Monday, we start at Roscommon. Benruben took Ballymore Group Irish EBF Novice Chase (Grade 3) in a race run at a very strong pace. Benruben was completing doubles for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore after Kapard’s win in the opener. There was a double for Gordon Elliott with Presenting Dylan and Chemical Energy. Our own trainer John McConnell kept up his recent good run as Streets Of Doyen (11/4) enjoyed the good ground to take the Roscommon Handicap Hurdle. At Hamilton, Ventura Flame was on target for Keith Dalgleish. At Newton Abbot, Sunrise Ruby bolted up for Nicky Henderson by 22 lengths. At Bath, the feature race went to Roseabad for Mark Johnston. At Newcastle, a good day for Mark Johnston continued with Fandabidozi.
Tuesday, we start at Cork. Mokhalad stepped out at Cork over seven furlongs. Mokhalad has done really well since Navan. His work has been good at home. We have wanted to run Mokhalad at Cork for a while, we think he loves straight tracks. We step up to seven furlongs for this race. Mokhalad has won twice over this trip so we were not concerned about this. In an ideal world, a bit of rain would have aided our cause. There was a nagging concern over the ground as it was drying out and very quick. Colin Keane took the reins. The race itself was very competitive as you would expect. Trading Point lit the fuse last week for a very intense period coming up for the syndicate. In the end, Mokhalad was disappointing here. A combination of quicker than ideal ground and racing on his own away from the group. There was also an odd ride from Colin Keane. Mokhalad travelled well for a long way, it just looked like Colin never really asked him to pick up. Mokhalad was fine afterwards. We will take it on the chin and move on. Mokhalad will be back out in October hopefully a bit of rain and on we go.
At Cork, there was a nice moment for one of our trainers Leanne Breen. That's Mad gained a first career win at Cork today as the Leanne Breen trained gelding gave more depth to prolific winner A Step Too Far's form-lines, in winning here. That's Mad chased home A Step Too Far on his debut run for Breen at Bellewstown on August 26 and while the Kieran Cotter trained A Step Too Far was then completing the second-stage of a remarkable six-in-a-row winning sequence, That's Mad today scored the first win at the 11th attempt. Leanne has had a lot of seconds recently her horses have been running really well. Leanne is a massive part of our team now it was great for, herself and Aili to get a deserved change in luck. We feel very personally invested in Leanne's story she is a pleasure to work with. The whole group was delighted Leanne got a deserved turn. We hope we can help Leanne push on for a strong finish to 2020.
Wednesday, we start at Punchestown. Gotthenod provided Dot Love with a second success in as many days, as she ran out a comfortable winner. At Huntingdon, there was a double for Sean Bowen with Elkstone and Arthur's Secret. At Nottingham, Glen Force was on target for Sir Mark Prescott. At Bangor, Richard Johnson was on target with Thomas Shelby. At Kempton, Iffraaz was on target for Mark Johnston winning by an impressive three lengths.
Thursday, we start with the news that
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has vowed to do “everything that I can” to prove his innocence after testing positive for metabolites of cocaine at a meeting in France earlier in the year. Murphy was tested by France Galop at Chantilly on July 19, where he partnered The Lir Jet to finish second in the Group Two Prix Robert Papin. The rider was informed in August of his positive result and subsequently organised a hair sample test, which returned a negative result, according to the Professional Jockeys Association. A statement issued on his behalf by the PJA said: “On July 19, 2020 Oisin Murphy was selected for urine testing at Chantilly racecourse. On August 19 he was informed by France Galop that his ‘A’ sample had returned positive for metabolites of cocaine.
“On the same day, Oisin organised for an independent laboratory to undertake hair sampling to prove his innocence. The hair sample was taken on August 22, with the collection process filmed by the laboratory for authenticity. “The laboratory analysed multiple 0.3cm segments of Oisin’s hair and on August 26 the results of the hair test returned completely negative for metabolites of cocaine, which was entirely expected as Oisin has never taken cocaine.“These results have been shared with France Galop and he awaits the results of France Galop’s analysis of his ‘B’ sample.”
Murphy maintains his innocence, adding: “I have never taken cocaine in my life and I will do everything that I can to prove that I have not taken cocaine. “I want to thank those who are supporting me and in the meantime, I want to keep riding winners and focus on my career.” Murphy later admitted his relief the case was now public knowledge, although he would have preferred to have waited until the results of both tests were returned before commenting.
On the track at Clonmel, Aforementioned gained a first chase win at Clonmel today as the Gordon Elliott trained, Gigginstown House Stud owned gelding landed the featured Captain Christy Chase under jockey Jack Kennedy. At Fairyhouse, The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden (DIV II) went to the 11/4 favourite Avarice as Colin Keane took full advantage of Shane Foley’s absence through suspension to draw level (72 winners apiece) with his jockeys' title rival. At Warwick, Getaway Trump took the beginners chase for Paul Nicholls. At Salisbury, Apollo One took the feature race. At Ffos Las, Sizing At Midnight was an impressive winner for Colin Tizzard. At Chelmsford, there was a double for John Gosden with Top Brass and Tawahub.
Friday, we start at Dundalk. Our syndicate horse Stanhope returned to action after a small setback. Very much a Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate hero. Stanhope faced a very difficult task in a conditions race totally wrong at the weights with many rivals and having to carry a winners penalty to higher-rated horses. Stanhope has a campaign mapped out for between now and Christmas, This race today was a hot race we need to get Stanhope back on the track while giving him a go on the new surface at Dundalk. Stanhope is a majorly important part of the team. It was all about a positive experience tonight following his setback. We had to start somewhere. If Stanhope comes out of this 100% he will kick on from here racing next week again. Tonight was very much fingers crossed watching brief.
As we knew going into the race because of the conditions of the race Stanhope had a very tough task. It proved to be so. However, there was plenty of positives to take from the race. Stanhope broke superbly he also travelled very well through the race, he got a little tired as was to be expected following his lay off. Stanhope will race in Navan on Wednesday. We will look forward to seeing Stanhope leading our assault on next week backed up by Trading Point, Double Kodiac (our new horse making his debut for ourselves) and Lottieloveheart. It will be intense as well as exciting our 3 trainers will all be out to do their stuff on our behalf.
The rest of the Dundalk saw four winners for Ger Lyons. Colin Keane is now two up on Shane Foley in the race to be champion jockey as he rounded off a fabulous 4-timer for boss Ger Lyons, on Marchons Ensemble in the Handicap at Dundalk. Keane rode this fellow and earlier Listed Legacy Stakes heroine, Frenetic, whilst Gary Carroll won on Glenburnie’s My Laureate, and it was Sam Ewing that steered home the stable’s Fight Zone in the nursery. At Gowran, Two runners at Gowran yielded Listed race honours on the double for Willie Mullins as Purple Mountain took the finale, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mucklemeg Mares INH Flat Race. The other Mullins victor on the card, was Buildmeupbuttercup under Paul Townend in the Pat Walsh Memorial Irish EBF Mares Hurdle.
Saturday, we start at ParisLongchamp. Princess Zoe completed her fairytale story with a last-gasp victory in the Group One Qatar Prix du Cadran at ParisLongchamp. Ridden by apprentice Joey Sheridan, who was unable to claim his allowance, Princess Zoe reeled in long-time leader Alkuin just yards from the line. A remarkable story Princess Zoe for Tony Mullins , Paddy Kehoe and Joey Sheridan bought to go to the Cheltenham Festival. The horse wins the Group One Qatar Prix du Cadran at ParisLongchamp on the flat, magic stuff.
Aidan O’Brien’s four planned runners in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday have all been withdrawn from the race after positive urine samples indicated the presence of a banned substance from contaminated feed. O’Brien was due to field Japan, Sovereign, Mogul and Serpentine against Enable at ParisLongchamp on Sunday, as John Gosden’s mare bids to win the great race for an unprecedented third time. None of the quartet will, however, take part after it emerged late on Saturday evening that they have tested positive for a banned substance, believed to be zilpaterol — potentially from batches of feed supplied by Gain Equine Nutrition.
On Friday, the supplier confirmed that it is “investigating the potential presence of a contaminant in some batches of our equine feed range”.The absence of O’Brien’s runners was announced via a Tweet on the official account of O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard. It read: “Unfortunately the results of the urine samples taken from the horses yesterday have come back positive from the French laboratory.“There is a possibility that the contaminant may have left their system by the time of racing tomorrow — however, we have no guarantee of this, and in order to protect the integrity of racing we have decided to withdraw all our horses from racing tomorrow.“Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien will do likewise.” O’Brien’s two sons each had leading Group One contenders due to race on Sunday. Donnacha’s Fancy Blue was declared in the Prix de l’Opera, while his older brother Joseph had Pretty Gorgeous in the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac.
The meeting at Ascot was abandoned because of a waterlogged track. Nazeef doubled her Group One tally as she returned to winning form in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket. John Gosden’s filly, striking on the eve of stable star Enable’s bid for a historic third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp, produced a determined late challenge under Jim Crowley to beat Half Light and Cloak Of Spirits by a length and a half and a neck.
Trainer Ado McGuinness registered a first Group winner on the grass at Tipperary today as his Current Option scored a short-head win in the featured Group 3 Coolmore US Navy Flag Concorde Stakes under jockey Gavin Ryan. At Gowran, Easy Game dictated from the front to run out a cosy winner of the PWC Champion Chase. It has been a feature earlier in the season the Mullins team seem to be a little more forward than usual. Streets Of Doyen (5/2f) is showing a real aptitude for three-mile tests as evidenced by his latest victory in Gowran Park for trainer John McConnell.
Sunday, we start at ParisLongchamp. Enable could only finish sixth as Sottsass led home a clean sweep for French-trained runners in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. If it is to be the end for Enable she has had a wonderful career. One Master won the Prix de la Foret for a third successive year for William Haggas. Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa came with a late flourish to catch Alpine Star close home in the Prix de l’Opera. Glass Slippers was narrowly denied a second successive win in the Prix de l’Abbaye as Wooded landed the prize on just his second run over five furlongs.
At Tipperary, Davy Russell partnered his first winner since returning to action when Galvin claimed the Like A Butterfly Novice Chase. Saint Roi made a stylish reappearance in the Grade 3 Horse & Jockey Hotel Hurdle for Willie Mullins.