Abby Rugg

Name: Abby Rugg
Qualification: Gold Standard NCTJ Multi-Media Journalism Diploma. (Including 100 words-per-minute shorthand)
Employment: Worked at BBC Sport and Deltatre for London 2012.
Future Aim: To work in broadcast/production television.
Blog: Started in November 2011. Published on The Sports Investor and Value Horse Tips. Please comment on a post or follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, 29 December 2011


KIERAN BURKE has announced that Sparky May has been retired as a result of a leg injury.

The horse was winner a Grade Two at Ascot and won four consecutive hurdles last season. She  finished as runner-up in the David Nicholson at Cheltenham as well as third in a Grade One at Aintree. 

Trainer Kieran Burke said: It's a big blow, a massive blow for the yard,"

"Nothing showed up after her last run at Ascot but we thought something might be bothering her.

"She did her first bit of work but we had a scan done on her yesterday and we have decided she will have to be retired."

Monday, 26 December 2011


GRANDS CRUS stormed to victory in the Feltham Novices' Chase at Kempton by producing a superb performance over the jumps today.

David Pipe's horse proved to be a worthwhile favourite as he left his rivals, including Bobs Worth, fighting for second position.

Tom Scudamore also performed well, as he never lost focus throughout the race and he knew that Grands Crus was capable of a fantastic run.

Even on the home straight when Silviniaco Conti and Bobs Worth were closing in, Scudamore kept his cool and rode the grey to yet another victory.

Grands Crus adds to the list of greys that have graced Kempton, including One Man and of course, Desert Orchid.


KAUTO STAR made history in the racing world by winning the King George VI Chase at Kempton for the fifth time today.
Paul Nicholls' Champion Chaser ran a superb race by beating the Nicky Henderson's Long Run.
Kauto Star had equalled Desert Orchid's record with four wins in the Chase at Kempton, but his latest triumph in his career has now seen him crowned the 'King of Kings'.
Ruby Walsh, who rode Kauto Star to victory, said that the horse is "amazing" and he's just like a "fairytale". 
The 11 year-old put his rivals to shame as he put on a fantastic jumping performance and once he hit the home straight, not even Long Run could catch him.
Even though Kauto Star is to turn 12 next week, trainer Paul Nicholls said that "he is the best".
"If he gets to Cheltenham in that form he will be the one to beat," he added.


The Three Big Races:

2:00 - Grands Crus
2:35 - Binocular
3:10 - King George VI Chase - Master Minded
          This is probably the most difficult race that I have ever seen. Two favourites lead the race, Kauto Star and Long Run. Can Paul Nicholls' horse win for the fifth time in his career? Or can Nicky Henderson's horse beat the King? Master Minded and Captain Chris look the most decent outsiders. I've seen Master Minded win superbly at Cheltenham, so Nicholls' second horse in the race is most likely to cause the biggest upset.

Thursday, 22 December 2011


ODDS are heating up in The King George VI Chase as Kauto Star has been cut to 3-1 after it has been announced that he will face just seven other horses.

Paul Nicholls' 11-year-old is bidding to become the first horse in history to win the Chase at Kempton for the fifth time.

Kauto Star previously battled against Long Run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month, and his win then proves to punters that the horse had returned to his former glory. 

Nicholls has created a double attack on rivals in the race as stablemate Master Minded will also run in the 3m Chase. 

Kauto Star was previously going to face eight other horses, but Philip Hobbs decided to take Hennessy runner-up, Planet of Sound out of the race.

Nicholls, Clive Smith and Nicky Henderson are getting their claws out this Boxing Day, as the King George 2011 looks set to create a fantastic atmosphere at Kempton.

If Kauto Star wins this race for the fifth time, history will be made. But, who are you backing?

Runners in the King George VI Chase:

Kauto Star, Long Run, Golan Way, Master Minded, Captain Chris, Somersby, Diamond Harry, Nacarat


BINOCULAR and Overturn are to battle it out once more in Kempton's Christmas Hurdle on Monday (26th).
Overturn was beaten by Binocular in last year's race, yet Henderson's horse only made second place in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle last month.
Binocular is currently the favourite to win the race at 10-1.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


FOOTBALL has reached into the world of horse racing after news that Manchester United player, Wayne Rooney, will take ownership of a yearling in 2012.
In partnership with his wife, Coleen, the England striker will have a two-year old yearling in training with Tom Dascombe next year. 
Rooney has always enjoyed an occasional day out at Chester races but he showed a greater interest in the sport after Michael Owen invited him to Manor House Stables.
Owen owns the yard in partnership with Betfair co-founder Andrew Black, and this is where Rooney's yearling will be trained.
Let's see if this high-profile football player can have as much success on the track as he does on the pitch. 

Monday, 19 December 2011


BIG BUCKS is now on the road to being a legendary horse in the racing world after winning his 14th successive victory on Saturday (17th).

The horse, trained by Paul Nicholls, has a special talent that was easily visible in the Lough Derg Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, and it is fair to say that he is now en route to becoming one of the greatest horses in the sport.

If Nicholls had not steered the horse back to hurdles, Big Bucks' story would have been very different.

Stablemates Kauto Star and Denman add to Nicholls' success as both horses are also champions within the sport. Even though Denman retired earlier this month due to injury, 'The Tank' is remains high up with the greatest.

The reappearance of Big Buck's in the public eye will increase his interest in the Festival early next year, where he will try and make a 15th consecutive win. 

Ruby Walsh summed up Big Bucks' potential by claiming the horse could win an Ascot Gold Cup.

This horse is definitely one to put your money on.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Female jockey Kirsty Milczarek has been banned from racing after being found guilty in a corruption scandal involving four other people.

The 26-year old was found guilty of committing 'corrupt or fraudulent' practices by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

Milczarek, who is currently dating jockey Kieren Fallon, may also face a 25-year ban in the sport for the betting scam.

Milczarek and the other jockeys were accused of trying to lose 10 races in online gambling coups and scheming with two owners (named as Maurice Sines and James Crickmore) and six punters. 

The other jockeys were identified as Greg Fairley, Paul Doe, Paul Fitzsimons and Jimmy Quinn.

Milczarek is one of Britain's best female jockeys and she started dating Fallon, 46, shortly after he had been banned from the sport for failing a drug test for the second time in his career.

This is the biggest corruption inquiry that horse racing has ever seen.

The investigation came as a result of suspicious activities on betting exchanges where money was gambled on horses winning or losing races. 

The inquiry was centred on horses being backed to lose races between January 17 and August 15 in 2009.

Saturday, 10 December 2011


BABY Mix made a superb British debut today in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial Juvenile Hurdle as he beat favourite Hinterland.
Ruby Walsh put Hinterland in an early lead in the first race at Cheltenham, but Baby Mix stormed ahead along the final furlong, beating Walsh and five other rivals.
Paddy Brennan jumped the last hurdle fluently, leaving the 2-7 favourite firmly behind as he charged ahead by seven lengths.
Baby Mix won at 14/1.


JOCKEY Barry Geraghty produced a fantastic performance at Cheltenham today by pulling out a treble win for trainer Nicky Henderson.

Henderson, who celebrated his birthday today, got the final leg of the treble when Geraghty won the last race of the day with Oscar Whisky.

Oscar Whisky powered round the circuit as he took the race in his merciful stride, making Henderson drunk with excitement.

In the Gold Cup Handicap Chase, Quantitativeeasing was given a masterful ride by Geraghty but was overlooked by many in favour for Sunnyhillboy.

Great Endeavour, ridden by Timmy Murphy, was also heavily backed in the race as the horse ran well at Cheltenham last month.

Pipe's horses, Great Endeavour and Salut Flo, ran and jumped fluently  until Murphy crashed out on a fence.

Quantitativeeasing rhythmically took the lead alongside Medermit (Robert Thornton) and Calgary Bay.

The three horses were neck-to-neck on the final furlong, but Geraghty powered past the post in prime position.

Medermit was eating at Quantitativeeasing's heels which created a thrilling race for the punters, yet Thornton was not able to overcome the horse's stride.

The next race, The International, started off with Overturn as favourite yet Grandouet placed himself firmly in the frame.

Overturn led the pack at the beginning with Grandouet racing strongly behind.

With the final two hurdles to go, Geraghty made his move and leapt ahead of Brampour and Overturn.

The final three plucked ahead of the others and Grandouet was able to pull through and win the race for 61-year-old Henderson.

Even with Gergahty bringing home two major Chase titles for his stable, Henderson was over-the-moon.

With Oscar Whisky, the shortest priced out of all three winners, finishing the Unicoin Homes Relkeel Hurdle in first position, Henderson celebrated his birthday in style.

It seems that both trainer and jockey will celebrate with a glass of whisky tonight.

Thursday, 8 December 2011


Cheltenham racecourse looks all set for a busy weekend as horses, jockeys and trainers prepare for The International.

Favourites such as Fair Along, Mon Parrain, and Edgardo Sol return in form for the weekend.

My Predictions:

Solix: Won his last race in a Chase at Ascot when 4/5F beating Duke of Lucca by 12l.
Sam Winner: Successful in two hurdle races on good to soft ground.

Edgardo Sol: Has won at Cheltenham and Aintree this season. Successful in a hurdle race and a chase on good and good to soft ground.
Golden Gael: Has won at Chepstow this season. She has two hurdle races and a NH flat race.
Dancewiththedevil: Winner of five hurdle races and a NH flat race.

Nudge and Nurdle: Each-way bet as last win was over two years ago. Well beaten in last run at Wincanton.

Mon Parrain: Well-beaten behind Great Endeavour on his last outing in a Grade 3 chase at Cheltenham last month.
Shakalakaboomboom: One of my favourite horses out tomorrow. Won at 14-1 in a chase at Punchestown on his previous outing in May.
Fair Along: A Cheltenham favourite. Worth backing each-way.

Garde Champetre: Has two hurdle races and 10 chases. However was beaten by Uncle Junior on his previous outing last month so needs to up his game tomorrow.

Di Kaprio: Won at 11-1 in a hurdle race at Newbury last month. Worth backing even within his      company.
Garton King: Last outing was in October last year where he beat Royal Collonges by 4l.

Balding Banker: Ruby Walsh riding this horse so definitely worth looking at. Second out of 24 on his hurdling debut at Wincanton last month.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Attention All Racing Fans!

The International at Cheltenham racecourse is happening this week (9th and 10th December).

Cheltenham is my favourite race course and I am going to be attending the fixtures this year.

Watch this page for articles on the winners and losers; trainers and jockeys; and my predictions.

If you want to tell me what horse you will be backing, tweet me @abby_rugg

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


POPULAR hurdler Lough Derg ran his last race on Saturday (Dec 3rd) at Ascot.

Trainer David Pipe retired the 11-year-old following an encouraging comeback race at Exeter but his outing at Ascot told punters that it was time to leave the racing world behind. 

Lough Derg's career has spanned eight years, 61 races and 12 victories. 

It has now been revealed that the Grade One staying hurdle at Ascot a week Saturday will be known as the 'Lough Derg Long Walk Hurdle'.

Pipe writes on his website: "The tough as teak eleven year old, drew the admiration of countless National Hunt racing fans with his heart on his sleeve, never say die style of front running which yielded him success at Grade One level and earned connections almost £375,000 in prize money."

"There are too many highlights from his distinguished career to elaborate on here, however he would go on to finish runner-up in the 2006 Grade One Long Walk hurdle at his beloved Ascot  before going one place better the following year with a typically gallant front-running performance to defeat dual Champion Hurdler Hardy Eustace."

"It is perhaps his association with jockey Tom Scudamore for which he is best known, his performance prompting his partner to burst into tears after winning the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell for a second successive year in 2009.  It is this kind of emotion that has endeared Lough Derg to the public and I am sure that his legion of followers will be thrilled to hear that he ends his career sound, happy and in rude health, bucking and squealing."

Lough Derg Stats:  8 jockeys, 12 wins, 18 places, 61 races, 169 miles raced, £374, 512 prize money
A link to David Pipe's website

Monday, 5 December 2011

Latest Odds for Queen Mother Champion Chase 2012

Sizing Europe and Big Zeb lead the way for this Chase for the Cheltenham Festival.

Colm Murphy's horse is currently at 5/1 and Henry de Bromhead's Tingle Creek champion leads at 5/2.

Kauto Stone (12/1) and Master Minded (16/1) follow close behind - it will be interesting to see where all these big names end up in the race.

Wishfull Thinking also spices up the mix at 33/1. Definitely an each-way bet.

Following the Tingle Creek chase at Sandown on Saturday, Sizing Europe and Kauto Stone look set to battle it out again for the punters.


Saturday, 3 December 2011


SIZING Europe has seized another victory today by winning the Tingle Creek at Sandown.

The 11/8F battled against Nicholls' Kauto Stone, half-brother to Champion horse Kauto Star.

Wishfull Thinking, ridden by Richard Johnson, started ahead of Sizing Europe, leading by 15 lengths at the seventh fence.

Sizing Europe and Kauto Stone galloped behind, both jumping fluently over the fences.

As the second half of the Chase came into action, Sizing Europe and Kauto Stone closed the gap with Wishfull Thinking.

Johnson may have raced ahead too quickly, leaving Wishfull Thinking less time to recover against the two horses battling against him.

The crowd roared as riders Andrew Lynch and Ruby Walsh reached the final furlong, yet by the last jump Sizing Europe was easily the best horse on form, leading by 5-6 lengths ahead of Kauto Stone.

Sizing Europe may have been a little slow on the fences on the back straight, but Andrew Lynch proved to the punters exactly why the horse is a champion chaser.

Full result:
1st -   Sizing Europe, 11/8F
2nd -  Kauto Stone, 7/2
3rd -   Cornas, 16/1