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.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Trainer Paul Nicholls is pulling out big names for Sandown's Tingle Creek Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

With wonder horses Kauto Star and Denman now retired, stablemates of the two racing legends have been passed the baton that will take them to glory.

Sanctuaire, the highest rated novice chaser Nicholls has ever trained and remains unbeaten in all three starts over fences, will feature in the Tingle Creek Chase on Saturday December 8.

But despite his success he faces a tough test in his reappearance on the track with unbeaten second-season chaser Sprinter Sacre.

The Tingle Creek attracts the best two mile steeple chasers in the country and often acts as a springboard for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Kauto Star is also to make a special appearance at Sandown Park next weekend.

But things haven't stopped there for the trainer. Silviniaco Conti is joint-favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

The six-year-old ridden by top jockey Ruby Walsh is now 5-1jf for racing's biggest event after winning by two-and-a-half-lengths in Haydock's Betfair Chase to make it two wins from a total of two starts this season.

On the day a statue of Kauto Star was unveiled at Haydock, where he won the Betfair Chase four times, it was great to see Silviniaco Conti emerge as a possible superstar.

So Paul Nicholls shows no sign of slowing down and it is wonderful to watch more of his high-rated horses come into racing's spotlight.

Sanctuaire and Silviniaco Conti are just two examples of Nicholls' tremendous work he does for the sport and I have no doubt that the trainer can keep on creating winners in all the years he will remain in racing.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


** Due to 15mm of rain overnight, racing at Warwick racecourse has been abandoned. 
Updated 09:35 21/11/12

Grand National winner Neptune Collonges will be paraded at Warwick racecourse tomorrow (Wednesday) following his success in the Aintree event.

photoPhoto by Meteorshoweryn taken from Flickr
Fresh from Al Ferof's victory in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Steeplechase at Cheltenham on Saturday, owner John Hales will be at the 2012 champion's side in front of the crowd at the jumps fixture.
The Grand National in April was perhaps one of the most exciting and adrenaline-rushing races this country has ever witnessed.
Paul Nicholls' grey pulled a nostril in front of Sunnyhill Boy at the very last second of the race, leaving thousands of people stunned at his and jockey Daryl Jacob's superb effort.
He was immediately retired after the race.
Not only is the horse a wonder of the track, he is a star in dressage, where he recently won in a competition with a score of 79 per cent, thanks to Hales' daughter, Lisa, who re-trained him.
I hope that a large crowd turns out at Warwick tomorrow because I feel that Nicholls' first ever Grand National winner is a legend in his own right.
Kauto Star and Denman have often over-shadowed Neptune's talent as they all belonged to the same yard but since the grey burst onto the Aintree track this year he has definitely proved that he is in the same league as his superstar stablemates.

Neptune Collonges was purchased by Highflyer Bloodstock who sponsor The Highflyer Four Year Old Chase, the only race for four year olds in the racing calendar.

Neptune Collonges is one of racing's greatest talents and I hope that he will remembered for a long time. 

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Racing's most improved horse, Hunt Ball, has what it takes to go the extra mile of becoming a star of the jump racing season.

While being part of a training operation that has no gallops of its own, the horse's recent achievement is fantastic for owner Anthony Knott.

He has backed the horse to win £1million, an act that shows his confidence in the seven-year-old gelding.

The plan is for the Cheltenham Gold Cup to act as Hunt Ball's spring-board towards the season's two biggest titles, the King George VI Chase and the gold cup itself.

He currently stands as the second favourite for the gold cup and completing all would net a seven figure payout from bookmakers.

It would be a real fairytale for the the 'smaller' person and horse with countryside roots to come away with the major trophies. 

I am really pleased to see how a modest horse and owner has created a big impact on racing. It proves that with hard work and determination a person, no matter how popular or high-profiled, can pull off an achievement similar to Knotts with Hunt Ball.

Watch this racing team climb to the top with a unique story that will bring warmth and more positive headlines to the sport.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


AMY Ryan, the newly-crowned apprentice champion, believes that it is just a matter of time before a female jockey wins a British flat racing classic.

Beating closest rival Darren Egan by two clear winners, Amy finished her season with a total of 40.

Britain's leading female jockey Hayley Turner, who tied for the apprentice title in 2005, presented Amy with the trophy.
I agree that it is only a matter of time before a female jockey wins a classic. More and more women are coming into horse racing for a career and are constantly moving towards the top of the pack, as Amy has shown.
Barriers have been broken in the sport for female jockeys and I hope that they will continue to be.
It is about faith and patience in racing. A jockey needs a good horse and trainer to help towards big titles and now more female jockeys are getting just that.
Amy's success is a delight to see and I hope that she, along with Hayley, will encourage more girls to take up the sport who may even compete professionally in the future.
Watch this space.