In 2018, Aidan O’Brien won the Colm Quinn BMW Irish EBF Fillies’ Maiden with subsequent dual 1000 Guineas winner Hermosa and it will be no surprise if Petite Mustique, who gave him back to back wins in the race with a facile success yesterday, emulates her illustrious stablemate.
The National Hunt season that has just finished was a very strange one. At times it felt like the season would never get going as we waited and waited for the skies to open. For us in racing, they never really did, but hopefully for the flat season ahead they won’t open now.
On a day which provided across-the-card trebles for Aidan, Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien, progressive Ballydoyle colt Lucius Tiberius came from last to first to record a last-gasp victory in the Irish Stallions Farms EBF Nasrullah Handicap in Leopardstown.
In the past 18 months, Jessica Harrington celebrated numerous firsts: A first Irish Gold Cup victory, first Cheltenham Gold Cup success, first Irish Grand National, and became the most successful lady trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival.
In a fascinating race for the jockey’s title, reigning champ Pat Smullen has hit a rich vein of form and, following a 1,055-1 four-timer at Roscommon yesterday, is all but breathing down the neck of championship leader Colin Keane.
After winning the listed Coolmore Ivawood Stakes in 2016, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Capri went on to much greater things, winning the Irish Derby, and his trainer completed back-to-back victories in the Tipperary race, doing so with a filly, Ballet Shoes.
After a mid-season lull trainer Willie McCreery has returned to form with a vengeance, and he recorded a 29-1 double on the opening day of the Killarney’s August festival, including taking the listed Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes with the game Erysimum.
On a day when his The Gurkha proved an impressive winner of the French 2,000 Guineas in Deauville, Aidan O’Brien also took the training honours at Navan where long odds-on favourite Bondi Beach produced an unconvincing display to justify 1/9 favouritism in the Group 3 Coolmore Vintage Crop Stakes.
Placed six times in stakes company over the last two season, the Jim Bolger-trained Altesse deservedly earned winning black type when getting the better of Ballybacka Queen by a half-length in the listed Noblesse Stakes, feature on Student Day in Leopardstown yesterday.
Apprentice Denis Linehan registered his eighth career success, and his first of 2016, when bringing More Than Munny with a storming late challenge to collar odds-on favourite Go Kart in the featured Irishinjuredjockeys.com Race in Dundalk last night.