sandownIn the 5.05 at Sandown on Friday, Jacob Cats had done all his previous winning on a sound surface, but won in good style over 1 mile 5 furlongs on good to soft going at Newmarket two weeks ago and may be capable of completing a hat-trick. The Newmarket form has been franked by the third, Always Resolute, who won in this grade at Chester last Saturday and his previous win, over two furlongs shorter at Goodwood, has also been franked by the runner-up, Vale Of Iron.

He’s gone up 5lb in the weights, but is still only 2lb higher than when winning, in this grade, on the Polytrack at Kempton last spring and may have been underestimated by the handicapper. It’s fair to say that West Sussex trainer William Knight has a fairly dismal record at Sandown, but that shouldn’t be held against Jacob Cats, who is 2-2 on the course and seems on good terms with himself at present. Jockey Andrea Atzeni has a healthy 5-22 (23%) strike rate on older horses for the yard over the last five seasons.

Selection: Sandown 5.05 Jacob Cats to win

goodwood racesRayvin Black has progressed into a Grade 2 winning hurdler since last campaigned on the Flat by Mark Tompkins as a three-year-old and appeared to translate at least some of that improvement back to this sphere when staying on strongly to win by 5 lengths over 1 mile 6 furlongs on the course last month. Now with Oliver Sherwood, the Halling gelding steps up in class and distance off an 8lb higher mark, but has won at distances up to 2 miles 1 furlong, on going ranging from good to heavy, so has plenty going for him. The undulations and sharp downhill finish at Goodwood suit his bold, front-running style and he can lead the field a merry dance from the front. Connections will be hoping that the forecast rain arrives in West Sussex but, if it does, Rayvin Black still looks reasonably weighted in the Construction Day Stakes (2.55).

Selection: Goodwood 2.55 Rayvin Black to win


It’s not just us modern men that like a punt and a trip to a race course every once in a while. In fact far from it as it’s just been discovered that even millenia ago many of us were partial to the occasional flutter, or at least watching horse racing.  Astonishingly, a tablet in central turkey has been found that is 2000 years old and features horse racing rules etched in stone.

The tablet is part of the a Monument within the ruins of an old stadium at Beyşehir, central turkey. It was apparently built in recognition of a jockey name Lukuyanus who died at a young age.

Lukuyanus tablet

Analysis of the tablet has revealed a number of rules, such as that it was viewed as important to ensure a sense of fairness within the sport. Professor Hasan Bahar from Selcuk University revealed that “It says that if a horse comes in first place in a race it cannot participate in other races”. The same rule applied to winning owners suggesting a need for everyone to be given a chance to have their moment of glory! It’s thought to be by far the first detailing of rules to laid out for the sport.