CONTENTS 4.COLIN KEANE FEATURE 6.FAREWELL FAYONAGH 6.AIDAN O BRIEN RECORD 8.KEITH CLARKE INTERVIEW 10.A DAY AT THE RACES 11.ANDY GIBSON FEATURE 12.BOBBY FRANKEL FEATURE 13.TOALS BOOKMAKERS 14.FLAT STARS OF 2017 16.PROBLEM GAMBLING 17.BETTING SYSTEMS CONTACT DETAILS EDITOR: Darren Connolly EMAIL: 3FURLONGSOUT@GMAIL.COM
18.HONG KONG PREVIEW 19.HEATHER DOWNEY 20.HIGHLAND REEL 21.TIPPING EMPIRE 22.EARLY ANTE-POST 23. MOC RACING CLUB 24.NOEL WILLIAMS 26.PRO SYNDICATES 28.MAX MC NEIL 31.JP TIPPING SERVICE 30.ADVERTISE WITH US
IRISH CHAMPION JOCKEY Breandán Ó hUallacháin: KEANE ‘WHAT A TALENT”
Colin Keane was born in Co.Meath on 12th September 1994 and rode his first winner, No Trimmings, in Dundalk, on 10th December 2010. This was Keane’s only winner in his first year when he had 10 racecourse rides. The following season he amassed over €32,000 in prize money, riding a total of 5 winners. The young rider continued an upward curve in 2012 when he had 9 winners and was runner-up on 14 occasions, winning over €46,000 in prize-money.
than €562,000, and in the process, be crowned champion apprentice jockey. He finished runner-up to Pat Smullen in the jockey’s title race in 2015 when he rode 65 winners, among them Ainippe in the TRM Ballyogan Stakes and the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes, Bear Cheek in the Curragh Stakes, and Blue De Vega in the Killavullen Stakes, all at Group 3 level.
2016 saw Keane break through the million-euro mark in prize-money won when he amassed €1,072,125 courtesy of a new personal record of 77 winners in the season. More group success came his way through Brendan Bracken was the first horse to bring the young Ardhoomey (Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five rider to national prominence when the combination won Stakes), Medicine Jack (Group 2 GAIN Railway Stakes) both the Topaz Mile Handicap at The Galway Races and and Duchess Andorra (Group 3 D. Cordell Lavarack/ the Group 3 Manguard Plus Solonaway Stakes at The Lanwades Stud Stakes). Curragh in 2013, a year Keane rode 35 winners, and finished second to Connor King in the race for the apHe has tasted success in two Group 3 races: Irish prentice jockey’s title. Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes with Réaltra and the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Curragh Stakes on Ger Lyons appointed the Meathman as his stable jockey Treasuring. in the summer of 2014. This new link-up saw Keane visit the number one spot 54 times that season, gross more
FAREWELL FAYONAGH GORDON ELLIOTTâ€™S STAR HORSE FATALLY INJURED The terrible news shook the racing community recently that immensely talented Champion Bumper winner Fayonagh had unfortunately been put down after breaking a hind leg on the gallops at Skryne. The Gordon Elliott-trained mare, who only once tasted defeat in her six races, was working under Davy Russell when the accident occurred. She had made a successful hurdling debut only recently in a manner that suggested she was expected to take high rank among the novices this season and Cheltenham festival was high on connections agenda. Distraught Co.Meath trainer Gordon Elliott told his Betfair column: "I'm devastated to announce that Fayonagh broke a hind leg this morning while doing a routine piece of work under jockey Davy Russell at Skryne gallops and had to be put-down. "As a dual Grade One-winning mare she was an exceptional talent and the sky was the limit with her. "Needless to say, we are all heartbroken and our thoughts are with the connections at this time." Unquestionable her greatest hour was when winning at the 2017 Festival, when ridden from well off the pace by Jamie Codd to come with an electric turn of foot entering the last furlong which certainly was one of the most tremendous performances of the festival and one that many horse racing enthusiasts wonâ€™t forget for a long time. Unfortunately in horse racing these things happen and nobody is at fault though it is a untimely death which we will never really know how good the strong travelling mare actually was though we will appreciate replays of her races and accept she was an exceptional good racehorse .
THE RECORD IS BROKEN 26 GRADE ONE VICTORIES IN ONE SEASON
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien completed a massive training achievement when overcoming the world record for top-level wins in a Flat racing year when Saxon Warrior won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster even for his high standards it absolutely “astounding “ At Ascot a few weeks ago The Ballydoyle maestro O'Brien drew level with American legendry trainer Bobby Frankel on 25 wins with Hydrangea's hard-held victory at Ascot. O'Brien first broke the record in 2001 with 23 winners, which Frankel passed effortlessly in 2003. "He added: "There's a lot of hard work put in by a lot of people in Ballydoyle and Coolmore. If I start mentioning people, I'd forget somebody. They know who they are. "It's a privilege to be working with such special people. We're in a very lucky position and we're a small link in a big chain." Saxon Warrior, the 13-8 favourite, beat Roaring Lion by a neck which looked improbable two furlongs from home, but the game horse stuck his neck out and won with a plenty in hand with another O'Brien-trained colt, The Pentagon, finishing a gallant third. Aidan O’Brien has been training a long time, but it is very possible that he will surpass his record here several times in the forthcoming future he really does hold all the aces within Irish and British horse racing. Regarding O’Brien’s achievement, stable jockey Moore has stated: “He’s an extraordinary talent. He handles everything with the horses very well from an early stage, sees what they could be and makes them into that. All his horses are so well prepared, so well behaved, they make it very easy for me. They just keep getting better. They come racing, they run their race. Whether it’s the start of the year or the end of the year, they hold their form. They’re consistent and they improve.”
A SEASON TO REMEMBER WHAT A YEAR FOR IRISH TRAINER AIDAN O’BRIEN Royal Ascot saw a trio of Group 1 wins including Winter in the Coronation Stakes, and that filly made it four wins at the top level by July when landing the Qatar Nassua Another brilliant filly, Roly Poly, more than contributed her fair share, landing three Group 1s in remarkably game fashion beginning with the Falmouth Stakes in July, then the Prix Rothchild in Chantilly before returning to Newmarket in October to grittily take the Sun Chariot Stakes. Winning 26 Group 1s in one season requires an extraordinary team and O’Brien had winners across all the categories – two-year-olds, three-year-olds, older horses, colts and fillies. One of those fillies, Happily, won two Group 1s, including when beating the colts at Chantilly on Arc day in Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Aidan O’Brien’s season got off to the flawless start with Churchill and Winter completing Newmarket and Curragh Guineas doubles. At Epsom Highland Reel won the Coronation Cup while Wings Of Eagles was the first leg of a Ballydoyle Derby double, with Capri winning out in a thrilling finish to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.
By then the world record looked more than possible and when U S Navy Flag led home an incredible O’Brien 1-2-3-4 in the Darley Dewhurst at Newmarket and made it 24 top level winners for the season, it was only a matter of time, with strong Ballydoyle chances in Group 1s all over the world, that O’Brien would make history. Hydrangea took the Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot, helping Aidan O’Brien equal the world record, and then a new world record was set when Saxon Warrior won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, making it 26 Group and Grade 1 winners trained on the Flat in a calendar year
- THE FULL GRADE ONE DETAILS -
Saxon Warrior – (Oct 28, Doncaster, Racing Post Trophy)
Sioux Nation (Aug 13, Curragh, Keeneland Phoenix Stakes)
Hydrangea - (Oct 21, Ascot, Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes)
Winter (Aug 3, Goodwood, Qatar Nassau Stakes)
U S Navy Flag – (Oct 14, Newmarket, Darley Dewhurst Stakes) Roly Poly – (Oct 7, Newmarket, Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes)
Roly Poly (July 30, Chantilly, Prix Rothchild) Roly Poly (July 14, Newmarket, Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes) Capri (July 1, Curragh, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby)
Rhododendron (Oct 1, Chantilly, Prix de l’Opera Longines)
Winter (Jun 23, Royal Ascot, Coronation Stakes)
Happily (Oct 1, Chantilly, Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere)
Caravaggio (Jun 23, Royal Ascot, Commonwealth Stakes)
U S Navy Flag (Sep 30, Newmarket, Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes)
Highland Reel (Jun 21, Royal Ascot, Prince Of Wales’s Stakes)
Clemmie (Sep 30, Newmarket, Juddmonte Cheveley Park)
Highland Reel (Jun 2, Epsom, Investec Coronation Cup)
Capri (Sep 16, Doncaster, William Hill St Leger)
Winter (May 28, Curragh, Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas)
Order Of St George (Sep 10, Curragh, Comer Group International Irish St Leger)
Churchill (May 27, Curragh, Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas)
Happily (Sep 10, Curragh, Moyglare Stud Stakes) Hydrangea (Sep 9, Leopardstown, Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes)
Wings Of Eagles (Jun 3, Epsom, Investec Derby)
Winter (May 7, Newmarket, Qipco 1000 Guineas) Churchill (May 6, Newmarket, Qipco 2000 Guineas
KEITH CLARKE INTERVIEW ONE OF THE MOST PROMISING TRAINERS IN IRELAND
Tell us about yourself and your achievements? I am 35, I rode professionally for about 15 years riding some great horses and for owners . Working for so many good trainers and to pick up the training skills and qualities I could pick what I liked from their training styles. Trainers such as Tony Martin, Tom Foley ,David broad and Sir Mark Prescot. I even went to Australia to learn more about their fractions and times. It has definitely given me advantage . How did you get into racing? My mother grew up with horses so I have her to thank, she is a Geraghty . Her father bred the famous Golden Miller. How many horses do you have in training? My yard can only stables up to 24 but we are always developing . So I have 24 in my yard my brother Ivan keeps a few on rest . We also have horses on pre training and breaking with Kenny Mac Crossan and with Joe Rogers of Ballintry Stud . We also put horses out on grass with Sandra Maye. So all in all we would have about 35 horses on the go . Tell us about your facilities? We have 24 monarch stables, a 6 horse walker. Plenty of grass turn out paddocks, our gallops are Wexford sand. With a four furlong circle on to a four furlong straight with a little climb in it. We also have a grass gallop for 6 furlongs. On which we have starting stalls , hurdles and chase fences. What is the best thing about being a trainer? To be honest , when u get that one horse that gets you up in the morning, that when you think of them when your at home you get excited, to me that's the best thing .
KEITH CLARKE INTERVIEW ONE OF THE MOST PROMISING TRAINERS IN IRELAND What would you change about Irish racing? Race day Experience for owners. They worry about entertaining the one day a year race goer who hires a suite for him and his clients or friends. When we need to focus on how our owners are treated. For me itâ€™s simple treat our owners like a VIP and make sure that every other race goer can see it, so they can aspire to having a horse in training or a share in a syndicate Every owner with a 10% Share in a horse should have an AIR card and every Racecourse should have owners lounge of the highest standard. If we canâ€™t look after the people investing the most money in our sport how can we possibly grow are fan base against other sports. They buy their horses and have to pay for the training, they pay a premium in entry fees to racing them and the Racecourse get paid for TV rights that the owners horses generate, but on most Racecourse they are treated like every other race goer this is not good enough and needs urgent attention. Dundalk Stadium seems to be a happy hunting ground for you do you buy horses intended to race there? Yeah of course, it's a great facility. It means I can train all year round . Give us a few horses to follow this winter season? Tenth Amendment Patriot Affair Aishling's secret Most memorable moment of your career? Only a short time training but I would have to say a horse called New World really sets the trend by winning his maiden hurdle by 8 lengths, Poitin winning 7 races for me in Dundalk, Noble Dancer a 2 yr old who won first time out and then we sold her to America and finally Jeremy's Joy winning the Connaught Oaks this year. Outside racing how to you unwind? It's not easy to unwind but when I get the chance to take my motorbike out, that really helps to relax Give us a life quote or motto you live by? If you want something so bad , go get it, no one just going to give it to you!! Devoted to my horses dedicated to my clients
A DAY AT THE RACES PADDY POWER CORK GRAND NATIONAL MEETING Another option is the Racing/Restaurant Package for €50 – this includes a racecard, four course meal, private balcony and Tote facility. What is on that day? The Paddy Power Cork Grand National is the highlight of both the day and Cork Racecourse’s year. Racing will begin at 1.05pm with the Paddy Power Betting Shops Maiden Hurdle over 2 miles. The day’s action also includes a Listed Novice Hurdle over 3m, a Grade 3 Novice Chase, a Handicap Chase, a Handicap Hurdle, and a Bumper will close the day’s action when it goes to post at 4.30pm. Tell me a little about the feature race.
3 Furlongs out looks ahead to the Paddy Power Cork Grand National at Cork Racecourse, Mallow, on Sunday 5th November 2017.
At 3.15pm the Paddy Power Cork Grand National Handicap Steeplechase (Grade B) goes to post. The race, an extended handicap chase for four year old's and upwards rated 0-150, is run over 3 miles and 4 furlongs and has a value of €50,000. Last year’s contest was won by the Ger Fox-ridden 11 year old Raz de Maree who was returned at 14/1. How do I get to Cork racecourse?
By Road The racecourse is 35 km north of Cork city, and 64 km south of Limerick city. Patrons coming from Cork city or Where is Cork Racecourse? Limerick (N20) go under the railway bridge at the The racecourse is situated on the Killarney Road, just roundabout in Mallow town. Patrons coming from Dublin outside Mallow in North Cork. The course is right or Waterford direction (N72 and N73) take the town park handed; one and a half miles round, and has a straight bypass to reach the roundabout. The racecourse is on sprint course of five furlongs. The course opened in 1924 the Killarney road. and was known as Mallow Racecourse. The site of the By Rail racetrack is close to both Buttevant and Doneraile, the birthplace of steeple chasing, where the first race of that Mallow railway station is served by trains from Cork, Dublin, Tralee and Killarney. A free shuttle bus service is name took place in 1752. available to and from the racecourse. How much does a ticket cost? Bus Adult admission is €15, with seniors and students A bus service runs from Cork to Mallow every hour at 25 gaining entry for €10 (on production of a valid ID card). minutes past the hour. There is a free shuttle bus service Children under 14 are free when accompanied by an to and from the town park (main bus stop in Mallow) to adult. Racecards cost €3. Cork Racecourse’s Social all race meetings. Package A is available for €20. This package is for Where do I get more information? groups of 5 patrons or more and must be pre-booked and pre-paid. It includes admission, a racecard, a €5 bet You will find further information on Cork Racecourse’s and a pint. official website: www.corkracecourse.ie. A Premium Level ticket and racecard costs €25, but this must be pre-booked. The Premium Level ticket allows ARTICLE BY Breandán Ó hUallacháin access to the Premium Level floor of the Grandstand, and to the Owners, Trainers and Premium Members bar.
Andy Gibson is a frequent TV pundit for At The Races, concentrating in the major festivals, particularly the Cheltenham Festival. Gibson’s sophisticated and unique analysis of racing is the conclusion of more than three decades of observation, reflection and scrutiny of racing data such as going, sectional times, track configuration, pace, field size, the effect of hysteria on the betting market, comparison times plus many other variables that govern and shape the way racehorses perform and betting opportunities unfold. Andy has established the Cheltenham Trail and his Diary Notes Service so that subscribers can obtain the benefit of many hours of research into each race and a lifetime’s experience aimed at attaining best value and ultimately successful punting. The previews, reviews and notes have proven to be equally useful to independent bookmakers, when deciding which of the shorter priced runners to oppose.
“No weekend’s homework is complete without first taking a good look at the work Andy Gibson sends me” – Mick Fitzgerald
“When the likes of Andy Gibson has a bet you know the bookie is going to pay in the end” – Gary Wiltshire
WHO IS BOBBY FRANKEL? IN-DEPTH LOOK IN INTO THE USA TRAINER
“Bobby just had a natural gift, a natural feel, for not only training horses but for animals in general,” spoke Chad Brown, a former assistant who has recognised himself as a top conditioner. “He could almost sense what they were thinking and feeling.”
Frankel went on to win the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer in North America five times (1993, 2000-03). He won 30 training titles at individual meets. He set a single-season record by taking 25 Grade 1 races in 2003.
Frankel (1941-2009) was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. His parents, Gertrude and Merrill, were in the catering business. He had no interest in that, instead developing an affinity for the racetrack and gambling. His eye for quality horses led him to begin his training career in 1966. He found skill when others thought there was none. It was fitting that his first major victory, in the Suburban in 1970, came with Barometer, a horse he claimed for $15,000.
Few major races other than the Kentucky Derby eluded Frankel, leading to his Hall of Fame induction in 1995. He earned six Breeders’ Cup victories, highlighted by Ghostzapper’s triumph in the 2004 Classic. His operation produced at least one Grade 1 winner every year from 1988 through his final season in 2009
Among Frankel’s gifts was his understanding that there was no “one way” to develop a horse. They all had their own needs and wants; a trainer had to adjust his regimen as those changed.
$227,912,709, placing him third all-time behind D. Wayne Lukas and Todd Pletcher at the time of his death. The careers of Lukas and Pletcher, one of Lukas’ former assistants, are ongoing.
“He was constantly changing directions with horses,” Brown remembered. “He really individualized each horse.”
Those who knew Frankel best considered him as a kind and good man beneath an exterior that could be gruff. Many of his employees remained fiercely loyal.
Frankel trained 10 champions: Aldebaran, Bertrando, Ghostzapper, Ginger Punch, Intercontinental, Leroidesanimaux, Possibly Perfect, Ryafan, Squirtle Frankel moved his operation to California in 1972 and Squirt and Wandesta. He was particularly adept at promptly set a single-season record of 60 winners at the producing elite turf horses. His most prominent victories Hollywood Park spring meeting. He accomplished that on grass included the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf by combing through the ranks of undistinguished (twice), the Arlington Million (twice), the Woodbine Mile claiming horses and almost invariably spotting and (three times) and the Japan Cup. developing talent others were not able to unlock In all, Frankel won 3,654 races. His horses earned
Frankel died of lymphoma at age 68.
STARS OF THE FLAT SEASON CHRIS PRICE REFLECTS ON THE STARS OF 2017 Enable There is only one place to start on this flat season roundup, that is with the five-time Group 1 winning superstar. Beaten on her reappearance at Newbury this spring, she would go on to win six in a row from the Cheshire Oaks onwards. She didn't just win her races, it was the manner of victory; with an aggregate of 22.5 lengths across her top level wins, she quickly turned them into non-contests. On her latest start in the Arc she travelled smoothly just off a fair gallop before being let loose in the straight, putting to bed a stacked field of Group 1 winners in no time. Tactically versatile and successful on all types of ground, she must have every chance of following up in the Arc again next year after fans were delighted to be told she stays in training.
Cracksman One-time Derby favourite Cracksman has been a work in progress all season. Just beaten in the English and Irish Derbies during the first half of the season, trainer John Gosden was keen to point out that patience was key; he would be a good horse in time. Connections were paid off handsomely during the second half of the year, having been given a break to continue to grow and strengthen he would return to action at York in the Voltigeur with a comfortable success, that would be followed by a further Group 2 win on Arc trials day. With stablemate Enable taking in the Arc it left the Champion Stakes as his only alternative, a drop in trip and a rise in grade was no bother and a seven length win ensured Frankel had his first European Group 1 winner. Whilst it wasn't a particularly strong field, his final furlong split was the fastest of the day, better than the 6f sprint and mile races, It was indeed a serious effort. Connections confirmed he will be staying in training next season, where he would only get stronger, and a mouth-watering contest awaits with Enable in the King George.
Ulysses A Group 3 winner last term, Ulysses has grown into a leading middle distance performer. His high cruising speed was seen to great effect when winning the Eclipse and Juddmonte International this term. Not quite at that form in the King George and the Arc on soft ground, he nevertheless produced strong efforts on each occasion to be 2nd and 3rd respectively. It remains to be seen if he is to be retired this winter, but the plan is for one final run this season in the Breeders Cup Turf, with the fast ground likely to suit I couldn't rule out a third Group 1 success.
STARS OF THE FLAT SEASON CHRIS PRICE REFLECTS ON THE STARS OF 2017 Highland Reel This globetrotting superstar has once again thrilled us with a series of great performances over the summer. Wins in the Coronation Cup and the Prince Of Wales Stakes on fast ground were where he was seen to his be at his best. Sadly the weather turned against him on his final two starts of this year, both times at Ascot, but 4th in the King George and 3rd in the Champion Stakes were still far from a disaster. He will likely get conditions much more to his taste when he flies off to defend his Breeders Cup Turf title next month.
Winter At the start of the year not many people had Winter down as one of the biggest stars from the Ballydoyle battalion, but she made everyone take notice with an impressive win in the 1000 Guineas this spring. Three more top level successes followed, including a step up in trip on soft ground in the Nassau at Goodwood to cement her place as one the start 3yo fillies of this generation. Sadly, she finished well beaten in the Arc and that is likely to be her final appearance on a racecourse, with the Coolmore operation keen to start her new career at stud.
Big Orange and Order Of St George decided to put these two great stayers together as they were involved in arguably the race of the season in the Ascot Gold Cup. Last years champion Order Of St George came from a long way back to throw down a challenge, but the ultra tough Big Orange showed why he is one of the most popular horses in training, refusing to buckle and holding on by a short head. The Aidan O'Brien trained runner would get his revenge in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day, where he excelled in the soft ground. Racing fans will hope to see another Gold Cup epic at Ascot next summer, and throughout the season over staying trips.
Lady Aurelia and Marsha Another pair which had to put together are these exceptional sprinters. At Royal Ascot both traded favouritism for the King Stand but it was the American filly which slammed the opposition and turned a red-hot Group 1 into a procession, her second successive Royal Ascot success. On their rematch in the Nunthorpe in August it seemed inconceivable to many that the tables could be turned, Lady Aurelia was sent off an odds-on favourite and looked to have another top prize in her grasp, however Marsha, who looked one of the paddock picks beforehand, ran her down and got up on the line to win by a nose, much to the embarrassment of Frankie Dettori who had celebrated prematurely on the line. With Elite Racing confirming Marsha will head to the Breeders Cup Sprint, we are set for round 3 of this battle in California next month.
Battaash Another star sprinter we have to focus on is the Charlie Hills trained Battaash. His exerts on soft ground at Goodwood and a maiden Group 1 win in Chantilly will live long in the memory, winning both races with ease. That precocious power is not without his quirks however, at York in the Nunthorpe he got himself lit up in the preliminaries and his chance had gone. If connections can keep a lid on him, there is no doubt he has the potential to win many big prizes next season. A rematch against Lady Aurelia in the King Stand would be a fascinating contest.
Harry Angel I've been impressed by the improvement Harry Angel has shown throughout the year, he was just beaten by Caravaggio at the Royal meeting but seemed at different horse at the July Cup, powering clear having been up with a strong pace. He showed he is adaptable when winning the Sprint Cup on very testing ground next time out. Things didn't go to plan on Champions Day, having committed for home just after halfway, the petrol tank fell empty as the line approached and he could only muster 4th, adding to his three other defeats at the track. I don't think connections have got to the bottom of him and with another winter behind him we should an even stronger horse next year in these 6f contests, I wouldn't rule out finally winning at Ascot if he is to take in the Diamond Jubilee
WHEN THE FUN STOPS! THE PERSPECTIVE OF A PROBLEM GAMBLER “I got to the point were I grasped I’d had enough, and that I was immobilized by the gambling bug and couldn’t control it.” At breaking point, the man found himself in a place so far from where he started that he said he no longer knew who he was. “As a child I enjoyed playing video games and then when I was 18 and saw people playing and winning money I thought “how awesome I can win money doing this. Back then I wanted to be happy and have fun and enjoy my life … but the gambling disbursed everything”. He started placing “small bets” of £10 per week but his habit quickly spiralled out of control and branched out to include poker machines and anything that could keep his addiction contented. “Within a few months I was mostly blowing my whole pay packet of about £400per week” he said. So much so that he was unable to stop so instead learned to lie, steal and cheat to fund his habit.
We recently caught up with a 35-year-old Newry man, who would like to remain anonymous but would like to get his heartfelt story out there about his colossal gambling problem to help likeminded people who are struggling with the same disorder.
“I did commit crimes and stuff like that which I am not proud off” he said. “I stole from my boss and took out several credit cards and that sort of stuff to finance the gambling. They didn’t find out because I was a manager at the time so I basically was doing it and nobody was catching on. When the business closed for the day and no one was around, I’d cover my back so no one would notice, which was wrong but I was desperate”.
He said that during his darkest days, gambling was the only activity he felt offered him a sense of hope for the future and an escape from his problems. “I was always struggling to deal with life so the only way I knew to deal with things was to gamble and escape reality because when I was gambling I wouldn’t have to think about “You can only lose so much before you start winning problems, but it was never enough. The more I won, the again”. That’s what the problem gambler told himself more I wanted. And the more I lost, the harder I chased every time he lost money gambling on sports, horse racing, lotteries and gaming machines and anything that a win.” was available. He estimates he gambled more than £200,000 over the 10years of his rut. Saying he probably won about But that tactic only fuelled his compulsive behaviours and saw him sink deeper into a dark hole he recklessly £100,000 during that same period but gave it all back plus much more along with it. “One afternoon walking tried to punt his way out off. down Hill Street in Newry my father spotted a local It was there, in the grip of gambling addiction, that his bookmakers flash car and insisted to me you bought him financial stresses, depression, anxiety and a “complete that with all your thoughtless punting”. lack of self-confidence” mounted and crushed an After reaching his lowest point he sought and received already fragile spirit. help from Gamblers Anonymous and since that day he The distraught man stated that he often considered sui- has not looked back or had a bet and is endeavouring to cide at his lowest points, of which there were numerous stay away from the bookies and spend his hard earned occasions. “I kept getting into more debt and facing money on his family stating “The Gambler’s Anonymous more financial woes, and I thought ‘I’ve been doing this group was the changing point of my life, it’s not weak to for 10 years and now I’m facing another 20 and I just seek support, it changed my life for the better”. can’t do it anymore,” he told 3Furlongsout.com. “I will keep on gambling until I win all my losses back” is the flawed mind-set of a chronic Newry gambler who gambled an excess of £200,000 in a short span of five years at the local bookmakers.
ALL SYSTEMS GO WITH ROGE NATIONAL HUNT SIMPLE SYSTEM – BUT BIG ODDS System operates from 1st November to 30 April. From your daily or racing paper, identify all handicap chases and hurdles with 12 or less declared runners (ignoring conditional jockeys races). For hurdle races, identify those runners that were beaten favourites last time out (BF), and that had running within 14 days of its last run. Finishing position is any, including fell, pulled up etc. For chase races, the same rules apply, identify beaten favourites las time out (BF) , apart from the fact that the horse must have finished outside the first three on its last run, i.e. 4th, unplaced, fell etc. OVER THE NATIONAL HUNT SEASON – ESPECIALLY ON A SATURDAY!! This system is very simple to operate:
Check all races with 6 to 10 runners. Note all horses that have won over the distance (D), and have had a run within the last 23 days. Check the forecast odds (preferably from the Racing Post) to see if any of these are the favourite, at odds of between 2/1 and 5/1 (inclusive). Bet all selections with level stakes. BOTTOM WEIGHTS IN HANDICAP RACES on soft/ yielding or heavy going National Hunt Season Only. When the going gets soft follow these simpler Rules: Identify all Handicap Hurdles and Handicap Chases, do not use novice handicaps or selling handicaps. Check the day's handicaps, bet on any horse that has a TOP rating in your chosen newspaper (ideally Racing Post or Daily Mirror) and is carrying bottom weight. Also bet on any horse that has a SECOND top rating (one point away from top rating) if ridden by a professional jockey. As the ground gets softer during the National Hunt season it often becomes more difficult to defy higher weights. Where there is more than one qualifier in a race, both or all selections are backed.
SIMPLE FORECAST FAVOURITES SYSTEM – VERY EFFECTIVE
THE IRISH HEAD TO SHA TIN ALL EYES ON HONG KONG By Breandán Ó hUallacháin
Once the Breeders Cup and Melbourne Cup have been run, Irish trainers attention will turn to the Longines Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin on Sunday 10th December.
The sole non-Aidan O’Brien Irish nomination for the oldest of Hong Kong’s International races is Dermot Weld’s three year old filly Eziyra who like Highland Reel and Cliffs Of Moher is also entered for the Vase. Ireland’s sole success in the race came with the Jim Bolger-trained Alexander Goldrun in 2004.
Ireland’s largest entry is in the HK$18 million Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase over 2,400m on the turf. As of the 25th October 2017, there were 9 Irish-trained horses entered for this contest, with four coming from the Aidan O’Brien stable (Cliffs Of Moher, Highland Reel, Idaho & Seventh Heaven). Irish Champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins accounted for three of the entries (Max Dynamite, Thomas Hobson & Wicklow Brave), while Dermot Weld (Eziyra) and Joseph O’Brien (Rekindling) had one entry each. Aidan O’Brien’s now five-year old, Highland Reel, ranked 9th in the latest edition of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings and who will retire to stud duties at the end of the current season, was an impressive winner of the Longines Hong Kong Vase in 2015 and finished second to Japan’s Satano Crown last year.
The legendary Gordon Lord Byron, trained by Tom Hogan, is likely to make the long journey to Sha Tin for either the Longines Hong Kong Mile (Grade 1) turf race, or the Longines Hong Kong Sprint, a Grade 1 contest over 1,200m on the turf. In the HK$23 million Mile event, there are two other Irish-trained nominations, Lancaster Bomber (also entered for the Longines Hong Kong Cup) and the multiple Group 1 winning three year old filly Roly Poly, both trained by Aidan O’Brien.
Irish-based trainers account for 7 entries for the richest race at the Longines Hong Kong International Races meeting, the HK$25 million Grade 1 Longines Hong Kong Cup over 2,000m metres on the turf. Six of the Irish entries are from Ballydoyle, with both Cliffs Of Moher and Highland Reel entered for this race as well as the Grade 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase as mentioned above. The Co. Wexford-born trainer’s other horses are the well-travelled Deauville, Lancaster Bomber, Long Island Sound and War Decree.
As well as the aforementioned nine year old Gordon Lord Byron being entered for the HK$18.5 million Longines Hong Kong Sprint, Aidan O’Brien has two nominations, the three year old colt Intelligence Cross and the four year old colt Washington DC, among the total of 56 national and international entries for the race. At this early stage plans are clearly not finalized, and the picture may become a little clear in the next week after the Breeders Cup at Del Mar, California.
Dermot Weld tasted success in this race in 1993 when the Michael Kinane-ridden Moyglare Stud-owned Additional Risk was victorious. The Irish runners may have to contend, however, with local hero Beauty Only who is aiming to defend her crown in a race which currently has a total of 81 first stage entries.
HEATHER DOWNEY A VIEW FROM IN INSIDE IRISH HORSE RACING Year on year it continues to be a point to point which caters for everyone! A point to point with a difference. One of my main tasks on the lead up to and during the weekend was that of keeping the Dowth P2P & Country Fair social media sites updated with information re the ball and point to point, pictures and of course on the day of the P2P, the racing results! It's an area I'm extremely interested in and in my opinion social media is a vital tool for the success of any business and or event! A funny moment of the day was giving multiple champion P2P jockey Derek O'Connor a lift around the track at Dowth in a golf buggy to check out the course! Much quicker than waking!!
A year on since my debut blog with '3 Furlongs Out' and to emulate it I shall begin with talking about the Dowth Point to Point! I'm very lucky that the this year and last, I have got the opportunity to work at both the Dowth Point to Point and the Devenish Nutrition Charity Ball on the eve of the point to point at Dowth, all thanks to Tamso Doyle and Emer Lynch who again but a tremendous amount of work In to build on the success of the last two years at Dowth. With over 400 guests in attendance at the ball it truly was a night full of fun, celebration, glamour, but most importantly, raising very important funds for both Farm Africa and The Irish Injured Jockeys Fund. A night that was full of a wide range of tasks for me, such as social media updating, photography, bid-spotting, etc.
to quote Bobby Unser, "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet." And that is where the team involved with Dowth get it right. A team of visionary, future focused, driven people who, as one can see from the crowd figures at the P2P, certainly achieved that success. A winning formula. Now with Dowth blues starting to kick in, my attention now turns to the National Hunt season Launch In Meath in association with Navan Racecourse and Fairyhouse Racecourse, this Thursday (2nd November) at 7pm in the Ardboyne Hotel In Navan. A free event which will be hosted by Gary O'Brien of At The Races, with a panel of racing royalty including Davy Russell, Robbie Power, Noel Meade, Tony Martin and Sean Flanagan it ensures to be a evening filled with fun, laughter and without doubt some National Hunt stars to follow for the season! Again social media will be one of my main tasks for Navan Racecourse so keep an eye on our Navan Racecourse social media sites on the run up to and during the event! And if you can do try and come along, as aforementioned it is a free event so just make sure to register online at
A very enjoyable and rewarding evening. A few hours sleep was all that separated the two events for myself and the rest of the team as it was an early morning start on-site in preparation for the point to point and country fair on Sunday morning. There was no early morning caffeine boost for me as I'm not a coffee drinker. But in my opinion you don't need it, all you need is the love for what you're doing! Thousands flocked to the historic grounds of Dowth Hall again this year and were treated to six thrilling National Hunt races, as well as a cookery demonstrations, a fabulous shopping village and Boyne Valley Food Series Tent, along with a fun filled Kids Zone, dogs shows, pony rides, GAA skills zone, lots of unique foodie trucks for all to enjoy and much more.
A VIEW FROM DOWTH HALL - POINT TO POINT
HIGHLAND REEL FEATURE BALLYDOYLE’S IRON HORSE BY JAMIE LINDSEY The news came through yesterday that Coolmore would be retiring three of their best horses, Churchill, Caravaggio and Highland Reel. Out of those three horses Highland Reel has been the most successful, with 9 wins from 24 starts and becoming the second highest earning horse in European history, with a huge £6.1m. Just behind now retired French superstar Cirrus Des Aigles. This weekend at the Breeders Cup in Southern California in his final ever race, he could break that record by finishing in the money in the Breeders Cup Turf on Saturday night, a race in which of course he won in memorable fashion last year.
Highland Reel has won a fantastic amount in his career with six Group One wins to his name and they have all come incredibly, abroad from his home country of Ireland… England – King George VI Stakes (2016), Coronation Cup (2017), Prince of Wales’ Stakes (2017) Hong Kong – Hong Kong Vase (2015) USA – Secretariat Stakes (2015), Breeders Cup Turf (2016) That is quite an impressive CV, and let’s not forget he has been placed in the 2016 Arc, a French Derby and the Cox Plate in Australia a couple of years ago. He will be popular with breeders as toughness in a racehorse is valued a lot, and Highland Reel had toughness in spades. In my opinion his toughest ever performance came in the Coronation Cup this year at Epsom, when the Aidan O’Brien horses were delayed on their flight and had little time to settle in at Epsom
CHELTENHAM ANTE-POST A BET WORTH BACKING BY MARK KEATING Cheltenham may still be five months away but as the season beginnings to take off, the National Hunt festival starts to become more of an issue in racing. Ante-post betting is a risky game, not least because it takes very little to finish a horse’s season but I picked out a few value bets for next March’s extravaganza. YANWORTH, Arkle Trophy 20/1 The Norse Dancer’s chase debut was as smooth as it should be against a good but much inferior opponent, Sternrubin. He gave plenty over the first few but warmed to his task nicely. Beginners Chases in Britain are not as competitive as in Ireland and can sometimes be farcical so while his debut win may not show an obvious candidacy for the Arkle, the fact that he can jump - particularly at a stronger pace - adds to the already proven ability. Yanworth is an ante-post favorite for the RSA Chase and he could also run in the JLT Chase but his best form has come over two miles and I see him as a lazy horse, not a slow one. The odds for the Arkle are greater than the other races but there is nothing to suggest that he won’t run here and certainly nothing to suggest he isn’t good enough to win it.
RATHVINDEN, National Hunt Chase 20/1 It’s been a long road back from injury for Rathvinden but the patience shown by connections is paying off. He has won four chases this summer, most recently destroying the opposition in a Grade 3 at Tipperary. He’s been running over two and a half miles but his pedigree is full of stamina and this four mile trip should play to his strengths. He’s a very good horse who I see holding his own in Grade 1 Novice chases based on his recent performances. The Heron Island gelding was only five lengths behind the brilliant Faugheen in the 2014 Neptune Novices Hurdle and that day he was ahead of the likes of Cole Harden, Shanahan’s Turn and Lieutenant Colonel.
DOUVAN, Champion Chase 100/30 I wouldn’t normally dream of tipping a 100/30 shot for a race that won’t take place for five months but this is a very generous price for the best horse in training. I don’t know why Altior is much shorter in the betting, considering he came out of novice company twice last season and didn’t run to a rating of which Douvan had when winning on the bridle with eight lengths back to subsequent Gold Cup winner, Sizing John. Douvan got injured in the Champion Chase and didn’t run anywhere near his best as a consequence but his injury was a stress fracture of the Ileum and the prognosis to such an ailment is very positive. Bone heals and I see no reason why he should not return to his best. 100/30 is too big a price and I’m sure it will only shrink as the season progresses.
DEATH DUTY, JLT Chase 12/1 I never thought that this horse was an attritional three miler and his best form last season showed him to have a bit of class. He was legless when crashing out at the last in the Albert Bartlett and that further encouraged my belief that he wants a good two and a half miles. In his two chase wins so far, he showed that he is a sound jumper and he has a good turn of foot also - recording a strong finishing time at Navan last season. Davy Russell was vocal of the same belief last season and now that he is the horses rider, that may further lean connections to this contest where 12/1,
NOEL WILLIAMS EXCLUSIVE WITH RICHARD WILLIAMS AND CHARLIE MCGREEVY How long have you been training & was this a career you had set out early in life? I'm just coming into my fifth season with a licence. Training was something I only started to seriously consider in my early twenties. Although I had been competitively riding since a child, I was a very keen and fairly handy rugby player and was focused on pushing that forward. However It started to become apparent that although I had the ability I just didn't have the size for the modern game so I changed tac and concentrated on the horses full time. I represented GB at U21's Dressage and Evented at Advanced level, and produced plenty of young horses but couldn't finance it when the "Young rider" funding dried up. I started riding out for Alan King and soon became his Assistant Trainer. That's when I decided taking out my own licence was what I wanted to do. After 12 seasons with Alan I set up on my own. Many trainers have been jockey's, does this help or hinder when becoming a trainer? I don't think it makes a difference to be honest. The most important thing is that you are a horseman. You also have to be fairly business minded these days. That doesn't always come naturally to a lot of trainers but we have to learn to be as, unless there's a lot of funding behind you, you simply won't survive let alone be successful. Who, if anyone has influenced your career & training style? I suppose spending 12 years as Alan King's right hand man is going to rub off a fair bit! The basics of how I train would be fairly similar but I've moulded it to suit my own facilities and my own ideas and beliefs. Over the years I've worked for and trained with a lot of very successful and knowledgeable people and I've taken bits and pieces from all of them. I'm also very interested in how other people train and their ideas, so I'm always listening and keeping my eyes open. I try to be open minded to new ideas and thoughts but at the same time I'm very confident in my own judgement so I also try not to let that become clouded How many horses do you have in the yard at anyone time? & can you give us the breakdown (Chasers/Hurdlers/Flat) I have about 25 horses in training at the moment. I can take about 10 more and it would be nice to have the yard full in time, but I have no interest in training large numbers. There are a number of younger guys out there who want to train 100 plus and try to be the next champion trainer, and that's great to see. I feel you have to train a number that enables you to do the best job you can do personally. For one person that maybe 150, for the next person 10. For me personally it would be around 35. I feel I have to strike a nice balance. I'm also not prepared to train for people I don't like! I'm ambitious and competitive for sure but if you want to be champion trainer you have to put up with the "less likeable" and the people who seem hell bent on being awkward, but for me life's too short for that! Most of the horses in my yard are young bumper and novice hurdlers. I'm light on chasers at the moment but I'm looking forward to seeing some of them jumping fences in time. I also have a couple of 2 year olds which will have a run or two this autumn with a view to going juvenile hurdling this time next year.
NOEL WILLIAMS EXCLUSIVE WITH RICHARD WILLIAMS AND CHARLIE MCGREEVY Is Routine the best way to train or is it more of an individual thing? Routine is important. Horses are generally creatures of habit so they appreciate having consistency in their life. That said there are always certain Individuals that don't suit a particular yards system, so although I work to a set routine it's always flexible to accommodate a certain horses needs. Routine within a workplace and having systems in place also means that it makes my staffs job easier and smoother, and means things are less likely to be missed or overseen. Do you set targets as trainer per season? Wins, certain races etc. Not really. Certainly not numerically. The only targets I set are to have healthy happy horses that perform to the best of their capabilities. To keep the business financially stable, to have satisfied owners and to make sure I remain sane! What has been the most enjoyable moment of your racing career to date & who has been your favourite horse? Briery Queen winning at Cheltenham on her seasonal debut last year. For a jumps trainer Cheltenham is the place to have winners and it was a first victory for me there so it was special. The way she did it was nice too, scything her way through bad ground to win impressively from what was a competitive field. What horse PAST or PRESENT would you like to have trained? It probably sounds strange coming from a jumps trainer but I'd have to say Black Caviar. A winner of all of her 25 races including 17 Grade 1's, she amassed a staggering $7.95 million in prize money. The added appeal for me is that she's a mare and I like training fillies and mares. Being able to enjoy following her broodmare career and to possibly train some her offspring would also be a wonderful bonus. Away from racing , how do you relax & unwind? In the summer I try to play cricket as often as I can. I play for Stonor CC, a Sunday team near Henley on Thames and a few league and cup matches a season on a Saturday for Uffington CC near Lambourn. I'm a wicket keeper and top order batsman. I don't profess to be good but I'm very keen! It's one of the few times that I'm not thinking/worrying at all about work so I see it as a good down time. I also try to socialise often with my non-racing friends as it reminds me that there's a much wider world outside the "racing bubble" that we can find ourselves too wrapped up in if we're not careful! If you had not became a trainer, what career would you have chosen? I don't really know. Perhaps something to do with criminal psychology as that's a subject that has always really fascinated me. Can you give us a couple of horses to follow for the season? I'm not going to name any individuals as that'll surely jinx them! I did however have two or three bumper horses last season that ran really well without winning and, as I openly state that my bumper horses are always undercooked rather than trained hard so they progress, they must surely have a future. I'll let you do the homework and work out which ones I'm referring to!
MAX MC NEIL INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD WILLIAMS AND CHARLIE MCGREEVY Can you tell us how & why you got into owning race horses & who was the first horse you owned? My Dad was into racing and some of my earliest childhood memories are with Dad reading the racing pages and having a bet on the horses. In fact, Portrush Ted is a horse we named after Dad and it meant a huge amount to the whole family when he won his only racing start at Uttoxeter in March. As I got older I enjoyed going to the races and fancied, when the time was right, getting involved in owning a few horses. Our first horse was Jackella named after our two children. He was trained by Lawney Hill and even now one of our favourite wins was when James Tudor won on him at Stratford despite plenty going wrong towards the finish. How long have you owned horses & how do you acquire them? Been owning horses for 12 years now and over that time had some wonderful times and some great memories. We have changed strategy a bit in recent years. Previously we focused solely on buying horses off the flat to go juvenile hurdling, but we have now started buying 2yo, store horses, horses from point to points as well as horses to go juvenile hurdling. We have input into buying horses but also use Anthony Bromley/Tessa Greatrex from Highflyer and Tom Malone. Do you have a say in which races your horses run in or do you leave that down to the trainer? The trainer always has the final say however I do make suggestions and recommendations from time to time. What has been the favourite highlights of owning horses to date & why? In no particular order our six favourite days are as follows… The Worlds End bouncing back at Aintree. After the Albert Bartlett we were left wondering, “what if” and it was a superb training performance by Tom to get him back after such a horrible fall. We have maximum faith in him and it was good for him to get a Grade 1 at a wonderful track where we have had some very special days. Grumeti winning his Grade 1 at Aintree in The Anniversary Hurdle. After he was beaten in the Triumph Hurdle by Countrywide Flame it was brilliant to win a Grade 1 of our own just a few weeks later. It was great to see Countrywide Flame run such a huge race in the following seasons Champion Hurdle when unfortunately, we missed out due to injury
MAX MC NEIL INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD WILLIAMS AND CHARLIE MCGREEVY If you could have owned any race horse PAST or PRESENT, who would it be & why? Kauto Star. No brainer! The longevity he had, the ability to bounce back and to win Grade 1 races over a variety of distances on a variety of courses. As a family we were fortunate to watch a couple of his King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup wins and they were very special occasions. . Can you give our readers a couple of horses to look out for in the coming season? Will give you a few horses people might not be aware of and before this season had not run for us. As well as that I don’t want to annoy a trainer so you can have one from each trainer! Act of Valour – a 3yo flat horse who we bought out of Michael O’Callaghans yard in Ireland to hopefully be competitive in juvenile hurdles. He is being trained by Paul Nicholls. Chosen Path – a 4yo horse we bought from a Cheltenham Sale after finishing 3rd in his Irish point to point. He has obviously already won at Fontwell but we were expecting him to run well and thankfully he did and has come out of the race fine. Stop The World – a 4yo horse we bought privately after he finished second in what we hope was a good Irish point to point. He came from Sean Doyle, the same person that we bought The Worlds End off and hope he will be as good as him and he is being trained by Tom George. . The Butcher Said – a 4yo horse we bought from the Punchestown Sale after finishing runner up in one of the big bumpers there. He is in training with Warren and the form of his bumper does seem quite strong so we are hopeful he does well. What advice would you give anyone looking to invest in Race horses? Look to spread your risk and buy a few horses in small shares to begin with because, unfortunately, there are plenty of times when horses don’t make it to the track for one reason or another. I think it also helps having them in different yards in case there is a virus in one yard it does not mean all your horses are affected. . Favourite horse owned We debated this at home last night between the four of us and it is impossible to narrow it down to one. I would upset one of the family if I named one so would rather just say we have been very fortunate to own some nice horses and it’s like asking, “Which of my children is my favourite” or “Who do the kids like best out of Mum and Dad!” . What does the future hold racing wise for the family? Over the summer after buying some more horses to be spread between more trainers we decided we wanted to work with a jockey to help us with our racing operation. With that in mid we will be using Adrian Heskin to ride all our horses with Warren Greatrex when he is not required to ride by Tom George. He will also be riding out at other yards where we have horses. We obviously achieved a lot of success with Adrian last season and hopefully can achieve a lot more both this season and in the future. Despite only working together for a few months we are benefiting from his help with buying of new horses and helping us get the best results from our existing team. It is much easier to make a decision when you have someone familiar with all the horses and able to give an independent view on how they all compare
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