Betting news and tips: Trackman is back with the latest paddock talk as he reflects on the last week in racing

IT’S time to shout 'allez le bleu!'

Even Hollywood’s hardest working archaeologist Indiana Jones would have struggled to dig up a morsel of good news recently.

But our pals over in France lifted the gloom by announcing they will start racing behind closed doors on May 11.

As things stand no horse or jockey based outside France can compete until at least the end of May.

That leaves our trainers and riders out in the cold, but it is a step in the right direction.

The picture isn’t quite as rosy over in Ireland where the government has banned gatherings of more than 5,000 people until September 1.

So, the Galway Festival, which takes place in late July, will be run in front of empty stands.

Now, this week-long liver-pounding shindig nets the local economy an eye-popping £47million.

And with no punters present to drink a drop of the `black stuff’ that barrel of money is about to float off down the Swanee.

Meanwhile, Aidan O’Brien has flagged up the idea of running the English, Irish and French Guineas’ on consecutive weekends this summer.

And 'laughing boy' Ryan Moore thinks Aidan has a likely lad for the first colt’s Classic in Arizona.

Now this fella caught a cold when Pinatubo breezed past him in the Dewhurst last autumn.

But Ryan reckons Arizona is a slicker model now and will give Charlie Appleby’s jolly more to do in their rematch.

By the way, Aidan’s nipper Joseph has made a cracking start to life as a trainer and I’m told he’s got a `live one on his hands in Buckhurst.

Joseph’s assistant, ex-trainer Brendan Powell, says this fella has `a serious engine’.

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Big Brendan hasn’t got a horse wrong since the old king died so Buckhurst’s name should be on page one of your notebook.

This week’s gold star must go to hard-working Wiltshire-trainer Seamus Mullins.

Human dynamo Seamus produces more energy than a windfarm on Everest’s summit.

And he’s been making himself useful working in his local Waitrose during the lockdown.

So, while most of his horses are out at grass our man is learning the difference between Brie and Gorgonzola on the cheese counter.

Talking about being busy, Charlie Fellowes is fully occupied dreaming about his stable star King Ottokar.

Cheerful Charlie is still kicking himself for running this bad boy over a mile on his last start in 2019.

He’s had plenty of time to mull that over and has come to the conclusion that the horse wants further and could be a Champion Stakes contender by the autumn.

Meanwhile, the suits over at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs had the right hump after they lost an appeal with Betfred over VAT payments on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.

The Betfred crew reckon it was unfair to ask them to pay VAT on FOBT winnings when the same games were exempt from tax in casinos or on-line.

This case could rumble on longer than an Eastender’s omnibus, but our big bookmaking firms might cop a £1billion windfall if the final ruling goes their way.

Well done to sharp witted owner Kulbir Sohi who won the fastest finger first contest to name a two-year-old Enaitchess.

The youngster will be running for our frontline heroes with any money he earns being donated to the NHS.

By the way, top man Kulbir will have 30-plus horses sporting his colours this year and reckons bargain buy Felix is the cat’s whiskers.

This money maker has only been beaten once since joining marvellous Marco Botti and connections are confident he can nick a Group race in 2020.

If you want a giggle then Newmarket-trainer and Talksport presenter Micky Quinn is your man.

Now, 35-years and about three stones ago Quinny was banging in a hatful of goals for Portsmouth.

But legend has it that the local constabulary called him in for a chat after one match as they overheard him using `industrial language on the pitch.

Anyway, when the interview started the copper asked Quinny if he had a `police’ record.

Quick as a flash the big man answered, “Yes, Walking On The Moon.”

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