Old RacecardsArchive

This is where you will find the "collected wisdom" of The Beast, seven years of random musings.

This index runs from April 2007 until around six months ago, for articles published in the last six months please  visit the Blog Home section from the menu at the top.

Happy reading

Under Starters Orders - what is the answer to starting fiascos? (17/04/07)

Children and Festivals - children at the races and I hate festivals or do I? (26/04/07)

Summer Pain - is it time to revisit summer jump racing (02/05/07)

Bookies Without Balls - bookmakers with no courage (11/05/07)

Moronic Racegoers - Thoughtless racegoers and, unrelated, Lester (18/05/07)

Derby - Blue Riband or Over Hyped - Is The Derby really a special race? (01/06/07)

Frankie ... I was wrong - I was wrong to say Frankie would not win The Derby (09/06/07)

Ascot Schizophrenia - why I both love and hate Royal Ascot (15/06/07)

BBC and Racing - The BBC deserves to lose its racing (28/06/07)

Dump The Cup - Time to say farewell to the Shergar Cup (09/08/07)

A funny thing happened .... on the way to the races (12/08/07)

Don't knock the commentator - they have a difficult job (29/08/07)

Can I be a green racegoer - using public transport to go racing (07/09/07)

Racing Tubby - getting healthy food at the racecourse (11/09/07)

No butt end of a course - The Beast visits Woodbine in Toronto (18/10/07)

The wait is over - The new NH season is finally here (18/10/07)

On the road - Motorway service areas and sat-navs (25/10/07)

Farewell George - a tribute to George Washington (29/10/07)

Stewards Inquiry - time to have professional stewards? (04/11/07)

What A Finish - an exciting end to the flat season (10/11/07)

Open Review - a look back at the 2007 Open Meeting (19/11/07)

My worse days racing - a look at a terrible day out (22/11/07)

A job well done - The Beast praises the work of Newbury vets (03/12/07)

Fallon Case Dropped - The Beast looks back at the case (09/12/07)

Don't knock the commentator II - The Beast feels sorry for The Cat (30/12/07)

A Time Long Gone - a deja vu feeling reading a book (04/01/08)

Lone Wolves - a reflection on a days racing at Wolverhampton (29/01/08)

A Racing Paradox - I should like AW racing but I don't (31/01/08)

Global Warming? - where is it? (19/02/08)

Car Parking - complaints about ignorant drivers (25/02/08)

Happy Birthday Sir Peter - Sir Peter O'Sullevan is 90 (02/03/08)

Cheltenham Retrospective - a look back at the festival (16/03/08)

Good Friday? - what is good about a Friday without racing (21/03/08)

Bully Boys - Big trainers trying to bully smaller ones (24/03/08)

Don't Kick The Cat - Mike Cattermole is beleaguered again (06/04/08)

Come Fly With Me - the joys of low cost flying (23/04/08)

NH Season Review - a look back at a memorable season (28/04/08)

Thinking Aloud - thoughs on swearing and fixtures (06/05/08)

Potentially Great Leighs - Great Leighs is about to open (09/05/08)

Getting Old - thoughts on getting older (17/05/08)

Shot In The Foot - racing shoots itself again (28/05/08)

Derby Revisited - a look back at a controversial 2008 Derby (10/06/08)

End Of A Era - Fearless Freddie Williams passes away (24/06/08)

Internet Forums - The Beast is concerned that posters can libel people without fear (30//06/08)

Sovereign Series - The Beast looks behind the hype and asks will it work? (05/07/08)

Sport As It Should Be - A look at a gripping non-racing sporting event (07/07/08)

BMW Drivers and Drunks - The Beast has another rant (20/07/08)

Beast Muses - on drunks, Panorama and mug punters (04/08/08)

I Love The Cup - The Beast does a U-turn on the Shergar Cup (10/08/08)

Farewell To The Stow - The Beast visits Walthamstow Stadium just before it closes (15/08/08)

A Day At The Seaside - The Beast spends a day at Laytown races (17/09/08)

What Is Wrong With Team Tactics? - The Beast questions the BHA's action against Ballydoyle (26/09/08)

I Love Paris ...... The Beast reflects on the 2008 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (06/10/08)

Breeders Cup - World Championships? - don't make me laugh - let's have a proper World Championships (21/10/08)

Not A Bad Season - The Beast looks back at the 2008 flat season (12/11/08)

What A Meeting? - The Beast looks back at a controversial 2008 Open Meeting at Cheltenham (17/11/08)

Modern Cars And Mud - More car problems for The Beast (05/12/08)

Cheers and Tears - The Beast looks back an emotional rollercoaster of a day at Sandown Park (07/12/08)

Bouquets and Brickbats - After visiting almost every UK course in 2008 The Beast awards some bouquets and brickbats (18/12/08)

Old Beast's Almanac - The Beast gazes into his crystal ball to see what 2009 may bring (31/12/08)

More Realism Please - The Beast wishes officials would not be over optimistic when assessing prospects of racing. (15/01/09)

Random winter Thoughts - The Beast with some random seasonal musings (02/02/09)

What Happened To Denman? - The Beast asks, and answers, what happened to Denman (08/02/09)

Tony McCoy - Greatest Jockey - The Beast takes a look at Tony McCoy's achievements. (10/02/09)

Love At The Races - The Beast finds "love" at Ascot's Valentines Day meeting (15/02/09)

Bring It On - The Beast is looking forward to Cheltenham (22/02/09)

A Day At The Races - The Beast reflects on a days racing in Ireland (27/02/09)

Ying And Yang - The Beast contrasts two very different trips to Ireland (05/03/09)

Another Fine Festival - The Beast looks back at Cheltenham 2009 (14/03/09)

Going into Disrepute - The Beast looks at spurious going reports (22/03/09)

Paul Haigh Resignation - The Beast looks at the reason for Paul Haighs resignation from the Racing Post (30/03/09)

You Can keep It - The Beast says he doesn't mind if he never goes to Aintree again (04/04/09)

A Matter Of Conscience - The Beast looks at the recent fatalities and the potential impact on racing (12/04/09)

Fit To Drop - The Beast realises he is no longer as fit as he used to be (20/04/09)

Who Needs Consultants? - The Beast offers to save the BHA money on its rebranding exercise (17/05/09)

A Day At The Races - The Beast keeps a diary of a day at the races. (19/06/09)

Royal Ascot 2059 - An exclusive preview of Royal Ascot 2059 (24/06/09)

Count Our Blessings - The Beast praises the diversity of UK courses (01/07/09)

Must Try Harder - The Beast on whinging bookmakers and the BHA response to the Henderson affair (08/07/09)

A Logistical Challenge- The Beast looks at the challenges of visiting every course, every year (12/07/09)

A Matter Of Discipline - The Beast looks at ways of improving discipline in racing (27/07/09)

Sense Of Perspective - The Beast on why racing is not worth killing yourself for (03/08/09)

The Ugly Face Of Racing - The Beast reveals the ugliest racecourse setting in Britain. (04/09/09)

Disillusioned With Racing - The Beast is falling out of love with racing (10/09/09)

Expect The Unexpected - A run of the mill Ffos Las meeting turns into something very special (13/09/09)

A Real Star - The Beast reflects on an emotional Sunday afternoon in the Bois de Boulogne (05/10/09)

A Cultural Thing? - The Beast bemoans the number of drunks spoiling race meetings (08/10/09)

Dignity In Death - The Beasts looks at what happens when horses die on the course (12/10/09)

Old Friends - The Beast welcomes the return of NH racing and old friends (23/10/09)

The (Sand) Pits Of Racing - The Beast bemoans twenty years of all-weather racing (04/11/09)

A Matter Of Timing - The Beast contends avoiding race clashes is not rocket science (09/11/09)

Not Perfect But ... - Has The Beast found the meanest bookmakers in the world? (09/12/09)

BBC Contempt - Sports Personality Of The Year once again underlines the contempt the BBC has for racing (14/12/09)

A Symmetrical Year - The Beast takes a look back at 2009 (30/12/09)

A Question Of Timing - The Beast questions late inspections (02/01/10)

Few Converts From TV - The Beast suggests it is more difficult for TV to attract new racegoers (04/01/10)

Dinosaurs For No Change - The Beast wonders what hope Racing For Change has when even innocuous changes are slammed (06/01/10)

The Good Old Days - The Beast muses about bad weather and having to use cash again (20/01/10)

Think Before You Write - The Beast gets a reminder to think before he writes (03/02/10)

The Nutter On The Bus - The Beast argues his car is a tool of his trade and when it is off the road he meets The Nutter On The Bus (15/02/10)

The Curate's Egg - The Beast looks at the latest Racing For Change suggestions plus a few other observations (23/02/10)

Common Sense Prevails - The Beast applauds a common sense decision by Chepstow Stewards (28/02/10)

Odds And Sods - The Beast Muses on Cheltenham, Late Inspections and a missing curry (10/03/10)

How Was It For You? - The Beast looks back at Cheltenham 2010 (20/03/10)

John Hunt - The Perfect Radio Commenator - The Beast offers some rare praise of the BBC (21/03/10)

A Funny Week - The Beast reflects on Bolting horses, Family Reunions and Internet Abuse (26/03/10)

A Mirage In The Desert - The Beast has problems with the new racecourse in Meydan (05/04/10)

Greatest Jockey - The Beast reflects on the day AP McCoy finally broke his National hoodoo (11/04/10)

A Scottish Jinx   - The Beast believes he may be jinxed when it comes to going racing in Scotland (20/04/10)

Racing For Free - The Beast survives a week of "free" racing (02/05/10)

Pick A Winner - The Beast on how to pick winners (09/05/10)

Tales From The Press Room - The Beast with some tales from the press room (16/05/10)

Happy Days - The Beast on early betting memories and summer Festivals (26/05/10)

Racing Pilgrimage  -  The Beast breaks his Scottish hoodoo and makes a pilgrimage to Cartmel. (31/05/10)

Alter Egos- The Beast looks at the alter egos of some of our commentators (06/06/10)

Not The Best Of Weeks - The Beast reflects on a sad week (14/06/10)

Who Needs A Gym? - After five days of Royal Ascot The Beast asks, who needs a gym? (21/06/10)

Doesn't Time Fly -  The Beast on how time zooms by with age and a rant about his least favourite course (28/06/10)

Sink Or Swim - The Beast looks at courses he would not mind see closing and ones he would fight to save (05/07/10)

Spineless Cowards - The Beast attacks spineless cowards who post online and calls for tougher legislation (13/07/2010)

The Floodgate Opens - The Beast thinks the Findlay appeal verdict is bad for racing (18/07/10)

An Almost Perfect Day - The Beast reflects on an almost perfect day at Ascot (26/07/10)

Goodwood Glorious? - The Beast reflects on his first trip to Glorious Goodwood, concerts and commentators not doing their homework (02/08/10)

Thank Goodness Racing Was Cancelled - The Beast explains why he is glad racing was Cancelled back in January (15/08/10)

What A Carry On - As the announcement of the 2011 Fixture List is delayed, The Beast argues the mooted cuts of 150 fixtures is not enough (25/08/10)

Dumbing Down - The Beast bemoans dumbing down at the races and on radio (01/09/10)

An Enduring Relationship - The Beast is pleased his favourite racecourse still retains its charm following a facelift (08/09/10)

A Simple Challenge? - The Beast ponders if the fates are conspiring against him (13/09/10)

The Joy Of Travel - The Beast on why public transport should be avoided when racing (20/09/10)

Catch Up Time - The Beast catches upon some recent musings (01/10/10)

Longchamp Diary - The Beast has a fraught weekend in Paris (04/10/10)

Racing Quango - More ill thought out suggestions from Racing For Change (11/10/10)

Back Off Government - The Beast believes the Government should have no involvement in racing's funding (19/10/10)

Racing United - Racings latest gimmick falls under The Beast's spotlight (29/10/10)

More Random Musings - more random musings from The Beast (30/10/10)

Farewell Dad - The Beasts bids farewell to his Dad (26/11/10)

Some Common Sense Please - The Beast calls for some common sense during the bad weather (19/12/10)

Another Year Over - The Beast looks back at 2010 (27/12/10)

Happy New Year? - The Beast looks forward to what has not been a good year so far (07/01/11)

Discipline, Offshoring and Decimals - The Beast in enquiries, bookmakers and other things (18/01/11)

Monday Morning Conundrum - The Beast asks who "owns" the racing results (24/01/11)

Sexism, Hypocrisy and Frost Covers - The Beast reflects on the past week (30/01/11)

Injuries and Starts - The Beast on injured horses and tardy national hunt starts (11/02/11)

The Morning After The Day Before - The Beast looks back at the fateful events at Newbury (13/02/11)

The Levy Was Dry - The Beast on the latest Levy pronouncement (17/02/11)

Sunday Racing On TV? - The Beast on Racing for Change, Sunday racing and terrestrial TV (20/02/11)

A Matter Of Perception - The Beast on the Eider Chase, Jason Maguire and Cheltenham (28/02/11)

Cheltenham Preview Evenings - The Beast's guide to Cheltenham Preview Evenings (07/03/11)

The Lull before The Storm - The Beast on the build up to Cheltenham (13/03/11)

Focus On Binocular - Much Ado About Nothing - The Beast on the Binocular saga (13/03/11)

Cheltenham Reflections - The Beast looks back at another Cheltenham Festival (19/03/11)

The Last World Cup? - The Beast will shed no tears if the Dubai World Cup was no more (24/03/11)

Flat Start To The Season? - The Beast on the new flat season and the Horsemen's u-turn (30/03/11)

Racing's Shop Window - Is the Grand National the best race to showcase racing? (09/04/11)

Not Our Greatest Day - The Beast reflects on racings PR disaster (10/04/11)

National Reflections - more reflections on Saturday's Grand National (11/04/11)

Wot No Coverage? - why there was no coverage of the Grand National meeting on this site (11/04/11)

It's Good To Talk - Racing really does need to improve its communications (15/04/11)

The Whip And Frankel (unrelated) - The Beast joins in the whip debate and praises Frankel (04/05/11)

Bans, Commentators and Colours - The Beast links Peterjon Carberry's ban with The Filly Factor and Jockey's colours (19/05/11)

Free And Windy - Has Towcester shot themselves in the foot by charging admission and the need for wind meters (27/05/11)

The Ultimate Test - Why The Derby (and The Oaks) is the ultimate test for a flat horse (01/06/11)

A Bad Day At The Office - Derby Day was a day to forget for The Beast (08/06/11)

Open Letter - An open letter to Rod Street about The Filly Factor (10/06/11)

Fallon, Hood, Lord Derby and NIMBY's - The Beast on Kieren Fallon, Rachel Hood, Lord Derby and NIMBYism (25/06/11)

Sublime Cartmel and Rod Street - The Beast on sublime Cartmel and with praise for Rod Street (18/07/11) 

The Camel's Back Is Creaking - Reflections after a horrible day at Ascot (25/07/11)

Striking A Duff Chord - Are post-racing concerts alienating regular racegoers? (01/08/11)

Marmite Racing - THoughts on Tommo, Chapman and the Shergar Cup (08/08/11)

Howard Johnson Ban - The Beast's thoughts on the Johnson ban (15/08/11)

Fixtures and Aintree - The Beast says it's time to decimate the fixture list, plus Aintree changes (16/08/11)

Tradition - The Beast argues tradition is no excuse not to change (22/08/11)

A Tarnished Legend - The Beast on Graham Bradley, impossible maidens and the excellent Injured Jockeys Fund (07/09/11)

A Bittar Sweet Appointment - The new BHA Chief Exec Paul Bittar faces an impossible task (14/09/11)

Goodnight Ginger, Rest Well - An appreciation of Ginger McCain (20/09/11)

Whipping Up A Report - The Beast on the BHA whip review (27/09/11)

Weighing In, Drug Bans and Cock-ups - The Beast on various issues of the week (04/10/11)

Do I, Don't I? - The Beast has a dilemma, does he go to British Champions Day or not? (06/10/11)

Whips and Sponsors - The Beast on a possible cholera risk and questionable sponsorship (12/10/11)

A Champion Days Racing - A look back at British Champions Day and how to solve the whip problem (16/10/11)

Turning A Drama Into A Crisis - The BHA runs out of feet to shoot itself in (18/10/11)

Fixture List Delay - The delay in publishing the new fixture list adds to racings woes (22/10/11)

A Moral Question - The whip debate raises an interesting moral question (24/10/11)

Punters Don't Rule - OK - Punters do not have any right to be consulted about changes (01/11/11)/

Racings "C" Words - Moribund racing, soggy notes and moustaches (09/11/11)

You Don't Appreciate It Until You No Longer Have It - The perils of racing and public transport (12/12/11)

You Are The Weakest Link - Commentators being treated badly (24/12/11)

Another Year Over - A look back at a controversial year for racing, where the equine stars saved the day (29/12/11)

Blowing The Cobwebs Away - A windy start to 2012 (06/01/12)

Have Camera Will Travel - The Beast with his photographic highlights of 2011 (18/01/12)

Prejudice Over Substance - The furor over Ascots orange stickers was fuelled by prejudice (23/01/12)

A Matter Of Time - in this day and age why can't we have official times for NH races? (30/01/12)

A Mixed Bag - The downside of Newbury today, offshore bookmakers and the Grand National (17/02/12)

R.I.P. B.H.A. - The capitulation on the whip rules is another nail in the coffin of British racing (22/02/12)

More Rule Tweaks - The Beast has a few more rule tweaks to suggest (27/02/12)

Christmas Will Not Be The Same This Year - disappointment at missing Cheltenham (12/03/12)

It Was Not The Same - watching Cheltenham on television was not the same as being there (19/03/12)

Be Careful What You Wish For - Is the £1m purse a double edged sword and the Hughes ban (05/04/12)
Looking Forward To Chepstow - Ignoring the 4½ mile handicap at Aintree, The Beast looks forward to Chepstow (10/04/12)

Unsung Heroes - A (very) few words on the National and Paramedics, the unsung heroes (17/04/12)

More Diversity Needed - Why don't racing crowds reflect society (16/05/12)

Too Much Hyperbole - The coverage of Black Caviar is too much (15/06/12)

Not A Bowl Of Cherries - Covering big festivals isn't all it's cracked up to be (18/06/12)

A Great Week For Racing - The Beast looks back at Royal Ascot 2012 (24/06/12)

Bullying, Protesting Trainers and Jingoism - The Beast on trainers protests and supporting British sportsmen (12/07/12)

Time Gentleman Please - It's time racing addressed alcohol related issues (18/07/12)

Racing And The Paralympics - Moving racing to More 4 is no big issue (08/08/12)

Cartmel, Goodwood Hereford and Channel Four - More musing from The Beast (29/08/12)

Am I Bothered -The Beast cannot get enthused about Camelot's Triple Crown attempt (15/09/12)

Tinkering, Redevelopment and Diesel - The Grand National, Newbury redeveloping, diesel prices and motorway services (23/09/12)

Leadership and Ethical Sponsorship - Does racing have any leaders and is any sponsor acceptable (12/10/12)

Champions Day and Channel Four - a look back at Champions Day and the new Channel Four Racing line-up (26/10/12)

Hype, noisy punters and Channel Four Racing - The Beast on over-hyped racing, noisy punters and sanitised Channel Four reporting (04/11/12)

Thank You For Your Feedback - The Beast responds to feedback to his previous blog (11/11/12)

Size Matters - When it comes to National Hunt race courses size does matter (17/11/12)

Is Orange My Colour - How a trip to Woodbine almost ended up in Guantanamo Bay (19/11/12)

A Poisoned Chalice - Aintree may well struggle to find a new Grand National sponsor (25/11/12)

Piss-up In A Brewery - Multiple inspections and clashing race times (03/12/12)

No Sympathy For Dettori - The Beast has no sympathy for Dettori as he is banned for six months (06/12/12)

Another Year Over - The Beast looks back at 2012 and peeks forward to 2013 (31/12/12)

Week One Done - Fakenham vs Cheltenham, 15 Race Cards and Welsh thrills (07/01/13)

Let It Snow - It may be snowing but the world isn't going to end (21/01/13)

A Veritable Banquet - Cheltenham served the ultimate racing feast (20/01/13)

Clerks and Darlan - It's hard being a Clerk of the Course and the loss of Darlan (10/02/13)

Cheltenham Countdown - All the latest Cheltenham news and handicap weights (27/02/13)

An Interrupted Prep - The build-up for Cheltenham hasn't gone to plan (11/03/13)

An Emotional Festival - A look back at a Cheltenham Festival which saw the whole gamut of emotions (17/03/13)

Thwarted 1,000th - Trying to attend his 1,000th UK race meeting wasn't easy (27/03/13)

Bad Friday - Time to end the madness of not racing on Good Friday (29/03/13)

A Seaside Walk - Why The Beast will not be watching the Grand National (01/04/13)

Farewell Twitter - The Beast walks away from his racing Twitter account (06/04/13)

I Was Wrong - Thankfully I was wrong about the Grand National (08/04/13)

No Encore - No second Scottish trip for The Beast this week (22/04/13)

Disappointment On The Downs - A look back at a disappointing Derby meeting (02/06/13)

Ascot Ying & Yang - The good and bad of Royal ascot (23/06/13)

Broken Camel's Back - The BHA could have shown it's grown some balls, instead it's shown it's impotent (03/08/13) 

International Rescue - Racing needs an international regulator (19/08/13)

Farewell Croc - Jim McGrath calls his last race - five years too late? (09/09/13)

Courses A-F - Thumbnail sketches of UK racecourses (16/09/13)

Courses G-P - Thumbnail sketches of UK racecourses (16/09/13)

Courses R-Y - Thumbnail sketches of UK racecourses (16/09/13)

An ImPERTHect Trip - the perils of going racing at Perth (01/10/13)

Life In The Press Room - Pt 1 - free lunches, press rooms and wi-fi (15/10/13)

Life In The Press Room - Pt2 - some of the "characters" of the press room (04/11/13)
Oh What A Circus - OTT reaction to AP McCoy's 4,000th winner (10/11/13)

Almost There - reflections three days away from my final race meeting (14/11/13)

That's (Almost) All Folks - The Beast has his last day at the races (18/11/13)

Closed Shop Media - Racing needs a more robust media accreditation system and C4 Racing's ridiculous apology (07/12/13)

Sunset on Sungate? - will the Butler hearing mean the sun sets on the Sungate scandal? (08/12/13)

Nightmare On Merseyrail - a one off trip to "Ladies" Day at Aintree (04/04/14)

A Year On - A look back after almost a year without racing (8th October 2014)