Sometimes you just have to take what racing throws at you

I have said it more than once here that you just have to take what racing throws at you. It’s a great leveller and some days you get a kick in the teeth but on others things work out well.

Last week I was talking about being beaten in two photo finishes, one by a short head and another by a head. You comfort yourself with the thought that the horses are running well and that is the truth of the matter; you really don’t mind once they’re running well. Still, you like to get the wins on the board too.

So I had to smile when Alpine Eagle was on the right side of a photo finish in Killarney on Tuesday, with Fantoche running a good race in fourth as well.

You take it when it comes because you know what the other side is like. He was good and Fran Berry settled him well out the back before he hit the front about a furlong out and stayed on well to keep his head in front.

That should set him up now hopefully for the Galway Hurdle. He’s got 9st 12lbs and we would need five horses to come out for him and Gimli’s Rock to get in. I’ve got four entries in all and three will hopefully run.

We will be starting to get organised for that now this week but so much depends on the ground and it’s beginning to change with the rain we’ve had. The forecast is very unsettled and everyone was sure to point out that Thursday was St Swithun’s Day. Of course it rained so that’s supposed to be rain for 40 days and 40 nights according to the proverb.

That doesn’t spell good news when planning for Galway. Most of the people that have horses entered there want reasonable ground.

Of mine, No One Tells Me has won on heavy ground, while Alpine Eagle won on yielding during the week but would prefer good ground. And Dreamy Gent, who is also entered, loves to hear the thud of his hooves and would want it like the hammers of hell! So we’re just trying to cover all the options.

I was delighted with Laughing Lashes in the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday. She finished second beaten just a length by Aidan O’Brien’s Together, who was odds-on.

We’ll see what comes up for her now but she probably won’t run for a month and more than likely, will only have one more run this year. She is a very big filly and I think she might make out to be a Guineas filly.

The McElroy Syndicate that own her had Long Lashes, who won first time out at 25/1 last year before Godolphin bought her and they can’t believe that they have another nice filly so quickly. The dream lives on, both for them and for me.

I’ve had a runner in the 1000 Guineas before and in the Derby. But we’d like to win one of them.

I was very happy with Cloneylass too. She was third in Tipperary on Sunday and she’s had two quick races which might have been a bit much for her. She’s already won her race and if you can get black type on a filly, it makes a big difference for breeding down the line.

There will be some great racing at the Curragh over the weekend and I just hope they get the weather. If they do, the crowds will turn up.

Miss Estrada runs in the fillies’ maiden today. She was third first time out and I think the ease in the ground will suit her. In fact I’m definite it will, so I’d be hoping she runs well.

Roicead runs in the handicap and will appreciate a cut in the ground and the same might be the case for Bobskier as well, who’s running in a nursery – a handicap for two-year-olds – for the first time. He’s in good form but it’s her first nursery so we’ll have to see.

Tomorrow, Pathfork has his first ever run in the two-year-olds colts’ maiden. Shane Foley has been riding well on him at work so he keeps the ride. This is a nice colt but it’s a very hot race. Aidan O’Brien, Kevin Prendergast, John Oxx, Jim Bolger and Dermot Weld have all got horses in it and they’d all be producing a nice colt on Oaks weekend.

New Magic goes in the Listed race and that’s very competitive. I thought it might cut up a bit more but unfortunately there are 18 in it so it will be very tough.

Zarinava runs in the Ladies Derby. She was very disappointing at the Curragh last month and we never found anything wrong. Maybe she had a pain in her belly and forgot to tell me? Sometimes you just don’t know.

Pauline Ryan rides. Pauline has won this race before and has won on Zarinava in two bumpers so if everything goes well, they should make a good combination.

They would not want anymore rain though. It’s ironic that on a given day you might have a couple of horses that would like rain and a couple that wouldn’t. That’s just the way it is, another of the things that would drive you to madness as a horse trainer if you let it.

You’re better off looking at it like I am with the Galway Hurdle. If you’ve got a few going that relish either good or bad ground, at least you’re covering all the angles.


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