This is the startWe've Started The Journey...

That's right, we don't let the grass grow under our feet at Course Horses. Not even when horses are running on the turf! We are excited to write this first blog post detailing the development of the website. You will notice that we move very quickly. This new design is a template we created ourselves and used on a couple of our many platforms. This website is very much about forwarding information. Basically, it details information about Horse Trainer Website & Social Media, Racecourse Directory for global race tracks (and social media) and also a couple of hot topics: Grand National Directory and Casino news. It just keeps it handy being on one website rather than needing to go from one to the other. Anyway, the site is still under development at the time of writing this post but will be updated at a rate of knots. We appreciate you dropping by and look forward to any feedback. Thanks for your support. Much appreciated. 

Sir Henry Cecil
The Day I Met Sir Henry Cecil 

I guess we all admire people for lots of different reasons. It could be a valued friend, a charitable act or someone in the public eye. Perhaps one of the best things about horse racing is that you are never far away from a horse trainer. They come in all shapes and sizes, some popular, some infamous...some legends. I have been to the races many times with my cousins Danny & Paul. They, like us, love to go to Great Yarmouth. Being close to Newmarket, it makes an ideal haunt for trainers from headquarters. A number of truly talented horses have made their debuts, while other form horses have enjoyed the sea air. Danny always tells me of the day he was standing just behind Henry Cecil, before his knighthood. Danny asked the man himself what he thought of his horse in the next race. He chatted saying: ''Well, his still a big baby and will improve for the race...'' A few words that have stayed in their hearts and minds. They say you should never meet your heroes. Not surprising with a true racing man. When it come to Sir Henry Cecil he lived up to every expectation and more. 

Harry Findlay. Was it you?
A Bundle Of Cash When Kempton Had Flat Turf Racing

This is a memory from a long time ago. I must have been a teenager or in my early twenties. Anyway, a local pub in town, The Men Of March, had a day out to Kempton racecourse. It was in the days of turf racing. I don't know about you, but it always seemed a shame they got rid of a lovely course for the all-weather. It was akin to a jolly boys outing but with men from the fens rather than boys from Peckham. A similar tale of fun, laughter, boozing it up but without the bus exploding. I remember a horse trained by Luca Cumain called Really Brilliant. It won by six or seven lengths. It wasn't the biggest price, perhaps 3/1 or 7/2 at a push. My brother and I noticed it was even money for a place with the Tote. Easy money. That winner made a good day. However, something stuck in my mind. As we walked through the crowd I was shocked to see some random bloke with a ball of cash. I imagine it was twenties or even fifties but it was almost the size of a football and he was struggling to keep hold of the mega win. I have no idea who it was. It could have been Harry Findlay for all I knew. I remember my eyes looking at the cash more than the man. You never know what or who you will see at the course.

This isn't Clopton
Not Keen On The National Hunt 

There are two codes of horse racing: Flat and National Hunt. Which is your favourite? A lot of people love both but often you meet race fans who favour one over the other. Not being funny, but I have never really liked the National Hunt. For the obvious reason: injuries. I know that fatalities are less likely in this age of animal welfare (rightly so). The Grand National has been transformed to a safer more PC race that the old days of ''anything goes''. I remember the day when my heart sank. Reading the Racing Post I saw my old favourite, Clopton, had been fatally injured. He used to be average flat horse trained by Mick Ryan and then went over hurdles for the late Geoff Hubbard. I think he owned Clopton. I always looked at the results to see how he went (mainly to check on his welfare) and saw he had suffered a life-ending injury. I felt sick. I couldn't help wonder if I was one of few people who gave a toss. I imagine others were saddened, too. It was a sad day. There are no guarantees in life. Perhaps Clopton may have sustained a similar injury on the turf. Perhaps he would have lived to run another day. (The horse pictured is not Clopton). 

Lovin' your stats
Where Have All The Betting Odds Gone?

Perhaps I'm just getting old and my mind has been addled by solar bursts and carbon monoxide. However, since the introduction of betting exchanges and the demise of John McCarrick I've notice that the good, old-fashioned betting odds have been slimmed down as if I'm watching an advert for Jennie Craig or whatever her name. I know we have the routine stuff like 1/1 (that's even money for the less intelligent!), 7/4, 15/8 and so on. Yes, I'm not going to detail them all. But what about those old exotics which never seem to see the light of day. The last time I went to the course and saw a 100/6 must have been back in the 1950s. I keep thinking the bookmaker's fancy boards (that glow a lovely shade or orange when its dusk) just can't cater for something a bit different. Too many digits run the battery down! What about 100/8? I may have seen a few 85/40s. Perhaps it's just me and I don't get out enough. I will take a look the next time I venture to Great Yarmouth to see not what's on show. If you see 12/1 I dare you to be old school and ask for 100/8. If it's a vintage bookie he may take your bet and give you a wink at the same time.  

John Virgo Snooker Loopy
John Virgo And His Book That Never Was 

You remember John Virgo? He's the snooker player with those big upside down glasses, hey? Only kidding. I know that was Dennis Taylor. I can tell you the coloured balls on the baulk line too if you are not familiar! Well, Virgo (the sixth sign of the zodiac) was an ok kind of snooker player. He wasn't one of the best but had his day. Anyway, I remember Tony Meo and the gang of that age and they were a bloody sight more interesting than the crew we see today. I like John Virgo (the second largest constellation) because he used to impersonate Ray Reardon, Alex Higgins & Bill Werbeniuk et al. That was at the peak of his playing power and he was still better known for taking the piss out of Alex Higgins. I wonder if that sniffing part was a suggestion he was consuming Coke, diet Pepsi or another popular drinks brand. It was a great performance. I often look back via YouTube. A year or so back, Virgo promoted his autobiography. What fascinated me wasn't so much this book but the one he didn't write. He said he wanted to write a book about gambling. I know he has owned a few horses in his time and I can imagine he likes a poke. He said he had been advised not to write about betting and stick to his life story about snooker. I know which one of the two I would prefer. Get writing, John. 

A day at the races on the beach
Racing On The Beach - It Has To Be Laytown

I really need to get to more racecourses. A few impressive locations which seem to go above and beyond the normal racecourse experience. One place is Laytown in Ireland. You may have seen photos of this course which is actually on the beach. It is in County Meath. It is run under the rules of racing so one of few in the world. Did you know that the first recorded race meeting at Laytown took place in 1868? The race meeting takes place on one day in September. Horses run on the sand over 6- 7f. Another spectacular course I would love to visit in Hong Kong's Happy Valley. A racecourse in the middle of a city. 

The Gov'nor Lenny McClean
The Secret To Winning A Bare Knuckle Fight

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. If that doesn't work, then have a bare knuckle fight. I must admit it isn't my scene. A boxing match following the Marquess Of Queensbury rules is one thing but fighting in a car park over a family rift is another. He said she said...let's fight. To be fair it must take a lot of bottle to fight in the ring let alone some random bloke who turns up and seven foot tall with a three metre reach. One bare knuckle fighter who made a name for himself was Lenny McClean. Also known as The Guv'nor his string of talents included: boxer, bouncer, criminal and prisoner, author, businessman, bodyguard, enforcer, weightlifter, television presenter and actor. He was also known as ''The hardest man in Britain''. I wouldn't have argued with him. The East End hard man made a reputation for himself in the 1960s which lasted until the 1980s. It is claimed he had been involved in 4000 fights. He was associated with the criminal underworld including the Kray twins, Ronnie Biggs and Charles Bronson. In later life, he became an actor in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. He played The Baptist. So what about the secret to winning a bare knuckle fight? This has nothing to do with McClean who didn't need anything beyond brute strength. One of the gypsy kings (can't remember his name) used to prepare for his fights by dipping his hands in petrol which dried out the skin so it was abrasive and likely to cut a rival when punched. McClean died young at the age of 49 from lung cancer. 

So That's Your Prediction

Horse racing is all about predicting the future. Be it crystal ball, tarot cards, tea leaves in the bottom of a cup or studying the form. Do you believe in luck or judgment? You must be a very lucky person to go for the former. Well, I guess if you won the lottery, you may well have good reason to let the cosmos make your decisions. Whatever works for you. Who is to say what is the truth of any matter when once upon a time we couldn't believe there was water on Saturn. I'm going to make a prediction. It's about a horse that will run in the future. If you are reading this post a few months from now - the future has come and gone! You will have the opportunity to click on a link and see if my judgment was good, bad or ugly. OK, let's make a decision. I have a horse which I predict will win a race or two. At the time of writing it is unraced. Karl Burke trains Kadar. This son of Scat Daddy is worthy of your time and, hopefully, wins as predicted. Click this link here to see the result

Mazouronak Finished A Bloody Marathon 

As if running the women's Marathon at the European Championship 2018 wasn't difficult enough, Volha Mazouronack, the 29-year-old Belarusian, suffered a horrendous nose bleed in the early stages of the race. The red-faced supremo shocked spectators as she tried to mop her face with handkerchiefs given by medical staff and wash away streaming blood at water stations along the course. Thankfully, the nose bleed stopped after a few miles. The gritty runner - who finished 5th in the 2016 Olympics - went on to win the gold medal in a time of 2:26:22, just six seconds ahead of Clemence Calvin who finished runner-up. The best of the British contingent saw Tracy Barlow finish fifteenth. Two major hopes Lily Partridge and Charlotte Purdue did not finish.