Penworthy writes Spectator Life’s column about horse racing.

Two more tips for the last day of Cheltenham 

Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup day is almost upon us and the rain-softened ground means the distance of 3 miles 2 furlongs plus will not be for the faint of heart or for those horses whose stamina is in doubt. In the Grade 1 feature race tomorrow (3.30pm), the favourite Galopin Des Champs oozes class but

A 28-1 bet for day three at Cheltenham

The rain continues to fall at Cheltenham and so it is vital to look for horses that like soft ground on day three of the Festival tomorrow. Equine talent that needs the ground similar to the terrain of the M25 to show their best form might as well stay in their stables. One horse that

A 14-1 tip for a handicap on day two of the Cheltenham Festival

The big race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival tomorrow is the Grade 1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.30pm). This will decide which horse in Britain and Ireland is the best chaser over a distance of two miles.  The first three home in the Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase, run at Cheltenham in January,reoppose each other tomorrow. Editeur du Gite caused something of an upset that

A 22-1 tip for day one of the Cheltenham Festival

Few people enjoy the thrill of a winning punt more than me but there are times when betting becomes (almost) irrelevant. Tomorrow at 3.30 p.m. will be one of them. That’s when seven runners will line up for the Unibet Champion Hurdle, the first championship race of this week’s four-day Cheltenham Festival. I will be

A tip for Kelso – and one more for Cheltenham

Trainer Sandy Thomson has long had a knack of improving experienced horses that are moved to his yard. A combination of the healthy Scottish Borders air and a new regime have done wonders for several veteran chasers over the years, including Harry The Viking, Yorkhill and Dingo Dollar. The secret? ‘Individual care. It’s all about

Three big-priced tips as Cheltenham gets closer

If there is one trainer I think might have a memorable Cheltenham for the ‘home team’ in the face of stiff competition from Ireland, it is Harry Fry. The Dorset handler looks as if he has kept some of his best horses fresh and well with the hope of landing a couple of big prizes

A tip for Ascot tomorrow and two more for the Cheltenham Festival

Friends Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero have made a flying start to their new training partnership this season. Both names are on the licence but they have different roles: Greenall is the face of the duo at the racetrack, entertaining owners including several from the many syndicates that are linked to the yard, while Guerriero

Tips for two weekend handicaps at Doncaster and Cheltenham

Many of my best bets over the years have been placed after watching replays of past races, looking out for horses that fared well despite bad luck in running. I have rewatched last year’s Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase several times and there is no doubt that MISTER COFFEY was a desperately

Why an £800 horse can win the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Irish trainer John ‘Shark’ Hanlon recently asked whether he was mad to think his horse Hewick could win the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup. Since the colourful Irishman has never had a runner in the Gold Cup and since the horse in question cost around £800, there was almost certainly a resounding reply from both sides

Back two mudlarks in the big weekend handicaps

Ground conditions at both Warwick and Kempton Park are likely to decide the winners of the two big weekend handicaps tomorrow. A month ago, clerks of the course and groundsmen up and down the country feared it might never rain again. Now it seems to pour almost every day and, as a result, it is

A long shot for the veterans’ chase final at Sandown

Whoever invented veterans’ chase handicaps – for horses aged ten and above – please take a bow. I love them and I have yet to come across anyone in the sport who doesn’t relish the prospect of these old warriors running against each other in their twilight racing years. Inevitably, horses of this age will

Three tips for two big weekend handicap chases

The Paddy Power New Year’s Day Handicap Chase at Cheltenham over more than two and a half miles on Sunday is a hugely competitive affair. There are no less than six horses in this race from my ‘horse tracker’ – horses that have caught my eye for one reason or another recently and that I expect to back in future.

My picks for the Grand National

The Randox Grand National at Aintree is more than three months away but I can’t resist a couple of bets on the race now. At this stage, it is important to bet on a horse that is being targeted at the race but that will not go up in the ratings/weights significantly between now and

Two 20-1 shots for the festive period

The likeable Joe Tizzard was a talented jockey and he is proving equally adept as a trainer. His father, Colin Tizzard, retired at the end of last season after a hugely successful training career so this is Tizzard Jnr’s first season with only his name on the licence. Tizzard has already trained 32 winners this

Who to back at the Welsh National

The Coral Welsh Grand National is my favourite jumps race of the whole season, largely because I have enjoyed a good record in the race over the years. You need a strong stayer, a good jumper and a well-handicapped horse to win the race. Usually, you want a mud-lover too but that’s not guaranteed this time around because of the lack of

How to make a profit on the horses

Welcome one and all to this new weekly column on horse racing. The industry is facing some challenging times – low prize money, small fields, rising costs for trainers/owners, a lack of cohesive leadership and more.  But it is not all doom and gloom and Penworthy – the name derives from a character in P.G.