The turf

The man who takes the stress out of training horses

25 July 2015 9:00 am

For all their formidable physical presence, racehorses spook easily. A sudden gust of wind flapping a plastic sack, a page…

Eclipse

The Eclipse Stakes at Sandown: a pulsating contest between two brave horses and two thinking jockeys

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Eclipse was one of the most remarkable racehorses ever. Sired by the then undistinguished Marske, whom mares could visit for…

Ryan Moore is the new Lester Piggott

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Nothing pleases the Royal Ascot crowd more than a winner for the meeting’s crucial supporter, the Queen. Imagine, then, the…

Frankie Dettori: Britain’s favourite Italian is back

13 June 2015 9:00 am

Nothing has been lost since William Powell Frith painted his Derby Day panorama in 1858: today, instead of the carriages…

Why jockeys prefer riding on the Flat

30 May 2015 9:00 am

Getting to Goodwood last Saturday was an achievement in itself. On the Bank Holiday weekend I calculated a cross-country route…

My Twelve to Follow are seven up

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Back on political duty with CNN in election week, I came across a dead rat in Downing Street. It had…

Farewell to the iron man, Tony McCoy

2 May 2015 9:00 am

At Sandown Park last Saturday an era ended. Twenty thousand of us turned up to cheer on Tony McCoy as…

AP McCoy’s last chance for a fairy-tale ending

18 April 2015 9:00 am

It all depends how you like your fairy tales. OK, so we would have loved the retiring Tony ‘AP’ McCoy,…

Who will fund a prize for the true fighter pilots of the Turf?

4 April 2015 9:00 am

After listening to a violinist’s justification of his playing, Dr Samuel Johnson responded tartly: ‘Difficult do you call it, Sir?…

Disneyland comes to the Cheltenham Festival

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Irish racing guru Ted Walsh was asked at the start of Gold Cup day if retiring champion jockey Tony McCoy…

Racing’s biggest issue is the decline in field sizes

7 March 2015 9:00 am

‘I don’t want to seem unromantic,’ said Mrs Oakley as St Valentine’s Day approached, ‘but this year please don’t buy…

Why Mark and Sara Bradstock have only 12 horses is a mystery to me

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Some mysteries will never be solved, like why planes and boats disappear in the Bermuda Triangle, cats always land on…

This autobiography written by a horse that is not as offputting as it sounds

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Banks only lend money to those who can prove they don’t need it and it has not been a happy…

The Grand National doesn’t need Jeremy Kyle

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Never mind David Cameron. Are you participating in the Great Debate about an event of national significance that stirs the…

Venetia Williams: an enigmatic woman who trains winners

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Welsh Grand National day at Chepstow could not have had a better climax than the big race. After slogging three…

Christmas reading for racing folk

13 December 2014 9:00 am

‘Hang on a minute—he’s a bit wobbly,’ trainer Oliver Sherwood told photographers imploring him to stand with his winner when…

Silviniaco answered his critics emphatically at Haydock

29 November 2014 9:00 am

‘I’m going for Al Ferof,’ said a suit in front of me in the Totepool queue at Ascot on Saturday…

Robin Oakley's Twelve to Follow for 2015 (this year's came out ahead)

15 November 2014 9:00 am

November has never been my favourite month, not since the time when as a Rugby-playing student my face was rearranged…

Maybe Mrs Oakley is right: all my tips will come in second

1 November 2014 9:00 am

The novelist Anita Brookner once declared that in real life hares always beat tortoises: ‘Every time. Look around you. And…

My first Arc de Triomph was a triumph

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Aboard our coach from Rouen to Paris for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe our lady guide put it succinctly:…

These are the ones to watch in the Prix de l’Abbaye and the Derby

4 October 2014 9:00 am

Rightly, the authorities are doing all they can to find and discipline the disgruntled racegoer who threw a beer can…

When jockeys earn so little, temptation is not surprising

20 September 2014 9:00 am

While Mrs Oakley was patrolling the aisles in Waitrose one day recently, I slipped off into my local betting shop.…

The making of a racing realist

6 September 2014 9:00 am

One of the greatest parliamentary sketch-writers of all time, Norman Shrapnel, made a point of never socialising with the politicians…

Some horses go better for a woman

23 August 2014 9:00 am

Mrs Oakley returned from her latest book club with an uplifting story. The Mother Superior of an Irish convent was…

Goodwood is Ascot without the vulgarity, Aintree without the spray tans

9 August 2014 9:00 am

If I get to choose where to spend my last day on earth it will probably be at Glorious Goodwood.…