Modern racing fans are spoilt for choice when it comes to the amount of information readily available, both in print and online. The industry daily of the Racing Post remains staple reading for many but is only a drop in the vast ocean of racing coverage online. Many betting sites now produce their own content, whilst, for the statistically inclined, there are lots of free and paid-for data services available.
One area which is experiencing a boom in popularity is that of the trainer blog. For those seeking news on the current well-being of a horse, plans for the season, or a specific runner’s chances in an upcoming handicap, where better to get this information than straight from the mouth of those closest to the animals?
Happily, more and more trainers are willingly entering the blog-o-sphere, producing informative content, often sprinkled with a healthy dose of humour. There are many such blogs out there – covering both flat and National Hunt action – and here we pick out six of the best.
Kim Bailey – kimbaileyracing.com
Gloucester-based National Hunt trainer Kim Bailey has over 1,400 wins to his name, including high-profile triumphs in the Grand National, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the Champion Hurdle. A regular at the biggest meetings around, it’s no surprise that Bailey’s Blog has become one of the most popular racing-related reads online.
Those catching up with the trainer’s latest thoughts should expect race-day tales, performance analysis, and a consistent stream of “dad jokes”, whilst a live “Gallops Cam” allows you to watch the yard’s runners training in real-time. The core of the blog is free to access, whilst for £10 per month (proceeds go to the Injured Jockeys Fund) you can gain access to a members area, which details Kim’s thoughts on the chances of his runners before they run.
Richard Hannon – richardhannonracing.co.uk
Following in the footsteps of father Richard Hannon Sr and grandfather Harry Hannon, Richard Hannon Jr presides over a 200+ string from his base in Wiltshire. That’s a lot of horses for fans to keep track of, but thankfully the trainer is more than happy to keep readers up to date with an honest assessment of his latest runners.
Unlike the Kim Bailey blog, Hannon tends to stick to the racing, with his regular updates centred upon the runners he has that day or at an upcoming major meeting. For those considering backing a Hannon runner, we would suggest that this blog is essential reading. If Hannon fancies one of his to run well, he won’t shy away from saying so, and equally, if he expects a horse to improve for the run, he will let punters know. Hannon’s blog is completely free and can be accessed either via the Latest News section of his website or via the Unibet site.
Andrew Balding – blog.betway.com
Son of British Champion flat trainer Ian Balding and the younger brother of broadcaster Clare Balding, Andrew has followed in his father’s footsteps to taste success at the highest level on the flat. Already making the headlines for all the right reasons in 2023 – courtesy of Chaldean’s brilliant win in the 2,000 Guineas – he is a man regularly amongst the winners at the flagship events of the year.
A lot of interesting information on Balding can be found at the excellent Kingsclere site, but for his blog, you need to head to Betway Insider. Much like Richard Hannon, Balding sticks to the racing in his updates, providing highly informative stable tours and his thoughts on the prospects of his latest runners.
Paul Nicholls – paulnichollsracing.com
The most high-profile of our top six blogging trainers is 14-time Champion National Hunt Trainer Paul Nicholls. The man behind the likes of Kauto Star, Denman, Clan Des Obeaux, and Bravemansgame is always worth listening to when it comes to racing, making both the Latest News section of his website and his Betfair blog well worth adding to your favourites.
For analysis of the performance of his latest runners, future plans, and general racing insight, paulnichollsracing.com is your best port of call. However, from a punting standpoint, the Betfair blog may be a better bet, with Nicholls regularly giving a horse-by-horse guide to his latest entries – his opinions on individual ground preferences being particularly useful.
Tom Lacey – cottagefield.co.uk
Another excellent read for fans of the jumping game can be found at the Cottagefield website of Tom Lacey. The vastly experienced Lacey began his racing career breaking in and schooling youngsters, before enjoying stints as a Point-to-Point rider, Head Lad, and Assistant Trainer. Boasting highly impressive knowledge on all areas of the racing game, Lacey’s blog is an interesting read in general and provides handy performance pointers.
The blog is divided into two sections: “thoughts” where Lacey gives his opinions on racing-related issues, and the “blog”, which focuses more on the individual runners from his yard. A £10 monthly fee will grant access to both sections, with all proceeds going to the Katharine House Hospice.
Dan Skelton – danskeltonracing.com
A former protégé of Paul Nicholls, Dan Skelton is well on his way towards possibly emulating his former employer to one day become Champion National Hunt trainer. Spending nine years at the Nicholls yard, Skelton went it alone in 2013 and has enjoyed several notable successes, including a win in the Betfair Chase, and six Cheltenham Festival victories, including two in 2023.
As an official ambassador for betting giant Ladbrokes, Skelton’s Blog is exclusively found within the news section of the Ladbrokes site. Whilst many trainers can be a little reticent to give too much away regarding their runners, that isn’t the case with the forthright Skelton. If he strongly fancies one of his runners, he is sure to let readers know.