John McCririck: Horse racing broadcaster and journalist dies, aged 79

5 Jul

Horse racing journalist and broadcaster John McCririck has died, aged 79.

McCririck – known as ‘Big Mac’ to many in the racing world – was a familiar face on Channel 4’s coverage of the sport for many years, with his career on television spanning four decades.

The larger-than-life McCririck was also a friend of talkSPORT and frequent quest on the station.

McCririck’s passing was announced by the Racing Post on Friday morning
Getty Images - Getty

Married to Jenny in 1971, McCririck was an unmissable character with his deerstalker hat, sideburns and cigar, and thrived at the heart of what he called the “betting jungle”.

In 1981, he joined ITV Sport’s horse racing coverage, which then moved to Channel 4, where he would spend more than 25 years at his familiar spot in the betting ring.

He appeared in various other mainstream programmes, including Celebrity Big Brother, before he acrimoniously left Channel 4 Racing in 2012, subsequently losing an age discrimination case made against the station and production company IMG Media Limited.

More follows.

Watford youth player Reece Miller suspended after allegedly being involved in Royal Ascot 10-man brawl

26 Jun

Watford have suspended one of their players amid allegations he was involved in a 10-man brawl at Royal Ascot.

The Hornets made the decision to suspended academy player Reece Miller upon seeing video footage of the fight, the club confirmed in a statement to The Sun.

Miller is described on Watford’s website as a ‘strong and powerful centre-forward’

“We are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness” a Watford spokesperson said. “The club will not tolerate any behaviour which tarnishes its image and a full disciplinary investigation is now in process.

“As soon as the footage was brought to the club’s attention, an immediate decision was taken to suspend the player.

“He will now face an inquiry with all disciplinary options available to the club. There will be no further comment until the investigation is completed.”

Miller, a third-year academy striker, was allegedly part of the fight which broke out at the race meet last Friday as the Queen watched her horses nearby.

A video of the brawl was widely shared online, and Miller is understood to be wearing a pinstripe suit and a flat cap in the footage.

Miller is believed to be the above figure, wearing a pinstripe suit

He was also caught on camera posing with The Sun’s coverage of the brawl, with one of the youngster’s friends admitting his disgust at such actions.

“I thought the fact they were posing about it after was pretty disgusting,” said Miller’s friend.

“There were women in the video and Ascot is a family event and I saw one was KO’d.

“I thought it was disgusting and embarrassing.

“I just thought, ‘imagine if that was my Mum or sister’ and they were all trying to show who was the bigger man. It was a bit embarrassing really. It’s not the first time there’s been violence like this at Ascot.”

Royal Ascot 2019 betting tips: Seven outsiders to back at showpiece event including 40/1 long shot

18 Jun

The 2019 edition of Royal Ascot is set to begin as fans across the country ready their betting slips.

Each year, thousands put their faith in the runners and riders taking to the prestigious Berkshire racecourse for the famous event.

Royal Ascot 2019 betting tips: Five outsiders to back at showpiece event

While some will be looking to the favourites and how best to make some cash this week, others will head to the other end of the betting odds as they strive to secure a big win.

We’ve studied the form, trawled through the papers and listened to some of the best tipsters around to try and find some good value each-way bets for the five-day event.

Here are seven long shots we have come up with…


2.30: One Master – 25/1

4.20: Fox Champion – 25-1

5.20: First Nation – 14/1


2.30 Flippa The Strippa – 16/1

5.00 Chilean – 40/1


4.20 Thomas Hobson – 25/1


3.40 Rumble Inthejungle – 25/1

*Odds supplied by BetVictor and correct as of Tuesday morning

talkSPORT 2 will be your home for all the horse racing drama from Royal Ascot, with live commentary of EVERY race this week

Royal Ascot 2019 Day Four LIVE: Commentary of every race on talkSPORT and live updates from horse racing showpiece

18 Jun

It’s Friday at Royal Ascot 2019 and talkSPORT 2 will be your home for all the horse racing drama from the prestigious event.

The runners and riders will take to the famous track in Berkshire for five days of excitement in the traditional June meeting.

talkSPORT will be your home for all the drama from Royal Ascot 2019

Thousands of fans will descend on the stunning grandstand to enjoy the action and we’ll be keeping across it all.

talkSPORT 2 will have live commentary from Royal Ascot on every day of the festival.

Our coverage will begin at 2pm on each day and will take in ALL the races plus the breaking stories and reaction as it happens.

Lee McKenzie and Rupert Bell will be on hand with their expert view alongside our commentaries and to tune in just click here for the live stream or the radio player below.


2:30 – The Albany Stakes (Group 3)

3:05 – The King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2)

3:40 – The Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)

4:20 – The Coronation Stakes (Group 1)

5:00 – The Sandringham Stakes (Listed) (Handicap)

5:35 – The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap)

Royal Ascot 2019 betting tips: Who to back on Day One – Super Computer predicts winner of every race

18 Jun

Royal Ascot 2019 starts today as the runners and riders set to compete around the famous Berkshire racecourse.

Ascot is always a highlight of the racing calendar, bringing prestige and glamour at the traditional June meeting.

Royal Ascot 2019 betting tips: Who to back on Day One and rest of the festival

The showpiece event dates back to 1911 and sees the royal family take attendance along with thousands of race fans each and every year.

So with day one upon us, who should you stick a tenner on and who could make you some money?

talkSPORT has got its famous Super Computer out to give you the top tips for Tuesday’s races at Royal Ascot 2019.


2.30: BARNEY ROY – 6/1

3.05: GUILDSMAN – 6/1

3.40: BATTAASH – 2/1

4.20: PHOENIX OF SPAIN – 9/4

5.00: BATTS ROCK – 12/1 

5.35: ELARQAM – 5/1

*Odds supplied by Coral and may have changed since Tuesday morning

Royal Ascot 2019 results: Schedule, start times and winners for every race at the showpiece event

17 Jun

Royal Ascot is here again as the historic racecourse in Berkshire prepares for a week of high class racing.

The meeting is one of the most prestigious horse racing events of the year with the royal family set to be in attendance.

Royal Ascot 2019 results: Day by day schedule and winners of horse racing showpiece

There will be five days of high quality drama to be had starting with Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes and finishing on Saturday with The Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Here is every race run at Royal Ascot this week and all the winners.

Tuesday, June 18

  • 2:30 – The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) – Lord Glitters 14/1
  • 3:05 – The Coventry Stakes (Group 2) – Arizona 15/8 Fav
  • 3:40 – The King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1) – Blue Point 5/2
  • 4:20 – The St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) – Circus Maximus 10/1
  • 5:00 – The Ascot Stakes (Handicap) – The Grand Visir 12/1
  • 5:35 – The Wolferton Rated Stakes (Listed) – Addeybb 5/1

Wednesday, June 19

  • 2:30 – The Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) – Raffle Prize 18/1
  • 3:05 – The Queen’s Vase (Group 2) – Dashing Willoughby 6/1
  • 3:40 – The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) – Crystal Ocean 3/1
  • 4:20 – The Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1) – Move Swiftly 9/1
  • 5:00 – The Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) – Afaak 20/1
  • 5:35 – The Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) – Southern Hills 7/1
Who will be the big winners at Royal Ascot?

Thursday, June 20

  • 2:30 – The Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) – A’ali 5/1
  • 3:05 – The Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3) – Sangarius 13/2
  • 3:40 – The Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) – Star Catcher 4/1
  • 4:20 – The Gold Cup (Group 1) – Stradivarius Evens Fav
  • 5:00 – The Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) – Biometric 28/1
  • 5:35 – The King George V Stakes (Handicap) – South Pacific 22/1

Friday, June 21

  • 2:30 – The Albany Stakes (Group 3)
  • 3:05 – The King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2)
  • 3:40 – The Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)
  • 4:20 – The Coronation Stakes (Group 1)
  • 5:00 – The Sandringham Stakes (Listed) (Handicap)
  • 5:35 – The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap)

Saturday, June 22

  • 2:30 – The Chesham Stakes (Listed)
  • 3:05 – The Jersey Stakes (Group 3)
  • 3:40 – The Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)
  • 4:20 – The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1)
  • 5:00 – The Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
  • 5:35 – The Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions)

Epsom Derby result: Anthony Van Dyck gives legendary trainer Aidan O’Brien a record-equalling seventh winner

1 Jun

Anthony Dan Dyck provided Aidan O’Brien with a record-equalling seventh victory in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Eighteen years on from his first triumph in the premier Classic with Galileo, the County Tipperary trainer saddled no less than seven of the 13 runners, with the previously unbeaten Sir Dragonet heading the market at 11-4 after being supplemented earlier in the week.

Seamie Heffernan riding Anthony Van Dyck to victory in the Investec Derby Stakes

Anthony Van Dyck – a three-time winner as a two-year-old – earned his shot at Derby glory with an impressive comeback victory in the Lingfield Derby Trial three weeks ago and was also prominent in the betting at 13-2, following support in the minutes leading up to the race.

Seamie Heffernan’s mount raced in mid-division for much of the way, and still had more horses ahead of him than behind inside the final quarter-mile.

Sir Dragonet and Madhmoon – trained by the 86-year-old Kevin Prendergast – were disputing the lead racing inside the final furlong, but Anthony Dan Dyck darted up the inside of the pair and galloped on strongly against the far rail.

Madhmoon boxed on for second to deny O’Brien a clean sweep, with another Ballydoyle inmate in Japan flying home to finish third, ahead of his stable companions Broome and Sir Dragonet in fourth and fifth respectively.

Seamie Heffernan riding Anthony Van Dyck

O’Brien said: “It’s incredible. I’m so delighted for everyone and privileged to be part of the team.

“The lads (John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith) put so much in and everyone who works in Ballydoyle and Coolmore – all the way along. There’s so many people, from the ground up to the riders, that I’d like to thank.

“I wasn’t sure (if he would win), they were all there with a chance and I knew Kevin’s horse was there (Madhmoon) and I knew he’d be in top shape and he’s a very good horse.

“We were just hoping and so delighted to be involved at that part of the race.”

HRH Queen Elizabeth II watches the action in the Investec Derby Stakes

He added: “Seamus had been placed so many times and has worked for us for so long – he’s such a special fellow. He’s always been a world-class rider and I’m so delighted for him.”

Asked about plans, O’Brien said: “I think the lads will decide, like they always do, but that is what we thought – that the winner would go back to Ireland (for the Irish Derby, at the Curragh). It is a nice progression for the horse.

“We have the track, the facility and the stands there and it is a three-year-old only race – after that they have to go in against the older horses. We will see how he comes out of it and a decision will be made by them.”

Heffernan – who was handed a two-day ban for careless riding – said: “I was following Ryan (Moore, on Sir Dragonet), who I thought was the biggest danger. It was a big ask for Sir Dragonet on his just his third run, but mine had danced every dance.

“I’ve been around plenty of Derby winners, I rode his father in a trial and won it. It means a lot to win it.

“I’m always confident riding for Aidan. Anything can happen, it doesn’t matter whether they are favourite or a big price – he trains them all for the big day.

“I haven’t had to take a pull going down to the two pole and wait for a run in a long time – I was confident I was going to get plenty of money.”

Legendary jockey Ruby Walsh retires from horse racing after glittering career

1 May

Legendary jockey Ruby Walsh has retired from horse racing at the age of 39.

The Irishman announced the decision after victory in the Punchestown Gold Cup on Kemboy on Wednesday.

Ruby Walsh leaves racing on a high

Walsh, who won the Grand National twice, opted to end his brilliant career in the saddle following a two-length victory aboard Willie Mullins’ charge in the Grade One event.

More to follow…

Liverpool great John Barnes on the Grand National race that left him injured and sidelined for three games

5 Apr

Liverpool legend John Barnes has explained how he injured himself in bizarre and hilarious circumstances on a team trip to the Grand National at Aintree – and how he escaped the wrath of Kenny Dalglish.

The 2019 Grand National weekend is upon us, and it appears Barnes has some fond memories of the legendary Merseyside race.

But it wasn’t horses he can remember galloping down the final furlong – it was him and fellow Anfield great Alan ‘Jockey’ Hansen!

Barnes feared he would incur the wrath of Dalglish, but King Kenny wasn’t bothered – ‘He had money on Jockey!’

Some footballers just can’t turn off their competitive edge, which is clear from this story.

It all started when long-legged Hansen insisted he could beat winger Barnes in a foot race and –  after enjoying some ‘hospitality’ – where else to prove it than on the final furlong of the Grand National course?

It didn’t all go to plan for Barnes, though, as he explained on Friday’s Sports Breakfast

“I gave Alan Hansen five yards and he beat me by ten, because unfortunately I pulled my hamstring.

“I missed three games after that!

“Of course I expected a rollicking from Kenny Dalglish, but Kenny actually showed me a lot of sympathy.

“Kenny had a bet on Jockey winning anyway, so I don’t think he was too bothered about me missing those three games.

“I didn’t know money was on it until Kenny was quite pleased. Having lost me for three games I thought he’d be disappointed, but he wasn’t disappointed at all!

“That’s in the old days, Ally!”

Listen to John Barnes on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above!