CONTENTS 4.SEAMIE HEFFERNAN
5 JOHN MAGNIER
9.ALL SYSTEMS GO
14.JOG FOR JOCKEYS
15.SNOW FAIRY TRIBUTE
SÉAMIE HEFFERNAN THE KEY PLAYER IN THE BALLYDOYLE OPERATION “Séamus has been a part of our family for over 20 years now. He is an amazing fellow – talented, dedicated, loyal and an unbelievable rider.
Naas, Co. Kildare-born jockey Séamie Heffernan won his third Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh on Saturday 1st July when riding the perceived second string, Capri, to success.
emphasise the 45 year-old rider’s key role in Capri’s victory: “What he did wasn’t an easy thing to do. The pace was strong up front, and he was sitting right in the eye of the storm. He had a choice how close he followed it (the pace) or not to follow it and he knew all the fancied horses were behind him. It was a master class from him, really.” Heffernan, the Irish flat racing Champion Apprentice of 1994, has been an integral part of the Ballydoyle team over the past twenty years, riding horses such as Imagine, So You Think, Soldier of Fortune and Highland Reel to name but a few, to wins in Ireland, Britain and the United States. Explaining his importance to the Co. Tipperary-based outfit, Aidan O’Brien explained:
The jockey who moved to Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle in “Séamus has been a part of our family for over 20 years 1996 is no stranger to success on O’Brien-trained horses, now. He is an amazing fellow – talented, dedicated, loyal whether riding the perceived first, second or third string. and an unbelievable rider. We feel privileged and delighted to be working with him every day.” Following his success on Capri in this year’s Premier Irish With so many talented horses at his disposal Heffernan Classic, Aidan O’Brien sang Heffernan’s praises very should have many more successful days for the loudly, stating: Ballydoyle-Coolmore team. “I thought Séamus gave him a brilliant ride. He paced it brilliantly. He had a target there and he knew the field Article by By Breandán Ó hUallacháin was coming behind him but he timed it to perfection.” The multiple times Irish Champion flat trainer went on to
JOHN MAGNIER DEBATE REGARDING THE DERBY BEING HELD AT THE CURRAGH Since the beginning of the current flat racing season there has been much debate about the decision to continue racing at The Curragh while redevelopment work is in progress there. Sections of the media coupled with some trainers and jockeys have spoken of their disappointment at not closing the track down for a short period and completing the work in a shorter space of time. The decision which drew most controversy, however, was maintaining the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Co. Kildare venue last month. As a restriction of 6,000 patrons was placed on the Premier Irish Classic, it was felt many people were being denied the opportunity of seeing the county’s top flat race. Suggestions were made that the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby weekend could be
moved to Leopardstown where a larger crowd would be expected to attend. Despite the calls from many quarters the management of The Curragh Racecourse stuck with the initial plan and kept the race at its traditional home. Coolmore supremo, John Magnier, addressed the issue following the victory of his colt, Capri, in the Irish Derby. Magnier appealed to critics to accept the short term inconvenience for a long term gain: “I think we have to look at the positives while we are going through this. We have to suffer some pain for a gain. I know for sure that the French horse and the English horse wouldn’t have been running in this race if it was run somewhere else so it’s kept the standard of the race where it should be. You know it has a great tradition the Irish Derby and this is the pure Epsom Derby form. It’s clear you know looking at it now it would have been a just domestic affair which is not what the Irish Derby is about. It has always been to try and get the French, English and Irish together.” The backing of the county’s premier bloodstock owner for the decision to keep the racetrack open during construction – in spite of his shareholding in The Curragh Racecourse renovation project – surely adds great weight to the argument to keep racing there.
MINDING TRIBUTE THE BALLYDOYLE STAR FILLY RETIRES ARTICLE BY JAMIE LINDSEY On the 13th of July it was announced that the “Queen of Ballydoyle Minding had been retired to become a mum. It was a real shame as she looked better than ever on her racecourse reappearance in the Mooresbridge Stakes, where she put up a dazzling display of speed and power to see of her rivals. The previous season Minding had achieved something only a very few bunch of Fillies had done, win five Group Ones in one campaign. It all started with a commanding performance to land the 1000 Guineas. Then trainer Aidan O’Brien sent her for Irish version to complete the expectant Guineas double. However leaving the stalls Minding had cut the side of her head and burst a sinus, she just lost out to Jet Setting in a furious duel. Just twelve days later she bounced back in spectacular fashion at Epsom in the Oaks, despite suffering some nasty interference, she showed off a devastating change of gear to land the contest, which left many people including I shouting “What a Filly!” Another two G1 races were landed when she took the Pretty Polly, and then the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Coolmore and O’Brien then gave her a well earned break. In September she lined up for her toughest task to date, taking on the boys, the field for the Irish Champion Stakes included seven Group One winners. Minding ran well to finish an honourable third behind Almanzor. After a hard campaign there was just one target left for Minding, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions
Day. Dropping back to a mile was seen by some as a risk, She raced prominently throughout the race and her regular jockey Ryan Moore made his move two furlongs out. Godolphin’s Ribchester went in hot pursuit, although Minding who was tough as old boots held him off by ¾ of a length to land a famous success. We had witnessed something pretty special that day as the great daughter of Galileo landed her seventh G1 win in total. We certainly won’t forget Minding, she was as good a filly as I’ve ever seen. We wish her and Coolmore all the best of luck in her new career.
We had a fantastic July with 9 winners in the calendar month. We had a truly memorable week last week notching up 6 winners throughout the week, culminating in a superb Saturday that saw Flying Pursuit win the Sky Bet Dash Class 2 handicap at York and Raydiance win the Pat Eddery Listed stakes at Ascot. Monday got the week off to a flyer when Cosy Club led from pillar to post to record his first victory in Yellow and White under a superb ride from young Danny Sheehy, you will be hearing a lot more about the young Kilkenny native in the months and the years to come, a natural in the saddle. A big well done to Adrian Keatley on his first victory for us, hopefully the first of many. Tuesday saw London Protocol travel to France for a conditions race. The Muhtathir gelding travelled to Compiegne to run in the Prix De Vignemont with Tony Poccone aboard the Karl Burke trained runner. Tony kept him prominent throughout and pushed him into the lead coming into the home straight and he went onto score, landing over 14000 euro prize money for his owners in the process. Tres Bien. On Thursday, Seduce Me won the fillies handicap at Newbury where Jim Crowley picked up a spare ride aboard the Karl Burke trained runner as Oisin Murphy got delayed in traffic on the way to the course. Seduce Me loves a bit of cut and hadn’t had her optimum conditions recently. She travelled supremely throughout and went on to score with ease on the day, a fantastic win for all her owners. On Friday evening, Double Reflection travelled to Chepstow to run in fillies novice auction stakes over 6 furlongs. She was named Double Reflection due to her striking resemblance to our star filly Quiet Reflection. She showed the same love for a bit of cut when landing the prize under an excellent ride from Clifford Lee. This
filly now looks very well bought at a price of £7000 by Ontoawinner. She now looks to be one of the bargains of the year. Super Saturday saw Flying Pursuit win under a superb ride from Rachael Richardson. She bounced the Tim Easterby trained son of Pastoral Pursuits from the gates and led from pillar to post for as convincing a victory that you would see in a ultra-competitive handicap. He won prize money of over £31 k for the race yesterday, a cracking horse for his owners. A huge well done to Rachael and to Tim, whose horses are in such good form. Our final win of the week came at Ascot where Jim Crowley was once again jockey aboard the Karl Burke trained Raydiance. a £7500 purchase by Ontoawinner was having his third racecourse start having won 1 and placed second in his 2 previous outings. He had won of soft previously and as the rain arrived at Ascot, he tightened into 7/1 from 12’s. He travelled very well throughout and showed a superb attitude in the final strides to get back up to win, black type! A big well done to Karl who is in such a rich vein of form at the moment.
HEATHER DOWNEY WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER That statement is a perfect depiction of the past year as a Leaving Cert student. However, now, thankfully, the worst is over and life now begins!. With this new life, comes new opportunities, and I'm honoured and thrilled to be again working alongside Tamso Doyle and Emer Lynch, in the upcoming and hugely exciting International Ladies Polo Tournament in aid of The Irish Injured Jockeys Fund. Taking place on Saturday August 19th in the Wicklow countryside in the scenic grounds of Ballyhenry Estate, it promises to be a day like no other. There will be live music, a dedicated kids zone, select artisan food-vendors and not forgetting some top class polo. A plethora of activities and entertainment which will accommodate for both equine enthusiasts and those just simply looking for an enjoyable day out. Picnic stated, “Training has gone very well and it's so much fun. packages, marquee packages, etc. can be viewed online It's a great laugh but it will be very competitive on the at www.ladiespolo.ie day and we will do our best to beat the trainers." There will be three matches taking place. It's fantastic to see that such a major event like the Inter•
-Ireland vs USA
national Ladies Polo tournament is supporting the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund. Jockeys risk life and limb on a daily • -Celebrity Jockey’s vs Trainers Match basis. Their bravery, skill and determination is extraordi• Ireland vs Rest of the World nary. And I would encourage everyone to come along to The jockeys vs trainers match sponsored by Godolphin is Ballyhenry Estate on August 19th to show their support for a worthy cause whilst enjoying an unforgettable day sure to be immensely competitive as top jockeys Sean of thrilling polo and unmissable entertainment! Flanagan, Bryan Cooper, Kate Harrington and Katie Walsh take on the likes of Tony Martin, Charlie Swan, • Gates Open: 11:45am Tom Taffee and Willie McCreery. More names to be • First match:12pm announced soon.... • Website: www.ladiespolo.ie In an interview with the Racing Post Kate Harrington
ALL SYSTEMS GO BETTING SYSTEMS WITH ROGER HAWKES Course/distance/jockey combinations Identify all previous course/distance winners running today (denoted CD in the form guides). 2. Select only those C winners that have been partnered by at least one previous course win when ridden by today's jockey. When a horse/jockey partnership is familiar with a particular track, they already know what is required and how it should be achieved. This applies even more so when the partnership has already scored over today's course and distance. These potent combinations are often underestimated in the betting markets, going off at bigger prices than they should be on. Second Attempt 1. The horse finished second on its latest outing. 2. The same jockey rides again today. A horse/jockey partnership can be more significant than some punters realise. Many horses have quirks or certain ways of running that are only fully appreciated by jockeys to have ridden the horse before. If a new partnership was in action for the first time recently, the race would still be fresh in the jockey's mind. If the partnership went close to scoring on that first occasion, the experience gained could be enough for the jockey to get the horse home in front next time. Last year's winner 1. Bet any horse (flat or jumps) that won the same race last year. The most conclusive proof that a horse is suited by the conditions of a race lies in the fact that it won the same event last year. Given that there may be certain variances the second time around, such as ground conditions, draw and jockey, but the horse has already shown a definite suitability to the three most important considerations: class, track, and distance. Horses that won a race the previous year are often trained specifically with the same race in mind the following season.
STUART WILLIAMS HEAD TO HEAD NATIONAL HUNT BATTLES TO SAVIOUR It's the time of year when the winter warriors of the National Hunt season return from their fields to begin their weight watchers diets and get back into shape for another compelling winter campaign. And with that in mind, let's take a look at some of the heavyweight clashes we could potentially witness when the season really gets into gear.
CURRENT CHAMPION HURDLE PRICE: BUVEUR D'AIR 4/1 DEFI DU SEUIL 8/1 ALTIOR vs DOUVAN
Both former winners of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Arkle Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Altior is, for many, the most exciting National Hunt horse in training. Unbeaten over BUVEUR D'AIR vs DEFI DU SEUIL both hurdles and fences the Nicky Henderson once again proved himself to be the dual Cheltenham Festival master when it comes to training Champion Hurdler's winner will have his season when making the bold decision to revert Buveur D'Air, built around the biggest four who was 2 from 2 in novice chases' having displayed a days in the racing calendar fair level of form, back to timber to land both the once again, with the Champion Chase very much the Champion Hurdle and Aintree Hurdle in the spring. target for Nicky Henderson's imposing son of High A hugely impressive winner Chaparral. at the Cheltenham Festival, Last season the talented 7-year-old stepped out of Buveur D'Air travelled novice company twice, winning the Grade 2 Game Spirit supremely well and could Chase at Newbury and Grade 1 Celebration Chase at easily be called the winner Sandown on the closing day of coming down the hill the season. And it's certainly before Noel Fehily said go going to take a very good horse and put the race well and to topple the mighty Altior truly to bed on the run for home. It's fair to say the next term. opposition didn't see which way the youngster went, and at the tender age of 6 there's plenty more big days However, as we all know, Douvan is indeed a very good left in the JP McManus owned gelding. horse. And if he's back to his However the prominent owner also has a new kid on the imperious best this term it will block in the form of the Phillip Hobbs trained Triumph be no simple task for the Seven Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil, who enjoyed an unbeaten Barrows star as Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci's set about (7/7) campaign last term which saw the talented gaining compensation for a hugely surprising and equally youngster land a Grade 1 hat trick. disappointing defeat in the day 2 showpiece earlier this year. Seemingly unbeatable before that setback, if he There had been much debate as to whether the can regain the winning thread this winter a clash of the 4-year-old would embark on a career over fences this titans could well be on the cards come March. winter, however understandably given his age, connections have decided to see how far Defi Du Seuil CURRENT CHAMPION CHASE PRICES: can go over hurdles. And should he taste further graded success before the big 4 days in March, Barry Geraghty ALTIOR 13/8 DOUVAN 7/2 could have a very tough decision on his hands.
STUART WILLIAMS HEAD TO HEAD NATIONAL HUNT BATTLES TO SAVIOUR FINIAN'S OSCAR vs NEON WOLF Without doubt two of the most exciting novice chase prospects this winter, Finian's Oscar and Neon Wolf quickly shot to the attention of every National Hunt fan with impressive performances in graded hurdles last term. And after enjoying a nice long summer at grass, both look set to begin an even more prosperous career over the larger obstacles this term. Finian's Oscar, twice a Grade 1 winner last term landing the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown January and Mersey Novices' Hurdle Aintree April, is undoubtedly one of the most exciting young horses the sport has to offer. The strapping 5-year-old progressed from PTP scorer to Grade 1 winner in just 77 days, clocking a time only comparable to former Festival winners Simonsig and Brindisi Breeze between the flags over the last decade at Portrush in October. That rates an extremely impressive feat for a horse of his age. However in the red corner we have the hugely imposing Grade 2 scorer Neon Wolf who, rather agonisingly for those who backed him, finished second in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle in March before being turned out for a nice long summer holiday with chasing very much at the forefront of his trainer Harry Fry's mind. He was the name on everybody's lips prior to the Cheltenham Festival, and the way he galloped & jumped his rivals into submission at Haydock previously had everyone dreaming about the day he embarks on a career over the larger obstacles. The pair could well meet in the JLT Novices Chase come March. What an almighty clash that would be.
SIZING JOHN vs OUR DUKE Last season Sizing John collected Gold Cup's as though they were going out of fashion. Picking up the Irish Gold Cup in February, Cheltenham Gold Cup in March and the Punchestown Gold Cup in April. Some feat, I'm sure you'd agree, from both Sizing John himself and his master trainer, Jessica Harrington. The plan is too have a shot at the Jockey Club Bonus this term, meaning the Betfair Chase and King George will be on the strapping stayers agenda in the first half of the campaign. Before a return to Cheltenham where he will attempt to retain his pride and joy against a field of hungry young challengers that may well include his stablemate, Our Duke. Our Duke showed his ability when landing the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novices' Chase at Leopardstown last Christmas. However it was his breath-taking performance in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in the spring that really catapulted the well built young stayer into the Gold Cup picture. Travelling menacingly before ruining away from his field, Our Duke posted a performance that the handicappers rated just 1lb inferior to the achievements of his Gold Cup winning stablemate Sizing John. Jessica Harrington now finds herself in the hugely enviable position of having not one but two potential Gold Cup candidates come March. Something that could give stable jockey Robbie Power a few headaches over the winter months.
CURRENT JLT NOVICES' CHASE PRICES
CURRENT GOLD CUP PRICES
FINIAN'S OSCAR 12/1
SIZING JOHN 6/1
TOMMY CARBERRY FAREWELL TO OUR IRSH HORSE RACING LEGEND Tommy Carberry, one of the well-known jump jockeys of his time and a gentleman who will forever be associated with Cheltenham and Aintree hero L'Escargot, died on Wednesday at the age of 75. Carberry, four times Ireland's champion jump jockey in the 1970s, also created a riding family as he is the father of jockeys Paul, Philip, Peter, and Nina. He won the Gold Cup on L'Escargot in 1970 and 1971 then, four years later, rode him to lower the colours of the Grand National's mightiest hero Red Rum. He also won the Gold Cup on Ten Up in 1975 and rode a total of 16 Cheltenham Festival victories. Carberry attained the first of those wins when landing what is now the Supreme Novices' Hurdle on Tripacer, trained by his father-in-law Dan Moore, in 1962, going on to win the Galway Hurdle on the same horse later that year. His final festival success came in 1982 when he rode The Brockshee, trained by his brother-in-law Arthur Moore, to win the Arkle Trophy. In the intervening 20 years, his festival winners included Inkslinger, on whom he won both the Champion Chase and the Cathcart Chase in 1973, and Tied Cottage in the 1976 RSA Chase, a race he also landed on Ten Up in 1974. He also finished first in the 1980 Gold Cup on Tied Cottage, only for the horse to fail a dope test owing to a batch of contaminated feed and be disqualified. Carberry rode Brown Lad to two of his three of his Irish Grand National victories, in 1975 and 1976, and also landed the 1973 Galway Plate on Leap Frog. Following his retirement from riding, he embarked on a training career and enjoyed his biggest success when Bobbyjo, ridden by his son Paul, landed the 1999 Aintree Grand National, a year after winning the Irish National at Fairyhouse. May he rest in peace.
TRIBUTE TO SNOW FAIRY By MAJELLA MCPARLAND Purchasing a potential champion at the sales is not for the faint of heart. Expensive purchases bring no guarantee of success- a recent Racing Post article highlighted some expensive horses who have failed to light up the track. Similarly, the best racehorses do not always make the best stallions. Frankel is certainly producing the goods in the breeding shed but, although Soul Stirring was his first Group/Grade One winner, his on-course rival, Nathaniel, has defeated him in the race to sire a first classic winner in the UK or Ireland. Nathaniel’s daughter, Enable, was scintillating in the stormy weather at Epsom in the Oaks and confirmed her ability with a smooth victory in the Irish equivalent. The last filly to complete the Oaks double was Snow Fairy (by Intikhab out of Woodland Dream (Charnwood Forest) ) who achieved the feat in 2010. Her greatest performance came in her final start when she defeated none other than Nathaniel in the Irish Champion Stakes. By this time, her status as an exceptional filly was assured. Her auction history proves how difficult finding a champion at the sales can be. Snow Fairy went through the ring for just 1,800 eurosthe price of a typical pony- at the 2008 Tattersalls Ireland December Flat Sale and her breeder, Cristina Patino, decided to race her in her own colours. On her first start in June 2009, Snow Fairy finished third in what the Racing Post described at the time as a “modest maiden.” She would break her maiden in July but didn’t win again until that remarkable three year old season in 2010.
A change of scenery seems to have invigorated her as she sauntered clear in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto before showing her trademark heart to seize the Hong Kong Cup by a neck at Sha Tin. Snow Fairy successfully defended her Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup title the following year to become the first international horse to win two Group Ones in Japan. It was her only victory as a four year old but she was placed in the Qatar Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe behind crack filly ,Danedream, and also finished third in the Champion Stakes that year.
Unfortunately, tendon problems truncated Snow Fairy’s career. She made a belated return as a five year old by A brave victory in the Listed Height of Fashion Stakes, in winning the Darley Prix Jean Romanet in August at Deauville. She was disqualified as medication used to which Snow Fairy stumbled badly at the break, convinced her owners to supplement her for the Oaks at a treat her tendon troubles was found in her system. However, Snow Fairy’s racing days ended in appropriate cost of £20,000. This seemed like money wasted with fairy-tale fashion with her determined defeat of just a few furlongs to go. Snow Fairy had one beaten swinging into the Epsom straight and was blocked by a Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey at Leopardstown. Although she is much better bred than Snow Fairy, wall of retreating horses. However, Ryan Moore deftly dodged the traffic and his filly battled past Meeznah and Enable has a lot to live up to on the racecourse. Remember When to take the Classic. A laughably easy romp in the Irish Oaks followed to complete the double. The rest of Snow Fairy’s career sets a lofty standard for Enable to match. Like Ouija Board, who was another Ed Dunlop star, Snow Fairy set out to conquer lucrative races in the East following her defeats in the Yorkshire Oaks and St Leger.
RISHI PERSAD EXCLUISVE INTERVIEW WITH THE HORSE RACING PUNDIT Many of our reader's will know you well from Channel 4 Racing & Racing UK, most recently from ITV Racing, how have you found the transition from Channel 4 to ITV? Rishi : Itâ€™s been a strange time for me personally as I said goodbye to a lot of good friends and talented people, behind and in front of the camera, who worked hard on behalf of racing for Channel 4 and yet they were made to feel, from some quarters, unwanted and unappreciated when Channel 4's tenure came to an end. I have enjoyed the small contribution I have made to ITV's start to their coverage, but I am only a bit-part player in the new set-up and so far it seems that the general consensus has been positive and the majority of the industry appear to be supporting the ideas and innovations that the ITV team have delivered Being born in Trinidad & Tobago, were you a keen cricketer in your younger days? . Rishi: I loved it. I played a lot of cricket in the West Indies and at school here in the UK. I used to dream of walking out at The Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad to bat for the West Indies. Sadly that was never a reality! I gave up cricket about 10 years ago and concentrated more playing time on golf. I sometimes miss those Saturdays when I used to turn out for my club side in the Hertfordshire League though How did you get inspired by Horse Racing? Rishi: .My dad loved horse-racing and although he was a lawyer he spent more time running a stud farm in Trinidad and at the races. He took me everywhere he went whether to the farm or the track and I was hooked. I remember recording the racing highlights each Sunday on our betamax video and then sitting down with my dad to watch it over and over again. When I came to school in the UK at the age of 12 my dad used to take me racing here during the school holidays and he and I would often talk for hours about horses or cricket. He passed away 8 years ago but I still miss chatting to him. I have read that you wanted to become a Jockey, how far did this quest take you?.. Rishi: Ha, this was similar to my dream of walking out to bat at no.3 for the West Indies - pie in the sky. I rode a bit when I was very young at the stud farm in Trinidad and thought I could be a jockey but I was not very good, though I enjoyed my experience of riding in the Charity Race at the Cheltenham Festival when my saddle slipped but through a minor miracle I managed to hang on. How did you get into presenting & how would you advise a youngster today looking to break into the Profession?. Rishi: I used to work for a PR agency that specialised in horse-racing and I had a couple of great bosses there. One of them, Laurie Brannan wrote a letter on my behalf to the team at the original Attheraces when it was about to start back in 2002. On his recommendation ATR gave me a screen test which I managed to get through without messing up and I was offered a job just a few days later. As for advice on anyone wishing to break into the profession, there is no blueprint to follow. So many people doing the job nowadays have come from so many different backgrounds and through various routes. The two things I always try and pass on though is always persevere and keep asking for opportunities and always be ready for that opportunity. If you keep persevering, someone somewhere will give you a chance and you've got to be ready to take it.
RISHI PERSAD EXCLUISVE INTERVIEW WITH THE HORSE RACING PUNDIT We have seen you presenting from some of the greatest race meeting's in the world, what is your Favourite meeting & why? Rishi: I have been asked this question before and it is very hard to be adamant about one meeting above another as so much depends on the horses involved in the races. Naturally the likes of the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot attracts strong and competitive races at the highest level and that is what I find so exciting. Deep down I am not bothered about peripheral activities at these meetings and prefer to concentrate on the action on the course, for that reason if I had to choose one I would say Cheltenham just about gets the verdict. Though there is an honourable mention for the Dubai World Cup meeting which I also always enjoy Away from Racing, you have presented at some of the best sports event's in the world, what was your favourite & Why?. Rishi: Each of the four Olympic Games I have covered has been memorable but London 2012 was inspiring. It was a great 2 week spell when the nation seemed happy. If you had to choose just ONE event to cover, what would it be?. Rishi: The US Masters at Augusta. The first time I went there in 2013 I was in awe of the venue and the way the patrons and players treat it with such reverence. It remains the most spectacular sporting theatre. Have you have any Oh My God Moments when presenting?. Rishi: The first time I interviewed Tiger Woods my heart was beating so fast I could genuinely hear it. I would say the one standout 'Oh My God' moment was February 7th, 2015 when AP McCoy announced during the walk-back interview after Mr Mole had won the Game Spirit at Newbury that he would be retiring at the end of the season. . What is the best horse race you have seen & why does it stick in your memory? Rishi: Again, so many to choose from. I used to say Lammtarra's Derby win, Pilsudki beating Singspiel at the Breeder's Cup or even Kauto Star's 2009 Gold Cup, but at the moment I slightly favour Royal Academy's Breeder's Cup Mile under Lester Piggott. The story was remarkable and I remember watching it with my dad whilst we enjoyed a curry in the living-room in front of the tele. Bliss. If you could OWN any race horse Past OR Present, who would it be & why?. Rishi: I would have loved to own Nijinsky to celebrate wining the Triple Crown and wish I had owned Sea The Stars as I would have run him in the St Leger, win the Triple Crown, then I would have brought him back as a four-yearold and won everything in sight, maybe even kept him going as five and six-year-old for a clash with Frankel.
BALLYDOLYE INJURIES By Breandán Ó hUallacháin While Team Ballydoyle has tasted much success on the track this season, dominating Group 1 races in Ireland and Britain, the Co. Tipperary-based training establishment has also suffered a number of setbacks with the retirement and loss of horses.
“We had Minding pencilled in to start back but when John x-rayed her, he wasn’t happy to do that. He wanted to leave her another month. When John said to wait, we just have to wait. John always checks them before they start back and everything was in place to start off, but High-class filly Somehow was put down after fracturing a when he checked her he wasn’t happy.” cannon bone. Aidan O’Brien’s four-year-old won five of The disappointing news followed a few days later her 12 starts including the Group Two Dahlia Stakes at however that the brilliant filly had run her last race. Newmarket last May. She was last seen finishing Investec Derby hero of 2017 Wings Of Eagles ran an runner-up in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh. “incredible” race, in the words of his trainer Explaining the loss of the five-time winning filly, O’Brien Aidan O’Brien, to finish third in the Dubai Duty Free Irish said: “Unfortunately Somehow suffered a fatal injury. Derby despite sustaining a career-ending injury. She got a fracture behind on her cannon bone and we The son of Pour Moi was a surprise 40-1 winner of the were unable to fix it. It’s a real pity as she was such a Epsom Classic in early June and aimed to become the good filly, and had progressed well this season.” Ballydoyle trainer’s fifth dual Derby winner at The Multiple Group 1 winning filly, Minding, the Champion 3 Curragh at the beginning of July. year-old filly of last season, was retired when an The colt was beaten just half a length in third place x-ray taken before a return to exercise showed a negative result. The seven-time Group One winner had behind stablemate Capri and the John Gosden-trained Cracksman in the Curragh classic, a race which proved to not been seen in competitive action since making an be his final racecourse appearance. impressive start to the campaign in the Mooresbridge Stakes at Naas in early May after suffering a setback. Describing what happened to the three-year-old colt, O’Brien said: Aidan O’Brien has previously raised doubts about the brilliant filly ever returning to the track in June, when stating that time was running out for the daughter of Galileo. Explaining that vet John Halley was unhappy with Minding’s x-ray, O’Brien stated:
“You’re always worried when they pull out and he pulled out very sore this morning. When the lads X-rayed him, his sesamoid had completely come apart. It’s incredible he ran the race he did with that. It’s just one of those things. It’s a pity.”
MICK WINTERS FEATURE By JAMIE LINDSEY Going into the 2012 Galway not many people had heard of County Cork trainer Michael “Mick” Winters. He had only a handful of horses at home and yet arrived with a live chance in the Galway Hurdle with his stable star Rebel Fitz. As jockey Davy Russell got the leg up Rebel Fitz was second favourite at 11/2. The nerves in the Rebel Fitz camp must have been enormous as there was a lot of money to be potentially won; the question was just how much money could Rebel Fitz win. Racing on his preferred soft ground, Davy Russell gave him one of his “Sleeper” rides. Settled near the rear of the field, Russell began to make headway after two out when Rebel Fitz went around the outside of runners to lead at the last. After jumping the last cleanly Rebel Fitz began to assert up the steep hill. Cause of Causes was flying home late on but just missed out by a head, just look at what he has went on to do since. There were great scenes in the parade ring as winters and Rebel Fitz’s owners celebrated an unbelievable victory for the team. Even more Incredible winters trained the tough and gritty mare Missunited to win the same race twelve months later. It is always fantastic to see a small trainer take on the big boys and win, that is the beauty of this sport. We hope to see “Mad Mick” as friends call in the winners enclosure again soon.
DARREN BIRD “BIRDIE” EXCLUISVE INTERVIEW WITH EQUINE ARTIST Have you always been artistic? Darren: As a child I always had a pen or pencil in my hand so yes I've been creating images of some sort or another for as long as I know. What is your first racing memory? Darren: Probably watching the Grand National on the T.V. with Peter O’Sullivan doing the commentary. Where did the inspiration to combine Racing & Art come from? Darren: I've followed racing and for many years and painted the odd horse image here and there for my own enjoyment. It's only in the last 3 years or so that I've had the courage to put my work out there on display as I originally never thought the work was good enough. How long does it take, to complete a drawing? Darren: My quick sketches of a horse racing incident can take as little as 5 minutes. We saw you at a few race course's throughout the year, but what is your Favourite Course & Why? Darren: if I had to choose a favourite, it would have to be Cheltenham. The beautiful scenery, the history, the atmosphere and buzz of a day at the festival amongst a packed crowd roaring superstars up the hill is second to none Your Pudsey drawing captured the nation last year, when Sir Terry passed, It recently sold for a lot of money, has that led to a lot of work & have you dealt with the reaction? Darren: It was a very sad day back in January this year when we lost Sir Terry and I never dreamt my little bear image would reach such a wide audience. I have to say it hasn't lead to a massive influx of request but I do think that it's a image that most people will of see somewhere, at some point. I don't think I'll ever produce another image that touches so many peoples hearts. Your book is on sale now, how is that going & what gave you the idea for it? Darren: The Birdie Book was published last Christmas and sales have been good. I'm hoping to promote it again this year as a perfect stocking filler for any racing fan. So if you are stuck for a present for someone this year please feel free to pick up a copy from The Racing Post website or Amazon Books! Brough Scott and The Racing Post approached me out of the blue last year and said that they would like to work with me on a book. It rates as my biggest achievement to date, I feel very proud and honour to be a published artist. I have a lot to thank them for.
Ireland's Leading horse racing magazine