The Racing Week That Was 23-5-21


Monday, we start at Redcar where Racegoers returned on Monday as the seaside venue opened its gates to a crowd of almost 800. The Sir Michael Stoute trained Potapova provided a brilliant performance to win by 8 lengthsRacegoers were also delighted to be back at Carlisle for the first time this year on a beautiful afternoon in Cumbria. The feature race went to End Zone under Callum Rodriguez. At Windsor, there was a double for Ryan Moore with Dream Of Dreams and Cashew. The final race was abandoned due to waterlogging. At Leicester, Able Kane took the feature under Richard Kingscote.


Tuesday, we start at Sligo. There was a winner for Adrian McGuinness with Is That Love. There was a second win in a week for Social Distance for Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley. At Limerick, Antey got off the mark over fences for Willie Mullins and Brian Hayes. At Brighton, Celestial Point bolted up by 6.5 lengths for trainer Gary Moore. At Nottingham, there was a treble for Oisin Murphy with King Of Clubs, Legendary Day and Capla Dream. At Wolverhampton, Sir Mark Prescott was on target with The Tide Turns. At Huntingdon, Couer Serein made it 3 wins in a row for Jonjo O'Neill. At Hexham, Gameface was on target for JP McManus.


Wednesday, we start at Cork. There was a double for Shane Foley with Harmony Rose and Iva Batt. At Yarmouth, Tolstoy was on target for John Gosden. At Warwick, there were doubles for Byrony Frost and Paul Nicholls with Fidelio Vallis and Secret Potion. At Ayr, there was a double for David O'Meara with Noorban and Tamaska. At Southwell over jumps, the feature race went to An Tailliur for Jonjo O'Neill. At Kempton, Super Over was on target for Hollie Doyle.


Thursday, we start at Tipperary. I was very impressed with Slip Of The Tongue who took the Maiden hurdle for Padraig Roche. At Lingfield, Lethal Blast was a very impressive winner of the finale. At Market Rasen, Denis Hogan sent Grozni over from Ireland to take the bumper. At Wolverhampton, Riknnah was an impressive winner for Simon Crisford. At Chelmsford, Habit Rogue was on target for Marco Botti.


Friday, we start at Haydock. The feature race went to Twilight Spinner who bolted up by 6.5 lengths for David O'Meara. At Goodwood, there was a double for Jamie Spencer with Ad Infinitum and Luckiness. There was also a double for Silvestre De Sousa with Dulas and Lone Eagle. At Bath, Moment Of Beauty was on target for Godolphin. At Worcester, Name Of Fame was on target for Dan and Harry Skelton. At Catterick, there were doubles for Ella McCain and Tim Easterby with Bollin Neil and Wade's Magic. At Downpatrick, Magic Piper was a 15 length winner for Thomas Gibney. At Wexford, Thomas Gibney completed an across the card double with Trixie Mc. 


Saturday, we start at the CurraghJim Bolger dominated the finish of the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh with Mac Swiney just edging out stable companion Poetic Flare. Mac Swiney, a Group One winner at two, had disappointed on his return to action in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, but was subsequently found to be suffering from a nasal discharge. Poetic Flare was already running in his third Classic of the season, having won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket before finishing only sixth in the French version just six days ago. The race was run in a heavy rain shower as Rory Cleary, riding by far the biggest winner of his career, set out to make all on Mac Swiney and his rivals dropped away one by one. Only stablemate Poetic Flare put up a challenge and Kevin Manning looked to be travelling marginally the better. However, just when Manning began to ask his mount for everything, Poetic Flare hung across the track slightly, eventually being beaten a short head in the 100th running of the Classic. Van Gogh stayed on to be third. This was a fantastic day for Rory Cleary, a man everyone at Galaxy knows well. Rory has been a huge part of our own story in racing. It was wonderful to see Rory Cleary ride a classic winner well done Rory.

The rest of The Curragh card. Castle Star leapt to prominence in the betting for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot with a stylish display in the GAIN Marble Hill Stakes. Sent off at 5-2, Castle Star was dropped right out by Hayes before he came swinging into contention with just over a furlong to run. Despite the ground being testing, the son of Starspangledbanner quickened up impressively to beat Masseto by two lengths. Gustavus Weston bounced back from a disappointing run six days ago to dent some tall reputations in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes. 

At Goodwood, Stormy Antarctic secured his first British win in over five years as he powered home in the Listed MansionBet Beaten By A Head Festival Stakes. Hukum took the listed Tapster Stakes under Jim Crowley. At Haydock, Rohaan continued his progression when narrowly holding off Dragon Symbol in the Casumo Bet10Get10 Sandy Lane Stakes. Liberty Beach made all the running on her return to action to gamely win the Casumo Best Odds Guaranteed Temple Stakes. At York, Tribal Craft was a ready winner of the Group Three William Hill Bronte Cup Fillies’ Stakes at York for David Probert and trainer Andrew Balding. At Stratford, the progressive Locks Corner got back in the winner's enclosure for Jonjo O'Neill.


Sunday, we start with Barney Curley, the mastermind behind some of racing’s most famous betting coups and successful former trainer, who has died at the age of 81. Northern Ireland-born Curley’s skirmishes with the bookmakers and dramatic gambles became the stuff of legend, in particular, that involving Yellow Sam in June 1975 He was also famed for the work he did for his charity, Direct Aid For Africa, which he founded in 1996. Newmarket-based John Butler was assistant to Curley for a number of years and paid tribute to his former boss, who had battled against cancer.“He died very peacefully on the stud (in Newmarket) on Sunday. It was pretty sudden, he got poorly very quickly,” he said.“I came over to England (from Ireland) 18 to 20 years ago and worked for him for seven or eight years. It’s a sad day.”

In 2007 Curley – who won the Imperial Cup at Sandown in 2000 with Magic Combination – announced he would be dedicating more time to his charity, one which attracted a £2.5million donation from Sheikh Mohammed. Butler said: “His charity was his main thing the last 10 or 15 years, it was always the charity no matter what.“Every day it was his charity. On several occasions, we emptied furniture out of schools and filled containers and he always went away and the charity came first. The horses were there, but the charity was a massive thing.“You could spend all night talking about him. He was very good to me, he was just one of those people.”Curley, who had his last runners in 2012, was instrumental in the early careers of jockeys such as Frankie Dettori and Jamie Spencer. Butler added: “He was good to Spencer and (Tom) Queally and Shane Kelly, Frankie – I think Frankie went to see him every day for the last two or three weeks.” I have to say as long as punting is discussed Barney Curley will always be remembered. A brilliant punting mind, however, he also knew horses he could really train.

At the Curragh, Empress Josephine produced a relentless late charge to beat stablemate Joan Of Arc to victory in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh. Trainer Aidan O’Brien saddled three runners in his bid for a 10th victory in the fillies’ Classic, with Joan Of Arc very much his main hope following her triumph in the Irish 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown a fortnight ago. Empress Josephine was a 14-1 chance off the back of finishing second in a Listed contest at Gowran Park on her latest appearance and tracked 15-8 favourite Pretty Gorgeous for much of the way. With the latter’s effort petering out on her belated first run of the year, it looked like Joan Of Arc would claim top honours after eventually mastering No Speak Alexander at the head of affairs. However, Empress Josephine really found top gear in the last half-furlong and beat her stablemate on the bob by a short head – providing jockey Seamie Heffernan with his fifth success in the race. No Speak Alexander finished third, with 125-1 chance Belle Image a close-up fourth.

O’Brien said: “We thought she was lovely – she’s a sister to Minding.“We thought she was lovely when she won the first day and then she went to Leopardstown and they went too fast over seven furlongs.“We ran her over nine furlongs in Gowran Park and had a lovely run, but we just felt the trip may have caught her out.“She’s quick and Seamus gave her a lovely ride. She’s a classy filly.“It’s a long time since Seamus rode his first Group One winner for us. He’s a great fella who works with us day in day out.

Helvic Dream provided trainer Noel Meade with a first Group One winner on the Flat as he came out on top in a thrilling renewal of the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh. While the multiple champion trainer is no stranger to high-profile success over jumps, his Flat runners at Group One level have been far less frequent since Sweet Mint landed what is now the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot in 1978. Having finished behind the reopposing 10-11 favourite Broome on his three previous outings this season, Helvic Dream was sent off at 8-1 under Colin Keane – and moved ominously into the slipstream of his old rival halfway up the home straight. To his credit, Broome refused to go down without a fight and the two flashed by the line almost as one, but the judge confirmed Helvic Dream had won the day by a short head.