Here is the first of my weekly blogs that I will be posting for the remainder of the flat season which I hope you will find interesting.
It was great to be back racing at The Curragh at the weekend and well done to Derek McGrath and his team, they engaged with everyone beforehand I thought the weekend went very well.
We ran a good few horses and my main hope for the weekend was Irishcorrespondent who made it 2 from 2 with victory in the winners race on Sunday. He is a horse that we have always liked and he looked above average when he won his maiden at Leopardstown in April. He holds an entry in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and if all is good with him, he will go to The Curragh on Saturday week (May 27th). It is great to have a horse good enough to run in the Guineas and we have nothing to lose by letting him take his chance. He has come out of The Curragh race in great form and I think he will come on again for that run. It will be a big ask for Irishcorrespondent, but I think he is well worth his place in the line-up. We will see how the race is shaping up next Tuesday, but it is very exciting for his owners, (Ballygallon Stud Limited) who also bred him and we could a have a nice team of horses for The Curragh the weekend after next.
I have been very happy with Rehana and as matters stand, she will go for The Irish 1,000 Guineas. She was impressive when she won The Athasi Stakes (Gr 3) earlier in the month and she bounced out of that race in great form. We will keep an eye on the weather – she would not like soft ground- but as long as we are happy with the ground, the plan is for her to run. She has won twice over 7 furlongs, and I think she has every chance of seeing out a mile.
Storm Ryker looked a nice horse when he won first time out at Dundalk last Friday and we will find something for him in the next month or so. Our horses tend to improve a good bit from their first run, and he could be a nice prospect.
I will have my first 2yo runner at Cork on Friday (May 19th) when Yulong Warrior lines up for the opener down there. He is a nice horse who goes well and I think he will represent us well.
Portage will make his seasonal reappearance in a 7 furlong listed race at Naas on Sunday. He is in super form and I would imagine that whatever he does at the weekend, he will improve for the run and the plan after Sunday, is to aim him at the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot in June.
Finally, last week we had the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards in Kilkenny and I thought it was a brilliant night and as awards nights go, it was right up there with the best that I have been at. I would like to acknowledge Godolphin’s very generous sponsorship and also the Racing Post. Well done to the nominees and winners – it goes without saying, that those behind the scenes keep the game going and we would be lost without them. Our own Robbie Gallagher has to be congratulated on reaching the final line up of one of the categories on the night. The evening was a very appropriate way of saying thanks to all of them.