No joy with Galway appeal, but at least the process is a good one

It was a quiet week on the track with just five runners before yesterday but we had a good winner out of that and it will be anything but quiet for the next seven days, starting with Pathfork’s appearance in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh today.

The week started very well when Bible Belt gave me another two-year-old winner. I was thrilled with her as she absolutely skated in at Roscommon on Monday. I’m not sure what we’ll do with her next. She’s in a nursery but I don’t think she’ll run. I just wanted to get a handicap mark and we have that now.

The following day though, we lost the appeal against Magical Memoir’s demotion to second after winning the three-year-old hurdle at Galway last month. It was disappointing that the Turf Club committee decided there was interference which cost Days Ahead the race.

My argument was that yes, Magical Memoir had caused some interference but that the best horse on the day had clearly won and my understanding of the rules was that in such an instance, the horse would keep the race and the jockey would receive a suspension of a day or two.

I suppose the interesting thing was that we got our costs and deposit back which was a declaration that the appeal wasn’t a trivial one.

I think the appeals process is a good one. It’s very fair and transparent and at least you have it to go to if you’re not happy with a decision made on the track. This way, you can put your case without any of the time constraints that are there on the track too.

As for whether or not the best horse did actually win on the day, we’ll know in Listowel tomorrow, as they’re both due to take each other on again.

To be honest though, the nerves have been building again most of the week in anticipation of Pathfork’s race. Touching all wood, everything has gone fine since the last day and you would hope he has improved again. This is only the third race of his life.

The ground is yielding now but that shouldn’t be a problem as he won first time out on that.

It is obviously another high class race. Aidan O’Brien has Zoffany, Jim Bolger has Glor na Mara and then you have the Godolphin horse Zanood, who has won his two races, coming over from England. There’s no such thing as an easy Group 1.

There is a serious buzz for me being involved in these type of races though. Earlier in the week, a photographer was down in the yard to take pictures of both Laughing Lashes and Pathfork for Timeform. That has never happened to me before with the flat horses and it’s very exciting.

Alamanda runs in the Amateur Derby today while Jumbajukiba, who has a good record at The Curragh runs tomorrow. He hasn’t run since April though because of the ground.

Roicéad is in the Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Handicap and is beginning to shape up now. He’s becoming more of a man and ran a good race in Tipperary so I’d be hopeful of a good run.

In Listowel tomorrow, Tango Knight goes over three miles for the first time and I’m happy with that as it should suit him. Alpine Eagle is fairly well treated in the conditions hurdle and won’t mind the ground so I’d be optimistic there as well.

During the week I’ll have the likes of Gimli’s Rock and Dreamy Gent to look forward to. Gimli’s Rock carries top weight in the four-year-old hurdle but he’s very tough as he proved when winning under top weight last time. I’d be hopeful about both of them to be honest.

Meanwhile, I’ll be doing something completely different at the start of the week, as I fly out to Keeneland for the sales tomorrow. It will be my first time at the proper sales, although I was at the broodmare sales a few years ago.

I will be there for three days and I’m really looking forward to it. I thought it might be worth my while going seeing as we got two good horses from it last year in Laughing Lashes and Pathfork. Hopefully I might meet a few people and you’d never know what you’d get into the yard as a result of that.

It would be nice if I was making the trip with Pathfork after winning another Group 1.


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