Robin Oakley

Robin Oakley writes The Spectator's The turf column

Hats off to Rachael Blackmore

17 April 2021 9:00 am

Sporting heroes in our modern world have an extra burden to carry. Within seconds of their triumph, with the adrenaline…

The secret of Ireland’s racing success

3 April 2021 9:00 am

How Father Sean Breen would have loved this year’s Cheltenham Festival. The late parish priest at Ballymore Eustace, who owned…

The true cost of Gordon Elliott’s crass stupidity

20 March 2021 9:00 am

Thanks to Covid, there could be no spine-tingling roar at the Cheltenham Festival this year as the first race runners…

Ireland’s love affair with horse racing

6 March 2021 9:00 am

With the Cheltenham Festival close, the quest for serious punting money intensifies. I had one potential contributor identified at Kempton…

The coup that nearly cost the bookies £10 million

20 February 2021 9:00 am

Since coup conspirators nearly won £10 million from the bookies, the sport has divided into two camps. Some grinned and…

My tips for Cheltenham

6 February 2021 9:00 am

Dry January it wasn’t and I am not referring to the trainers who normally undergo an annual abstinence but who…

In defence of gambling

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Doing good doesn’t always work out as expected. A regular entering his local pub takes pity on an old lady…

The poetry of Bryony Frost

9 January 2021 9:00 am

Hearing that the Queen has both a real and an official birthday, a small boy asked the obvious question: ‘Does…

The horse with a taste for human flesh

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Greville Starkey’s great victories as a jockey included the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Star Appeal at 119-1. In…

Racing books to get you through lockdown

12 December 2020 9:00 am

Who owns Altior? I ask because of the brouhaha over Nicky Henderson’s late withdrawal of his stable star, winner of…

Why racing is not a ‘posh’ sport

28 November 2020 9:00 am

Why hasn’t Bristol De Mai become as beloved by the racing public as his fellow greys Desert Orchid and One…

Our Twelve to Follow have generated a record-breaking profit

14 November 2020 9:00 am

First the company report. Readers who invested a tenner on the nose each time our Twelve to Follow for the…

Nowhere does racing quite like Cheltenham, even behind closed doors

31 October 2020 9:00 am

With or without the crowds, nowhere does racing like Cheltenham. The four winners, including her first Group One shared equally…

It is time to fight for the future of racing

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Fortunately for me and the politicians we entertained over my years covering the darkest profession, Mrs Oakley didn’t do a…

The trainer who sings opera to her racehorses

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Wetumpka Racing? When your yard is running at a handsome strike rate of 40 per cent wins to runs you…

The heirs to Frankie Dettori

19 September 2020 9:00 am

It is all, it seems, in the tweaks. So said Aidan O’Brien, Ireland’s master-trainer supreme, before his tough filly Magical…

Racing can’t survive without crowds

5 September 2020 9:00 am

We all have weeks when every win bet finishes second and every each-way comes home in fourth. You begin to…

Why it pays for a jockey to follow the rules

22 August 2020 9:00 am

Lester Piggott was famous for pinching other jockeys’ rides. He used his friendship with owner Ivan Allan to have Luca…

In a jam: what Goodwood did with 900 punnets of strawberries

8 August 2020 9:00 am

It was to have been, if not a glorious return, at least an encouraging one. On the Stewards’ Cup day…

Why racing will miss Barry Geraghty

25 July 2020 9:00 am

When I first began racing, few jump jockeys reckoned their careers would last beyond the ages of 32 or 33.…

Aidan O’Brien’s Derby victory was an act of grand larceny

11 July 2020 9:00 am

It wasn’t so much a Derby victory this year as an act of grand larceny. Aidan O’Brien isn’t just a…

Royal Ascot was a triumph – even without the cheers and the hats

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Royal Ascot it wasn’t: for the first time in her 68-year reign, thanks to Covid-19, the Queen was not there.…

Horse-racing has made a triumphant return

13 June 2020 9:00 am

Horse racing, it turns out, wasn’t the first sport back in post-lockdown action: that distinction went to pigeon racing when…

Racing needs us as much as we need it

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Horseracing in Britain, which was suspended by coronavirus on 18 March, is due, as I write, to resume on Monday…

How to get your racing fix under lockdown

16 May 2020 9:00 am

There is racing elsewhere in the world. It restarted in France on Monday, la course de chevaux being classed in…