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.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


As the world of Flat racing holds its breath over the where Frankel will run his last race, there is a similar story to be told within National Hunt racing. 

Kauto Star has returned to Paul Nicholls' yard at the same time his stable mate Denman has left for a post-racing career as a team chaser. 

With questions being raised over the horse's future, should the popular 12-year-old return to the track for one last race? 
Kauto Star's previous run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup certainly enlightened these thoughts. Despite a heavy fall in schooling three weeks before the race, Nicholls still decided to enter his champion alongside rival Long Run.

However, it was too much to ask from the two-time Gold Cup champion, as jockey Ruby Walsh pulled  him up before the tenth fence. 

When Walsh finished the popular race that day, the crowd immediately cheered and clapped. It was noise worthy for a winner. 

And that's what I believe Kauto Star is: he is one of NH's finest, similar to how Frankel is to the Flat. 

I admire the ambition and faith Nicholls puts into Kauto Star as he is a wonder to watch. Last season the old race horse stamped his authority on NH racing. He landed a fifth King George VI Chase title at Kempton as well as returning to Haydock in perfect form. But best of all he is now mentioned in the same awe that Desert Orchid always will be.

I believe that Kauto Star has run his last race and we should remember him for the great titles he has already won; not the ones we thought he could. 

It has been an absolute pleasure watching the 12-year-old compete all his life. But for now I think that Kauto Star should follow Denman in a post-racing career. He has been out of the field all summer and despite having time to rest and soak up more energy, Nicholls should hang up his reins.

I agree that having Kauto Star back on the track for another potential win would be fantastic, but I would hate to see him having to be pulled up again.

If the champion did return for another season, he would have to be sure of a win, otherwise it will be difficult to remember him in the same light as we do now. 

But what an outstanding career he has had. Kauto Star and Frankel = two wonders of the sporting world. 

Friday, 17 August 2012


After the BBC recently lost the rights to broadcast horse racing on their channels, I felt saddened of the fact that we might not see Clare Balding present the sport again on our television screens.

But news of the sports presenter's move to Channel 4 has been met with praise and smiles as I believe Balding is currently the best person for the job. 

During the Olympics I asked various friends and colleagues who they thought were the best hosts for the event. The majority of which answered 'Clare Balding' as she proved to be an outstanding key figure throughout the programming.

However, despite her move to Channel 4, Clare stressed that she will continue with the BBC, which has made me admire her more. 

Channel 4 has confirmed that Clare will will be the lead presenter of its coverage. Their horse racing events will include Aintree's Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival, Glorious Goodwood and Royal Ascot. 

As an aspiring sports presenter, Balding is the perfect role model in the industry. Her warmth on camera as well as her in-depth knowledge of every sport she presents is extremely encouraging. 

Even if she is not an expert in a particular sport, (e.g. boxing) she will do her homework and research into any given topic. 

Personally, Balding has always been an inspiration for me: watching a woman become such a dominate figure in sport has encouraged me to work in the industry and has given me faith that if you put hard work and dedication into your career, you can achieve anything. 

It was an absolute pleasure watching her host Olympic sports and I think Channel 4 have won a winner with regards to their horse racing coverage.