Greg Broderick hopes to raise the temperature on Sunday in Thermal, California, where there will be a cool $1m (€940,000) on offer in the AIG Grand Prix.
He also has a hot commodity in MHS Going Global, the nine-year-old he steered to victory in the $50,000 (€47,000) Horseware Ireland Grand Prix last Sunday week.
Understandable, then, that he is confident, but the Tipperary rider did not hesitate to pour a little cold water on any hype, noting the quality of the field at the HITS (Horse Shows in the Sun) Desert Circuit, including the likes of Rich Fellers and Flexible — the Cruising-sired gelding bred by Edward Doyle — who shows no sign of diminishing, at the age of 19.
“It’s going to be very competitive, there will be some very good horses. Plus, there are several top riders and horses coming from Florida, such as McLain Ward, Rordigo Pessoa and Beezie Madden,” said Broderick.
“But I think my horse has every chance. He’s jumped clear in every grand prix out here. He’s certainly one of the talking horses of Thermal. He won the $50,000 grand prix last Sunday week, and last Sunday he was sixth in the 1.50mtr/1.55mtr grand prix.”
Broderick has built up a close relationship with the horse since getting the ride on him as a youngster, before he brought him to the attention of Canadian Lee Kruger.
“Tom Brennan, from Gowran, Co Kilkenny, sent the horse to me as a five-year-old to ride him and I always felt that he had the makings of a superstar. Lee was over for the Dublin Horse Show to watch some other young horses she had with me and I told her I had a very good five-year-old back in Ballypatrick. She and her husband Paul looked at him, loved him and bought him there and then.”
Thermal is familiar territory for Broderick, but this is his first year to enter the arena.
“Lee comes here every year, so, it was nice to bring the horses here, where she could watch them every week. I can’t thank her enough, as there is a huge amount of interest in Going Global and I’m very grateful she has allowed me to continue to ride him.”
Next on the cards is the spring tour in Lummen, Belgium, which runs through April and culminates with the Furusiyya Nations Cup opener for Europe Division 1 in early May.
Asked of the possibility of lining out for the Irish team, Broderick said: “I’m hoping that Going Global can be an asset to the team during the summer.”
He is also considering returning in June to compete at Spruce Meadows in Canada, but said: “I need to talk to Lee next week and make a plan for the summer for the horse.”
l Cameron Hanley returns to competitive action this weekend, two months after he lost the ride on his top string of horses.
The popular German-based Mayo rider travels to a show near his new base at Osnabrük.
“It’s just a local show here in my area, but I guess any big journey starts with one step. My first international show will be in three weeks in Lummen for the three-star and 1-star classes,” he told the Irish Examiner.
Watch out for a seven-year-old Sandro Boy mare.
“She is lovely, but still quite inexperienced, as she had some foals when she was younger and is only in the sport one year. I own her, together with fellow team-mate Shane Breen. Her name is Landsandra.
“I’m really happy with the bunch of horses I have at the moment, young and green, but very talented, which is the most important thing.”
Hanley was previously tied to Swiss owners Eleonore Paschoud and Yves Bouvier, but in mid-January, they transferred their horses to the yard of Pius Schwizer.
Bouvier made his own headlines two weeks ago, when he was arrested in Monaco in connection with an investigation into alleged fraud concerning the overpricing of art works.
Bouvier was arrested two weeks ago after Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev — the owner of Monaco football club — filed a complaint that the prices of art sold to him were manipulated by the businessman. Bouvier is a major figure in the art world. He operates a number of so-called freeports — warehouses in tax-free zones storing valuables worth billions of euro, including art, wine and gold — worldwide.
l Tipperary’s Liam O’Meara continues to hold a sizeable lead in the Connolly’s Red Mills/HSI Spring Tour, his 30 points double the tally of second-placed Sean Kavanagh. The next few days, however, have the potential to shake things up, with three legs scheduled: Portmore, Co Armagh, tomorrow; Ballinamona, Co Waterford, on Sunday; with Broadmeadows, Co Meath, hosting a St Patrick’s Day special on Tuesday.
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