Monday, we start at Ayr. Que Amoro blitzed the opposition to take Listed honours in the EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr, as racing returned in Scotland after an absence of 98 days due to the coronavirus lockdown. This was a very impressive performance. At Windsor, Grand Bazaar was an impressive winner for John Gosden. It was good news for our members Grand Bazaar was advised 2pts win at 9/4. At Limerick, jump racing returned. There was a double for Sean Flanagan with Hello Pilgrim and Laureate. At Roscommon, there was a double for Ger Lyons with Frank Arthur and Jan Wellens.
Tuesday, we start at Beverley. Ben Curtis racked up a treble at Beverley as the Yorkshire track hosted its third behind-closed-doors fixture. The horses were Manaabit, Golden Pass and Zihaam. At Navan, Johnny Murtagh continued his excellent run as Lady Maura bolted up.
Venetia Williams has led the tributes to Liam Treadwell following the Grand National-winning jockey’s death he was 34. Treadwell sprang one of the biggest surprises in the history of the world’s greatest steeplechase when steering 100-1 outsider Mon Mome to victory in 2009. This is incredibly sad a young man gone far too early. I have a personal story about Liam Treadwell as to why I will never forget him. It was 2009 myself and my Dad were in Aintree together for the National Liam won. Dad actually backed Mon Mome at 100/1. My dad Jim loves the Grand National (fanatical about it) he got a great kick out of it, of course, Liam Treadwell was brilliant on the horse in the race. It was one of my greatest days at horse racing. I did not back Mon Mome, however, to see the joy my Dad got out of it always reminds me why I love this sport so much. Dad is far from a big punter, so it was not the money it was solving the puzzle. My niece Amy was also born that day, so it was a double celebration as Dad welcomed another Grandchild. I will always remember Dad saying in Manchester Airport " Young Treadwell rode a great race he never panicked " Go well Liam Treadwell, you will always be remembered when the Grand National is being discussed as well as by the many lives you may not even realise you touched in a positive manner.
Wednesday, we start at Haydock. Highest Ground looked a smart colt in the making when overturning the odds-on Waldkonig in the Racecourse Live Streams On Racing TV Novice Stakes for Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute. At Hamilton, there was a double for jockey Phil Dennis with Shesadabbler and Dodgy Bob. At Roscommon, classy Flat performer Sneaky Getaway made a stylish winning debut over hurdles for Emmet Mullins. At Naas, there was a double for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane with Soul Search and Edward Hopper. There was another winner for Johnny Murtagh with Pronouncement.
Our Syndicate horse Stanhope had a gallop on the Old Vic under Rory Cleary as he prepares for the Rockingham at The Curragh on Sunday. Stanhope is now with John McConnell having moved from Damian English during the winter.
Thursday, we start at Fairyhouse. It was yet another double for Shane Foley who continued a stellar season. The winners were Protagonist and Rain Or Shine. The win for Protagonist was good news for our members. One Bet today it was a winner Protagonist 200 Fairyhouse (2pts win) 15/8 (rule 4 deduction 10%). At Haydock, Solo Saxophone followed up his recent win for Ben Haslam. At Bath, there was a double for Roger Varian and David Egan with Motamayiz and Establish.
Friday, we start at Tipperary. The feature race the Grimes Hurdle went to Aramon for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. This was a very good performance Aramon must have a very good chance in the Galway Hurdle on the back of this effort. Karl Thornton has been amongst the winners since racing resumed, he was on target again with Shanroe. The opener went to Joseph O'Brien with King Pellinor. At the Curragh, there was a treble for Joseph O'Brien when Tonkinese took the concluding race at the Curragh, the Extra.ie Apprentice Derby. King Pellinor (Mark Walsh, at Tipperary), Gee Rex (Declan McDonogh) and Music To My Ears (Wayne Lordan) were the previous Carriganog Racing winners, and the well-supported Tonkinese was partnered by Dylan Browne McMonagle. Two of our own Syndicate members are heavily involved in Isotope who ran a cracker in third in the Apprentice Derby. At Doncaster, Magical Morning looked a bright prospect when defying a 7lb penalty in the Follow At The Races On Twitter Novice Stakes. Dettori completed a double by scoring on his only other ride Harrovian (11-8 favourite), also for Gosden, in the Sky Sports Racing Handicap.
Saturday, we start at The Curragh for The Irish Derby. Santiago was a 14th winner of the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Derby for Aidan O’Brien – who trained the first four home in this year’s Classic. It was a very strong performance in tough conditions. Santiago raced towards the rear as Iberia led from Gold Maze, Arthur's Kingdom and Order Of Australia. The winning of the race came between the three furlongs pole and the two furlongs pole as Seamie Heffernan delivered his mount between horses. The pair hit the front at the two and soon took a few lengths out of the pack. Tiger Moth and Emmet McNamara weren't done with, though, as they charged into contention down the outside racing to the final furlong. They kept coming but Heffernan was on the rail and had a very willing partner who showed his toughness in fending off the runner-up by a head. The pair pulled five-lengths clear of Dawn Patrol and Ronan Whelan. This was a very good performance considering Santiago won at Royal Ascot last week. It was good news for our members Santiago was advised (2pts win) at 11/4.
The rest of the Curragh Wayne Lordan made it back-to-back trebles at the Curragh on Irish Derby weekend with victory on Twilight Payment in the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes over a mile and six furlongs. Lordan also won on Serpentine and Buckhurst (trained by Joseph O'Brien) today. Yesterday, he booted home Merchants Quay, Delphi and Music To My Ears. Big Baby Bull built upon his Irish debut to bag a decisive victory in the seven-furlong premier handicap at the Curragh. He won two races in Britain for Richard Hannon and was gelded before finishing fourth at Leopardstown last weekend on his first start for Denis Hogan. It was more good news for our members Big Baby Bull was advised (1pt each way) at 11/1.
At Newmarket, Henry Candy was almost lost for words as stable star Limato rolled back the years to register back-to-back victories in the Betway Criterion Stakes. There may have been no joy for Charlie Appleby and William Buick at Royal Ascot last weekend – but the pair hit back in perfect fashion with a fabulous four-timer at Newmarket. At Newcastle, Tom Marquand ended an up-and-down week in the best possible fashion when winning the Betfair Free Bet Streak Gosforth Park Cup on his old friend Caspian Prince. Judicial may be getting on in terms of a sprinter – but Julie Camacho’s eight-year-old appears to have found a new lease of life over six furlongs, having run out a ready winner of the Betfair Backs Racing Welfare Chipchase Stakes. Hugo Palmer was able to tick the Betfair Northumberland Plate off his bucket list when Caravan Of Hope justified 9-2 favouritism in the famous race, this was very well backed from 8/1 -9/2.
Sunday, we start at the Curragh. A hugely exciting week lies ahead for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate, however, as we found out last week there will be ups and downs with so many runners in quick succession. We have made an excellent start since racing has resumed with Parkers Hill and Mokhalad both victorious. Today we welcomed back a genuine Galaxy hero in Stanhope who has been on the sidelines for ten months. Stanhope had a stifle operation after his last race in Cork. Stanhope has recovered very well. We as his owners stood by him through his rehabilitation. That is our duty as his owners we do it gladly.
As mentioned before it has been a winter of evolution for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. That evolution included moving Stanhope from Damian English to John McConnell. In Stanhope's specific case he was recovering from an injury. We had wanted to work with John McConnell for a while. John as well as being an excellent trainer is a qualified vet. We see this as an additional asset for ourselves. John McConnell has brought Stanhope back to race fitness gradually. We have been fully engaged in the process every step of the way. It has been marvellous to watch John McConnell work. Stanhope has settled in very well at John McConnell's. We were taking on the Rockingham first up a premier handicap. This was a difficult assignment however it was far from beyond Stanhope.
Stanhope was physically and mentally sharp going into this, his work has been good getting plenty of away days as well for sharpness. It was competitive the hope was Stanhope had a positive experience, we can then drive on there is a lot to play for in 2020 still. One thing is for sure it's great to have Stanhope back, we expect Stanhope to contribute well in 2020 regardless of the outcome of today. It turned out to be a very good effort from Stanhope to finish seventh in the Rockingham after being badly hampered early on. Stanhope lost valuable lengths and momentum he, however, charged home. It was very pleasing all around. In our view with a clear run, Stanhope could have been fourth. The bottom line is we have our Stanhope back to form we could not be happier. The race went to Strong Johson we congratulate the Kieran Cotter team on a brilliant victory in a thrilling race.
There is no time to look back for now. We face a really busy period. This week Mokhalad will race at Bellewstown on Thursday. As it stands Stanhope, Lottieloveheart and Trading Point could all line up at Navan on Friday. A potential first for us with three runners on one card and with our three different trainers. The mood and spirit in the Syndicate at the moment is fantastic. For those asking about Parkers Hill, he is in great nick at the moment, we are looking forward to seeing him on July 10th at the Curragh.
The rest of The Curragh card was dominated by Aidan O'Brien and Seamie Heffernan who had a treble with Hudson River, Napa Valley and Magical. The win of Napa Valley was good news for our members. Napa Valley was advised (2.5 points win) 6/4. Magical made a triumphant return to action as she added another Group One to her record in the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes. Shane Crosse rode the biggest winner of his career to date when Speak In Colours gamely held on in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes. The finale went to Dalton Highway who ran down De Name Escapes me late who was advised to our members 1pt each-way at 8/1.