I just got home early yesterday morning from a most enjoyable 4 days in Hong Kong.  I was there for the Derby on Sunday with Mr. Huang Kai Wen, owner of Playa Del Puente.  I was at the track on Monday where I saw Irish Correspondent, now Exultant and spent some time with his trainer Tony Cruz.  I was also lucky enough to spend time with another Hong Kong legend in John Moore who showed us around his barns, he was very generous with his time and knowledge.

My trip ended on Wednesday night with a visit to Happy Valley racecourse, what a unique place it is.  ITM with the Irish Consulate David Costello hosted a gathering of Hong Kong based owners and some expats.  It was a most enjoyable evening and I met plenty of contacts.  Full marks to the team at ITM, they should be delighted with their efforts.

We are looking forward to the turf season kicking off on Sunday at Naas, where we look like having 2 runners.

We are racing at Dundalk tonight, where we have 4 exciting runners.

5.10  Luna’s Luck (Ronan Whelan)

He has a good draw and this looks a good opportunity for him. We are putting cheek pieces on him just to help him concentrate a bit and he likes the surface and seven is a good trip for him. We have been happy with him and if things go right for him, he looks sure to run a big race.

DUNDALK 12-10-18.  LUNA’S LUCK and Ronan Whelan (near)

6.45  Sky Seven (Ronan Whelan)

He’s a horse that we’ve always liked and he’ll appreciate the step up in trip from seven furlongs to a mile. He is improving with every start and I am expecting a big run from him. Having said that, this looks a very competitive race and we’ll learn a good bit more about him tonight. He looks great and his work has been good.

7.45  Miss Snossyboots (Ross Coakley)

She had a very good comeback run the last day and she has come forward for the run. Ross is a big asset in these apprentice races and he has just the one more winner to ride, to lose his claim and I’d be delighted if he could do it on her, as he works very hard. We know that she handles the surface and she’ll appreciate the step up to a mile and a half and I’ve been very happy with her work in the lead up to this race.

8.15  Pearlman (Ronan Whelan)

I am keen to get him back started and he had a lovely first run when third in a seven-furlong maiden in November. He steps up to a mile and a quarter tonight and I am sure that he’ll appreciate the extra three furlongs, but all know form, Bandiuc Eile will be very hard to beat. She has some very good form as a juvenile and is rated 107. Having said that, our horse is in very good form and I am expecting a good run from him.  He will improve for the run