The next four days bring Killarney’s racing season to a close, and a good mixed programme gets the meeting under way. Harvest Bow will take beating in the Francie Sheehan’s Bar Killorglin 3-Y-O Hurdle, one of three national hunt races in the latter part of the card.
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.
Killarney is proving quite the money-spinning track for the Terence O’Brien-trained Lakemilan and, on the opening day of the five-day July festival at the Kerry venue, she picked up her second €50,000 handicap at the course when taking the featured Boylesports Handicap Chase.
In recent seasons Killarney racecourse has played host to a couple of subsequent Epsom Derby winners, namely Anthony Van Dyck and Wings Of Eagles, and during next week’s five-day July festival the stunning venue will welcome a former two-time Epsom Derby winner, this one a superstar of the weighroom: Frankie Dettori.
Dubai Duty Free chief executive Colm McLoughlin has underlined his company’s commitment as title sponsor to both the Irish Open and Derby by expressing his wish to see the prize money for both sporting events increase in the coming years.
With the Queen Anne, the St James’s Palace Stakes, the King’s Stand Stakes and the Coventry all on one card, day one of Royal Ascot can claim to be the best day’s racing of the entire year, and the renewed rivalry of Irish 2000 Guineas first and second, Phoenix Of Spain and Too Darn Hot, in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes sets the tone for a fabulous five days at the Berkshire track.
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.