CONTENTS 4.ELITE RACING CLUB 5.JUDDMONTE STAKES 6.ALMANZOR FEATURE 7.TIPPING EMPIRE 8.GALWAY ROUND UP 9. AUBREY MCMAHON 10.TEAM LOTTIE 11.TOALS BOOKMAKERS 12.CHARLIE MCGREEVY 13. CARAVAGGIO DESPAIR 14. NOVICE HURDLERS CONTACT DETAILS EDITOR: Darren Connolly EMAIL: 3FURLONGSOUT@GMAIL.COM
17.CALLUM RODRIGUEZ 19.PRO SYNDICATES 20.BRUCE BETTING 21.TIPPING EMPIRE 22.A DAY AT THE RACES 23.JP TIPPING 24.ADVERTISE WITH US 25.TOALS BOOKMAKERS 26.NH COUNTDOWN 28.DAYNA LEE FEATURE 30.NOVICE CHASERS
25 YEARS OF THE ELITE RACING BY CHRIS PRICE Later this year the Elite Racing Club celebrates its 25th anniversary, a club that is widely regarded as the best of its kind with members far and wide from the UK, Ireland, Europe and America. Founded in 1992 by Tony Hill, his vision was to bring the sport of horseracing to the man on the street. With ownership seemingly reserved for those with hefty wallets, he wanted members to pay an affordable yearly subscription and in return have small stake in several horses with all the benefits, Including Stable visits and owners badges. To date, the club is approaching 400 winners; almost 10% of those wins have been in group or listed level, with 8 Group One victories. In the early years the clubs purchases were mainly from National Hunt code, with the talented novice, Mysilv the first significant buy. The previous year’s Triumph Hurdle winner changed hands for £162,750; a then record in that sphere. The outlay seemed to pay dividends with the clubs first Graded In recent years the clubs breeding programme has continued wins in the Gold Trophy at Newbury (now the Betfair Hurdle) to go from strength to strength with the baton taken up by and the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock. Marlinka, retired after a listed win in France as a two year old. Her first foal Judicial appears in the form of his life this year With the expensive cost of acquiring yearlings at the sales seeming to rise year on year, more focus and effort was made and is thriving under his switch to Julie Camacho’s yard. Judicial would rattle off a hat trick in 2017 including being the to ensure the bloodstock side to the club was progressing first horse to run the five furlongs at Beverley in less than a over time. A breakthrough was made in the broodmare minute. He is one to follow in listed contests this Autumn. department with Kalinka, rated a modest 89 on the flat she quickly proved her worth with the birth of her second offspring, Marlinka’s second foal was Marsha, who needs little Soviet Song. Introduction after a string of impressive efforts at Group level Soviet Song was a revelation to the club and a true flag bearer in the new millennium, winning five Group 1’s and over a million pounds in prize money. She took the club to all the richest race days, successful in the Falmouth Stakes twice and a Royal Ascot win in 2006.
over the minimum distance. A winner of the Prix de L’Abbaye last year, Marsha added the Palace House Stakes in April before turning the tables on Lady Aurelia after Royal Ascot with a last gasp win in the Nunthorpe Stakes. The plan is to try and become a dual winner of the Abbaye before a possible trip to the sales ring this winter, I’m sure there will be plenty of suitors from the powerful operations who will be interested in her as a broodmare.
Kalinka was not finished there, her very next foal was an attractive colt named Penzance. A winner of his first start on the flat she was switched to Alan Kings yard and he would give After 25 years filled with every high and low that are so often the club its first Cheltenham Festival winner in the 2005 JCB intertwined with the sport, Elite Racing continues with the very Triumph Hurdle. same values and principles set out from day one. From less Such is the ever revolving door of horse racing that the club than £200 per year members receive weekly newsletters and was once again looking for more leading performers with no updates on all the horses in the club, from the ones on track to black type win for the best part of two seasons between 2007broodmares, new foals and yearlings. With recent figures 2009. This was put right with Border Patrol and Dandino highlighting the fall in numbers of owners involved in the sport, winning five races between Group 2 and listed level between Elite has found a niche market to bring the sport to those who them. could only dream of being in the winners’ enclosure. Sadly, Kalinka passed away in 2014 but her granddaughter, Ribbons only continued to highlight what an irreplaceable asset she was to the club. Ribbons won the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet in 2014 and added another big race win in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes the year after; those performances were amongst a host of top class efforts in smart contests. A horse to watch over the coming months is another granddaughter of soviet Song, out of the ill-fated Sister Act. Her name is Tribute Act and already has won three of her five starts. James Fanshawe, widely regarded as a master of the female equine star, continues to take his time with the filly but there can be little doubt about her potential to be another Group class performer for the club in time.
INTERNATIONAL STAKES REVIEW BY MARK KEATING
The Juddmonte International Stakes has in recent years become one of the top flat races in the world and the 2017 renewal was right up there with the best. I have long believed that Churchill needed stepping up in trip as he saw out his Guineas double finishing strongly. I even went as far as to believe he was a Derby horse. The Galileo colt seems to take a while to get going, whether that's because he changes gears slowly or he is a bit idle, I'm not sure but he finishes his races with plenty. For me, his Royal Ascot reversal in the St James' Palace Stakes was down to a poor race speed efficiency as they sprinted home off a slow pace and it didn't suit him. At York, he again had to be shaken up but he ran a good race to finish second ahead of his Ascot conquerer, Barney Roy. Richard Hannon's Excelebration took the step up to ten furlongs, better than I expected and ran to my pre-race assent of him on 120. This was judged through the race speed efficiency of 101.5% through runner up, Churchill (121). I recently wrote that this flat season is substandard and I found no horse to have run above Ribchester's 124 in the Queen Anne Stakes but as often is the case, the International Stakes upped the ante with the winner, Ulysses. The four year old was giving seven pounds away to the classic generation and yet was going away with two lengths to spare at the line. Over the trip of one mile and two furlongs, a length equals a pound which means that Ulysses performed at least nine pounds better than Churchill in the race, when added in the weight difference to the win distance.
That is a significant rating, not only in British racing but in global horse racing ratings because the world's best horse - at the time of writing - is the American trained Arrogate on 134, followed by the Australian mare Winks (132). It would put Ulysses 130 into third place. I'm not sure what the British Horse Racing Authority will rate Sir Michael Stoute's colt but in handicapping this performance is solid on the clock and against the opposition so 130 is not an exaggeration. With Arrogate seemingly not the force he was last year and Winks likely not to participate, the Breeder's Cup Classic would be a fascinating race for Ulysses to become the best horse in the world but the Breeder's Cup Turf may seem a more viable option. In the meantime, there is the Prix de L'arc de Triomphe and British Champion Stakes there to be won and Ulysses would be a tough nut to crack in those contests. He gets further than ten furlongs and would have won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes if he didn't have to give a ridiculous amount of weight to Enable, as good as she is. He conceded a stone to the talented mare that day and despite the distance of 4 1/2 lengths between the pair, Ulysses performed with great credit. Another thing to mention from the Juddmonte International Stakes is that four of the first five home were by Galileo and although Coolmore didn't win the race, they will be pleased as they also have the sire of the other horse in the first five, Excellebration's Barney Roy.
ALMANZOR- RETIRED TO STUD BY JAMIE LINDSEY It was with great disappointment that I learned that Almanzor had been retired, he is not the first to have to retire prematurely this flat season with Postponed and Minding also having to retire to the breeding side of the sport due to an injury. Almanzor had swept all before him in 2016, he looked set to be the jewel in the European racing crown in 2017. Although from early spring things went wrong for him and his trainer Jean Claude Rouget. A nasty virus which sadly proved fatal for some of Rouget’s horses, meant Almanzor had to be put into quarantine to protect him. That meant there would be no Royal Ascot and no target for the foreseeable future. After months of getting Almanzor back to full fitness, Rouget sent him to Deauville for a Group 3. That very race would prove to be his last, as he looked far from the same horse who had completed the Irish & British Champion stakes double, in the end he was a lacklustre fifth. Although let’s remember him for his best performances. Last year he burst onto the scene with an authorative victory in the Prix Du Jockey Club (French Derby). His biggest task would come at Leopardstown for the prestigious Irish Champion Stakes, Where he faced a world class field including eight fellow Group 1 winners, who had taken out 16 Group 1 wins between them. So on a glorious twilight Saturday evening in Dublin, Almanzor confirmed himself as Europe’s best 3yo Colt, he came from the rear of the and displayed his ‘electrifying’ turn of foot to beat Arc hero Found. It confirmed him as Europe’s best 3yo Colt. If anyone had any doubt about that statement then it was laid to rest on Champions day at Ascot, where he beat Found again to win the Champion Stakes in the style of an absolute champion. His regular jockey Cristophe Soumilion won’t have ridden many better horses. In total Almanzor won 8 of his 11 races, and won a tremendous £2,135,990 in prize money. God speed Almanzor we certainly won’t forget you. Allez!
GALWAY FESTIVAL ROUND - UP BY JAMIE LINDSEY Racing fans from all corners of Ireland make the trip west to Galway for the famous Galway festival. With a mixture of top class Jumps and flat racing there was some more stories to be made. Let’s have a look at the stories from the seven day extravaganza. Balko leaves opposition toiling in the plate: Henry De Bromhead’s impressive chaser captured another big prize for the Gigginstown house stud operation. After tracking the leaders until the 2nd last, Davy Russell made his move and Balko Des Flos asserted clear of the chasing pack, winning by nearly five lengths at the line. The 3/1 favourite Shaneshill powered home for 2nd ahead of Slowmotion who ran a career best.
Tigris roars to Hurdle glory: Joseph O’Brien good week at Galway got even better when Tigris River got up in the last few strides to beat Swamp Fox. Barry Geraghty get everything out of his horse who had trailed by two lengths coming into the last furlong. Willie Mullins’s Airlie Beach who had been level with Swamp Fox at the final hurdle dropped back to finish third.
Mullins runs riot with a fine training performance: Few trainers have managed to get into double figure winners at the Galway Festival. Willie Mullins joined the list with a stunning twelve winners. Few will have been sweeter than seeing young apprentice Aubrey McMahon beat the cyberbullies to win the 100,000 euro Connacht Hotel Handicap on day one. It was a fantastic story and particularly inspiring after having bullies picking on him on social media. Whiskey Sour went on to win again on the Saturday.
Robbie McNamara trains first winner at Ballybrit: After all that Robbie McNamara has been through, it was brilliant to see him land his first Galway festival winner after Riven Light won the Colm Quinn BMW Handicap on day two. As Riven Light and Declan McDonagh were heading back to the winners enclosure, a warm generous round of applause greeted connections of the horse. It was certainly the most popular winner of the week.
Geraghty’s return to the saddle proves successful: As a top jockey and retained rider to JP McManus, Barry Geraghty was always going to have plenty of ammunition at Galway. His first ride back was a winning one when he teamed up with Landofhopeandglory to win the first race of week. A further three winners followed, including Tigris River in the Galway Hurdle. A job well done, We hope Barry has an injury free season ahead.
AUBREY BEAT THE BULLIES BY DARREN CONNOLLY “Don’t give up your day job because you will never
make it as a jockey” is one of numerous slanderous comments directed at 19-yr-old jockey Aubrey McMahon that nearly stopped Aubrey from experiencing the joy of winning the €100,000 Connacht Hotel Handicap on the first day at the Galway Festival. Which he was victorious on Whiskey Sour, which just happened to be owned by proud his father, Luke. In early September 2014, Aubrey, from Kildare, obtained his first winner as an amateur jockey. But two years ago, his dream of being a jockey lay in shreds. After unidentified cowards targeted him on social media, so he decided to turn his back on racing as he could not handle the animosity. “I don’t want to bring attention on myself, but I think it’s important for people to know what cyberbullying can do and how it can affect people. I want to raise awareness of how it can affect people and the awful effects it can have,” Aubrey stated “Thankfully, I don’t take on board what strangers say about me anymore. “There were lots of unidentified tweets about me on Twitter and I was called every name under the sun and the hatred towards me was just awful,” he said. “I knew it wasn’t anyone I knew, but it still got to me. After a few more races, I was starting to get paranoid about what was going to be on my phone.” When Aubrey found an upsetting online forum about him, it proved too much. “You would get a dirty message full of hatred and nasty language. I was starting to not enjoy going out in races as I didn’t know what would be on my phone when I got back,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t the worst rider but I was really doubting myself. Keyboard warriors definitely played a role in turning me away from racing.” One year later, at the age of 17, he put away his racing silks for what he thought would be for good. He got a job as a junior trader in Sandyford in Dublin. “I had great prospects but horse racing was always my first love,” he said. Aubrey realised he had to change his mentality about social media and cyberbullying. “When you are young, you can take what is said to you and about you on social media a lot more to heart and it can affect you in a big way as you are at that awkward age,” he said. Aubrey then realised he had the drive for racing again and started riding out a few days a week with Gordon Elliot and then with Mullins as well. “Thankfully, my confidence in my ability is now back and I’m not listening to the keyboard bullies anymore.”
IRISH RACING APPEAL FOR LOTTIE BY DARREN CONNOLLY
“Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others”
Centre, New York. Her family and treating team have identified this as the best option to help keep Lottie neuroblastoma free. Lottie and her loving family remain ever positive and prepared to fight and are appealing for your help to raise £200k to access the trial; cover the associated costs (e.g. travel and accommodation); and to ensure a contingency for any unforeseen complications.
We recently heard about the heart-breaking story about a wee girl named Lottie. who has been fighting high-risk neuroblastoma since she was twoyears-old. A joyful little girl with a sweet nature, she “We will never leave her side. We’ll never give up, loves to create and loves anything pink and sparkly. we’ll fight with her, for her, and next to her.” Lottie’s parents, Charlotte and Dave. Now 4 years old, Lottie has been responding well to Please get behind this campaign frontline standard treatment and is due to finish immunotherapy at the end of September 2017. This and help spread the word. will mark the end of her treatment in the UK, at To text donate, text LWJJ86 and your amount £1 – which point it is wished that her end-of-treatment £10 to 70070. If you’d like help supporting Lottie’s scans will show no evidence of this disease. campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising Then, to keep Lottie in remission and help prevent team on 0207 284 0800 or relapse, which she is more vulnerable to because www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/solvingkidsc her primary tumour had MYCN markers, her next ancer/lottiewoods-john challenge will be to access the Bivalent Vaccine Follow her team twitter page – @team_lottie_ clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer
HORSE RACING THE FULL PICTURE BY CHARLIE MCGREEVY
Recently horse racing in general has gone under the microscope, this includes trainers,owners,riders and everything connected with the sport of kings. The Racing post has ran several articles in recent months, covering apprentice system, use of the whip and the recent wrong horse entered at Yarmouth debacle, to be honest the views on these articles have caused quite a stir within the ranks of the racing world. Couple this with the recent increase of fighting at some race tracks and the more recent incident involving Davy Russell, who appeared to strike his horse for approaching the show hurdle too fast. Some race courses have to find funding for their meetings by putting on Concert's after races are finished to fund the prize money available for winning connections. This can attract the wrong kind of audience and in some cases can lead to criminal activity. I have an image taken by Andy Parka one of my close friends on twitter from his recent trip to Sandown please find that picture left. The above image was taken at Sandown shortly after gates opened at 4pm. The first race was scheduled for 5.35 and the concert didn't start until 9.45, thus giving the crowd 4hrs of drinking time before the main event they came for began. I understand that funding for racing events can be expensive and the prize money available has to come from somewhere, but if the safety of all attending races has to be met then surely more has to be done to make sure everyone has an enjoyable experience when they pay their admission fee. Now personally I feel that horse racing in general isn't being reported properly. Yes sometimes incidents do occur that have no place at any sporting event, but to only pick up on the negative side of racing is wrong. I have followed horse racing most of my Adult life and find that generally around 95% of those involved with horse racing love and care for the horses they have access to. PICTURE FROM ANDY PARKA
I also find that the majority of racing fans who frequent race days to see these animals race do so in a respectable fashion. Although sadly some only tag along for the chance to get absolutely wasted, becoming a threat to not only themselves but everyone around them.
It saddens me to see incidents like these tarnish the name of a sport that has a huge following worldwide. When there are some extraordinary stories of the bond shared between horses and everyone connected with them, one example of this is an article I read recently from the handler of Permian who was fatally injured in America. It's these heart warming moments that mould the sport into something racing fans latch onto, so if they only concentrate on the negative side it displays a lopsided argument and is not in the best interests of the sport. In order for the sport to thrive as it has done for centuries, we all need to pull together and do the right thing by each other, that way the sport will grow and develop naturally and these things that tarnish the sport will be a thing of the past.
WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG? BY Breandan O hUallachain
Caravaggio was supposed to be the next big thing, ‘a wonder horse’ according to connections. He was clocked at a faster speed than any horse on the Ballydoyle gallops, so what went wrong?
With his prospective stud career value now falling even more, O'Brien claimed it was an issue with the horse’s shoes which cause both bad runs. he explained that Caravaggio was shod prior to the July Cup, and the style of shoe was then changed “.to one with a bit of rubber between the foot and the shoe itself.”
In June the three-year old son of Scat Daddy took his unbeaten sequence to six races with an impressive victory in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. An ambitious plan was even being spoken about of travelling Down Under later in the season for a crack at ‘The Everest’ a new AUD $10 million race at Randwick Racecourse on Saturday 14th October. The Group 1 Darley July Cup over 6 furlongs would soon bring that plan into question.
Despite his bad run at Newmarket, O’Brien has now admitted that it didn’t occur to anyone that the shoes might have been the issue at that time. It was jockey Ryan Moore who told the multiple-times Champion Flat Trainer that the horse had been uncomfortable when he ran at Deauville. It was only then they realised the shoes were affecting the colt and that Caravaggio wasn’t comfortable with them: “..(Caravaggio) was just not getting any traction so he couldn’t use his big stride to pick the runners.”
A horse, would looked as though he might be crowned the top three-year old of the season, soon trailed home a well beaten fourth, two-length behind Harry Angel, in the Newmarket race. The stud value of Caravaggio was dented by that defeat so Ballydoyle went on a rescue mission to the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, only for the hot favourite to come home sixth of the 13 runners, beaten more than four lengths by Brando. How could a top class horse, previously so Impressive in his six-race winning sequence, flop on consecutive occasions, and see his standing fall so much at the business end of the flat season?
Ryan Moore told O’Brien after the Deauville race that Caravaggio was changing his legs and was never comfortable. Considering that the he was very sore following the French race, his trainer now firmly blames the shoes for his last two poor results. Unfortunately it now unlikely the son of Scat Daddy will make the long journey to Sydney for ‘The Everest’. The prospect of his running there would have been exciting for Irish racing and would have given the new Australian race a high international profile with an Aidan O’Brien-trained Coolmore-owned runner in the field.
Caravaggio’s reputation now needs to be salvaged in The upcoming Derrinstown Stud Flying Five on Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
10 NOVICE HURDLERS TO FOLLOW BY STUART WILLIAMS 1.
DEBUCHET 4-y-o gr g TRAINER: Mags Mullins
Second in the Grade 1 Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in March, Mags Mullins’ gorgeous grey was the model of consistency last term, posting form figures of 2121 in high quality National Hunt Flat races on both sides of the Irish Sea. Having found only the hugely talented pair of Red Jack and Fayonagh too good last term, Debuchet proved himself to be well above average when slamming his opposition at both Leopardstown and Limerick either side of his top class Prestbury Park effort. The son of Smadoun looked the winner at Cheltenham before the mighty mare Fayonagh hit overdrive in the final furlong of the contest. And having enjoyed another summer at grass to both strengthen and mature, Debuchet looks to set to enjoy a hugely profitable season over timber.
2. FAYONAGH 6-y-o b m TRAINER: Gordon Elliott
A mare who requires no introduction, the Champion Bumper winner is without doubt the name on the lips of every ardent National Hunt supporter this Autumn, and looks set for a hugely exciting season jumping hurdles. Unbeaten in 4 starts for Gordon Elliott (8th on racecourse debut), it was the manner in which Fayonaghstormed up the hill at Cheltenham that really caught the imagination of the jumping fraternity, and it looks as though 2-and-a-half-miles could be the ideal trip for the strong looking daughter of Kalanisi this term. Whether Elliott will keep the mighty mare against her own sex or look to battle the boys this term will be fascinating to see. But whichever route they do decide to take, Fayonagh looks set to take high rank in the novice hurdle division this winter.
3. GETABIRD 5-y-o b g TRAINER: Willie Mullins
Antepost favourite for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham after a deeply impressive debut success at Fairyhouse last December, Rich Ricci’s son of Germany disappointingly didn’t make it to the Festival after suffering a setback when landing the odds on Thyestes day at Gowran Park in January. There was plenty of talk about the powerful looking 5-year-old prior to his successful debut at Fairyhouse last term, and we know how little it takes for people to latch on to these Rich Ricci owned – Willie Mullins trained youngsters following the obscene amount of success experienced with the likes of Champagne Fever, Douvan, Faugheen and Vautour in recent years. That said, you can’t argue with what Getabird has shown on the track thus far, and he rates an exciting novice hurdle prospect for the powerful partnership this winter. A winner between the flags at Largy in April 2016, Getabird could be one for middle distance novice hurdles this winter. And, like many of these, looks set to contest graded events this season
10 NOVICE HURDLERS TO FOLLOW BY STUART WILLIAMS 4. OUTOFTHISWORLD 4-y-o b/br m TRAINER: Harry Fry
Harry Fry has shown that he’s more than capable with the ladies in recent years, and in Outofthisworld the Cheltenham Festival winning trainer looks to have another very special lady in his life. This talented daughter of Shantou ran out an eye catching 11 length winner of a Market Rasen bumper in late March, where the 4-y-o showed an impressive turn of foot when Noel Fehily sent her about her business with 2 furlongs left to run. It’s possible that Harry Fry could aim Outofthisworld at the Listed Mares’ Bumper at Cheltenham’s Open Meeting in November, a race he won with smart race mare Bitofapuzzle in 2014, before sending the talented mare over timber this winter. And if that is indeed the plan, she’s
certainly one to take very seriously both at Cheltenham in November and be-
5. RAVENHILL ROAD 6-y-o ch g TRAINER: Brian Ellison
Ravenhill Road burst in to the scene with a hugely impressive bumper success at Market Rasen last October, before following up in equally impressive fashion at Doncaster one month later. The 6-year-old received a couple of novice hurdle entries following his second bumper success last term, before looking likely to run in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival in March. However disappointingly we didn’t get to see the imposing chestnut gelding again last term, but I’m sure connections will be eager to get the youngster back on track in the early exchanges of this season. The winner of his sole Point at Broughshane in May 2016, Brian Ellison looks to have a very smart prospect on his hands this winter, who looks more than capable of holding his own in graded company should he receive a clear run
6. RED JACK 4-y-o b g TRAINER: Noel Meade
The subject of much talk on social media this summer, Red Jack could take high rank in the novice hurdle division this season after recording a brace of victories from as many starts in bumpers last term. A debut succes over subsequent Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper runner up Debuchet certainly reads well, and the third home, Le Richebourg, has also given the form a solid look since. JP McManus wasted no time in signing a cheque to secure the services of Red Jack following his debut success at Naas in January, and given the way he stormed to success when last seen at Fairyhouse, it certainly looks money well spent. Likely to start out over the minimum trip this autumn, the son of Mahler could easily develop into a serious contender for either the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle or Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle come the spring.
10 NOVICE HURDLERS TO FOLLOW BY STUART WILLIAMS 7. SAMCRO 5-y-o ch g TRAINER: Gordon Elliott
This £335,000 Gigginstown House Stud purchase barely needs any introduction, promise he showed on the racetrack last term.
especially given the
The gorgeous, scopey son of Germany recorded three successive bumper victories last term, the most impressive of the trio coming at Fairyhouse in April when sprinting clear of his field after being asked to quicken by Lisa O’Neil, displaying an impressive range of gears that will undoubtedly stand the youngster in good stead over the years to come. That performance gave me the impression that Samcro could be seen to best effect of intermediate trips this winter, with his potent blend of speed and stamina making the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle look an ideal long range target. Indeed we may not see the best of Samcro until he embarks on a novice chase career in 12 months time. However he looks more than capable of securing graded success over timber this winter.
8. THE BIG BITE 4-y-o b g 8. THE BIG BITE 4-y-o b g TRAINER: Tom Lacey
If you didn’t witness the victory of The Big Bite you really did miss out! Having been held up in rear the rangy youngster looked outpaced over 3 furlongs, running greener than a seasick sailor, before realising what his job was about and flying home in the final furlong to beat the Nicky Henderson trained mare Polly’s Pursuit by an easy 3-and-a-half-lengths. Given the manor in which the son of Scorpion approached the first 1m7f of that contest – his winning margin, and the speed at which he hit the line, mark him out as a very exciting prospect for novice hurdles this season. A nice long summer at grass can only have done the 4-year-old the world of good, allowing him time mature both mentally and physically before embarking on a career over timber. Remember the name, The Big Bite.
9. VISION DES FLOS 4-y-o b g TRAINER: Colin Tizzard
9. VISION DES FLOS 4-y-o b g FORM: 1
Winner of the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival in April, this good looking son of Balko traveled strongly throughout the 2 mile contest before making smooth headway approaching the turn for home and gamely seeing off the Willie Mullins trained Hollowgraphic on the run to the line. Its always pleasing to see a young horse have the guts to put his head down and battle in the early stages of their career, and the attitude Vision Des Flos displayed to repel what looked a strong looking field is certainly a promising sign for the gelding going forwards. Transferred to Colin Tizzard this summer, the 4-year-old can only improve for both the experience he gained at Punchestown and the subsequent summer break that will have provided the talented youngster with ample of time to mature and grow both mentally and physically ahead of his novice hurdle campaign. I fully expect to see Vision Des Flos contesting graded novice events in Britain this winter. 10. WHISKEY IN THE JAR 5-y-o b g TRAINER: Dan Skelton
This gorgeous son of Oscar looks a very exciting young prospect for the ever flourishing Lodge Hill operation of Dan Skelton. And although we may not see the best of him until he embarks on a chasing career this time next year, he certainly rates a top prospect for novice hurdles this winter. Badly hampered before staying on well to take second behind the talented Monbeg Worldwide (who has won twice subsequently) in a Roscommon bumper last October, Whiskey In The Jar ran out a facile winner on his only start for Dan Skelton last term. With Harry Skelton enjoying what can only be described as an armchair ride at Warwick in March. Dan Skelton has a number of talented youngsters entering the novice hurdling ranks this winter, and it goes without saying that Whiskey In The Jar must sit pretty high up in the pecking order at Lodge Hill.
CALLUM RODRIGUEZ INTERVIEW BY RICHARD WILLIAMS
Callum Rodriguez and Iain Jardine celebrate with Nakeeta Ebor victory
What is your 1st memory of horse racing? Callum: My first memory in racing is sitting around the tv with my family watching the grand national. Did you always want to be a Jockey? Callum: I've always ridden ponies, I was torn between being a jockey or a professional boxer. I'm glad I chose to be a jockey. How do you go about becoming a Jockey & did you have a hero/inspiration in the industry? Callum: I started out for Richard ford, his yard was just around the corner from my aunties house so used to go over on weekends and never looked back. My hero would be Frankie Dettori, he's been consistently top class for such a long time Callum: Can you remember your 1st & last winners? My first winner was insolence of office in an apprentice handicap and Hamilton on my 3rd ride. What is a normal day for Callum Rodriguez? Callum: In the morning I would muck out 3 horses, then ride out between 4-7 lots. Then going racing often go for a run around the track when I get there, go over the form, ride in my races. Get home often straight to bed to study form for the next day
CALLUM RODRIGUEZ INTERVIEW BY RICHARD WILLIAMS Who has the best banter in the Weighing Room & who is mostly likely to help you out? Callum: All the jockeys get on well and have a laugh day in day out. Paul Mulrennan and Connor Beasley are a massive help to me as well as my jockey coach Phil Kinsella. What was your 1st day riding out & racing on track like? Callum: After the first time I rode on the gallops Richard ford could never get me away from him yard, I didn't want to do anything else. My first race was annoy of a blur but I will never forget the experience. Do you set yourself season targets? Callum: I don't like to look to far ahead for me, it's just important to keep riding well, keep improving and building my contacts What horse - Past OR Present - would you like to ride? Callum: Enable is an absolute superstar this year, very versatile she would be every jockeys dream ride. Give our readers a couple of horses to follow for either the winter AW season or next season? Callum: I won on Archie's affair on his first run in a handicap this year and he's not stopped improving since. I still don't think we've seen his best yet and he will be interesting next year. It has been an absolute pleasure to talk to you today, we wish you all the best for the rest of the season & the future Callum is currently looking for a new sponsor, so feel free to contact him via @CallumRodrigue04 on Twitter. He is Apprentice Jockey to Michael Dods
Callum celebrates his birthday in style with Redcar winner
A DAY AT THE RACES By Breandan O hUallachain In the first in a new series of articles, 3 furlongs out will look at major race days coming up, giving the necessary details to patrons for organising a ‘Day at the Races’. Leopardstown on Saturday 9 September – Longines Irish Champions Weekend th
Where is Leopardstown Racecourse? Leopardstown in South Co. Dublin, conveniently located just off the M50 motorway, will host one of the best flat racing meeting of the season, not alone in Ireland, but in Europe, when it stages Day 1 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend on Saturday 9th September 2017. The eight-race card will get underway at 3.30pm with some of the top thoroughbreds from around the world competing for an incredible €2.3 million in prize-money. How much does a ticket cost? Admission tickets to Leopardstown for the day vary in price: €20 (OAP/student with card), €30 for adult general admission (but €25 if bought in advance online at www.leopardstown.com) or €60 for Premium Level access. The general admission ticket gives full access to the entire racecourse enclosure including the lower level of the Grandstand. The Premium Level ticket gives access to the higher level of the Grandstand. All children under the age of 16 are free when accompanied by an adult. A good value ticket option, if a person plans on attending Day 2 at The Curragh the following day, is the Weekend Admission ticket for €50, a saving of a ten euro over the two-day festival. What is on that day? Prior to the racing action getting underway Goffs will host a boutique champions’ sale in the parade ring. The horse-in-racing catalogue will offer buyers an opportunity to purchase a horse currently in training. Racegoers will have the chance to win the ultimate test drive of the F-PACE, Jaguar’s performance SUV, winner of World Car of the Year 2017. Patrons may enter the competition, free of charge, at the Jaguar stand at Leopardstown. Longines, title sponsors of the Irish Champions Weekend, will give patrons an opportunity to win some of the €25,000 in prizes on offer as part of its Longines Prize for Elegance. The prizes include shopping experiences at top fashion houses such as Louise Kennedy, Louis Copeland and Kildare Village. A stay at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin is the prize for the most elegant male and female attendant at Leopardstown and The Curragh the following day. Tell me a little about the feature race. The feature race of the day, the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, is ranked as the joint second highest-rated flat race in the world, and was the top rated race in Europe last season. Past winners include Saddlers Wells, Sea The Stars, So You Think and the recently-retired Almanzor. In 2016 eight of the 12 runners in the race had won 17 Group 1 races between them, while runners in last year’s race subsequently won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France, the QIPCO British Champion Stakes and the Breeders Cup Turf. How do I get to Leopardstown? If travelling by car remain on the M50 motorway, going southbound, and take exit 15.
you to the racecourse.
If travelling from Dublin City Centre take the LUAS from St. Stephen’s Green to Sandyford where you can catch a complimentary shuttle bus service which brings
Where do I get more information? Further information can be found on www.irishchampionsweekend.ie or on www.leopardstown.com.
NATIONAL HUNT COUNTDOWN By MARK KEATING
However, those exact calculations gave me a higher figure for Douvan. He got a 179 for beating Sizing John at Leopardstown and he scored that hard held on the bridle. Therefore, I would expect Douvan - on all known form - to be a better horse that Altior but obviously he is likely to improve. With this in mind, I believe that Douvan should stick to two miles which could see Min going up in trip. RIch and Sussanah Ricci own both horses as they do There has been some talk of him going up in trip and his Djakadam. The twice Gold Cup runner up looked the winner all the way to two out last season at his third temperament would certainly help him get home over further. The success of Sizing John is further reason for attempt of the blue riband but seemingly emptied from there on to come home a tired fourth. It has since been it as Douvan regularly beat him by distance over two suggested by Mullins that the horse may now come miles. back in trip which would likely see him line up in the However, keeping him to two miles might be a better option as there is unlikely to be a better horse at that trip Ryanair Chase in March. from Willie Mullins' stable. Injury also setback Min last year, who didn't even get to Cheltenham and old foe If Douvan sticks to two miles and Djakadam goes to the Altior is likely to be waiting in the Champion Chase next Ryanair then that would very possibly see Min as RIcci's March. On their only meeting in the 2016 Supreme Gold Cup hope. Like Douvan, Min is by Walk in the Park Novices' Hurdle, Altior beat Min by seven lengths and and also has that laid back temperament which would while a mistake at the third and a guess at the fourth likely see him home over further. Min is by Montjeu who didn't help Min's chances there is no reason to believe is a son of Saddler's Wells and he is out of a grandthat the best horse didn't win the race. daughter of Top Ville. The mix of Saddler's Wells and Top Ville produced the great four time Ascot Gold Cup winner, Yeats. There is plenty of stamina evident there Altior last season took the step out of novice company on two occasions and both times won handy. At his best and he is inbred to both Top Ville (4 X 3) and Saddler's Wells' sire, Northern Dancer (4 X 5). last season, I found he ran to a potential 172 in the Granted, Min can run keen in his races and he'll have to Game Spirit Chase by my own calculations of race learn to settle but if he does and Ricci and Mullins efficiency and distance of his win over classy Fox Norcampaign the other horses as looks likely, then I think ton. This unofficial figure is his best for me and he the stamina is on the page for Min to turn into a Gold achieved it all out. Cup contender of which Betfair price him up at 9/1.
The quality national hunt racing is fast approaching and it won't be long until superstars like Douvan will be unleashed. A stress fracture of the ileum was the reason for his below par display in the Queen Mother Champion Chase but despite the disappointment, the injury has a good prognosis and Douvan should be back to his best this season.
DANYA LEE IN CONVERSATION By RICHARD WILLIAMS Dayna has recently trained at the National Racing School & now works for Nicky Henderson at Seven Barrows, today we find out about the NRC & Life at Seven Barrows What is your 1st memory of Horse Racing? DAYNA: I think my first ever memory of watching racing was probably watching Amberleigh House win the Grand National in 2004! Have you always been interested in Horses & how did this start? Dayna at NRC
DAYNA: My love for horses is probably all down to my mum. She’s always had horses, so I’ve always been around them and ended up catching the horsey bug! I got my first pony for my seventh birthday, a little Shetland called Bobby who was very naughty! I then got my second pony Yeoman who was also a little monkey and then Harry, a gorgeous little grey Connemara who I’ve had lots of fun with over the years. Before I went into racing I did quite a lot of showing, my biggest win was probably at the Ultimate Showcase Of Champions with little Bobby! You have recently graduated from the National Racing College, how did you find the course? DAYNA: It was hard and very challenging, it really pushes you but it was the best twelve weeks of my life. The instructors there are fantastic and are so supportive when you have a bad day when things aren’t going to plan or you have a fall (I had many falls during my time at the NRC!) and they help you keep that positive mindset you’ll need when you go into the industry. It’s also hard to believe that many students that go to the Northern Racing College have never even sat on a horse before, and for the college to get them riding racehorses on the gallops in only twelve weeks is pretty amazing! The horses aren’t the easiest, but they don’t half teach you to ride! I rode a tiny little mare Twinkle a lot and she was deadly! I’ve lost count the amount of times she managed to get me off coming out of the “dip” because she used to pull herself up and fire some bucks in, so most of the time I just ended up on the floor! The people though are what make the experience a thousand times better. There was seven of us on our course which was tiny considering the college usually gets large groups up to twenty and we were all pretty much like a big family who supported each other through everything. What could we expect if we were to go to the NRC? Dayna and Charlie Parcs DAYNA: The first thing I’ll say is be prepared to work hard. It’s a long day at the NRC, starting at 6:30am to feed and you then have to muck your two out starting at 7:00am, and be pulled out for first lot by 8:15am. First lot is always in the school, so you can work on your weaknesses to improve your riding and technique to make you a better rider on the gallops. Breakfast is always after first lot at 9:30am. Second and third lot are the gallops lot and you’ll usually finish for lunch around 1pm. Lunch lasts an hour until 2pm and then you have an afternoon of lectures and evening stables to do. You tend to finish evening stables around 5:30pm and then go off for some tea before the evening programme starts where you learn everything racing! One word of advice, if you’re not willing to put 100% into everything and push yourself to your ultimate limit, then the Northern Racing College probably isn’t the place for you!
DANYA LEE IN CONVERSATION By RICHARD WILLIAMS After graduating, you are now with Nicky Henderson at Seven Barrows, how did that come about? DAYNA: Basically, in your last couple of weeks at the Northern Racing College you get to choose what yard you’d like to go to and obviously I said Nicky Henderson! How was your 1st day & have you settled into life at Seven Barrows ok? DAYNA: My first day was quite nerve-wracking. Starting work at a big yard where you know absolutely nobody is just a little bit daunting to say the least! I remember the first horse I ever rode was the smart filly Tell It To Me who’s only had a couple of runs in bumpers, she won her latest by 8 lengths! The other filly I rode on my first day was Turn Turk who was a total sweetheart! I’ve been at Seven Barrows nearly four months now and I couldn’t have asked for a better job. I look after four lovely horses: Royal Irish Hussar, Malton Rose, Take To Heart & Barman who I can’t wait to take racing when the National Hunt season starts! Can you tell us about your general day to day at Seven Barrows? DAYNA: A typical day usually starts around 6:15am when most people are on the yard mucking out their four horses. First lot pulls out for 7:30am and then we have breakfast at around 8:30am. Second lot we pull out after breakfast, and then we ride third and fourth lot and we usually get finished for around 1pm. Dayna and Jenkins
What are the hopes & aspirations for the future? DAYNA: Right now I’m just focusing on improving my riding and trying to be the best I can be. I would love to train in the future though. If you could own any horse - Past OR Present - who would it be & why? DAYNA: It would probably be Denman. He’s one of my favourite ever horses and he always tried his absolute best no matter what and I adore horses like him.
If you wish to follow Dayna Lee’s adventures at Seven Barrows, you can via Twitter - @rockonxruby
NOVICE CHASERS TO FOLLOW By STUART WILLIAMS 1. BACARDYS 6-y-o b g TRAINER: Willie Mullins
IDEAL CONDITIONS: 2m4f – 3m Gd – Hy
I’m not sure this talented son of Coastal Path truly got the credit he deserved last term having won both the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle and Grade 1 Tattersalls Irish Champion Novice Hurdle either side of an unfortunate trip to the Cheltenham Festival when pulling up after being severely hampered by the mid race departure of Consul De Thaix. Indeed the strapping youngster won every race he completed last season, with a debut fall at Cork and his luckless Cheltenham Festival effort the only blemishes in what was otherwise a hugely successful campaign. The winner of a maiden point at Quakerstown in April 2015, Bacardyslooked a very smart prospect in the hands of Derek O’Connor, who has spoke in glowing terms about the 6-year-old subsequently. Willie Mullins’ charge lowered the colours of the hugely exciting Finian’s Oscar at Punchestown in April, form that rates very highly indeed. He is without question a serious Grade 1 contender this winter and could easily develop into a strong contender for the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival come March. 2. BALLYANDY 6-y-o b g TRAINER: Nigel Twiston-Davies
IDEAL CONDITIONS: 2m – 2m4f Gd – Sft
Surprisingly there’s been very little chit chat about last season’s hugely impressive Betfair Hurdle winner in the bulid up to the jumps season proper, something I consider quite perplexing given the fact he was extremely well supported to taste Cheltenham Festival success for the second year in succession at Prestbury Park in March before enduring a nightmare passage through the curtain raising contest, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, when finishing fourth. Having taken time to adapt to jumping hurdles, the 2016 Champion Bumper winner made a mockery of an opening handicap mark of 135 in Newbury’s valuable February contest, confirming the huge promise he’d shown early in his career. Ballyandy is certainly a fine stamp of a horse, and without doubt has the scope to jump fences should connections give him the green light to do so this autumn. If indeed they do, it goes without saying that the son of Kayf Tara would rate an extremely exciting prospect this winter, with either the Arkle Novices Chase or JLT Novives Chase likely Cheltenham Festival targets come the spring. 3. DEATH DUTY 6-y-o b g TRAINER: Gordon Elliott
IDEAL CONDITIONS: 2m4f – 3m Sft – Hy
Had Death Duty converted favouritism into success in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in the spring he would undoubtedly be the name on the lips of every ardent National Hunt Racing enthusiast on both sides of the Irish Sea. However the talented son of Shantou ejected jockey Bryan Copper at the final flight of hurdles, and even if he hadn’t, he certainly wouldn’t have been troubling the judges. The apple of Gordon Elliott’s eye, Death Duty landed novice hurdles at Grade 3, Grade 2 and Grade 1 level last winter, and has always been considered a hugely exciting chasing prospect by both Elliot and owners Gigginstown House Stud. Death Duty claimed the scalps of many talented opponents last term, including Blood Crazed Tiger, Invitation Only, Monalee and Turcagua before his disappointing effort at Prestbury Park in the Spring. Something that shouldn’t be easily forgotten. The Albert Bartlett is always an attritional contest in which many a ‘good one’ has been beaten over the years. That defeat aside, the 6-year-old remains a hugely exciting prospect for 2m4f – 3m novice chase’s this winter
NOVICE CHASERS TO FOLLOW By STUART WILLIAMS 4. FINIAN’S OSCAR 5-y-o b g
TRAINER: Colin Tizzard
IDEAL CONDITIONS: 2m – 2m5f Gd – Sft
Last season Finian’s Oscar progressed from Point winner to Grade 1 winning novice hurdler in just 77 days, a hugely impressive feat I’m sure you’d agree. However even more impressive was the manner in which he achieved his victory at Portrush in October, clocking a time only comparable to Cheltenham Festival winners Brindisi Breeze and Simonsig in the pointing field over the last 10 years. The talented son of Oscar shot to the head of the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle market following a smooth success in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle in January, before falling victim to a stone bruise which ruled the youngster out of competing on jump racing’s biggest stage just days before the greatest show on turf got underway. A huge disappointment for connections and ardent racing enthusiasts alike. However the hugely exciting 5-year-old gained Grade 1 compensation at Aintree in April, and very nearly secured a top level treble when narrowly being denied by the aforementioned Bacardys in a head bobbing battle to the line at the Punchestown Festival. Where, if splitting hairs, Robbie Power perhaps set sail for home a tad early, leaving himself vulnerable to dogged Willie Mullins trained winner late on. Colin Tizzard has some serious National Hunt firepower residing in his Venn Farm Stables at Present, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Finian’s Oscar has the potential to the scale the upper echelons of the chasing division over the years to come. However this year the JLT Novices’ Chase would look the ideal long term target given the geldings rich blend of both speed and stamina. 5. MONALEE 6-y-o b g TRAINER: Henry De Bromhead
IDEAL CONDITIONS: 2m4f – 3m Gd – Hy
Henry De Bromhead’s scopey son of Milan performed to a very high standard in novice hurdles last term, with his best performance coming at the Cheltenham Festival in March when chasing home Penhill in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. The talented 6-year-old displayed his ability early doors last season, with a victory over the smart pair The Storytellar and Turcagua at Punchestown in November preceding a fair effort in defeat at Navan one month later, where De Bromhead’s charge split the well regarded duo of Death Duty and Invitation Only in second. Punchestown was perhaps a step too far for Monalee, who appeared to be feeling the effects of what is always a gruelling Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle. However it certainly takes no gloss off what he achieved last term, and I’m sure connections will be excited to see what their classy performer is capable of over the lager obstacles this winter. De Bromhead certainly hasn’t looked to play down the regard in which he holds his talented gelding, who looks every inch a graded staying chaser in the making. And like Bacardys, I fully expect to see the Monalee develop into a serious contender for the RSA Chase come March. 6. MOVEWITHTHETIMES 6yo ch g Presenting (UK) TRAINER: Paul Nicholls
IDEAL CONDITIONS: 2m – 2m4f GS – Sft
Paul Nicholls certainly has plenty to look forward too this winter, with the master of Ditcheat set to unleash a particularly strong team of novice chasers this season, including the JP McManus owned Movewiththetimes. Form figures of 1412 over timber read extremely well for a horse who’s built for one job, and one job only. And this son of Presenting could easily take high rank in the 2m – 2m4f novice chase divisions this winter. Badly hampered in a Grade 2 contest won by Champion Hurdle runner Moon Racer at Cheltenham in November, the strapping 6-y-o’s best effort came in the ultra competitive Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, where he broke free of the field with fellow novice Ballyandy, who pipped him to the prize by just three-quarters of a length at the line. A small setback scuppered plans for Movewiththetimes to line up in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, a contest for which he had been well supported on the back of his Betfair Hurdle second. However I’d imagine connections wouldn’t have been overly dismayed given Paul Nicholls’ modus operandi of giving future chasers an easy time of things in their novice hurdle year.
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