This weeks blog will focus primarily on Galway and Goodwood. Monday, we start at Galway . I was in attendance for the start of the Galway festival on duty as guest tipster for Baireoiri Na Gaillimhe. It was a great fun day as always. The opening race of the meeting went in impressive style to Le Richebourg who gave Barry Geraghty a comeback winner. Le Richebourg who brought top class bumper form to the table linked with Debuchet. Le Richebourg had won both his starts over hurdles at Killarney. Le Richebourg did this really well and looks a smart prospect. The second race a handicap hurdle was a local success as Pateen won for Shane Kieran Ryder. The third race a seven furlong maiden a race that looked a strange to be honest. Dermot Weld and Aidan O’Brien had won the last 12 contests of this race, however neither had a runner tonight. the race went to Spiorad Saoirse who held of Quizical by a short head.
Dinky Inty took the seven furlong handicap who beat Twist Of Magic by a head. Delegating placed for our members in third. The big race, the two mile amateur riders handicap went to Whiskey Sour for Willie Mullins. The race was a triumph for Mullins as a trainer yet again showing his versatility. Whiskey Sour ran down last years winner Swamp Fox , with Lagostovegas and Digeanta filling out the places. It was a remarkable 3 of the first 4 for Mullins. Swamp Fox was advised to our members each way. The bumper went to Willie Mullins who unleashed Poet Power who saw off Chess Grand Master in what looked a very good bumper to my eyes.It was a tough day punting wise but a long week to go still
Tuesday, we start at Glorious Goodwood which was far from glorious due to terrible weather. Andrea Atzeni had an incredible day at Goodwood riding a four timer. Stradivarius was the headline maker as he gunned down Ascot Gold cup winner Big Orange. I thought there was no fluke about the win of Stradivarius. The three year old stayed on strongly and will surely be a short price at Doncaster for the St Leger. Expert Eye zoomed to the head of the 2000 Guineas betting with a dazzling success in the Qatar Vintage Stakes winning by four and half lengths. Expert Eye looks the real deal , he was the second winner for Atzeni on the day. Breton Rock stunned Lennox rivals at 50-1 under Andrea Atzeni. It was a bad day for Limato and Librisa Breeze. The final leg of the Atzeni four timer was the wonderfully named Shenanigans.
At Galway, it was day two . Houseofparliament took the opening novice hurdle in great style. Houseofparliament may go on from here now that penny has dropped. Three Wise Men took the beginners chase for Henry De Bromhead and Noel Fehily. There was a nice moment as Robbie McNamara trained his first Galway festival winner as Cascavelle took the seven furlong maiden. The Feature race the Colin Quinn BMW mile went to Willie Mullins who secured his second big Flat handicap pot in as many days , as Riven Light won well. Riven Light had to sit and suffer , however Declan McDonagh got out and was well on top at the line. The finale went to Gordon Elliott as Knockmaole Boy landed the race in ready style for Gordon Elliott.
Wednesday, we start at Galway for day three. The opening maiden hurdle went to Minella Beau for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. Minella Beau held off the late challenge of Turbojet who was advised to our members 1pt each way at 8/1. The two mile five handicap hurdle went to the reserve Davids Charm who did it in good style under Ambrose McCurtin who rode a composed race. Highland Fling was advised to our members 1pt each way at 16/1 placed. It was a double on the day for Willie Mullins as Exchange Rate took the flat maiden over one mile four furlongs. The feature race the Galway Plate looked a good renewal. The race went to Balko Des Flos who traveled superbly for Davy Russell. Balko Des Flos came home four and half lengths clear of Shaneshill with Slowmotion and A Toi Phil filling out the places. I thought Slowmotion ran a mighty race for a five year old. Devils Bride looked unlucky when coming down at the last when still going well. A Toi Phil was advised to our members 1pt each way at 14/1 placed. There were winners for two up and coming trainers Adrian Paul Keatley and Michael O'Callaghan with Jet Streaming and Perfect Soldier. The finale went to Shark Hanlon with Magna Cartor from Water Sprite who looked all over the winner turning for home.Water Sprite advised to our members 1pt each way at 16/1.
At Goodwood, Londinium sparked a Goodwood double for Mark Johnston. The second leg of the Johnston double was Threading. There was a good performance from Havana Grey who made all for a Molecomb stakes triumph. The Sussex stakes hero Here Comes When had Andrew Balding singing in the rain at Goodwood. The weather had turned really awful at this point. Here Comes When got the better of Ribchester by a neck. I thought Ribchester got a very average ride from William Buick who appeared to stop riding at the one furlong point. The stewards looked into the ride on Ribchester and rightly so. The opener on the card a two miles four furlongs handicap went to Cool Sky under Josephine Gordon.
Thursday, we start at Galway for day four. There was a double on the day for Joseph O'Brien. The first winner was former three time bumper winner Tesseract who took the beginners chase by a neck from Don't Tell No One. The second leg of the Joseph O'Brien double came in the feature race the Galway hurdle. The race went to Tigris River under a power packed Barry Geraghty ride who got up late on to deny Swamp Fox by a neck who looked sure to win. I thought Airlie Beach and Joey Sasa rang crackers in third and fourth. The €50K novice chase went in really impressive style to Rathvinden for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend sprinting away form Potters Point and Peregrine Run for a decisive win. Peregrine Run was advised to our members 1pt each way at 5/1. The listed seven furlong Corrib stakes went in good style to Music Box for Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien.
At Goodwood. The Markel Insurance Filllies Stakes a Group 3 went in impressive style to Endless Time who picked up really well to nail Dubka, Melodic Motion and Natural Scenery a neck, a neck and three parts of a length in a great finish. Natural Scenery advised to our members 1pt each way at 9/1 placed(4th special). It formed a double for William Buick who won the Richmond stakes on board Barraquero who was an impressive winner by a length and a quarter from Nebo. The day at Goodwood however belonged to the brilliant Winter who made it four consecutive group one wins taking the Nassau Stakes. Winter is clearly exceptional and could go on to be one of the best fillies Coolmore has ever had. Winter despite racing keenly at the outset put the race to bed easily seeing off Blond Me and Sobestu by a length and a half an neck.
Friday, we start at Galway. The opening handicap hurdle went in good style to Top Of The Ra who came home two lengths clear of Goden Spear. It was a good result for our members Top Of The Ra was advised to our members 1pt each way at 12/1. The Galway Blazers handicap chase is always a really competitive race.It saw On Fiddlers Green go off a very short price fav at 2/1, he did not feature however. The race went to Riviera Sun for Henry De Bromhead and Barry Geraghty who saw off Phil's Magic and Net D'Ecosse. The feature race went to Whiskey Sour claiming his second big prize on the flat of the week for Willie Mullins and owner Luke McMahon. This once again demonstrated the brilliance of Willie Mullins as he nailed two big targets with the same horse. Whiskey Sour was advised to our members 2pts win at 7/2 there was a (rule 4 deduction 10%). The concluding race saw Willie Mullins complete a double with the mercurial Rennetti who bolted up by thirteen lengths from Ted Veale with two further lengths back to Benkei. It turned out to be a great day for our members. Benkei was advised to our members 1pt each way at 10/1. Top Of the Ra 510 Galway (12/1)) & Benkei 825 Galway (10/1) advised to our members 0.5pt each way double both placed.
At Goodwood, it was day four. It belonged to Ryan Moore who rode a brilliant treble. The three horses were Poet's Word, Beat The Bank and Master The World. The first leg of the Moore treble was Poet's Word who took the Group 3 Glorious Stakes. The second leg of Moore treble was Beat The Bank taking another Group 3 race. The concluding leg of the Moore treble was a brilliant ride as Master The World as more with calmness and confidence of a top jockey went for a daring run up the inside to take the race by three parts of a length.
Saturday, we start a Goodwood. The stewards sprint cup Andrew Balding's glorious week continued when the Sussex Stakes-winning trainer struck with Scorching Heat. The Summer handicap over one mile six furlongs went to Soldier In Action for Mark Johnston and Silvestre De Sousa by a head and a short head from Blakeny Point and Getback In Paris. The Group 3 Gordon Stakes went to Crystal Ocean who was a really impressive winner by three and a half lengths from Khalidi for Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute. Crystal Ocean could now go for the St Leger. Sir Michael Stoute has now won 5 of the last 10 runnings of the Gordon Stakes. Crystal Ocean was advised to our members 3pts win at 6/4. The Stewards cup went to Frankie Dettori on board Lancelot Du Lac by a three parts of a length from Aeolus. Mark Johnston completed a double with Dee EX Bee also completing a double for Silvestre De Sousa who then rounded a treble off with Battered. Ryan Moore and Mark Johnston took the Goodwood jockey and trainer titles.
At Galway,there was a first winner of the week for Dermot Weld as Aydoun took the maiden hurdle. It has been a very tough week for Weld . The feature race the Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle went to Ballyegan Hero who saw off Mine Now and Lagostovegas. It looked for all the world like Mine Now had won however Rachael Blackmore got Ballyegan Hero up . It was a decent result for our members. Mine Now was advised to our members 1pt each way at 20/1. Lagostovegas advised to our members 1pt each way at 9/1. Aidan O'Brien showed he has a good prospect on his hands with Amedeo Modigliani who won by 5 lengths. Willie Mullins seems to have a smart bumper prospect on his hands as True Self won the mares bumper by 8 lengths. The one mile three furlong handicap went to Athenry Boy who saw off Detailed by a half length. Detailed was advised to our members 1pt each way at 15/2.
Sunday, we start at Galway. The last day of the festival belonged to Willie Mullins who ended up with a treble to round off the meeting. The first leg of the treble saw Ben Button bolt up under Ruby Walsh in the Three Mile handicap hurdle. this horse could go in again soon. Arbre De Vie and Shaneshill both turned out quickly after the Galway Plate.It was to be Arbre De Vies day as he won by 6 lengths from Shaneshill in what was in effect a match. The concluding bumper made it a treble for Willie Mullins as Ainsi De La Vie won by a length and a half. It made it 12 wins in the week for Willie Mullins winners across all codes remarkable stuff.
The feature race saw a remarkable 1-2-3 for Brian Ellison as Dream Walker led Baraweez and Be Kool home in the Ahonoora handicap. Brian Ellison is a regular visitor to Galway he would have got a great kick out of this one. There was fittingly a winner for Dermot Weld as Yulong Gold Fairy took the Auction Maiden. Galway was once again a great festival and spectacle with lots of great stories.
At Deauville all eyes were on Aidan O'Brien's Caravaggio as he looked to get back on the winning trail after the July Cup. Caravaggio was floored as Kevin Ryan took the race with Brando. I was a great result for Kevin Ryan who has had a nightmare season. I think like many others Caravaggio needs to go up in trip, the next run will be very interesting for Caravaggio.