Monday, An exciting afternoon looked to be in prospect for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate. We had two runners on the day Casa Comigo 140 Down Royal and Double Kodiac 525 Curragh. We took our first steps into Jump racing with Casa Comigo. At the Curragh, Double Kodiac was looking to build on a positive run in Cork last time out. Our luck was totally out on the day. Casa Comigo on debut over hurdles unseated Tommy having jinked to the right he had no chance of staying on. It was a rough race with three fallers at the first in the vicinity of Casa Comigo which was no help. Thankfully Tommy and Casa Comigo are both fine. We will aim Casa Comigo at Kilbeggan in two weeks time. Double Kodiac did not even get to race bolting to the start unshipping Gavin Ryan. Double Kodiac had to be withdrawn. A nightmare, just one of those things. We put a line through it and will look to get Double Kodiac out again in May. Not the day we wanted for our horses. Both riders and horses are home safe that's all that matters.
The rest of the Curragh card saw Aidan O’Brien’s Broome completed a hat trick of victories when taking the Group Two Coolmore Sottsass Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes. Jessica Harrington’s No Speak Alexander made a successful seasonal reappearance in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Circus Maximus Irish EBF Athasi Stakes. Away from the track, A chipped joint has emerged as a viable excuse for Envoi Allen’s disappointing performance at last week’s Punchestown Festival.
Tuesday, we start at Gowran. Pineapple Express sealed a double for jockey Andrew Slattery after he took the preceding race onboard Bell Ex-One. At Ballinrobe, Galon De Vauzelle gave Philip Rothwell a Ballinrobe brace following the win of Oscar Romero. At Ayr, Brian Hughes rode a treble onboard Soft Risk, Largy Train and Could Be Trouble. At Southwell, over jumps, there were doubles for Nicky Henderson and Nico De Boinville with No Ordinary Joe and Broomfield Burg.
Wednesday, we start at Chester. Andrew Balding’s Youth Spirit emerged as a Derby contender in causing a minor upset with a clear-cut victory in the Chester Vase. Dubai Fountain booked her Epsom ticket as she made a successful reappearance in the Weatherbys ePassport Cheshire Oaks for Mark Johnston. At Kelso, Sue Smith had a double with Valence D'aumount and Praire Wolf. At Newton Abbott, there was a treble for Colin Tizzard with Christmas In April, Amarillo Sky and Kauto The King. At Gowran, Mighty Blue bolted up in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Vintage Tipple Stakes (Listed) for Joseph O'Brien.
Thursday, we start at Chester. Aidan O’Brien has high hopes Japan can follow in the footsteps of St Nicholas Abbey, having got his career back on track with victory in the Ormonde Stakes. Roger Varian was delighted to see El Drama emerge as a potential Classic contender following a clear-cut victory in the Dee Stakes. At Tipperary, Gypsy Island returned from a long absence to get off the mark over hurdles in the Hotel Minella Mares Maiden Hurdle.
Friday, we start at Cork. Fastman ran below what we hoped. We had been very happy with him going into the race. Chris Hayes said he was never happy. Fastman has done nothing wrong since joining our team. We really like this horse, he has a brilliant attitude. This race leaves us with more questions than answers. A decent run and we could start thinking about some big days through the Summer and Autumn. That still could be the case very easily. It's one run my view is not to overreact, put a line through it and move on. The ground was very fast, there also seemed to be a major draw bias with the stand side favoured. Fastman is very talented and nothing that happened in Cork last night has changed my view on the horse.
At Chester, Armory proved a class above his rivals as he made a successful start to his campaign in the Melodi Media Huxley Stakes, with a step back up to the highest level next on the agenda. El Astronaute blitzed his rivals to claim a third win at Chester in the Boodles Conditions Stakes. A vintage Frankie Dettori ride saw Falcon Eight swoop late in Chester Cup coming from a long way back. This was a brilliantly executed plan from Dermot Weld.
Saturday, we start at Naas. A mixed bag for us. Double Kodiac ran a very good race at a trip short of what is his optimum. Double Kodiac was just beaten over 1.5 lengths into sixth. He really is a horse to look forward to with a nice season in prospect. Rory Cleary really liked the horse. It was a huge run considering Double Kodiac ran loose only on Monday around the Curragh. The trip is short of Double Kodiacs best, however, he will have learned a huge amount from racing against these sprinters. We will look to get Double Kodiac out again as soon as possible. The fixture planning from HRI is far from satisfactory with an unusual shape to it. There are far too many three-year-old only handicaps. This is a crazy situation as three-year-olds get a weight for age allowance in handicaps.
Mokhalad broke well travelled well for nearly three furlongs he backed out of it very quickly. It is a bit of a puzzle as he has been pleasing us. The worry is running of an effective 65 with Siobhan Rutledges 7 pound claim he should have been a lot closer at the finish. Also, the ground was in Mokhalad's favour in my view. I actually thought Siobhan did a good job in getting Mokhalad into a position to attack he was side by side Double Kodiac for a fair amount of the race. In the end, Mokhalad has been beaten just over 13 lengths by the winner with Double Kodiac being beaten by a length and a half. We are going to get Mokhalad checked over thoroughly this week and go from that point. The John McConnell yard has had a quiet time in the last few weeks with no winner for a while.
On the rest of the Naas card. There was a double for Aidan O'Brien with King Of Bavaria and Montego Bay. At Cork, there was a double for Willie Mullins with Farout and Mantiopark Aa. At Ascot, the Victoria Cup went to River Nymph. There was a good run from Escobar who was advised 0.5pt each way at 18/1 to our members. At Haydock, the ground was very testing. The Swinton hurdle was the feature it went in great style to Copperless who won by 8 lengths for Olly Murphy. Copperless was most unlucky at Aintree last time out when falling he looks like a progressive horse. Qaysar took the listed race in good style for Richard Hannon. I must say the amount of racing in the UK on Saturday was bizarre. On a Saturday with no spectators seven meetings most of them very moderate. In my eyes, it's a bookmakers agenda and it is no good for racing.
Sunday, I will focus on Leopardstown. Bolshoi Ballet leapt to the head of the Cazoo Derby ante-post market with an impressive trial victory at Leopardstown. Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo colt was far too good for his rivals in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes – a race which has been the springboard to a succession of the Ballydoyle trainer’s champions over the years. Ryan Moore tracked big outsider Wexford Soil in the early stages of the Group Three, before taking over with three furlongs to run and quickly scooting clear with a quarter of a mile to run. The outcome was instantly beyond doubt, and the even-money favourite crossed the line six lengths clear of his vain pursuers, led by stablemate Lough Derg. Mac Swiney failed to boost his Derby prospects by managing only a near seven-length fourth. The card was dominated by Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore who had a four-timer completed by Joan Of Arc, The Mediterranean and Sir William Bruce. There was a strike for Ger Lyons. Maker Of Kings returned to winning form in first-time blinkers with an authoritative display in the Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown. Ger Lyons’ four-year-old was runner-up in the Irish Lincolnshire on his first start this season.