There were a lot of expensive foals and yearlings but I think the figures were distorted a bit because if horses weren’t sold, they didn’t go into the average. Sometimes you can make statistics look good or bad.
To be fair it warmed up in the afternoon on both days but at 10 in the morning it was very hard work.
I bought one three-year-old by Fleminsfirth out of Megan’s Joy. He has a good pedigree, isn’t overly big, but I’m hoping he will come to hand for the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown festival next April.
He’ll get broken more or less straight away. He’ll be riding for the next six-to-eight weeks and then he’ll get a rest. We’ll bring him in around December and hopefully then will have a clear run for Punchestown.
Most of my breaking is done by Yuri and his brother Oleg and they do a very good job for me.
Horses that get to the sales nowadays have had a lot of handling. They’ve been lunged. They’re ready to be ridden. It’s not like you’re starting with a horse that’s come in straight from the field so you don’t have to start from scratch.
I had one winner again during the week, this time with Blaze Brightly, who won her maiden with Fran Berry on board in Listowel on Sunday.
She’s entered for a handicap in Leopardstown next Thursday and while she might run in that, we’ll probably give her a little break then and run her again in July and August.
The reason for that is that the owners are based in the Middle East. One of them is back home now but the rest are coming next month so it would be nice for them to see her.
They have called themselves the Wahed Al Mashi Syndicate in a dual acknowledgement of their current base and their Irish roots. The language is Arabic, and its direct translation is ‘One for the Road’ which they’re probably looking forward to when they get home.
We didn’t race again until Thursday and Sandymount Lady was very unlucky in Leopardstown. She had a bad draw and Johnny Murtagh said he was so wide on her all the way around that she ran 1½ miles rather than 1¼. She finished very quickly and came back well so we’ll have another day with her.
Moment of Weakness is stepping up a furlong tomorrow in Cork so we’re hoping for the best there. As is often the case with two-year-olds, we are learning all the time so it will be interesting to see how he does.
Like Blaze Brightly and Moment of Weakness, Bobskier is out of Big Bad Bob. He runs tonight in a maiden in Limerick. We were pleased with his debut run when he finished fourth to another good Kevin Prendergast two-year-old in Fairyhouse at the beginning of the month so we hope he runs well.
I was hoping to have more runners this weekend but even though it rained a bit during the week, is hasn’t made much difference to the ground. To be fair to the tracks, they’re doing a good job with the watering. At least they’re making sure to keep the jar out of the ground.
Mind you, we’ve seen a lot of the jump jockeys picking up injuries lately. Davy Russell, Paddy Flood and Conor Maxwell all got hurt and thankfully it seems that Liam Lawlor is getting better after his awful fall.
It just goes to show what a hard life these people have, especially on this ground when if you fall you slap off it. The same fall would never be as bad in winter because the horses aren’t going as quickly either.
Just looking at Epsom last week, I was delighted of course by Snow Fairy’s win in the Oaks, given that I had trained her dam, Woodland Dream, to win a race in Leopardstown.
It looks like she will come to the Curragh to run in the Irish Oaks and that the Derby winner, Workforce, will do the same. That’s a testament to Irish racing and to the work that the team at the Curragh do. These are prestigious races to win and you want the best horses there.
The Derby was interesting, as beforehand, people were saying it was an ordinary race. Time will tell but Workforce was very impressive and he had an excuse when beaten in York. It will be nice to see him in the flesh at the Curragh.
Of course I’m looking forward to Ascot as well. I was invited over for the Friday but I think I’m going to stay at home and watch it on the telly.
I know it’s very different from the norm, with all the pomp and ceremony but I like that. There’s a great sense of occasion and I think it’s lovely that it’s still there and done well. Of course you have beautiful horses too, horses with big reputations and one thing is certain - there’ll be a lot of bubbles burst during the week.