Ghaiyyath Hailed by jockey William Buick as ‘the best I’ve ridden, without a doubt’, Ghaiyyath was retired from racing after finishing a close second in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September, 2020, as the second highest-rated Flat horse in Europe, according to Timeform. He earned a Timeform rating of 133 when comfortably beating Enable by 2¼ lengths in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in July and recorded one of the performances of the season when, once again, making all the running to Magical by 3 lengths in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York the following month.

All told, Ghaiyyath won nine of his 13 races, finished outside the first three just once – on ‘very soft’ going in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in 2019 – and amassed just shy of £880,00 in win and place prize money. Aside from the Coral-Eclipse and the Juddmonte International Stakes, he also won the Coronation Cup at Newmarket on his seasonal reappearance in 2020, beating 2019 Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck by 2½ lengths and breaking the course record in the process.

Originally, the plan was to bid for a fifth success at Group One, or Grade One, level in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland, Kentucky in November, 2020. However, Ghaiyyath was reported to be sore following a routine piece of work at home, on the gallops of Moulton Paddocks, Newmarket and connections took the decision to retire him to Kildangan Stud in Co. Kildare, Ireland. Trainer Charlie Appleby said of the five-year-old, ‘It is obviously disappointing not to be taking him to the Breeders’ Cup, but the exertions of a long season, which started in Dubai in January, were starting to show…’

Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori Introduction

The kind of name that even those who dislike horse racing will know, Frankie Dettori is a true legend of the sport. Born on 15th December, 1970, the Milanese jockey has set the precedent and the standard for decades to come. A consummate professional, Dettori has been the Champion Jockey on three separate occasions and has been involved in more than 500 Group Race wins.

Career Summary

Someone as decorated as Dettori would be hard to do justice to. With over 110 wins across a stellar career, some of his major wins include the 1,000 Guineas 3 times, the 2,000 Guineas twice and the Ascot Gold Cup an incredible five times. Add in a Derby win in 2007, and it’s very easy to see why Dettori is so revered across the board.

An incredible competitor, his careers honours list would fill a screen. His sheer variety of steeds which he has won on, too, showcases a rider who can be in tune with any horse he embarks on.

Achievements & Highlights

Although his achievements are so many it would be hard to find one in particular to fall in love with, Dettori rode all seven of the winners on the British Champions’ Day at Ascot, in 1996. Such incredible achievements surely rank him as one of the most consistent and impressive names within the sport. Although Dettori has had his own personal problems over the years, including a substance-related ban in 2012, he returned to be named the World’s Best Jockey in 2015. Such redemption is merely part of the character of one of the most revered names not just in racing, but in sport.

Major Wins – Derby (2007), 1,000 Guineas (1998, 2002, 2011) 2,000 Guineas (1996, 1999), St Leger: (1995, 1996, 2005, 2006, 2008), Ascot Gold Cup (1992, 1993, 1998, 2004, 2012)

Associations – Godolphin Racing. Golden Horn, Trêve, Grandera, Singspiel, Daylami, Swain, Balanchine, Wilko, Raven’s Pass, Electrocutionist, Dubai Millennium, Joshua Tree, Cape Verdi and more.

Earnings – $18m total earnings.

We’re Not Worthy: How to Identify False Favourites

We’re Not Worthy: How to Identify False Favourites As a general rule of thumb, approximately one third (33%) of the horse races run in Britain are won by the starting price favourite. In other words, approximately two thirds (67%) of starting price favourites lose, which is good news for anyone looking to profit from laying favourites. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because favourites start at short odds and lose two out of every three races, on average, you can make a profit simply by blindly laying the favourite in every race. You can’t.


Some favourites are overrated by the betting public and some are underrated, so what lay punters need is a methodology that allows them to determine which favourites are worthy of their position at the head of the market and which are not.


The majority of horse races are won by horses with good recent form, running in their normal sphere, against limited opposition, while at, or approaching, their peak. If, having analysed its form, you discover that the favourite in any race has profile that doesn’t match these criteria, for whatever reason, it may represent a lay betting opportunity.


Of course, there are many different reasons why a favourite may, in fact, be a “false” favourite, so perhaps the best thing to do at this point is to have a look at a real race and see what we can make of the favourite’s chance. The race that I’ve chosen, more or less at random, is the Royal Regiment Sussex Stakes (4.40) at Goodwood on Tuesday, September 3, the racecard for which is shown below.


I say more or less at random because I’ve deliberately chosen a handicap – so that all the runners, theoretically, have an equal chance – and, moreover, in which all the runners have thoroughly exposed form.


According to the betting forecast, William Haggas’ three-year-old Argent Knight is favourite and, at first glance, it’s not difficult to see why. Argent Knight has a progressive profile, having won his last two races, including over today’s distance of two miles at Newmarket 24 days ago, and acts on the prevailing good to firm going.


However, closer inspection of his form reveals that he’s 5lb worse off for 1½ lengths with Waterclock on their running at Newmarket, so he’s not guaranteed to confirm the form. Looking slightly further back, the horse that he beat by a neck at Sandown on his penultimate start has since finished last of four, beaten 6¼ lengths, in a lower grade handicap at Nottingham, so the form may not be as strong as it first appeared. He’s 8lb higher in the weights in a better race and has recorded all three career wins on galloping or testing courses, whereas Goodwood is fairly sharp.


Of course, the chance of any favourite can only be assessed relative to the other horses in the race so, before considering laying the favourite, you should identify at least two other horses that you confidently expect to beat the favourite. Subject to finding two such horses in this race, Argent Knight has enough doubts about him to suggest that he may, indeed, represent a lay betting opportunity at his forecast odds of 3/1.


Roger Charlton’s lightly raced four-year-old Waterclock has shown improved form since stepping up to two miles on his last two starts and is an obvious danger to the favourite, particularly with his 5lb pull in the weights. So, too, are Mutual Regard and Broxbourne, who both have proven form over two miles at this level and Arch Villain, who’s 10lb better off for 6 lengths with Argent Knight and 5lb better off for 4½ lengths with Waterclock on their running at Newmarket. Stuart Williams’ 4-year-old Aquilonius is more exposed than most of the others, but his one attempt over two miles, on a similarly sharp track, at Lingfield yielded a convincing win. Diomed in the Racing Post suggests that he was allowed to steal that race but, as one of just four distance winners in the field, it may be dangerous to underestimate him.


In summary, there are at least five horses in the race, besides Argent Knight, that have demonstrated, recently, that they are capable of winning a race of this nature. In other words, Argent Knight, who is 3/1 favourite according to the betting forecast, should realistically be double that price and represents excellent value as a lay bet.


For the purposes of this exercise, the result of the race was unsatisfactory, not because Argent Knight won, but because he ran no race at all, losing his place with three furlongs to run and weakening to finish last of the nine runners. Aquilonius made all the running, as he had at Lingfield, and stayed on well to beat Mutual Regard by 2¼ lengths with Arch Villain and Waterclock close up in third and fourth.


In any case, I hope this example has surveyed to illustrate some of the principles involved in identify weak or false favourites. To recap:


Analyse the form of the favourite, paying close attention to any disparity in class, distance, going, weight, etc compared with its previous races that may adversely affect its performance. If no disparities exist or, in other words, the favourite has no apparent weaknesses, the race is probably one to leave alone.


Take note of any good fortune that the favourite has experienced in its previous races, such as being allowed a “soft” lead, or being left in the lead by another horse falling, unseating its rider or running out.


Analyse the form of the main market rivals to the favourite – the next three or four in the betting market is usually sufficient – in the same way, looking for concrete evidence that at least two of them can beat the favourite. If you can’t identify two such rivals, again the race is probably one to leave alone.


Analysing form takes time and practice, so don’t lose heart if your analysis is a little wide of the mark to start with. If you want to sharpen up your skills without risking your hard-earned cash, try analysing a few races on paper only to see if you can spot favourites that aren’t worth their salt. You may miss a few profitable lay betting opportunities along the way, but the experience will stand you in good stead for the future.


Corbiere We all have ‘favourites’. Whether it’s a favourite song, or colour or dare I say it even a person. Of course in the sport of kings that translates to a favourite jockey, trainer, owner, you get the idea. What elevates one above another is a question with a thousand possible answers. In racing it may well be a jockey that has managed to grind out a win for you that places them on a pedestal, or a trainer that’s generous with the level of detail in his pre and post race assessments, hopefully to your financial benefit down the line.

It’s a little harder, for me anyway, to hone in on what makes a horse one that I cheer on or remember fondly above all others. Grit? Determination? An underdog story? A legend of the sport, such as Red Rum? I do know though that I don’t tend to go for the obvious, much in the same way that some people suddenly support whoever’s top of the Premier League, whereas others would never dream of it. One stand out horse for me though, would have to be Grand National winner Corbiere.

Although not quite on a par with the legendary Red Rum, Corbiere was nevertheless one of the best Grand National horses of his generation. Named after a Jersey lighthouse, Corbiere will always be remembered as the horse that resulted in Jenny Pitman the first woman to saddle a Grand National winner. That’s heartening to know as we’re pondering 2020 Grand National tips to follows. What is, perhaps, less well remembered is that ‘Corky’, as he was affectionately known to his connections, did so under 11st 4lb, as an eight-year-old in his first season over fences, and making his first appearance at Aintree.

Of course, Corbiere had also won the Welsh National at Chepstow and finished second in the Ritz Club National Hunt Handicap Chase en route to Aintree in 1983. That doesn’t in any way take away from the achievement of winning the National though. The chestnut gelding went on to run creditably on three of his four subsequent appearances in the Grand National. In 1984, he finished third behind Hallo Dandy, in 1985 he finished third, again, behind Last Suspect and, following an uncharacteristic fall at the fourth fence – considered one of the hardest fences to jump, along with Becher’s Brook – in 1986, he finished twelfth behind Maori Venture in 1987. A collection of efforts over the years that stand out from the crowd – and against top class opposition too.

However, it was certainly his performance under 23-year-old jockey Ben De Haan in 1983 that was to carve his name, indelibly, into Aintree folklore. A little one-paced, but a brilliant, enthusiastic jumper blessed with an abundance of stamina, Corbiere relished the prevailing soft going and was one of just four horses in contention turning for home. At the final fence, he held a three-length lead over Greasepaint, but then came with a strong late run inside the last hundred yards or so and, as they crossed the line, Corbiere had just three-quarters of a length to spare. Another Irish challenger, Yer Man, finished third, but fully 20 lengths behind the front pair.

In fact, many understandably hold a fondness for Corbiere. He even has his own postage stamp (putting him in fine company)  in Jersey, due to the aforementioned Lighthouse connection!