The Racing Week That Was 3-11-19


Monday, we start at Galway. There was a double for Joseph O'Brien with Grace To Grace and Thundering Nights. At Wexford, Anything Will Do, made it an across the card treble on the day. There was a double for Gordon Elliott with Champagne Classic and Eclair De Beaufeu. The meeting at Leicester was abandoned. At Ayr, Nortonthorpelegend gained his eighth career win for Rebecca Menzies. At Kempton, Mark Johnston broke the record for the total number of winners trained in a calendar year in Britain when Bavardages came home in front.


On Tuesday, we start at ChepstowTruckers Lodge was on target for Paul Nicholls. Truckers Lodge was advised to our members (2.5pts win) at 2/1. At Catterick, there was a treble for Richard Fahey with Mighty Spirit, Zip, and Gabrial The Devil. At Southwell, there was a double for Mark Johnston with Dark Regard and Wadacre Galoubet.


Wednesday, we start at Fakenham. There was another good performance from Nubre Negra another good jumping performance led to a ten length win under a winners penalty of seven pounds. At Nottingham, Tremor caused a 50/1 upset for Alan King. At Taunton, there was a double for Neil Mulholland with Viking Ruby and Scardura. At Kempton, Ice Cave was an impressive winner for Godolphin. At Wolverhampton, Bye-bye Lady was on target for Andrew Balding. At Dundalk, there was a treble for Aidan O'Brien with Yale, Vatican City, and Tracing.


Thursday, we start at Stratford. There was an excellent win over fences for Black Op. Tom George's horse was very impressive. There was a double on the day for Nigel Twiston- Davies with Rocco and Ballyellis. At Lingfield, Cranberry was on target for her majesty the Queen winning by three and a half lengths. At Kempton, Just The Man took the feature race for Clive Cox. At Lingfield, there was a double for Michael Appleby with Clipsham Tiger and Mohareb. At Clonmel, there was a double for Rachael Blackmore with Tintangle and Kavanaghs Corner.


Friday, we start at Dundalk. A night to be proud of for the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate Lottieloveheart traveled very well for a long way and at one point it looked like the unthinkable might happen and she could win. However, as we thought before the race it is very difficult for the Fillies against the boys. It was a fact-finding mission we have more information. Leanne will plan it out and as always we will give our trainer the freedom to operate. There was plenty to like, we will take our time as always.

The return of the prince to Dundalk was almost a fairytale. Alfirak ran a stormer finishing second. Alfirak set a very good gallop getting all the field at it from the front. Alfirak had softened them all up, however, there is always one in racing. The well handicapped Crafty Hugo who was really well backed as well as being owned by the brilliant Racing TV presenter Gary O'Brien landed a gamble 25/1 overnight to 7/1. Alfirak gave Crafty Hugo an eye-watering 19 pounds. This was a heroic effort from Alfirak by any stretch of the imagination. Damian and the team will make a plan for Alfirak. We look forward to seeing what the lads come with for Alfirak. We would hope Alfirak and Lottieloveheart will keep the lights on for us through the winter. In racing, there is no time for looking back. We have Mokhalad on Sunday and Trading Point next Friday.

At Dundalk, our superstar stablemate Geological carved another chapter in his remarkable story passing €200,000 in prizemoney the horse who cost €800 giving Vanessa Maye her second winner in the process. Damian English was understandably delighted afterward. "What a horse, that's another 25 grand race!" said English."When he's rated below 80 he's lethal and with Vanessa's 10lb claim that brought him below 80 again."What a servant, that's his 12th win. What more can I say and he's going to keep going here all winter."Vanessa said he absolutely tanked to the start and in better form than he was the last night."We've always tried to qualify him for Lingfield but it's just never happened. Maybe this year we'll have a go at it again and we'll see what happens."The horse is in great form and we'll keep tipping away."You could see there tonight with Colin (on Gordon Lord Byron) taking him on and Vanessa using her head. She's a very very good rider and she's one of the best apprentices I've seen."She keeps horses balanced, she doesn't complicate it and she has a good head on her shoulders."

At Down Royal, there was a remarkable day for Gordon Elliott. Samcro got off the mark over fences. There was also a win for Coeur Sublime in the WKD hurdles. Elliott was to have three more winners on the card giving him a five-timer. The other winners were Pencilfulloflead, Daylight Katie and Fury Road. At Wetherby, Sam Spinner took his unbeaten record over fences to two when making all the running in the Best Jumps Action On Racing TV Novices’ Chase.


Saturday, we start at WetherbyThe Worlds End made every yard of the running to win the bet365 Hurdle. Ballyoptic provided Nigel Twiston-Davies with a sixth success in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, staying on best of all to beat Elegant Escape. At Ascot, Diego Du Charmil had to survive an extraordinary incident alongside stablemate Capeland at the final fence – and then an inevitable stewards’ inquiry – to win the Byrne Group Handicap Chase.

At Down Royal, Road To Respect got the better of Clan Des Obeaux to record victory for the second successive year in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase. I did not think Delta Work jumped well enough and if he is going to win Grade ones in open company he will have to do much better jumping wise. I was really impressed with Real Steel in The Daily Mirror Chase. Envoi Allen extended his unbeaten career record with an impressive victory on his debut over hurdles. This horse is my only ante-post bet I have had at Cheltenham, it was a pleasant experience watching Envoi Allen run so well. Let's hope he lines up in March !!

Joseph O’Brien became the youngest trainer to saddle a Breeders’ Cup winner when Iridessa stormed home in the Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. The 26-year-old is also only the second trainer to have tasted Breeders’ Cup glory as a jockey, after Freddy Head, following his Turf triumph aboard St Nicholas Abbey in 2011 — which made him the youngest rider to triumph. Iridessa was guided to success by Wayne Lordan, who was also opening his Breeders’ Cup account, and he had the Pretty Polly and Matron Stakes heroine in a decent position from the start. Mirth set the pace and soon built up a big lead, but she was swamped in the straight and it was left to Iridessa and Vasilika to fight out the finish. Iridessa (8-1) battled on gamely to land the spoils by a neck. Last year’s winner Sistercharlie was a never-nearer three lengths back in third.


Sunday, we start at Naas. Mokhalad closed his season out with a super effort at Naas finishing fourth in a very competitive handicap. The ground was very testing, Mokhalad was in the firing line from the outset and it looked he might win two out. We could not be prouder of Mokhalad. As we reflect on the season. There were three wins and four places from thirteen runs. The two wins at Naas over 6 furlongs especially the one on 29-4-19 when Mokhalad won by three lengths he pulverized a 22 runner field. I think for me personally the win at Bellewstown over a mile was a brilliant performance. The manner of his demolition of the field over a mile was taking to say the least. It was extra special at our local festival. The team at Grougha has done a brilliant job with Mokhalad he came into the season with some question marks over him. Thanks to Damian English, Craig English, Daryl Clarke, Jimmy Delaney Stephen Mooney who used to look after Mokhalad before he left for Aido McGuinness in the summer.

Mokhalad heads away for his winter holidays hail and hearty. We will aim Mokhalad on the opening day of the flat at Naas (the same race Stanhope placed in this year) over 6 furlongs. As Mokhalad takes a well-deserved break, he does so with his position as our number one horse secure. We never take Mokhalad for granted, he is our leader and our captain. Trading Point is, of course, higher-rated by the handicapper, that said without Mokhalad the other four horses who have walked in Mokhalad's huge hoofprints could never have done so without Mokhalad. We hope Mokhalad will reign on for some time to come, rest well champ and thank you for you have done much.

At Naas, Donnacha O’Brien was officially crowned Irish champion Flat jockey for the second time on the final day of the season. There was a thrilling climax in the race to be crowned champion Irish apprentice – with Oisin Orr riding a double to ensure he shared the spoils with Andrew Slattery. Jukebox Jive finished with a flourish to make a winning stable debut for Gavin Cromwell in the Daragh Fitzpatrick & Colm White Local Bookmakers November Handicap. At Cork, The Gatechecker bounced back to form to claim top honours in the Paddy Power Cork Grand National for Michael Hourigan. Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Lostintranslation made the perfect start to his campaign with a dominant victory in the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase at Carlisle.