Penworthy writes Spectator Life’s column about horse racing.

Two ante-post tips for the Ayr Gold Cup

The last of this season’s big six-furlong sprint handicaps takes place in Scotland three weeks tomorrow. The Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup is always a competitive affair with up to 25 runners spread across the course, often splitting into two distinct groups on the near side and the far side of the stands. Last year,

Four tips for York’s big meeting tomorrow

The most likely winner of tomorrow’s Sky Bet Ebor Handicap (3.35 p.m.), the most valuable flat race handicap in Europe, is Sweet William. John and Thady Gosden’s four-year-old gelding is going for a four-timer and he will land a £300,000 first prize if he achieves it. Those canny enough to have bagged fancy prices on

Two tips for York next week and one for tomorrow

York’s Ebor meeting next week is one of the highlights of the racing calendar with four days of quality fare on offer from Wednesday onwards. York is a flat, left-handed track suitable for strong galloping horses yet for some inexplicable reason quite a lot of thoroughbreds fail to act on what should be a fair

Two tips for Ascot’s Shergar Cup meeting

Amid the fun and games that always accompanies the Shergar Cup meeting at Ascot, there is at least one horse that goes to the Berkshire track on a deadly serious mission. Connections of PRYDWEN are hoping he can win the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers handicap (tomorrow, 2.10 p.m.) for two reasons. Four teams of

Three bets for Glorious Goodwood

The all-important ground conditions at Glorious Goodwood have varied from ‘good to soft’ to ‘heavy’ this week and that trend could continue over the next two days with a mixed forecast. Throw in the complications of the draw and the unique undulating track and there are plenty of challenges out there for punters. Starting with

Two bets for Ascot tomorrow

The Grade 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes, first run at Ascot in 1951, has lost some of its lustre in recent years. Many of best middle-distance horses have swerved the race and it has often been left with small fields of only modest quality. Yet tomorrow’s race (Ascot, 3.40 p.m.) is

Two ante-post bets for Glorious Goodwood

The delights of Glorious Goodwood are on the horizon and now is a good time to have a bet on a consistent, well-handicapped horse with rock solid course and distance form and who is not ground dependent. Furthermore, he is on offer at a super-generous 33-1 with most bookmakers. REVICH is a credit to the

Three tips for the big weekend handicaps

The two big handicaps tomorrow are the bet365 Bunbury Cup at Newmarket and the John Smith’s Cup at York. Both are early closing races in which the weights were framed by the official handicapper several weeks ago. This means several horses in both races are ‘well in’, in that if the handicapper was in a

Two tips for big handicaps this weekend

Trainer Jamie Osborne has targeted OUZO at most of the big one-mile handicaps since taking over the training of the horse at the beginning of last season from Richard Hannon. To date, the gelding is zero wins from 11 runs for Osborne but that statistic does not tell the full story. Ouzo has run some

A second tip for the Northumberland Plate

When I put up Zoffee at 20-1 for the Jenningsbet Northumberland Plate six weeks ago, I said that I was hoping he would swerve the big staying handicaps at Royal Ascot. I had suspected trainer Hugo Palmer wanted to keep his horse fresh for tomorrow’s target which has a first prize of more than £80,000.

A strong fancy for the Wokingham, Royal Ascot day 5

If there is a so-called ‘group horse masquerading as a handicapper’ in the 28-strong Wokingham field (tomorrow, 5pm), then it is almost certainly the favourite, Orazio. Charlie Hills’ four-year-old grey colt has won his last two handicaps comfortably and this race has been the plan for some time.  However, my strong each way fancy for

Two tips for Royal Ascot on Friday

Frankie Dettori’s final Royal Ascot as a jockey saw more lows than highs over the first couple of days of the meeting. He rode just the one winner but also picked up a nine-day suspension for careless riding on the first day. I am hoping the charismatic Italian enjoys a better day on Friday, particularly

Look for value in Thursday’s Ascot Gold Cup

Coltrane and Eldar Eldarov are vying for favouritism in the Ascot Gold Cup (tomorrow, 4.20pm), the highlight of day three of the royal meeting. They both have strong form and big chances of winning the Group 1 contest over two miles and a half. However, there is little value left in their prices of little

A 33-1 shot and other tips for Royal Ascot day two

The Royal Hunt Cup (tomorrow 5pm) is just the sort of big-field handicap that I relish. At first glance, finding the winner seems impossible with no less 30 runners charging down Ascot’s straight track and the draw having a big effect on the result. Perotto is a worthy favourite: he has proven form at the

Three tips for Royal Ascot tomorrow

Make no mistake, Ed Bethell is a young man going places in the racing world. He is talented trainer, charming with it and he knows how to place his horses to great advantage. Since taking over the trainer’s licence from his father James at the start of 2021, Bethell has nearly doubled the number of

A 14-1 tip for the Ascot Stakes on Tuesday

Fresh from plundering many of the major jumping prizes last season, Irish trainer Willie Mullins will head to Royal Ascot next week with plenty of chances in the big staying races on the flat. Predictably, the bookmakers are taking no chances and his most fancied horses for the two Tuesday staying handicaps are short-priced favourites:

Could the King land his first Royal Ascot winner?

You don’t need to be a genius to know that if you are training for HM The King and HM The Queen, then it would be a shrewd career move to land a Royal Ascot winner for them later this month. This is, of course, the first time that the King and Queen will be

Two tips for the Epsom Derby

It is usually the Grand National at Aintree that throws up a delightful human interest story for the media to relish. Think Devon Loch throwing away the race when poised to win for the Queen Mother in 1956, Foinavon’s 100-1 victory in 1967, Red Rum winning his third National in 1977 and former crock Aldaniti

A 6-1 tip for the Temple Stakes

James Tate is an accomplished young trainer who has won several top races in his time but landing a Group 1 contest is still missing from his CV. That will undoubtedly change at some point and the horse currently in his care most likely to achieve it for him is ROYAL ACCLAIM. Aged four, this likeable

A 20-1 tip for the Northumberland Plate

All-weather racing is usually not for me: it too often serves up poor quality fare featuring either horses past their prime or horses who are simply never going to have a prime worth mentioning. However, the one all-weather race that I do study in depth each year is the Jenningsbet Northumberland Plate and that is because, with prize money of more than £80,000 for the winner, it attracts entries