnosis suggested the incident at Bath has resulted in nothing worse than bruising and news of Turner’s fracture – revealed first on  - came as a surprise to no one more than the jockey herself.

“Turner landed heavily on her left shin and ankle when favourite ROSE AURORA 4 8-7 dropped her while heading to the start of Bath’s second race the 3.00 over 1m5f handicap.
 (four year old filly rating (70) trained by Marcus Tregoning for Kingswood House Racing)

FORM: “ROSE AURORA caught the eye a few times last year including when arguably unlucky at Brighton in October but connections struggled to find right combination of trip, tactics and headgear; well beaten favourite only outing  ……. Patience now wearing thin; visor worn for last three runs, now left off but first-time today, tongue-tie added. Last ran in April 2011 on only start before this day, this year finishing 6th  149 days ago.

J MARGARET CLARKE TURFCALLRuns to date look like this filly has run a total of seven times, the first five runs as a three year old in 2010. Did not race as a two year old in 2009.
ROSE AURORA is clearly a troubled filly, she is confused and unhappy. Why is this? Clearly this filly is thought good enough to persevere with, but is proving tricky to handle and to ride, finds it difficult to concentrate, is very easily distracted and frightened, has no confidence left in herself, now as a last resort she is using her fear to escape as best she can from what in her perception is dangerous and frightening. All this is the reason why HAYLEY TURNER has a broken ankle.

TODAY’S RACECARDS: Salisbury, Newton Abbot, Redcar, Kempton and Clonmel

PART FOUR “TERRY RAMSDEN, who won and lost a fortune in the 1980’s, is the latest Legendry Gambler in our week- long series .

Marco Botti, a trainer on the rise, talks to  PETER THOMAS how he is relishing the prospects of his stable star taking on GOLDIKOVA and FRANKEL this autumn.

RICHARD HUGHES, gives his essential insight from the saddle

PATRICK VEITCH, PART FIVE the Legendry Gambler in focus

NIJINSKY, this remarkable colt is TONY MORRIS’S GIANT of the TURF



“In the third part of a week-long series, HOWARD WRIGHT   examines the phenomenal success of the innovative genius who brought a new dimension to race analysis.

“When Bull the Biography was published in September 1995, a promotion flyer distributed by the publishers Timeform described the account of the life and loves of its late founder Phil Bull as “the long- awaited story of racings most celebrated and successful punter, the man who won over £4.5 million”.

“Had the book, which remains available through all good literary websites, been published this September, the tag line would have been updated to “the man who won over £7.4 million.

“That is the measure of the rate at which inflation has straddled Britain over the last 16 years. It is also the measure by which the Yorkshire miner’s son,  who gave up teaching pre-teenager schoolchildren in London to produce racing information for his and the public’s benefit as punters, can be judged.

“As a schoolboy Bull bet in shillings, today’s fivepences. In his prime, from 1943 to 1952, he made successive net annual profits that if replicated now would total  more than £6.3 million, with in excess of £2.06 million coming in a two-year purple patch towards the end of World War 11.

“Even before then, shortly after Bull quit teaching, he won enough money from backing the 1940 Derby winner PONT L’EVEQUE to move from a Victorian, brick, terraced house in Balham to a five-bedroom, double-fronted detached house, built of London stone with a large rear garden, in a sought –after residential area of Putney.

“Bull, a devout atheist and latterly champagne socialist, was not afraid to invest his money, and he used betting to finance both a business and the lifestyle to which he grew accustomed

on his return to Yorkshire in 1944.

“I’m not a gambler,” he was to say in notes prepared in 1969 for a never-to-be-published  autobiography. Betting as such does not interest me; I couldn’t be interested in bingo or roulette, they are pure gambling.

“Racing is different. It’s a continuing play, with a fresh set of  individual  characters every year. Not a who done it, but a who’ll do it.

“There’s a challenge to solve, and success or failure is reflected in one’s bank balance. A fascinating challenge to one’s skills.”

“Bull’s fascination can be traced to his early childhood. “My mother was a schoolmistress,” he told a bookmakers’ annual dinner in Liverpool in 1964. “Very early she taught me to count correctly-one, 5-4, 6-4, 7-4, two.

“While other boys learned that a double was a large whisky, a treble was a boy chorister and an accumulator was a device for storing electricity, my mother was at pains to explain the true meaning of these words.”

“Apocryphal? Maybe, but Bull’s mathematical skills in relation to racing began to be honed in the process of gaining a modest degree at Leeds University, where he became interested in the statistical analysis of race times.

“The time a horse takes to run a certain distance depends on many things: The conformation of the track, the state of the going, wind strength and direction, and the pace in which the race is run. Unless all these things are taken into account, the bare time itself is meaningless,” he wrote later.

“Bull’s 1969 autobiographical briefing, written in the third person, added: “He developed a technique of evaluating the real value of the time performance of a horse. It was very successful, and Phil Bull bet on his conclusions with considerable profit. He then began a mail order Time Test service, selling the information to the public. This too was very successful, so he gave up teaching.”

“Produced originally under the name of William K Temple, since Bull’s status as a teacher precluded  using his own name, the Time Test was responsible for both his first substantial bet and his first winnings of over £10,000.

“Bull had marked down DANTE as “a brilliant two-year-old” in Best Horses of 1944, the third of the now familiar annuals that turned into the Racehorses series, and argued there was sufficient evidence to suggest he would stay well enough to get the Derby distance.

“He had a “serious bet” on DANTE in the 2000 Guineas and, having decided that defeat by COURT MARTIAL was for want  of “further distance”, he had  £1,000 each way at 5-1 for the Derby within an hour of his Newmarket defeat.

“The following day he was advertised at 10-1,” he recalled in an interview with Geoffrey Hamlyn. “So I went in again and altogether backed him to win about £14,000.”

“DANTE started 100-30 favourite for the Derby and won by two lengths. Bull collected today’s equivalent of £456,000 towards an annual profit that would now be worth £1.2 million.

“The following year’s substantial winnings went towards buying Bull’s final home, The Hollins, on the outskirts of Halifax-later described as “the nearest thing to a castle in Calderdale “ –for £8,750.

“In 1949, when Bull won today’s equivalent of £830,000, he used the proceeds from backing one of selling –plate king Bob Ward’s specials- HELLO SPRING in a two- year- old race at Doncaster – to set up his mistress  Nell Oxley and their two children for life, with a house, car and annuity.

“In absolute terms , though, Bull’s best year was 1952, when he netted £37,892, according to the betting records he kept meticulously from 1945  to 1974.

“By then his inability to produce the Best Horses annual on time had led to him abandoning time figures and taking up form ratings compiled by Dick Whitford, who worked for Bull from 1945 to 1949 but never received proper recognition for his contribution to the new publication, Timeform, from his boss.

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