Monday, this weeks blog will focus on Galway and Goodwood. We start at Galway. The opening race of the week went to Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh with Easy Game who lived up to his name by winning easily. It was a comeback win for Ruby Walsh. The two-mile handicap hurdle went to Storm Rising for Barry Geraghty and Denis Hogan. The two-year-old maiden is always a heavy betting heat with Dermot Weld and Aidan O'Brien usually at the forefront. It was not to be for Weld and O'Brien this time as Zander was on target for Ger Lyons. Power Of Now advised to our members(1pt each way) 9/2 placed in the race. The seven-furlong handicap for three-year-olds went to Premier League in smart style. Krispen advised to our members(1pt each way) 6/1 placed in the race. The feature race had a familiar ring to it as it went to Willie Mullins and Aubrey McMahon with Uradel. The trainer and jockey were gaining a win in this race for the second year in a row. Aubrey McMahon gave Uradel a tremendous spin. Limini traveled like the wrath of God but the lay off took its toll in second. The one-mile four-furlong handicap went to Baba Boom for Johnny Murtagh. Lady Camelot advised to our members(1pt each way) 16/1 placed in the race. The bumper went to Zero Ten under Derek O'Connor.
Tuesday, there is only one place to start at Galway. It was a proud day for ourselves as Alfirak and Mokhalad lined up. It was a day we will never forget. We also had an RTE camera crew with us for the day. Crazy stuff. Going into the races we felt when myself and John Maher started this project I don't think we could have ever imagined this. Of course, they are the normal races the lads currently would run in. The twist is its Galway. Neither of our horses will be out of their depth here but have to overcome there own personal challenges and circumstances.
Alfirak is very unfortunate to date the way things have worked out. Alfirak ran into one at Bellewstown in the shape of Stamp Of Authority who has won again since. here are two big negatives sadly for us. Alfirak was drawn in stall 17 and that was incredibly difficult never mind on your third start on turf. The other worry was the ground we strongly suspect Alfirak is a good ground horse. If there was to be serious rain overnight Alfiraks participation would be in doubt. We decided to let Alfirak take his chance after the lads walked the track. Alfirak ran very well for a long way having had a rough run early on. We dared to dream going into the dip. That was the softest part of the track and it took its toll on Alfirak who didn't handle it. Rory minded Alfirak and we are grateful for that. We said going into the race it would not define Alfirak, nothing is changed Alfirak has excellent potential still.
Mokhalad went in with his usual enthusiasm having been written off by the Racing Post for the umpteenth time in his career to date. We were looking forward to running Mokhalad. Mokhalad is our captain and has fired this whole journey. Mokhalad has taken us places we could only have dreamed of at the start of this. Mokhalad gave us a chance to give Stephen Mooney Mokhalads work rider and minder a chance on a big stage. Stephen knows Mokhalad better than anyone so as a partnership no gelling issues. Mokhalad had been in very good order we had been delighted with him as have the yard. Damian has tweaked a few things and Mokhalad has responded very well. I thought Mokhalad would run a huge race and was a knocking each way bet at 33/1. Mokhalad ran a blinder to finish third behind Truffles and Honor Oak both have won again since. Words can’t express what Mokhalad means to us he has carried the flag taken us to places we could only dream of ten months ago third at Galway would you believe it!! Thank you to everyone who phoned, texted tweeted, etc after Mokhalad's race last night. They all were very much appreciated. The way people have taken Mokhalad to their hearts is remarkable. He belongs to most of North Dublin now!!
The night itself was incredible. The RTE feature went off really well. They got some unreal footage. We did well when you consider we celebrated like we won. The night itself was incredible. There was a lot of emotion for everyone involved. We stayed over the majority of us. The hangovers were not great, to be honest, and John Maher had a seven o'clock flight to Greece.
On the rest of the Galway Card. There was a double for Willie Mullins with Pakora and Riven Light who took the feature race for the second year in a row. Riven Light who has not been seen since Listowel last September and has a bolt in his back, even by Willie Mullins standards this was incredible. There was also a double for Sheila Lavery with Burning Questions and Truffles as mentioned earlier.
Wednesday, we start at Goodwood. There was a stunning display by top hurdler as Lil Rockerfeller bolted up by fifteen lengths under Silvestre De Sousa. The one-mile 3-furlong handicap went to Soto Sizzler for trainer William Knight and jockey Jimmy Quinn. Making Miracles advised to our members(1pt each way) 4/1 placed in the race. The Molecomb stakes went to Rumble Inthejungle who was a decisive winner. Rumbleinthejungle was advised to our members(1pt each way) at 5/1. Lightning Spear finally claimed a long-overdue Group One success in the Qatar Sussex Stakes for the sponsors.
At Galway, it was Galway Plate day. The opening maiden hurdle went to City Island for Martin Brassil. Debutchet traveled really well for a long way but was done at the turn for home only managing third. the Two-mile five furlongs handicap hurdle was taken apart by Rachel Blackmore and Black Key who bolted up for Henry De Bromhead. The mares handicap hurdle went to Rovetta for Jessica Harrington who was a really good six lengths winner. The qualified riders maiden went to Willie Mullins and Patrick Mullins with Diamond Hill. The Galway plate was taken apart by Clarcam who bolted up or Gordon Elliott and Mark Enright. Patricks Park, Jury, Duty and Snow Falcon all ran good races to be placed however in truth it was a one-horse race. Jury Duty advised to our members(1pt each way) 7/1 placed in the race. Mark Enright was completing a double on the day having won with Rovetta earlier in the day. The one-mile handicap went to Ger Lyons and Espere. The finale on the card went to Great Tango for Wayne Lordon.
Thursday, we start at Goodwood. Mark Johnston made it three winners for the week as Accordance and Communique both obliged on day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival. The Lillie Langtry went to the well-touted Pilaster for Roger Varian and David Egan. The Richmond Stakes went to Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore with Land Force. The Nassau stakes went in great style to Wild Illusion for Godolphin.
At Galway, the opening race went to Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh with Minella Beau. The grade novice chase went in tenacious style to Rashann and Davy Russell. Rashann was advised to our members(1pt each way) 9/1. The one-mile handicap saw Honor Oak pay a serious compliment to Mokhalad as Honor Oak bolted up by eight lengths. Prosecution was advised to our members(1pt each way) 11/2 placed in the race. The Corrib Fillies stakes went to Yulong Gold Fairy for Dermot Weld. Panstarr was advised to our members(1pt each way) 6/1 placed in the race. The two-mile four-furlong novice hurdle went to Willie Mullins with Calie Du Mansil. The Galway hurdle the feature race saw Willie Mullins complete a treble on the day and 1-2 in the race. Sharjah so unlucky at Leopardstown at Christmas got his big day here seeing off Blazer in ready fashion. Blazer was advised to our members(1pt each way) 12/1 placed in the race. The one mile four-furlong handicap went to Camlann for Shark Hanlon and Billy Lee. The bumper went to You Raised Me Up for Martin Brassil.
Friday, we start at Galway. There was a double for Dermot Weld with Zuenoon and Lure Of The Sea. There was also a double for Willie Mullins with Wicklow Brave and Nessun Dorna. The Galway Blazers went to Snugsborough Benny who got a deserved win having had one of the worst rides of all time at Limerick last time out. Snugsborough Benny advised to our members(1pt each way) at 6/1. The concluding handicap hurdle went to Topofthera who had to dig really deep to win. Topofthera was advised to our members(1pt each way) 12/1 (rule 4 deduction 10%). The day got even better as Espoir D'Soleil 650 Galway 14/1 (non Runner) Snugsborough Benny 755 Galway 6/1 (won) Topofthera 825 Galway 12/1 (won) (Rule 4 10% deduction) advised to our members (0.25pt each way trixie). A profit of 72.68 Points today at Galway for our members.
At Goodwood, Battaash put up the best performance of the week with a scintillating performance to win the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood for the second successive year. Mirage Dancer opened up a number of big-race options when landing a hefty punt to win the Bombay Sapphire Glorious Stakes at Goodwood. Seniority provided the Queen with a winner at Goodwood as Ryan Moore picked a path through to claim the Unibet Golden Mile.Regal Reality took a big step forward to land the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood and help Frankie Dettori towards a double on his return from a riding suspension.
Saturday, we start at Goodwood. Cross Counter could be bound for the Lexus Melbourne Cup after putting up a ruthless display of controlled front-running in the Qatar Gordon Stakes. Gifted Master defied top weight and advertised the claims of apprentice jockey Jason Watson when winning a thrilling Unibet Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood. At Galway, there was a double for Aidan O'Brien with Broome and Astronomer. The form of Mokhalads race got another boost as Truffles won by 5 lengths from Damian English's Dance Alone. Congrats to our friends in the On Each Way Syndicate with Dance Alone coming second at Galway a wonderfully consistent horse. Well done to Dave Stevens, Thomas McGrath and Tom McGrath who are part of the Mokhalsd crew. The feature race went to Willie Mullins with Low Sun. It was good news for our members as Low Sun was advised to our members(1pt each way) 12/1.
Sunday, the end of the Galway Festival. Sub Lieutenant claimed his first victory in the best part of two years in the SCL Sales Chase at Galway. John Quinn’s British challenger Safe Voyage came from the clouds to claim top honours in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ahonoora” Handicap at Galway. Congratulations to winning jockey for ourselves Sean Davis who rode Safe Voyage winner of the feature race at Galway today. Sean, of course, rode Mokhalad to victory at Navan for ourselves in April. Dorrells Pierji gave Willie Mullins his 12th winner of the Galway Festival when he proved too strong for the opposition in the final race - the Fr. Breen Memorial (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.
Willie Mullins was once again crowned leading trainer at the Galway Festival after ending the week with 12 winners. The perennial champion National Hunt trainer has enjoyed another fantastic week at Ballybrit, remarkably winning the feature event on five of the seven days. The obvious highlight was Sharjah’s victory in Thursday’s Galway Hurdle, with the trainer’s son, Patrick, in the saddle. The Closutton maestro’s big-race winners also included Riven Light, who claimed the BMW Mile for the second year in succession despite having been off the track since suffering a serious leg injury in Australia last October. Mullins’ total for the week equaled his tally from last year. Dermot Weld is the only trainer to have more winners in a week at Galway, with 17 victories in 2011. Mark Enright was confirmed as the top National Hunt jockey after riding his third winner of the meeting aboard Henry de Bromhead’s Show And Go in the Lord Hemphill Memorial Handicap Chase.Enright, who considered retirement after battling depression a couple of years ago. The leading Flat jockey was Billy Lee, who also enjoyed three winners.