As 2014 draws to a close we can reflect on some of the highpoints of the year and hopefully look forward to an equally successful season in 2015 here at Copper Beech Stables.
Last year we began our year in Dubai and emerged from the gulf with five wins courtesy of Certerach, Russian Soul, who won a Group 3, and Eastern Rules. It was a highlight to win the Dubai World Cup with Certerach and we are thoroughly looking forward to the challenge of retaining the crown with him in 2015.
From Dubai to the Irish Flat season, we won 28 races at Dundalk and a further 25 on the grass. We accumulated just under €1m worth of prize money this year on the domestic circuit while our overall prize money for 2014 surpassed €1.8m which includes our overseas successes.
All of this would not be possible of course without the dedication and support of our extremely loyal supporters, owners and staff members. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody associated with the yard. All of the support has been much appreciated and we look forward to building on our success with you all.
Our stable jockey Shane Foley had another outstanding season riding 55 winners in total. Our fruitful forays to Dundalk yielded plenty of winners and led to us being crowned the Winter Series Champions for 2014. As well as this, our three pound claiming apprentice Conor Hoban took advantage of Shane Foley’s absence to Dubai, when he fought out a tremendous battle to be crowned the joint Winter Series Top Jockey along with Joseph O’Brien. Nothing could split the two young jockeys at the finish as they both ended up riding 15 winners and shared the prize.
We are lucky to have some talented young riders working for us. As well as Shane Foley and Conor Hoban, our apprentice Sean Corby had a good time of it riding 26 winners in total. Shane Kelly and Conor McGovern also managed to ride winners for us this year. The only outside jockey to ride a winner for us this year was Jamie Spencer, who of course steered Certerach to his Dubai Gold Cup win.
We have exciting horses to look forward to running in 2015. Raydara was a very impressive winner of the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh last August and the form of that win is working out really well. She remains a nice prospect for His Highness Aga Khan.
The Godolphin-owned Toscanini is a similarly exciting horse to have returning to training. He has been a thoroughly genuine performer throughout 2014 finishing in the first three on each of his six starts and was only narrowly beaten in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. He is by Shamardal, a sire who we love, and rounded off last season when chasing home Gleneagles by just over a length in the Group 1 National Stakes at Headquarters.
Another horse who gave us a glimpse of what we have to look forward to in 2015 is Portage. Again owned by Godolphin, he has only been seen in public on two occasions and won his maiden at the second time of asking at the Curragh.
We have a very exciting team of horses for next year and have plenty of strength and depth among our three-year-olds and older horses. We look like we will have up to 45 two-year-olds in training next season and the dream is still alive. The winter will feel very short looking forward to all of our horses for the season ahead.
We would like to wish everyone a very safe and happy New Year and look forward to the challenges of 2015.
Happy New Year,