The Racing Week That Was 29/4/18


Monday, there is only one place to start at Navan. Our syndicate horse Mokhalad surged to victory.

Our syndicate horse gave us one of the great nights at Navan Monday night 23-4-18. Mokhalad had been showing us a bit in the last few weeks since the weather has improved. We always felt Mokhalad would be a better horse on turf, it was wonderful to see that view vindicated.  Mokhalad also needs a strong pace to run at.It was a great training and placement performance from Damian English. Mokhalad showed a tremendous turn of foot. This result opens up many options for Mokhalad over 5 furlongs, 6 furlongs and 7 furlongs. I think for ourselves it was an incredible night to win at a track on the stature of Navan beating the class of horses we did, for us was fantastic. We only have Mokhalad since 22-9-17. Sean Davis gave Mokhalad a tremendous ride, however, the development of Mokhalad has seen Rory Cleary play a major role. We cant thank Rory enough who is a tremendous man and jockey. We are so proud of Mokhalad it is almost impossible to put into words. Mokhalad has brought us nothing but luck since we got him, Mokhalad is just a lovely wonderful racehorse. All the staff loves Mokhalad, he is a pleasure to deal with to all who encounter him.

The night was of course filled with laughter and fun as much of the syndicate retired to Mokhalad and Damian's local pub in Balscadden. We, of course, had some nice bets which were most welcome obviously. The road ahead is there for Mokhalad, we know we have to do as the handicapper gave Mokhalad a 9-pound hike now to a rating of 80. The ambition to go for premier handicaps is there for us and we have many options due to Mokhald's versatility.Mokhalad has come out of the race really well despite suffering a nosebleed. We are so proud of Mokhalad and look forward to seeing what he does next. As always I must thank Johnny Maher who is the prime mover and co-founder of the Galaxy horse racing syndicate. Johnny another great day thank you.

The rest of the Navan card saw a winner for Aidan O'Brien with a very impressive two-year-old Sergei Prokofiev. There was also a winner for Joseph O'Brien with Camile who landed some nice bets. At Newton Abbott, Nicky Henderson was on target in the mares novice hurdle the horse was With Discretion. At Hexham, Phillip Hobbs had a treble with Pineapple Rush, Melekhov, and Mendip Express. At Pontefract, Gulf Of Poets was impressive in winning the mile handicap. At Windsor, Stream Song was on target for John Gosden. At Sedgefield, Its O Kay took the bumper for Olly Murphy and Richard Johnson.


Tuesday, we start at Punchestown. The battle for the trainer's title kicked off in remarkable fashion. There was a treble on the day for Willie Mullins with Draconian, True Self, and Un De Sceaux. The feature race was the two-mile Boylesports Champion Chase, it went in spectacular fashion to  Un De Sceaux under Patrick Mullins who made all the running to win in emphatic style from Douvan and A Toi Phil. There was a double for Gordon Elliott with Commander Of Fleet and The Storyteller who took the Growise Novice chase. The story of this race was a remarkable one. There was high drama at the final fence of the Growise Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown as The Storyteller was gifted victory in the Grade 1 contest.Al Boum Photo had inherited the lead himself two from home when Monalee crashed out and brought down Invitation Only.Paul Townend swerved right approaching the last, however, Al Boum Photo as he appeared to attempt to avoid the last fence on his mount.He forced the nearest pursuer Finian's Oscar out with him and crashed through the wing, with Townend getting unseated.Townend was later hit with a 21-day ban for dangerous riding. He was not available for comment afterwards and the details of what was said in the enquiry were not revealed. The Storyteller was left to profit and he led home another Elliott 1-2-3, going on to beat Monbeg Notorious by six lengths with another length-and-a-quarter back to Jury Duty.“I don't what happened. We got a bit of luck on our side and we needed it with the way the day started off,” said Elliott.

At Exeter, Philip Hobbs was on target continuing a good run for the trainer as Vodka All The Way. At Yarmouth, there was a winner for John Gosden with Without Parole. At Ludlow, Gumball was another winner for Philip Hobbs on the day. There was a double for Graeme McPherson with Hey Bill and Skipthecuddles. At Brighton, Derek Duval won for former Liverpool footballer Glen Johnson. At Huntingdon, there was an impressive winner for Dr. Richard Newland with Capitoul.


Wednesday, we start at Punchestown for Coral Gold Cup Day. It was a decisive day in the battle for the trainer's title as Willie Mullins astounded Irish racing fans with a six-timer on the day. Pravalaguna kicked the six timer off landing the Louis Fitzgerald Hurdle. Good Thyne Tara was advised to our members' 1pt each way at 10/1 placed. The Grade 1 Daily Mirror novice hurdle went to Next Destination in a titanic scrap with Delta Work and Kilbricken Storm both Cheltenham festival winners. Next Destination was advised to our members' 3pts win at 7/4. The Coral Punchestown Gold Cup was the feature race. It was a 1-2 for Willie Mullins as Bellshill saw off Djakadam in a great finish. Bellshill so unlucky at Fairyhouse deserved his turn here and could be a Cheltenham Gold Cup Horse. Bellshill was advised to our members' 1pt each way at 9/2. The Grade 1 bumper saw a 1-2-3 for Mullins as Tornado Flyer saw off Blackbow and Carefully Selected. The Grade A Guinness Handicap Chase was up next fortune smiled on Mullins this time. It looked for all the world like Blast Of Koeman was going to win, however, a bad mistake at the last left the jockey without irons. Patricks Park ceased the opportunity to beat Blast Of Koeman by a neck. Blast Of Koeman was advised to our members' 1pt each way at 10/1. The finale the mares bumper went to Colreeevy completing the Mullins six-timer. It left Gordon Elliott's hopes for the trainers' title in ashes. It was a remarkable turnaround by Willie Mullins. Astounding.

At Perth, it was festival time also. There was a double for Nigel Twiston - Davies with Blue Flight and Calett Mad. Gavin Cromwell was on target with Le Braye. At Catterick, Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan were on target with Right Action. At Epsom, there was a double for Silvestre De Sousa on board Bahamian Sunrise and Carizon Espinado. There was a double for John Gosden with Crossed Baton and Royal Line. At Lingfield, Gosden made it three winners on the day as Emblazoned won. At Taunton, Dan and Harry Skelton took the bumper with Anytime Will Do.


Thursday, there is only one place to start Punchestown, Willie Mullins once again grabbed the headlines. This time it was the return of Faugheen to the winner's enclosure. Faugheen was electric on the day making all the running at a tremendous pace. Faugheen came home thirteen lengths clear of Penhill. The crowd rose to Faugheen and roared him home. It was a great sight. It saw another 1-2-3 for Mullins as Shaneshill was up for third. Mullins was to complete a treble on the card as Codmium took the handicap chase. The treble was completed by another brilliant display from the peerless Footpad. The Le Touche went to JP McManus as Auvergnat took it by a neck from Josies Orders. The three-mile handicap hurdle went to A Great View completing the McManus double.

At Beverley, Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan were on target with Dose. At Warwick, over the jumps. There was a double for Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson with Ozzie The Oscar and Umndeni. At Perth, it was day two of the festival. There was a double for Nigel Twiston with Ballyarthur and All The Gear No Idea. There were also doubles for Peter and James Bowen with Wadswick Court and Lord Napier. At Kempton, over the jumps, Philip Hobbs made it three winners on the day as Who's My Jockey won. At Chelmsford, the feature race went to Robert Winston on board Lancelot Du Lac.


Friday, we start at Punchestown. Willie Mullins continued his golden run and sealed the Irish trainers' title on the day. Kemboy took the novice handicap chase for Mullins in great style. The feature race saw Samcro take center stage in the Betdaq Champion Hurdle. Samcro crashed out as did Melon. This left Supasundae to battle it out with Wicklow Brave. Supasundae came away a three and a half length winner from Wicklow Brave. It was great that Samcro got up this was a bad plan and nearly had dire consequences.Hopefully, Samcro will feel no last effects and will be the wonderful horse we all hope he is into the future.  Supasundae advised to our members' 1pt each way at 8/1. The win for Supasundae completed a double for Jessica Harrington as Magic Of Light had won earlier on the card. Dortmund Park struck for Elliott in the Grade one novice hurdle however it looked Scarpetta was most unlucky having been brought to a standstill by the fall of Debutchet. The hunter chase went in tremendous style to Caid Du Berlais who bolted up by twenty lengths. Caid Du Berlais was advised to our members' 1pt each way at 5/1. There was yet more drama on the day Antey took the novice hurdle under Katie Walsh who promptly retired on the spot. Katie Walsh has been a brilliant jockey and ambassador for our sport. Katie Walsh go well in retirement you deserve all the plaudits you are getting.

At Perth, Peter and James Bowen had another winner with Rons Dream. At Doncaster, Wahoo took the feature race. At Sandown, there was a double for Sir Michael Stoute with Crystal Ocean and Crystal Hope. The Group 2 mile race saw Addeybb step up on his Lincoln win to take this contest by two and a half lengths. At Towcester, Bandon Roc was on target for Kim Bailey. At Chepstow, there was a double for Tom Scudamore on board Molineaux and Inaminna.


Saturday, we start at Punchestown. I was there myself, there was a huge crowd. The trainer's title was done and dusted however the week of drama was not over. Josies Orders took the opening Cross Country Chase under Nina Carberry who retired on the spot. I have always thought Nina Carberry to be a brilliant jockey, it never enters my head Nina is a woman jockey. I actually think Nina Carberry is in the top ten jockeys I have ever seen. Nina like her brother Paul always seems to be in the right place in a race and gives her mounts an energy-efficient ride. I will miss the site of Nina cruising into a bumper on the dark November, December evenings. I will miss the childlike joy on the face of Nina Carberry after a winner that she really enjoyed. Nina Carberry, you have been a fantastic jockey, role model and ambassador for horse racing. Thank you, Nina, for you have given much to our sport.

The rest of the card was probably my worst punting one for a long time. A plague of fallers not good. There was a 4 timer for Willie Mullins.The Grade 1 mares champion hurdle saw Benie Des Dieux uphold the Cheltenham form with Apples Jade by beating her again. Augusta Kate ran well in second. I think there is something, not 100% right with Apples Jade, her jumping is not as slick. The four-year-old Grade 1 went to Saldier for Willie Mullins and Robbie Power. I thought Paul Townend gave Mr. Adjudicator an ill-judged ride and could as well as should have been a lot closer to the winner. The long Distance handicap chase went to Noel Meade and Wounded Warrior. The Ballymore Handicap Hurdle saw another 1-2 for Mullins as Meri Devie and C'est Jersey fought it out.Meri Devie deserved her turn and this was a winner that got away from myself. The Mullins 4 timer was completed by Passageway in the bumper. The festival itself was brilliant, however, I am finding it hard to see how Gordon Elliott can win the trainer's title right now. Elliott entered the week €500,000 in front and was beaten by Friday evening. Gordon Elliott is a fantastic trainer and competitor he will have to change something at Punchestown if he is to defeat Willie. I have to say we are blessed to have two such brilliant trainers.

At Sandown, the UK jumps season ended. It saw Altior doing what Altior does best winning.  There was a sad postscript to this race as we lost Ar Mad who was a very talented horse.Altior is now 9 from 9 over fences and is one of the best horses I have ever seen. I hope Altior stays fit and well he is a joy to watch. Altior formed part of a Henderson four-timer. The other horses to win were, Top Notch, Call Me Lord and Soul Emotion. Nicky Henderson had a remarkable season again. Paul Nicholls deserves great credit for chasing Henderson hard without a genuine Grade 1 horse. Nicholls needs a new top horse badly, no doubt one will emerge. Nicholls will be hoping sooner rather than later. The Bet365 Gold Cup (Whitbread) has fallen a long way as regards quality. It did have a very good winner this time around Step Back who bolted up by thirteen lengths for Mark Bradstock and Jamie Moore. In truth, nothing else caught my eye on Saturday.


Sunday, we start at Salisbury. There was a treble for Mick Channon with Cotubanama, Westbrook Bertie, and Billy Ray. The feature race the one-mile-six-furlong handicap went in tenacious fashion to Moabit for Paul and Megan Nicholls. It was good news for our members Moabit was advised to our members' 2pts win at 3/1. At Wetherby, I was very impressed with River Glades who won by six lengths for Mark Johnston.