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National Hunt 2014

Making Waves


trainers talk social media, training, the art of buying and taking time out

THE POINT OF IT ALL Sam Curling’s P2P school


Naas native Jamie Heaslip on the Punchestown Festival



Holywell – another magic moment for vendor Peter Nolan { Land Rover Theatre Of Dreams // Goffs Country // Winning Team // 100 Years of Gowran Park // record breakers //Social Network } Goffs National Hunt Cover_FINAL.indd 1

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02 WELCOME Goffs Chief Executive Henry Beeby welcomes you to the second edition of the National Hunt magazine. 05 NEWS Cheltenham success, winning style at Punchestown, Goffs Thyestes Day sponsorship and Arkle sells at Goffs for the second time. 9 THE winning formula AISLING CROWE talks to Goffs talentspotting team. 15 Making Waves Seven UK-based trainers spill the beans to EMMA BERRY on social media strategies, training methods and the business of buying. 24 MAKING THE POINT Sam Curling is a man with an eye for talent who schools his protégées on the Point-to-Point circuit. JOHNNY WARD saddles up to watch and learn. 32 THE ALCHEMIST Winning sales wizard Peter Nolan talks success stories, breeding beliefs and the bloodstock business to JOSEPH BURKE. 41 THEATRE OF DREAMS JONATHAN MULLIN watches the bidding battle at the Land Rover Sale that landed a record top price of €215,000 at the Kill amphitheatre. 48 home truths Goffs Country, the property division



55 of the bloodstock sales company, has an impeccable pedigree, writes DARAGH Ó CONCHÚIR. 54 CLASS ACT Goffs Thyestes Chase Day offers class racing and a great day out. 55 100 YEARS OF THRILLING A REGION Gowran Park racecourse celebrates its centenary.

Goffs co-ordinator: Niamh O’Hehir; Managing Editor: Mary Connaughton Editor: Alanna Gallagher; Design: Jane Matthews; Contributors: Emma Berry; Joseph Burke; Aisling Crowe; Jonathan Mullin; Daragh O’Conchúir and Johnny Ward Photography: Jennifer O’Sullivan; Sean Breithaupt: Edward Whitaker Helen Richmond; Healy Racing and Peter Mooney Production: Nicole Ennis; Advertising sales manager: Paul


SOCIAL NETWORK Last year’s Land Rover Sale at Goffs and the 2014 GoffsPunchestown Sale at the Punchestown Festival. 64 ON HOME TURF Ireland rugby captain and Land Rover brand ambassador Jamie Heaslip, talks man’s best friend, technology and the Punchestown Festival.

Goffs National Hunt is published by Ashville Media Group, 7 Blackhall Green, Dublin 7. Tel: (01) 432 2200; Fax (01) 672 7100 Email; Material printed in this journal is not necessarily endorsed by Ashville Media Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher is prohibited © 2014

Clemenson; Cover image: Patrick McCann/ The Racing Post

Goff National Hunt

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y common consent the Cheltenham Festival is the centrepiece of every National Hunt season, so naturally National Hunt Sales are largely judged on how their graduates perform on this big stage. And what a year it has been for Goffs Land Rover Sale. The Goffs team was hoarse from roaring home five winners at this year’s Cheltenham Festival and what made these results all the more sweet for us was that the Land Rover Sale was the only store sale to sell Cheltenham Festival winners in 2014. Goffs’ Famous Five was headed by the season’s most exciting novice hurdler and now dual Grade 1 winner, Faugheen, as well as Holywell who followed his Cheltenham success with victory in the Grade 1 Mildmay Novice Chase at Aintree. At Punchestown Goffs graduates excelled once more with Grade 1 victories for Faugheen, Shaneshill and God’s Own. There was also plenty of clapping and cheering in the Punchestown winners’ enclosure following the €100,000 Land Rover Bumper as the Supreme Horse Racing Syndicate’s Very Much So gave Willie Mullins his fourth success in the race. The Doran family of Parkville Stud in Wexford were the lucky recipients of the Land Rover Defender vendor prize and it was hard to tell which set of connections were more excited by the win. While it is wonderful to see Land Rover Sale buyers so richly rewarded, it is just as satisfying to see our loyal vendors reap the rewards in the sales ring. The Land Rover Sale is going from strength to strength each year and in 2013 a new record price of €215,000 capped a tremendous sale that saw a 91 per cent clearance rate on day one and major leaps in average, median and turnover.

Our Punchestown Sale is another that continues to exceed expectations and in four short years has firmly established itself as a market leader in a highly competitive sector with a median price of €90,000 and double the number of six figure lots this year whilst the December National Hunt Sale of select foals has recorded major growth and is fast becoming a first choice sale for Irish National Hunt foal sellers. Goffs is serious about National Hunt although I believe we should change that slogan to passionate as that is the only way to describe the love of the game that is so evident in all of the team here in Kill. I hope that comes across in the pages of this magazine as we trail Sam Curling schooling his protégées on the Point-to-Point circuit, travel to the sunny South-East to Peter Nolan, a wizard when it comes to producing winners; go behind the scenes on sales day at Goffs and we ask what makes seven of National Hunt’s rising training stars tick. As a footnote to all of this who thought John Henry’s world record for the most Grade 1 or Group 1 wins ever would be beaten? But beaten it was by none other than Goffs graduate Hurricane Fly who took his Grade 1 tally to 19, ensuring another legend of the turf is indelibly linked to Goffs. By now you should have received your 2014 Land Rover catalogue and we look forward to your visit. Who knows what future National Hunt legends await you …



Henry Beeby, Group Chief Executive

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Goffs News

Cheltenham Success Store-ies


hat a year it has been for Goffs. The Land Rover Sale was the only National Hunt store sale to sell winners at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival, five in total, while Goffs also enjoyed top level success at the Punchestown and Aintree Festivals as well as numerous other Grade 1s throughout the season. The unbeaten Faugheen, pictured right, led the Goffs Cheltenham success story with victory in the Grade 1 Neptune Investment Management Novice Hurdle for Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci, and confirmed himself as an exciting future Champion Hurdle contender when demolishing the field in the Grade 1 Herald Novice Hurdle at Punchestown. Land Rover purchase Holywell also recorded a Festival double when following his second win at Cheltenham with Grade 1 glory

in the Mildmay Novice Chase at Aintree for Jonjo O’Neill. Spring Heeled, Present View and Balthazar’s Gift were the other Land Rover alumni to win at Cheltenham. Goffs graduates Silver Concorde and Goffs Shaneshill took the Land Rover Grade 1 Champion Sale 11 – 12 June Bumpers at 2014, catalogue Cheltenham and online at Punchestown respectively, while God’s Own provided a further Grade 1 for the Land Rover Sale at Punchestown when winning the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase. This year’s Land Rover catalogue features a strong selection of handpicked Irish stores, both physically and on pedigree, with the potential to emulate the success of their predecessors.

Goffs News



World record breaker

Every horse in the Land Rover catalogue is eligible for the €100,000 Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival 2015.

Brilliant Goffs graduate Hurricane Fly entered the history books this season by setting a new world record for the highest number of Grade 1 victories ever achieved, overtaking American legend John Henry and the sixteen successes of dual Gold Cup winner Kauto Star and American legend John Henry.

Hurricane Fly’s Grade 1 tally is now at 19, and from his €65,000 purchase price at Goffs as a yearling, Willie Mullins’ stable star has won over €2 million in prize money to date over his remarkable career.

Land Rover Bumper 2014 Very Much So’s victory in the recent Goffs Land Rover Bumper for the Supreme Horse Racing Club saw Marie Doran (pictured), mother of Brian Doran of Parkville Stud, presented with the fantastic vendor prize of a Land Rover Defender. L to r: Goffs CEO Henry Beeby and Land Rover General Manager Eddie Kavanagh.

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Goffs News




December National hunt Sale at Goffs / itba foal show A brilliant 2013 for Goffs finished on a high with increases all round at the December National Hunt Sale. One of the highlights of this select foal sale in recent years has been the preceding E8,000 ITBA Foal Show Championship. Last year the colt class was won by an own brother to Ballabriggs from Ballincurrig House Stud, while the filly class went to a daughter of Yeats from Lewinstown Farm. Both were purchased by Kevin Ross respectively for E30,000 and E25,000.

Buying a piece of history

GRADE A TEAM Goffs has committed to a further four years as title sponsor of Gowran Park’s prestigious Thyestes Chase, the jewel in the crown of the Co. Kilkenny track’s fixture list. With a prize pool of €100,000 the Grade A race is recognised as a trial for the Aintree and Irish Grand Nationals and in 2014 was won for a second time by On His Own, close runner up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Pictured here is Redmills Joe Connolly, Goffs CEO, Henry Beeby and racecourse manager Eddie Scally .

Arkle was famously purchased at Goffs in 1960 by the Duchess Of Westminster, and at the recent Punchestown Sale, Goffs’ auction of a bronze statue of the most celebrated horse in Irish National Hunt history raised E35,000 in funds for ChildVision, Ireland’s National Education Centre for Blind Children. The successful buyer was prominent National Hunt owner Roger Brookhouse. Made by artist Emma McDermott, who completed a life size bronze of the three-time Gold Cup winner that was recently unveiled in Ashbourne, County Meath, the number one in a series of 27 quarter size statues, also known as the ‘maquette’, was gifted to ChildVision to auction. The second in the series was presented to HM Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle by President Michael D Higgins to mark the first state visit by an Irish president to the UK. 

Actress, author and Mrs. Brian O’Driscoll Amy Huberman presented the inaugural Land Rover Style Award at Punchestown to Naas girl Emer Flanagan. She recieved the keys to a brand new Range Rover Evoque, a vehicle dubbed the ‘baby Range Rover’ for its ability to adapt to city driving, which she has use of for the next 12 months. Looking for an outfit with a “modern twist” the judging panel chose Flanagan who wore a cobalt blue Maje dress under a camel coat shrugged onto her shoulders and a fedora that she purchased in the Punchestown Pavilion. Huberman wore a cream Reiss dressed teamed with a sequined Folkster jacket and nude peeptoe heels from the actresses own Bourbon range.

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the goffs team

Winning formula

How do Goffs find their horses? Their inspectors, a select team of specialists, who eat, drink and sleep National Hunt are the sales house’s eyes and ears on the ground. Each talentspotter is an expert with an impressive pedigree, writes Aisling Crowe.

Gerry Hogan

Kevin Ross One of the newest recruits to the team, Kevin has an impeccable pedigree. His family has stood stallions such as Cantab and Religiously at their Co. Antrim farm. Before he became a bloodstock agent, Kevin was an amateur jockey who rode subsequent Grand National winner Bindaree to Point-to-Point victory. More recently, Shaneshill and God’s Own both bought by Kevin at Goffs, were Grade 1 winners at Punchestown 2014. Best horse he has come across “Without a doubt Imperial Commander is the best horse I’ve been involved with. Colin McKeever bought him at Goffs as a store horse and I bought him off Colin as a three-year-old before Christmas for the Our Friends In The North syndicate. We pretrained him at home to win his Point-to-Point. The next year he went to Nigel’s yard. I brought him away one day just after Cheltenham to Fairyhouse and our horses worked along with a few of Tony Martin’s. Imperial Commander was only three-quarters fit but he ended up going up through the whole lot of them and finishing in front so I definitely knew then that he was a good horse.” Most memorable moment in National Hunt racing “I watched Imperial Commander win the Gold Cup from the parade ring at Cheltenham, on the big screen. It was very emotional. Without tempting fate, I knew coming down the hill that he had it won. He was going so well that they couldn’t get past him. It was an incredible experience. So was the day my aunt won the Irish Grand National. My grandfather Willie Rooney trained Bentom Boy to win the Irish Grand National in 1984 and my aunt, Ann Ferris, rode him.” The thrill of the chase “It’s a great buzz jumping fences. I far prefer riding in Point-to-Points than in bumpers, it’s just more of a thrill jumping fences than going round in bumpers.”

Tipperary-based agent Gerry started off as a jockey in England, riding for David Nicholson amongst others and was successful on Princeful and Call It A Day before they hit the big time. Since returning to Ireland as a bloodstock agent, he has sourced Grade 1 winners including Annacotty, Morning Assembly, Mount Benbulben, Shinrock Paddy, The Liquidator and The Tullow Tank. The Tullow Tank

Imperial Commander

Experience counts “My experience as a jockey gives me a bit of insight in as much as you can picture them as nice horses to ride, but it would only give me so much of an indication. The best horses I’ve ever ridden had good balance and that is something I always look for when I’m inspecting a horse for the sales.”



Life on the road “The hospitality is very good it’s just unfortunate that because of the time and the lack of light in the day that if you have a cup of tea and a bun with everybody you would never get around to all vendors. As well you’d be very fat and the caffeine would have you off your head! Generally I don’t stop, I keep on rocking away. I can tell you all the service stations in the south. The car is the office. I use a hands-free phone because you spend your day confirming meetings and looking for directions. With horses there is always something to discuss so you’re on the phone an awful lot.” Double life “The 2013 Land Rover sale topper (€215,000) was very easy to spot when I saw him at Kenilworth House. He had a beautiful action and was a very good-looking horse. He just had a presence and obviously he appealed to a lot of people at the sale that day. I was delighted for Joerg Vasicek and Gerry Ross. He was impressive in his only Point-to-Point so far which brings him one step closer to stardom.”

Goffs National Hunt

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the goffs team

Peter Molony

Ros Easom

Peter is a new recruit but comes with a first class commendation. He manages the highly successful Rathmore Stud in Co. Limerick and is a leading consignor having sold Grade 1 winners Bobs Worth and Follow The Plan. He has topped the Land Rover Sale in the past. Most memorable moment in National Hunt racing “That would definitely be Bobs Worth winning the Gold Cup last year. I was there to see him win, watching in the parade ring with the owners. It was incredible. For most of the race I didn’t think he had a chance and coming down the hill, we were watching on the big screen and he went off the screen, and I said ‘Oh that’s him gone anyway so we’ll just enjoy the finish.’ The next thing his head appeared on screen and all hell broke loose! It was a great day.”



Happy hunting “I used to hunt an awful lot with the Co. Limerick Foxhounds but I don’t have time these days. When I was a child and teenager in the 1980s I had an amazing time hunting. My cousin Terence Leonard was the field master and they were undoubtedly the number one pack in the country in those days. The first horse I ever had, I broke myself and I obviously did a very good job with him (not!) because he was a terrible bucker but he was a fabulous horse over a bank. I actually ended up selling him on, he went to Timmy Hyde and I think Mouse Morris hunted him afterwards as well. He lost an eye and was called Pirate.” Keeping Costs Down “The accounts department loves me in Goffs because I try to keep my expenses low. I’ve a few friends that I can stay with when I’m over in the UK. They put me up and give me nice dinners!”

Ros is a former amateur jockey who rode Kilbrittain Castle and Very Promising to win their bumpers, or as she remembers it ‘was a passenger on both.’ She has worked as an agent for Goffs for 13 years now and a career highlight has been selecting and preparing 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander for the Land Rover Sale. Most memorable moment in National Hunt Racing “When Dorans Pride won the Stayers’ Hurdle in Cheltenham would be my most memorable moment in racing because I used to ride him all the time at home. He was a lovely horse, absolutely gorgeous and I used to ride him in all his work. I was there when he won at Cheltenham. It was fantastic. It was very special to have been involved with a Cheltenham winner.”

Bobs Worth

Dorans Pride

Best horse consigned to the Land Rover Sale “Imperial Commander would be the best horse that I have selected for sale at Goffs, I mean there aren’t many Gold Cup winners, are there? There are a good few nice horses that I have selected that have gone on and won races but he is the one that stands out.” Life between the flags “I hunt regularly with the Co. Limericks and I’m the secretary of the Point-to-Point. We have a meeting in Athlacca at the beginning of May and we are hoping to have another one in Askeaton next February. I enjoy Point-to-Point. A day at Cheltenham or Punchestown is good fun but at the Point-to-Points you know most of the people, it’s the same crowd you meet most Sundays. You follow the horses as well. It’s nice watching the young horses and when you see them win at Cheltenham, you can boast ‘I saw him win his maiden’.”

Jim Rossiter Jim has a lifetime of experience to call upon when inspecting horses for Goffs. An amateur jockey, he had to quickly switch to training when weight became an issue at a young age and success followed, both in the pointing field and on the track. A modest man, his keen eye has spotted plenty of Cheltenham winners through the years. Most memorable moment in National Hunt racing “That would probably be my first winner as a trainer. There’s not an awful lot to say about it but you can only have your first winner once. Just Reward was her name and she won in my local track at Wexford. You always remember your first winner.” Best horse consigned to the Land Rover Sale “There are a few, the likes of Big Zeb, Finian’s Rainbow, Holywell, and Newmill was another good one. I just liked the horses when I saw them but I didn’t know how good they would turn out to be. Looking at them, they were all fine, good looking horses.” Champion Chasers “I wasn’t at Cheltenham to see any of them win their Champion Chase but I was watching at home, I never miss it on the TV. The win gave me a lovely sense of quiet satisfaction.” Any regrets? “It would have been great to have owned them!” Loving the life “I love my job. You’re meeting people and seeing nice horses every day. I know most of the people and I know my way around the place very well so it is seldom I have to stop and ask for directions anymore, it’s much easier now. They let me in the gate!” Goffs National Hunt

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the goffs team

Nick Nugent

Ronan Griffin

Goffs Director of Sales Nick Nugent’s voice is a familiar sound to anyone who has spent just a day at the sales house in Kill. He joined the company in 1989 and has played many roles over the years. His interests outside the bloodstock world extend to the boutique Body & Soul music festival, held in the grounds of his home, Ballinlough Castle, every summer. Most memorable moment in National Hunt racing “Years ago, as a child, I lived in Lambourn and I was very good friends with Nick Gaselee’s son. I remember going to the Grand National with the Gaselees when they won the race with Party Politics. I think that was as exciting a day as any. I was working for Goffs at the time and went back to Lambourn with them after the race. That was really exciting because I had grown up next door to them, it was like a second home to me so it was a fantastic experience.”



Bloodstock Director Ronan Griffin came to Goffs 14 years ago straight after college. His immersion in National Hunt goes right back through his family history and he still rides out for his father, the trainer Patrick Griffin, and his brother, James, when the demands of his job allow. Happy days with the Ward Union “I’m the honorary secretary of the Ward Union Stag Hunt. A good day with the Wards is a pretty special day. I hunt a fair bit down the country too but one of my hunting highlights would be one of our old fashioned long runs where it is like a Pointto-Point from flag fall to the finish, covering 20 miles in about an hour and 20 minutes. It’s an adrenaline rush. When you get a good day with the Wards you understand why so many racing people and jockeys hunt with us.”

Party Politics

Best horse selected for the Land Rover Sale “It is a toss up between Central House and Glencove Marina. I watched them go through the ring. I always particularly liked Central House. I thought that Glencove Marina wasn’t a beauty but he just had that athleticism. He was a gorgeous athletic kind of horse whereas Central House was a really goodlooking kind of horse, very well put together and attractive. You don’t know what they are ever going to do. You can only hope that their ability matches their looks and athleticism and they go on to prove their worth. In both cases they did.”

A shaggy story “Back in 1999 I went to see some flat bred yearlings in Wicklow and Alice was with me - we were getting married a few weeks later. The vendor had a dog that was extremely affectionate and when I say extremely affectionate, I mean extremely affectionate! So affectionate that the Golden Labrador’s front legs were wrapped around me and it had to be prised away by its embarassed owner.” Fast food on the run “I spend a lot of time on the road which is often rewarding when you find a nice horse, but always fascinating to see how breeders and producers differ in their operations. An upside to spending so long in the car is that you become more abreast of current affairs, which I enjoy, while a downside is the roadside food. “My wife is an advocate of healthy eating but every so often I have a breakout - the nutritional equivalent of adultery! One Achilles heel is McDonalds on the Athlone bypass. I always circle the car park to make sure that nobody is there who might report back to Alice, then I hide behind a newspaper while enjoying my McMuffin,”

Glencove Marina

Most memorable moment in National Hunt racing “In 1998 when my father trained the winner of the Thyestes Chase, with Feltrim Hill Lad, sponsored by Goffs. I was at an age where it registered with me what was actually happening. He was a high-class horse and he got a lot of media coverage. The Racing Post did an article on my father. I was old enough to understand its impact. I knew it was special. This story has come full circle because as well as me working at Goffs, the company is once again sponsoring the Thyestes.”

Goffs National Hunt

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waves trainers



Photograph: Edward Whitaker/the racing post


Seven UK-based National Hunt trainers and frequent visitors to Goffs spill the beans to Emma Berry on social media strategies, scientific training methods, the business of buying and taking time out. Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson and Jonjo O’Neill still rule the roost when it comes to the National Hunt trainers’ championship but they will have plenty of competition in the years to come from a growing army of talented and motivated young handlers. Who are they, what makes them tick and what kind of horses do they like to buy? In an always-on arena what drives them, how do they marry age old instincts with modern technology and do they ever switch off?

Goffs National Hunt

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Rebecca Curtis A major force among the burgeoning ranks of Welsh trainers, Rebecca Curtis has enjoyed a trio of Cheltenham Festival victories courtesy of O’Faolain’s Boy, At Fishers Cross and stable stalwart, Teaforthree. Her training business complements the work of her partner, bloodstock agent Gearoid Costelloe, who paid £20,000 for Teaforthree at the 2010 DBS Spring Sales. “While modern training methods need a bit of science I like to keep things as natural as possible. I take bloods and tracheal washes quite a bit as I need to find out what’s going on with the horses. I do that through the vet. I don’t believe in weighing the horses though. “When I first started training I used heart-rate monitors on the odd horse but I think you can get too carried away with things like that and end up worrying yourself unnecessarily.

“When I’m buying horses I like a bit of a mixture really – stores and Irish Point-to-Pointers. I like to buy a nice big strong chasing type and although I like bringing on young horses I can’t keep it all to stores as they take so long to come through. Buying the right type doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be any good but the type of stores I buy I wouldn’t be able to afford later down the line if they’d already won a bumper. “Over the last four years I’ve done a lot of work expanding the yard and I haven’t had a holiday for seven years. There’s not much time for anything other than the horses. It would be nice to think I’ll get away this year. I love the sun but Gearoid doesn’t so who knows where we’ll end up.” Twitter: @rebcurtis, Facebook: Rebecca Curtis Racing,

“The type of stores I buy I wouldn’t be able to afford later down the line if they’d already won a bumper” 16

Photograph: Edward Whitaker / the racing post


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Photograph: Helen Richmond

Charlie Longsdon Charlie Longsdon has been training in Oxfordshire for six years and has enjoyed his best season ever in 2013/14, which has included Grade 2 victories for Killala Quay and Ely Brown. “For young trainers now it’s imperative to have a website and so much is geared around social media that it’s also important to be on Twitter and Facebook. It’s just part of the job, and regardless of how you feel about it, it has to be done. If you’re not doing it you’re behind the times. I worked for Nicky Henderson and he never had a website but he’s very much an established name so it’s different. “I’ve looked at the possibility of using heart-rate monitors in training, and there’s a school of thought that believes that if professional athletes use them, why not racehorses? At the same time it’s important not to make things too complicated. You can improve your techniques along

the way but it’s not rocket-science to get a horse fit. Good feeding and turnout are arguably more important than new technology. “Before heading off to the sales, I like to go through a catalogue in depth and make plenty of notes but ultimately you have to like the individual that’s in front of you. When it comes to buying, it all depends what your owner wants. The longer I’ve been training the more patient my owners have become and the more orders I’ve had for store horses. I hope to buy around six more this year. “With three young children there’s always plenty of chaos at home but we’re not living in a training centre so lots of our local friends aren’t racing people which means we can get away from it a little bit. I like to get to the rugby when I can. I’m very good at switching off away from racing.”



“The longer I’ve been training the more patient my owners have become and the more orders I’ve had for store horses”

Twitter: @CharlieLongsdon, Facebook: Charlie Longsdon Racing,

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“In a modern business you need to have up-to-date information. I’ve picked up a couple of owners through Twitter”

As a former assistant to Paul Nicholls and son of show-jumping legend Nick Skelton, Dan Skelton has all the credentials to make a success of his fledgling training career and has made a flying start, with Willow’s Saviour’s Grade 3 Ladbroke Hurdle victory his biggest win to date. “I definitely lean towards more traditional and natural methods of training. I try to do a lot on feeling and feedback from the staff. We have a very tight knit team here and I respect the opinion of everyone who works for me. “It’s simple: if the horses are all eating well and looking well then you should be running them. “Day-to-day it’s about fitness and health. I don’t think we need to employ too many external methods. “There’s so much new technology about that if you tried everything you could end up finding nothing that works. It’s all about good horse management and finding a system that works for you. We’re evolving quite quickly here because we’re a new team but eventually it will just be about making minor tweaks along the way. “I’ve picked up a couple of owners through Twitter but really it’s more of a useful tool for things like going updates and abandonments than for marketing. In a modern business you need to have upto-date information and it’s amazing now that news is released so quickly through Twitter that the next day’s Racing Post can often look a bit out of date. “When I buy horses I prefer to spend primarily on form horses but if an order can’t be filled or the budget’s not right I’d look at stores. It’s a slow-burn process but you can end up with a good-value purchase if owners have the patience to wait. “It drives my wife crazy but I do nothing outside racing. I live and breathe it but I really enjoy it and long may it last.” Twitter: @Dannskelton, Facebook: Dan Skelton Racing,

Photograph: Helen Richmond

Dan Skelton

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Harry Fry



Photograph: Jennifer O’sullivan

“With stores you have a completely blank canvas. I love nurturing and channelling that talent, it’s a hugely satisfying part of the job” Based in Dorset, where he previously ran a satellite yard for Paul Nicholls, Harry Fry has been training in his own right for two seasons. His stable stars include Champion Hurdler Rock On Ruby, Grade 3 Racing Plus Chase winner Opening Batsman and the promising juvenile, Activial. “I’m very lucky to have learnt from two of the best in the business; Paul Nicholls and Richard Barber. The most important thing they taught me was to keep things simple. “There’s an awful lot of gadgets out there and there’s a danger of over-complicating things. I like to go on gut feeling as much as anything, as well as good feedback from the lads. “An area where we’ve very much embraced new technology, however, is social media and in having a good up-to-date website. It’s the first thing anyone does these days to find something – they look it up on Google –so you have to have a good online presence to make people interested enough in your

business to pick up the phone and call you. With the sales, we go where we can be most competitive in the marketplace and so far that’s been through buying stores and trying to produce bumper winners. I haven’t been in a position to go to the select sales and buy form horses but that’s not to say I wouldn’t if the opportunity came along. “With stores you have a completely blank canvas and you can shape them as you see fit. Bringing them on from young horses and being there the first day they ever have a saddle on their back is very rewarding. I love nurturing and channelling that talent, it’s a hugely satisfying part of the job. “My fiancée Ciara and I live and work together which is just as well - otherwise we’d never see each other. We have very little spare time but I wouldn’t change it for the world – we’re incredibly fortunate.” Twitter: @HarryFryRacing,

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Tim Vaughan



Glamorgan-based Tim Vaughan has been training since 2008 and with a string now in three figures, he has enjoyed major success in the Scottish National with Beshabar, while Saint Are’s win in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree gave him his first Grade 1 victory. “I am willing to consider anything if I think it can improve a horse by even a centimetre but of course good old-fashioned common-sense and horsemanship will always play their part, along with patience. “I’m really in favour of a scientific approach to training and I look at bloods and tracheal washes constantly. I like to know and understand exactly what’s going on with the horses. “When I set up I had quite a lot of other people’s cast-offs but I’ve changed the way I buy now, selecting younger horses and nurturing them, which of course means patience is really important.

“I bought a significant amount of stores last year. In reality, I just can’t afford to buy the horses with form but by buying younger horses you have a chance and they are more affordable. “At the sales I like to go armed with every bit of data I can get my hands on. I’d be very statistical in my approach and like to be thorough in my research. “I don’t get much time away from the horses but every spare minute I have is spent with the children – we like to go to the cinema or bowling. “We’ve got two little ones and another one on the way so when I’m not racing I like to be with my wife and the kids at Pony Club shows.” Twitter: @TVaughanRacing, Facebook: Tim Vaughan Racing,

Photograph: Jennifer O’sullivan

“I’m really in favour of a scientific approach to training. I like to know and understand exactly what’s going on with the horses”

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Evan Williams A former Point-to-Point rider, Evan Williams combines his love of stockmanship with a passion for honing Thoroughbreds on his family farm in Glamorgan. Barizan and Sunray have provided wins at the highest level, while the Aintree performances of Cappa Blue and State Of Play meant the stable finished in the first four in five consecutive Grand Nationals. “I’m very old-fashioned in my methods and do everything really by what I feel. I’m a basic feeder – mostly with homegrown feed – but I like to feed the best I can and give the horses plenty of fresh air. I’m a big believer in what will be, will be. “When it comes to social media I’m totally useless. I’m a complete dinosaur! But I have a great team in the office – my wife Cath and secretary Beverley Nealon who has been with me for a long time, and they’re really on the ball. My son William looks after Twitter and Facebook, which is good because I’m just

about computer-literate. I look after the horses and the training and get battered by the team in the office telling me what we should be doing. “I buy everything I can. I rarely use agents and I buy 99 per cent of the horses myself. I buy stores and form horses, we always have plenty here to run and to sell on. They come from everywhere. “I love my little farm – as well as the horses I have some cattle and sheep around and I get a huge enjoyment from the place. I do love to get away every now and then, preferably jumping on a plane with Cath and the children and take a complete break for a week to ten days. “Then I can’t wait to get back to the horses.” Twitter: @EWilliamsRacing, Facebook: Evan Williams Racing,



Photograph: Helen Richmond

“I’m very old-fashioned in my methods and do everything by what I feel”

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Emma Lavelle “I’ve had a lot of success bringing on young horses. I want to try to get value for us and for our clients” With the consistent Shotgun Paddy as her flagbearer, Hampshire-based Emma Lavelle is closing in on her most successful season to date. She has twice tasted success at the Cheltenham Festival with Crack Away Jack and Pause And Clause and, unlike her contemporaries, she’s not an avowed social media user. “Making sure my horses are healthy and fit is my number one concern so while I lean towards more traditional methods there are definitely ways in which technological advances help modern-day trainers. For example, if a horse makes a noise, being able to use an overground scope and have specific knowledge before you decide whether or not to operate is fantastic. And things like taking bloods and tracheal washes have their uses too, of course. “I have a website but I find I just don’t have the time to tweet once I’ve finished riding out, speaking to owners and getting things organised at the yard. I’m not opposed to it, and I find some of the racing tweets amusing, but I’d still rather pick up a phone and talk to someone. It’s important that the owner has the information about his or her horse before anyone else. “I’ve had a lot of success bringing on young horses. It’s an awful lot easier buying readymade horses but that’s the expensive way and I want to try to get value for us and for our clients. I don’t have people who want to spend huge amounts so the only way I can buy horses that can make it to the top is by buying athletic youngsters and Goffs’ Gerry Hogan has been invaluable in helping us to do this. I also buy at Irish Point-toPoints. “Away from the yard, I love going to the movies and concerts and I get to do more of that through the summer once our season has wound down. “I’ve also recently taken up netball – there’s lots of gossiping and it’s a good excuse to go to the pub afterwards!”


Photograph: Helen Richmond


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09/05/2014 16:34:49

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POINT Goffs National Hunt

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Brosna Foxhounds Point-to-Point riding past Durrow Abbey, Co. Offaly.



Sam Curling is a man with an eye for talent who discovered The Tullow Tank, Standing Ovation and Seeyouatmidnight. He is a firm believer in schooling his protégées on the Point-to-Point circuit before selling them on for a profit. JOHNNY WARD saddles up to watch and learn. PHOTOGRAPHY: JENNIFER O’SULLIVAN

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HE chirping birds announce the morning in Goolds Cross, near Cashel, Co. Tipperary. It’s a little damp but fresh. Sam Curling’s small team of staff pace around his impressive yard, which can hold 40 horses. There’s amateur rider Pat Casey, one of the full-time staff; diligent, he is hoping for more opportunities as a Point-to-Point rider. Head girl Sharon Dunphy is all go, doing every job from riding out to feeding horses. There’s Alan Ryan, another full-timer and indispensable to the operation, while Martin Ferris arrives to ride work. Few words are shared: the purpose of the morning is to gallop two lots prior to the Brosna Point-to-Point in Durrow, Co. Offaly, in which Curling has two runners. As we drive down the road that straddles the gallops, Sam’s father Peter, the famous equine artist, reflects on his son’s achievements. “He works hard, it’s a tough business. He’s going for a few years and I think we have improved the facilities gradually.” The horses work on a gallop of woodchip topped with sand over six furlongs. There is a 3f schooling gallop too, adjacent to an isolation yard that was bludgeoned by the storms that beset this part of Co. Tipperary earlier in the year. Sam recalls being at Goffs that day and scarcely believing the damage in the area on his return; thankfully, the yard was relatively unscathed. Curling, 30, has a confidence and sense of reality that belies his tender years - probably because he has been in the game for a long time in some form or other. He rode the guts of 50 winners on the track and gained invaluable experience along the way. Through his father he got a start with Edward O’Grady and then spent three years with Willie Mullins, before going on to Frances Crowley and Nicky Henderson. “There came a stage when things in England weren’t going as well as I would have liked, and I decided to come home. John Halley helped to fix me up at Ballydoyle, and I started pre-training a few at home at the same time,” he recalls. Curling had long believed

in the value of educating young horses through Point-to-Points in preference to bumpers and his first Point-to-Point runner, Royal Reveille, was a winner, scoring at Glenbane in November 2009. Despite only being in his mid-20s at the time, young Sam was establishing a reputation, such that no less than Davy Russell would earmark him as a trainer to look out for. Curling had a winner at the track but his primary focus quickly became training Point-toPointers to sell on - a simple if volatile modus operandi. Pat, Sam, photographer Jennifer O’Sullivan and I set off through the midlands to Durrow, a few miles from Tullamore. Sam has two runners: Twenty Eight Guns, a Black Sam Bellamy filly in the opening mares’ maiden, and the attractive if raw debutant Sid Seven in the 5-year-old geldings’ maiden. “You’d be a bit nervous for sure and it doesn’t really change over time - there’s a lot riding on it,” Sam says, as we power up the motorway. “They’re worth a lot of money if it goes right.” He knows it can be done. Royal Reveille went on to win a Graded hurdle race for Ted Walsh but his achievements were nothing compared to what The Tullow Tank would manage. Curling had the horse for just one run and it is indicative of the strength of Point-to-Point that The Tullow Tank did not even win; indeed, he was beaten 12 lengths by Up And Go in a Lemonfield maiden in March 2012. “Fair play to Barry Connell,” Curling reflects. “I had a lot of faith in the horse and he bought into what I was saying about him.” At the 2010 Goffs Land Rover Sale Curling sourced a son of Presenting who would become Standing Ovation, a Listed Hurdle winner this season for David Pipe. Then there was Seeyouatmidnight, who has proven a revelation for Sandy Thomson, winning only on his fourth point start but rated 155 after three straight novice hurdling successes in Britain. He obviously has an eye for talent. “Each horse I look for has to be a nice individual with a good walk. It’s hard to afford the really top pedigrees,” he says. Success between the flags is anything but a given, as The Tullow Tank’s defeat emphasised.

“Curling’s primary focus is training Point-toPointers to sell on - a simple if volatile modus operandi”

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Feature CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: Sam Curling leads his string on the gallops, riding Oscar Barton, bought at Goffs 2013, who recently won at Cork; Hosing down after the morning’s work; Setting off for the Point-to-Point; Equine artist Peter Curling, his son Sam and writer Johnny Ward discussing tactics at breakfast.



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Cooling off after the race “It’s very professionally run - people make their living with Sam and head girl out of it. You are competing against top trainers, you’re Sharon Dunphy; Derek competing against Gigginstown. Prices of horses have risen O’Connor on Twenty Eight even in my time too because Point-to-Pointers are selling Guns; Sam, Johnny and so well.” trainer Colin Bowe take For Curling, there is no sadness when he loses a good a tea break; Equine artist horse. “I enjoy seeing them go on to good things for other Peter Curling in his studio. people. I got a great kick out of The Tullow Tank and Seeyouatmidnight. That’s what you’re hoping they’ll do. There’s definitely no regret. You only feel bad if you sell one that doesn’t work out.” There’s no dearth of chat in the car until we reach Durrow on a chilly, spring day that will eventually turn wet. Unfortunately for Sam, Twenty Eight Guns struggles to handle the track and is wisely minded by Derek O’Connor but she will fight another day and, despite pulling up, Sid Seven shapes up with some promise under Casey. “Nothing went right for Twenty Eight Guns,” Sam tells me after the race. “You get used to the bad days - a lot of things have to go right, especially with younger horses, who are all babies.” I have ample time to amble - such is a Point-to-Point - and bump into Goffs’ agent Gerry Hogan, who brought the kids along for good measure. Gerry, no doubt scouting for potential talent for the Goffs Punchestown Sale, will also have been impressed by Gigginstown’s Attribution, a half-brother to Punjabi who impressed

in the 4-year-olds maiden. Meanwhile, Sam’s resolve on a somewhat disappointing day is impressive. Moreover, he does not go overboard when things work out even better than might be expected - just like the very next day when Heroes Or Ghosts bolts up at Durrow under Roger Quinlan. Sam bought the son of Indian River at the 2012 Goffs Land Rover National Hunt Sale and will now aim to offload the 5-yearold for a profit. He contends that the Goffs Land Rover Sale offers an excellent chance to make it pay. “The Land Rover Sale is probably the best sale for churning out winners ever year,” he says. “They have precocious types, many very good horses. The nicest four-year-old I have in the yard, who has yet to run, was sourced at the Land Rover Sale.” Patience is paramount in racing. Ask the trainer, the owner, the buyer, the seller - even the gambler. But the allure of the jumps game is that a star can be sourced that may not cost the world. Sam Curling is a future star in the training ranks and he, like so many more, will be at Goffs in June with dreams in his head.

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Wizard of

Oylegate Top vendor Peter Nolan is a wizard at prepping winners, writes JOSEPH BURKE. He talks success stories, breeding beliefs, the bloodstock business and how there just might be something magical in the water in Co. Wexford. 32



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o. Wexford-based Jamestown Consignment was established by Peter Nolan in 2007 and in a relatively short space of time, they have already secured their place towards the upper echelons of Irish National Hunt sales consignments, consistently appearing in the list of top ten vendors at the Land Rover Sales for the past three consecutive years. Based primarily at Peter’s late father Timmy’s Jamestown Stud in Oylegate, Enniscorthy, but also at Arctic Tack Stud, near Foulksmills, the Jamestown Consignment has evolved into Peter Nolan Bloodstock in time for 2014 Land Rover Sale. Peter heads up the team and is assisted at the sales by his brother Tim. He also consigns all of leading breeder and stud-owner Eoin Banville’s horses. Jamestown successfully sold 11 horses during the 2013 Land Rover Sale at a very healthy average of €16,409 and was the top vendor at the 2013 Goffs December Sale, having sold more horses than any other consignor. It is not just about the numbers however, the Jamestown Consignment is also famed for the quality of horses they bring to the market. The sales are one thing but the proof of the pudding is subsequently found on the racecourse and it has never been more evident than this season with Holywell and Western Warhorse each winning a Grade 1 Novice Chase, respectively at the Aintree and Cheltenham Festivals. Another former alumni is John’s Spirit who took the first major race of the National Hunt season, namely the Grade 3 Paddy Power Chase at Cheltenham, earning his connections in excess of €100,000.

Peter Nolan on holy ground at his Co. Wexford farm.

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Peter Nolan’s success will come as no huge surprise to those who know him, as he has always been associated with three essential attributes necessary to succeed in this game: hard work, attention to detail and quality horses. Peter’s enthusiasm is infectious and he is terribly industrious – so much so that during our brief visit, he still managed to book in six mares for covers over the phone as well as taking one of the popular Arctic Tack stallions out to perform his duties. He can talk alright, but only on the condition that he gets some work done at the same time! In addition to his consignment, Peter also works alongside Eoin Banville who owns Arctic Tack Stud, home to four National Hunt stallions, amongst them Arcadio who was the busiest stallion in England or Ireland last year, covering 292 mares. Little wonder notes Peter, “he’s on a good run with five Point-toPoint winners from eight runners so he’s had a real good kick start.” Peter and Tim grew up on their father’s farm and it was there the seeds were sown for a future career in the business. The late Timmy Nolan was a very well-known and respected figure in the industry so the boys were fortunate to have such a good grounding. Timmy’s

success was not solely confined to the National Hunt side of the business as Peter explains: “Dad provided Jim Bolger with four of his first six winners when Jim started off training at the old Phoenix Park Racecourse. He always produced

good flat and National Hunt horses down through the years, so we were brought up in the game. Jim Bolger is actually from the same village as us in Wexford Oylegate, which is close to Enniscorthy.” Upon leaving his father’s farm, Peter

went on to work for two of the leading stallion farms in the country. He started at Coolmore where he handled horses of the calibre of Giant’s Causeway and Galileo when they were yearlings before moving to Joe Foley’s Ballyhane Stud. “Joe

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“Eoin Banville is a great breeder. He gives me a free hand to prep the horses and do the selling”



Family Ties: Tim Nolan, like his brother Peter, has evidently learned much from his late father, for he is also renowned for his excellent judgement of horseflesh. It was Tim who purchased the brilliant Colm Murphy-trained mare Feathard Lady as a foal at Goffs for just €900. He explained: “She had a really good walk and was a great mover. She just took my eye straight away and I couldn’t believe she came so cheap.” He sold her privately as a 3-year-old to a syndicate that included his brother Peter. Feathard Lady remained unbeaten in seven career starts, culminating in a twelve-length victory in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle, which was run at Sandown in 2005. In 2007 she was subsequently sold at the Doncaster Sales for 270,000 Guineas, then a a world record price for a National Hunt mare. Goffs National Hunt

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Best in Class The best horses sold by Peter Nolan Bloodstock, formerly Jamestown Consignment.



instilled in me the importance of placing the right horse in the right sale – that is paramount,” Peter explained. Peter then took up a position at Arctic Tack Stud where in addition to standing stallions, Eoin Banville has been successfully breeding top class National Hunt horses for many years. Upon discussing it, the two men decided that Jamestown would consign the sales stock which left Eoin more time to run the stud. Peter said: “Our arrangement works well for both parties. Eoin is very good and he gives me a free hand to prep the horses while it takes some of the pressure off him. He is a great breeder and he leaves it to me to do the selling. Eoin has always had cattle and broodmares here and the first stallion he stood was Heron Island and he has gone on to have great success since with Gold Well (subsequently sold to Coolmore Stud) and now Arcadio. He has consistently been a great producer of winners and Noel Meade has had a lot of success with Eoin’s stock down through the years. The land here is fantastic for producing top class young horses and obviously it is a great help to be selling quality horses, and that is what Eoin provides me with year-on-year.” Nolan has had great success at Goffs and a prime illustration of the type of value that can be found at the Land Rover Sale comes via the story of early Jamestown graduates, John’s Spirit and Holywell. “Jonjo O’Neill has been a very lucky trainer for us over the past few years” explains Peter. “He trained both John’s Spirit and Holywell and they were both actually stabled beside each other

n Holywell won at two consecutive Cheltenham Festivals before a tenlength win in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree saw him promoted to as short as 8/1 joint-favourite for next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. His rider, Tony McCoy, the 19-time champion jockey, believes the bookmakers have it right and said in the aftermath of the race:“He could be a Gold Cup horse…last year’s best novice stayer (Lord Windermere) won the Gold Cup and on form, Holywell is probably the best staying novice chaser around (this year).” Just a 7-year-old, he has the world at his feet. n Western Warhorse was a second individual Cheltenham Festival winner for the then Jamestown Consignment, having run out a brave winner of the Grade 1 Arkle Chase which makes him a contender for further honours in next season’s Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Festival. n John’s Spirit won the Grade 3 Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase at the November Cheltenham meeting and his six career wins have seen him earn €210,000 to date.

at the 2010 Land Rover Sale. Would you believe, we found it difficult to sell them, possibly because Gold Well’s stock was unraced at the time. Holywell sold for €7,000 and has since gone on to win at two successive Cheltenham Festivals and again at Aintree, whilst John’s Spirit was unsold at €11,000, but we sold him privately afterwards.” A combined outlay of €18,000 has proven to be fantastic value for a pair of 7-year-olds that have yet to reach their prime but have already gone on to earn just shy of €480,000. Holywell started his career in the Pointto-Point field and Peter is an avid fan. “I love going to the Point-to-Points and I try to get there at least every Sunday if

at all possible. It is essential to attend the local meets. I get to meet the breeders and see how the young stock, by the stallions we have here, is going. It’s a great way to keep my finger on the pulse of the industry. The Bree Hunt Point-to-Point at Monksgrange, near Rathnure, would be my favourite Wexford meeting and it’s starting to get a great name for producing winners that go on to succeed at the highest level on the racetrack. It’s a good schooling ground too. That’s where Henry de Bromhead takes Sizing Europe to do his last bits of work prior to Cheltenham every year.” Along with Eoin, Paddy Doyle, father of Irish international soccer star Kevin,

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“The land here is fantastic for producing top class young horses”



is Peter’s longest standing client. “Paddy bred Holywell and between 3-year-olds and foals, I’d usually prep somewhere between eight and 12 every year for him. Paddy has been on board since I started and he’s been very good to me. He’s a great breeder and is now experiencing success at the highest level.” Coordinating a large consignment of sales horses is no easy task but along with Tim, Peter explains he has another secret in his sales arsenal. “When it comes to the sales the biggest asset we have is a girl from Athlone called Denise O’Brien. Denise has been with us since day one and I could leave it all to her. She’s absolutely brilliant and we’re blessed to have her.”

Typically, he consigns 12 to 15 horses at the Land Rover Sale. “We start prepping them six to eight weeks prior to the sale. By the time they get to the sales they would be doing 15-20 minutes of lunging. We are great believers in getting them out into the paddock for a few hours every day as we find that is good for them and it keeps their heads right and the freshness out of them. We don’t complicate their prep. We just keep it simple and do it well.” The horses have to pass a full veterinary test at home before they even go to the sale; heart, wind, eyes and soundness are all covered. Then they are subjected to the same strenuous tests at the sales and have

Opposite: Headcollars in the tack room; ABOVE & BELOW: (left to right) Eoin Banville, Peter Nolan and Tim Nolan.

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to pass both sets before you get a chance to sell them, he explains. Preparation is essential to a good sale and Peter leaves nothing to chance and stresses that once he receives notice of when the vetting will be carried out, he always gets his horses onsite early so they can relax in the stable complex for at least one night before they have to be vetted. “Our horses will always be shown the lunging ring before they are asked to go there for the vetting. I’ve seen horses unload off the box and go straight to a vetting and a horse can be upset and blow wrong and the whole thing goes pearshaped. “My dad always said ‘you only get one chance to sell them’ and he was so right. It’s a long time from when the mare conceives to when you get her progeny to the sales and for the sake of one extra day at the sales you can ensure that everything goes as smoothly as it can. You need to have your vetting done, yard set up, door cards on and everything ready to go before the vetting commences and the buyers start to come around.” Honesty is key when it comes to Peter’s sales strategy. “All you can do is you

FROM TOP: (left to right) Brothers Peter and Tim Nolan; the rolling fields of Arctic Tack Stud.

stand outside the door and be honest with people about your horses. The same buyers come back year on year, thank God, and that’s probably down to the fact that we are honest about the horses we are selling and of course, because those horses have been successful.” Peter explains how the Goffs Land Rover Sale has gone from strength to strength: “The Land Rover Sale has improved immeasurably over the last few years. It used to be the case the horses would pick themselves when it came to the various

sales but now we have to think twice about which horse to send to which sale. We’ve been very lucky at Goffs and have no problem sending our best horses to the Land Rover these days. It is the sale that produces the winners; the likes of champion hurdlers such as Brave Inca and Hardy Eustace may not necessarily have been by the most fashionable sires, but they were racehorses and that’s what you buy at Goffs.” Those predicting the future first turn to the past in order to establish trends. It is glaringly obvious who the stars of the previous consignments now are, with the aforementioned John’s Spirit and Holywell leading the way, but what of the future? “We have eight horses going to the Land Rover this year and we are excited about them all,” Peter explains. “At this stage, our three choice lots are a big strapping 3-year-old gelding by Network, the sire of Sprinter Sacre, a 3-year-old Flemensfirth gelding, out of a good Colm Murphytrained mare named Bambootcha, who won at the Punchestown Festival, we also have a 3-year-old by Arcadio from a good French family that looks the part.” Don’t say you weren’t told!

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Land rover sale






In last year’s magazine Jonathan Mullin shadowed auctioneer Nick Nugent on the Land Rover inspection trail to see how Goffs select the catalogue for their premier National Hunt sale. In this edition he has a front row seat to the bidding battle that will culminate in a record top price of €215,000 at the Kill amphitheatre. Photography: Jennifer O’Sullivan

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Land rover sale




ON’T let the hushed morning air fool you. The low hum from the nearby M7 might be playing double bass to the pitchy whinnies from the stable yards, but when that mist, draped foil-like over summer daybreak, eventually lifts, senses will become heightened. Cars, Land Rovers and lorries pull up at Goffs, and as people pour out of their vehicles, the 9am radio news slips out: civil war in Syria, public protests in Greece. Today at Kildare Paddocks a bidding battle is about to commence. It’s not that auctioneer Nick Nugent feels like a boxer but you don’t have to be Rocky Balboa to gravitate towards the bosom of a warm-up tune. A well-thumbed catalogue in his hand, he mounts the rostrum just before 10am and combat is about to commence. “When Oliver O’Reilly was running Goffs,” says Nugent, “he thought it was a rather cold start to the day - you could stand up at 10 o’clock in the morning and you would be greeted by silence. So in Goffs and in Doncaster we have a warm-up tape that plays old auctions, running in the background for 10 minutes before we start, so it’s easier, you hit the ground running and there’s a bit of a razzmatazz. The great thing about alphabetical cataloguing is that there’s every chance the first lot will be the nicest horse and I try to hit the first lot with enthusiasm.” That he does, and

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Racing Post’s Irish editor Jonathan Mullin and Goffs’ auctioneer Nick Nugent; bid spotter Michael Barry and Nick Nugent; vendor Martin Cullinane reading the catalogue; Mullin, trainer Tony Dobbin and Goffs’ Joey Cullen.

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Land rover sale

“It’s nerve wracking stuff selling a horse. You’ve got to express some kind of empathy to the predicament of the vendor”

with a €72,000 Presenting colt knocked down to Henry De Bromhead for Alan Potts as early as Lot 2, Nick Nugent is off and running. And for the next 30 minutes he is the conductor and the matador. He says: “A novicey auctioneer tends to give all his selling points at the beginning whereas it is irrelevant at the beginning - you want to use your whip in the final furlong, not in the first furlong. You don’t see a jockey coming out of the stalls beating the bejaysus out of a horse. “It’s that little one at the end ... if you get to €150,000, getting that extra five grand at the end, that next minimum increment bid could mean two increment bids because the other bidder might come back - tickling the beaten man for the smallest bid at the end.” And because the auctioneer knows the vendor’s reserve price you can see first-hand The Nugent Tickle, teasing his cataloguewielding orchestra towards that high note, inching closer to that reserve price before proclaiming “sold!” and then the shadow boxing is over, a smile creases his face and both auctioneer and vendor can relax.

His opening 14 lots down and dusted, Nugent slides down from the rostrum but there is no real time to stand back and admire his work, instead he flicks through the Land Rover catalogue to check the next horses he is selling and then down to the stable yard we go to have one last look at them. Some he will have seen on the yard visits that Goffs undertake in the months before the sale, but others will be sold today by old friends, vendors that he has seen in Goffs for over 20 years. “Well, any visitors?” he asks one. “Front fore turned out a little?” he gently suggests to another, “any ideas of what reserve you’d like?” Down at the stables it is only a smidgen more relaxed than in the sales ring. We run into plenty of buyers, all of whom enjoy Nugent’s witty banter. “I’ve been underbidder three times but there are plenty of lovely horses here so we’ll land on one eventually,” says Tony Dobbin, one of a huge number of British buyers busy scouring the sale. “It’s great to go around and talk to proper horse people. We’ve been well looked after too, and it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience.” “It’s a solid sale with a high quality of horse,” says rookie trainer Dan Skelton. “I suppose you can’t look inside and see what you’ve got but look, they have size and scope and that’s what you want if you’re looking at jumping fences someday.” Evan Williams is a Land Rover regular: “This is a sale that has been lucky for us - we’re gluttons for punishment! Price is important, you have be able to buy at a price that makes it attractive to sell on to a customer.” And Williams is right, says Nugent, price is crucial. “As an auctioneer people are anxious when they’re selling a horse. Therefore the important thing is to allay their anxiety before the sale. Having bred one or two horses myself - not too many - I know exactly what it is like for them. It’s nerve wracking stuff. You don’t want some fellow to come down and make some cavalier comment. You’ve got to express some kind of empathy to the predicament of the vendor. “When you’ve been around as long as I have (Nugent auctioned his first horse in Goffs in 1988) you know most of these people and you have been to their houses to look at a horse. So you’re aware of who the beneficiaries are of the horse doing well. And who will suffer if it goes badly. I think that’s why Ireland is so good at it - because it really matters. Nothing sharpens the brain, nothing focuses the mind like the consequences of failure.” To avoid failure Nugent stomps around the stable yard, seeing everyone he must see, has a kind word for all of the vendors and makes his way back to the sale ring. I’ve stopped counting the amount of times he lifts his sleeve to check his watch and he admits to being “obsessive about time”.



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Land rover sale



“It’s great to go around and talk to proper horse people. We’ve been well looked after too, and it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience” “I think punctuality is a very important thing and we sell 28 to the hour.” It is 2pm and, he tells me between lots, the sale is 32 minutes behind. “Timing is crucial. I try and drop the hammer in what I call the optimum place. If I drop it there,” he says, pointing to an imaginary spot just over half the way around the ring in front of him, “the horse can leave the ring and I can have introduced the next lot and read out the veterinary certificates by the time the previous one has left.” Later, during Lot 74, he looks at his watch, points at it and smiles and out of the side of his mouth says: “Back on track!” The sale is going well, very well, and the Goffs back office is full of smiles, not surprising since a bidding frenzy for Lot 120, a Robin Des Champs gelding from Kenilworth House Stud whose granddam Ebony Jane won the Irish Grand National, broke the sale record - Harold Kirk seeing off the attention of Jim Culloty with a bid of €215,000 to bag the sale topper. Nugent does a nice line in false immodesty. “Any auctioneer who is any good thinks he is very good. Modesty is a quality absent in most

2013 sale topper n The Land Rover Sale 2013 topper was a 3-year-old son of Robin Des Champs consigned by Joerg Vasicek’s Kenilworth House Stud. The smashing looking gelding was purchased by Willie Mullins and Harold Kirk for €215,000. Now a 4-year-old named Stone Hard, he won impressively first time out in a Point- to-Point at Oldcastle, Co. Meath in the colours of Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud.

auctioneers,” he smiles mischievously. “We all love to showboat and say the word ‘million’. Every auctioneer in the world does whether it’s Australia or Kentucky, we all love to get the big price horse. Sometimes you have to work harder and be a lot more skillful to sell a horse for €10,000 than you do for €200,000 - it’s a much greater test. “In Ireland you are dealing with people who are commercially so well tuned in. There are a couple of hundred key vendors at our sales who are unbelievably sharp and clued in, and they’ve forgotten more than I’ll ever know.” Another glance at his watch tells him that the time for small talk is over, he is due back on rostrum after the next lot is sold, so with the swagger of a matador he opens the door, the strumming of the sales ring wafting through, and disappears into the bear pit of battle. Once more unto the breach. Goffs Land Rover Sale takes place on Wednesday, June 11th and Thursday, June 12th. See the catalogue online at or call +353 45 886600.

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property Childhood friends and business partners Goffs Country’s Richard Brophy and Andrew Nolan




truths Goffs Country, the specialist property division of the bloodstock agency, is a boutique business with thoroughbred lines, writes Daragh Ó Conchúir. Photography: Jennifer O’Sullivan


hildhood friends Richard Brophy and Andrew Nolan bounce off each other like stores in a paddock, ducking and diving as the barbs fly like machine-gun fire, accompanied by regular peals of raucous laughter. Reclined in one of the atmospheric rooms of the elegant K Club in Maynooth, surrounded by Yeats paintings and ancient Irish manuscripts, the setting is remarkably appropriate. Lifelong friends, as well as business partners, agents Richard Brophy and Andrew Nolan who run Goffs Country first met at Castleknock College in 1983.

Theirs is a discreet and specialist service, dealing in five-star country properties. While their tag-team relationship is part of their success, their combined experience and agricultural and equine pedigree is the agency’s unique selling point. Richard is a native of Ardclough, Kill, Co. Kildare. His father, Pat, was the vet for UCD College and also farmed. Horses were never far away, with Richard’s grandfather and uncles all owners who were friendly with the legendary Pat Taaffe. He was reared on tales of Arkle, Flyingbolt, Fort Leney, Quare Times, Gay Trip and Captain Christy. Brophy is also a director at Naas Racecourse, a title he’s held since 2006. “My involvement gives a lot of insight into what goes Goffs National Hunt

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(Left to right) Goffs Country’s Andrew Nolan and Richard Brophy getting the lie of the land.



on behind the scenes away from the racing itself,” he explains. It also carries on a Naas Tipper Road family tradition of sorts. The recently retired chairman of the racecourse, Billy Brophy, is a family friend who is “like family”. As well as land and horses, auctioneering is also in Brophy’s blood. His great grandfather, Patrick Brophy was a founding associate member of Goffs. His grandfather, also Patrick Brophy, was an auctioneer who was involved with Coonan’s in Maynooth for many years. It was at Coonan’s that Richard first cut his stud farm teeth. “I went in at the time when the Arabs were starting to come into the country. The firm was involved in Blackhall in Clane, Ballysheehan, Humewood, Derrinstown, Dolly’s Grove, Greenmount and many more.” He spent 14 years there progressing to a director’s position. For his part, Andrew Nolan, a Kilcullen man, is a son of the late Andy Nolan who ran the namesake butchers in the town. Andrew helped out in the family business since the age of seven and recalls carrying legendary trainer Paddy Mullins (father of the training trio of Tom, Willie and Tony Mullins) meat to his car on Saturday evenings.

One Saturday in 1986 proved extra special. “It was the year Dawn Run won the Gold Cup and I remember Paddy asking me, ‘Do you want to hold the Gold Cup?’ In the boot of his car, he opened up this leather bag and there it was in all its glory - the Gold Cup!” It wasn’t the Nolan’s first brush with the famous trophy though. Andrew’s grandfather, James Nolan and his brother, Andrew’s great-uncle, Andy, bred the 1959 winner, Roddy Owen. Nolan grew up on the family farm, surrounded by eventers and show jumpers. As a rider he describes himself as “the weakest link” but has participated in the Punchestown Charity Race, the last race of the Punchestown Festival, which is run by his brother, James, has raised over E1.3 million for kidney research in its 25-year history. After leaving Castleknock Nolan signed up for the Irish National Stud Bloodstock and Management course. Classmates included trainer Ed Vaughan, Bloodstock consigner Adrian Regan and bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington. “Whereas Richard would have followed the property route, I wanted to be a livestock auctioneer.” He served his apprenticeship at McEvoy’s in Naas selling sheep.

We’re going back to our roots, back to selling the kind of property we specialise in; farms, country estates and agricultural lands

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Andrew Nolan on the rostrum at Goffs



He went out on his own in 1996 and began bloodstock auctioneering for Goffs in 2000. In 2001 the two friends decided to go into business together, setting up Nolan Brophy and dealing primarily in new homes. Land was in short supply and as a result took a back seat during the Celtic Tiger years. By the time the Celtic Tiger has stopped roaring Henry Beeby had arrived at Goffs as Chief Executive bringing with him new ideas that included the establishment of a property division. The key though, was to make it a niche market directly servicing Goffs’ clients. In 2009 after being approached by Goffs the pair went back to

their roots, “back to selling farms, country estates and agricultural lands,” Brophy explains. “The amazing thing is we’re still meeting the same people I would have met back then; at auctions I’m seeing people I haven’t seen in 20 years because a lot of those bloodstock breeders and farmers were priced out of it by the builders, who were buying every bit of land that was coming to market. But they’re all back again now.” It’s a different pace, a different client, a different, more boutique market, Brophy says. It’s a difference that they both relish.

THE COUNTRY PROPERTY MARKET The premier choice for country property When it comes to the sale and acquisition of Irish stud farms and country houses Goffs Country operates in a very specific and niche market. Its close links to the equestrian world offer a distinct advantage in terms of attracting clients and offering a broad spectrum of services to those clients. Ireland is one of the premier racehorse and jump breeding countries in the world, Goffs Country director Andrew Nolan explains. “The reality is that if you want to be a worldwide player within the game, you’ve got to have a farm in Ireland. This is why Coolmore, Godolphin, the Aga Khan, Juddmonte and Qatar Racing all have a presence here. “Overseas clients who want to buy a stud farm, want to buy a farm with a proven history of breeding bloodstock,” Nolan explains. “That type of farm doesn’t trade that frequently and often trades privately. We can shop for these properties for clients.” Recent deals include the purchase of Spring Lodge in the renowned bloodstock heartland of Croom, Co. Limerick for Qatar Racing. That purchase gave the rising bloodstock giant run by the Qatar Royal Family its first hoofprint in Ireland. Gallow Paddocks is a 171 acre stud farm situated just off the M4 interchange in Meath and adjacent to the world-famous Ferrans Stud. Its proximity to an acknowledged producer of quality bloodstock made its purchase very attractive. Ginnet’s Park is also in Meath, located on the Trim Road outside Summerhill. The 410 acre estate with equine and livestock facilities sold to German-based clients, while an English couple purchased Woodfield House, a period country home in Clare situated in parkland setting on the shores of Doon Lake.

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exceptional properties for sale

Richard Brophy at Goffs

Spring Hill

Solicitor Frank Ward (left) with Gold Cup-winning trainer Tom Taaffe.

FOR THE LOVE OF IT ALL Frank Ward, solicitor and member of the Ward Union Hunt, sponsors the Grade 1 Frank Ward Arkle Chase at Leopardstown. He also represents the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association’. What do you love about National Hunt racing? I have great respect for the people who are involved because they’re in it for the love of the sport. You can see the emotions. When Jezki won the Champion Hurdle this year in Cheltenham, I watched the race with ‘Tucker’ Geraghty, whose son Barry was the winning rider. There were tears in his eyes. Being in the box afterwards with winning trainer Jessica Harrington was very emotional. Her husband Johnny, who had been sick a long time passed away soon after. The fact that he got to savour that day was tremendous.

What have been the highpoints of the arkle sponsorship? It is great to see such good horses winning the race, but the other thing is that you’re associated with the greatest NH racehorse of all time. I would have met Pat Taaffe and would be very friendly with Tom Taaffe. An Cathaoir Mór winning it for Henry de Bromhead the first year, Realt Dubh was after that and then Flemenstar won. Peter Casey gave us great publicity thanks to his post-race comments! Benefficient followed on from his win in the race by winning at Cheltenham and Trifolium was the most recent winner. He has a bright future too.

How have you found your dealings with Goffs Country? We’ve done a lot of business with Goffs. They sell lots luxury property and have an exceptional contacts book thanks to their work with Goffs’ bloodstock clients. I have found them very effective, very honest and very efficient. They’re one of the top crews now, with a fresh, lively body of personnel. It’s a well-oiled machine. They serve both sides well – the purchaser and the vendor – and that’s a feat in itself.

On circa 135 acres in Athenry, Co. Galway, the grounds were once the venue for the local Point-to-Point. A residential holding, with a yard, outdoor arena and grassland, it boasts good road frontage and is suitable for a multitude of purposes in the equestrian or agri-based sectors.


Newtown House


On circa 200 acres in Athenry, Co. Galway, this is a wonderful period residence situated in the centre of parkland, which guarantees privacy in a picturesque setting. The lands are both in grass and plantation with river frontage close to the main residence.

Castle Park House On circa 140 acres in Kanturk, Co. Cork, this is a charming period residence nestled within a wonderful parkland setting, with lands being in tillage and grass. The house itself is listed as one of the great Cork Georgian residences. This is a top class holding.

Griffinstown House On circa 40 acres, this is a beautifullylocated two-storey residence in Rathsallagh, Co. Wicklow. Griffinstown House has breathtaking views overlooking the Wicklow Mountains, and is adjacent to Rathsallagh Golf Club.

Ashgrove Stud On circa 80 acres, Ashgrove is close to the world-renowned Kildangan Stud in Co. Kildare. A compact stud farm with cut-stone courtyard and charming residence, the property possesses lands that are all in grass with good shelter and a fully-equipped yard.

Goffs National Hunt

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an official veterinary health certificate issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, OR

a DOCOM document issued by an approved Tripartite Body in respect of specified categories of horses.

A Tripartite Agreement (TPA) between Ireland, United Kingdom and France allows certain categories of horses that are in compliance with documented higher health standards laid down by Bodies approved by the Member States of the TPA, (Approved TPA Bodies), to be exempted from the requirement for pre-export inspection and official certification, when moving to/from France. The Approved TPA Bodies have been authorised to issue or to arrange with bloodstock agents (designated by the TPA Body) for the issue of DOCOM documents authorising movement to and from France, as an alternative to the requirement for an official health certificate. The competent authorities have, on the basis of submitted documented health standards and controls, agreed on the following as approved TPA Bodies in Ireland. •

Horse Sport Ireland - for the category of Sport horses competing at FEI affiliated competitions

Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association – for the category of registered thoroughbreds being moved for breeding or from a sale.

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The Turf Club – for the category of racehorses competing in races in France

Persons wishing to move horses in any of the above TPA categories to/from France should contact the appropriate TPA Body (or their Bloodstock agent) for further information. Persons wishing to move horses that are outside the scope of the TPA to/from France should contact their bloodstock agent who will arrange for the appropriate veterinary certification. Persons using their own transport to bring their own horses to EU member states (including France) are asked contact their local regional Department office for further information and to arrange for the necessary certification. Movement of Horses to /from the United Kingdom Horses (other than horses for slaughter, which require pre-export inspection and veterinary certification) moving between Ireland and the UK do not require a pre-export inspection or veterinary certification but, as with all movements of equidae, they must have a valid passport. Further information available at


8/5/14 14:15:51

09/05/2014 18:53:36

Commercial Feature

Good Neighbours Sitting on 700 acres of lush meadows and centennial trees, Palmerstown House Estate is arguably the only place in Kildare where you’ll find exclusive hospitality, understated luxury and old-world charm.




ts imposing spiked gate is just a few yards from Goffs’ and the Irish Thoroughbread Breeder’s Association’s headquarters. On top of a hill overlooking the lush surrounding countryside, is Palmerstown House, built in 1872 by the Earl of Mayo and a private residence until only a couple of years ago. And now, if you wish, it could be your own luxurious foothold when visiting Goffs. Equipped with 20 lavishly furnished ensuite bedrooms, the residence is available for private hire, which includes breakfast, butler service and housekeeping. Its ballroom and adjacent drawing rooms provide an intimate and opulent setting for parties and functions.

Palmerstown House Estate employs fulltime chefs and waiting staff and can cater for cocktail parties, full sit-down meals, as well as private dining for the house guests. The house also features a snooker room, a rooftop terrace and beautiful landscaped gardens, not to mention Palmerstown Stud Golf Course, a world-class, 7,419 yard, 18-hole championship parkland course that will be at the guests’ disposal. Activities like archery and clay pigeon shooting can also be arranged. A lot of gorgeous historic buildings in Ireland have been converted into hotels and public venues. What really sets Palmerstown House Estate aside is the privacy and tranquility it can offer to its guests. When you stay at Palmerstown

House, you won’t be sharing the space with any stranger – the whole building can be yours. While being a peaceful and secluded retreat, Palmerstown House Estate can be easily reached from the N7 and is located only 20 minutes from Dublin City Centre and 40 minutes from Dublin Airport. Helicopter landing facilities are also available on the Estate.



Palmerstown House Estate is located in Johnstown, Co. Kildare, just off junction 8 of the N7. For more information, contact Palmerstown House Estate by phone on +353 45 906 901 or by email at You can also find out more about services and facilities at

National Hunt

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class act

Goffs Thyestes Chase, the race that stops a region, is a unique Irish racing experience and is the jewel in Gowran Park’s crown.


In the picturesque pine tree surrounds of Gowran Park, in County Kilkenny’s heartland, Goffs Thyestes Chase Day is the highlight of the New Year racing calendar in Ireland. School children get the day off school to join trainers and punters at an event that stops the South West. The late January meet is an opportunity for all to brush off the Christmas cobwebs and to have a first look at potential Grand National contenders. The race takes its name from the racehorse, Thyestes, named after a figure from Greek mythology and attracts sports fans from near and far. Run over 3 miles and 16 fences, it has been won by three time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Arkle (1964) and by Aintree Grand National winners Hedgehunter (2005) and Numbersixvalverde (2006). The most famous winners of the race were the aforementioned Arkle (1964) and Flyingbolt (1966).

Goffs were previous sponsors of the race several decades ago, and resumed sponsorship in 2012, the same year On His Own, owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie, first won it. He became just the third horse ever to win the Thyestes for a second time at Gowran Park. In doing so trainer Willie Mullins drew level with Tom Dreaper, trainer of the mighty Arkle and Flyingbolt, in winning the famous race five times. While On His Own’s most recent win was the Grade 2 Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February it is his exciting performance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup that made the 2014 race one of the most thrilling in modern history when On His Own was pipped to the post by Lord Windermere in a photo finish. This year Gowran Park celebrates its centenary year marking many milestones in Irish racing.

Photograph: Patrick McCann/The racing post


Goffs National Hunt

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Photograph: Patrick McCann/The racing post


100 YEARS timeline

2014 Gowran Park celebrates 100 years of racing. Goffs extends its sponsorship of the Thyestes Chase Day for another four years.

2012 Goffs inaugural sponsorship of Theystes Chase Day



Danoli attracts a record crowd winning the Red Mills Hurdle.

1982 New grandstand opens.

YEARS THRILLING A REGION Gowran Park Racecourse celebrates its centenary.

1969 In 1969 Levmoss, the only horse ever to complete the treble of the Prix du Cadran (French Gold Cup), Ascot Gold Cup and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1969. Owned, trained and bred by the McGrath family, Levmoss scored his initial success at Gowran Park two years earlier in 1967, as had his dam, Feemoss in 1963.



1962-64 Arkle, the greatest steeplechaser of all time, was unbeaten at each of his four appearances at Gowran Park. He was successful in the President’s Hurdle in 1962, the Carey’s Cottage Chase (1963,1964) and the Thyestes Chase in 1964. With a rating of 212, Arkle remains Timeform’s highest rated steeplechaser of all time.


His Excellency, the President of Ireland, Sean T. O’Kelly, paid an official visit to Gowran Park on Thursday, 27 October, 1955 to inaugurate The President’s Handicap Hurdle. Seven years later it was won by Arkle, who sold at Goffs in 1960.

1954 The inaugural Thyestes Chase Day race takes place.

Enclosure as it appeared in 1940

1914 The first race meeting at Gowran Park was held on Tuesday,16 June, 1914, by kind permission of the owner of the Gowran demesne, Lord Annaly, where the racecourse is situated. Within six weeks World War I had begun.

Goffs National Hunt

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Students will be in College three days per week / work experience 2 days per week.



Completion of Leaving Certificate or Equivalent. Mature students may be considered based on prior learning or work experience. Equestrian Experience is desirable.

These courses are aimed at Post Leaving Certificate students who wish to gain specific skills relevant to the Equestrian Industry and gain a recognised qualification.



On successful completion of the Modules students will gain a FETAC Level 5 Horsemanship Certificate.

Delivery & follow-up service of experienced heavy foster mares Available throughout Ireland at a realistic price

On successful completion of the Modules students will gain a FETAC Level 6 Horsemanship / Breeding Advanced Certificate.

Foster Mares available (long terM lease)

Post Leaving Certificate Courses, Curragh Post-Primary, Curragh, Co. Kildare Tel: (045) 441809 • Fax: (045) 441351 •

ContaCt Pat Crosse

087 2999 878 / 061 330260

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8/5/14 15:52:45

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Suppliers of Kehoe Oats, Gain Horse Feeds, Hay & Straw and Shavings, Redmills & Bluegrass

09/05/2014 13:51:09


Ballycrystal House stud ¥oµ Where Or When Multiple GR Winner, a top miler in Europe. Now proving a high class dual purpose sire. Siring black type winners on the flat and siring NH Gr 1 and listed winners. Fee e2500 Concessions.

Suppliers of Hay & Straw to Goffs for over 14 years DElivERY AvAilAblE AnYwHERE

AlSO: Horses broken and prepared for Sales, Pt-To-Pt, Foaling, Livery etc.

GOldmark A top 2yo in France. Gr 1 winner. Siring Gr 1 and listed winners including Golden cross, Golden Wonder second in Irish National and Alvarado fourth in the English National 2014. Plus many more winners on the flat, hurdles and over fences. Fee e1500.

Tel: 059 8631 647 • John: 087 2700 255 Richard: 087 6257 415


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For more information please call Ballycrystal House Stud. Tel. 057 93 43510. Frank 087 2503156. Edward 087 6550750

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08/05/2014 08:57:43 09/05/2014 18:56:11

Commercial Feature



Those in the know shop at Kildare Village where there are savings of up to 60 per cent, all year round, on luxury labels.


ildare Village is where the smart set shop, where luxe labels are available each and every day at up to 60% off. Home to a stable of international designer labels, razor sharp tailoring, luxuries for the home, and a restaurant and café to refuel, Kildare Village has all the ingredients of a great day out. For stable yard and gallops attire shop at The North Face and Tog 24. Appreciate the craftsmanship of their luxe leather brands; British designed Anya Hindmarch and Mulberry, American iconic bag brand, Coach and Italian excellence at Furla. Chic race day options are available at Jaeger, Louise Kennedy and Gerard Darel while the menswear offer at Kildare Village is a fashion insider’s open secret. Shop the sartorial offer at Thomas Pink, Hackett, Boss Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Levis, Superdry and Churches Shoes. Keep your eyes peeled while shopping and spot celebrities and National Hunt trainers, owners and their backroom teams all shopping at the open air location on the edge of Kildare town. While in the area why not explore the historic town of Kildare with its cathedral

and round tower? The nearby Irish National Stud and Gardens where racehorses are conceived, born and raised is one of the jewels of this thoroughbred county. Travel by courtesy bus from Kildare Village to the home of the racehorse where you can to meet See The Stars, one of the stud’s many champions. The adjoining Japanese Gardens offer an aesthetic retreat from everyday life. Afterwards you can relax in the region’s many luxury spas, play golf at the K Club, a venue that has hosted The Ryder Cup and 13 European Openswhere there are

two courses to challenge you. Designed by Arnold Palmer, The Palmer Ryder Cup Course and the Smurfit Course are considered two of Europe’s finest Championship Courses. Or hit the turf at the Curragh racecourse, Ireland’s finest flat racing venue. The Curragh the 20 square kilometers of adjacent public land has been used as a battle scene location in the film, Braveheart. Racehorses ride out on the gallops and Dan Donnelly, the famous Dublin heavyweight boxer, fought one of his most famous bare-knuckle fights in a place now known as Donnelly’s Hollow. Kildare Village is more than just shopping. It is also a great day out. Shop, lunch and play catch-up with friends in an environment that is only 40 minutes from Dublin but is a world away. 045 520501



Goffs National Hunt

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MSc in

JIM DERWIN EQUESTRIAN international Horse Dealer Top Quality & Premium Hunters, Eventers, Showjumpers & Ponies for Sale

APPLIED EQUINE SCIENCE Developing a new generation of graduates with the ability to: • translate knowledge of equine science into practice, • develop competence in research and research methods, • develop an understanding of the entrepreneurial process.

Transport Worldwide Auburn, Dublin rd, Athlone, Co. Westmeath Tel: +353 (0)87 2301776 Email:

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08/05/2014 17:21:40


Tradition of quality saddlery since 1880

Suppliers of Kehoe Oats, Grain Horse Feeds, Hay & Straw and Shavings, Redmills & Bluegrass

We are at Goffs on each sale day, and we stock the Goffs DBS clothing range...

Suppliers of Hay & Straw to Goffs for over 14 years DElivERY AvAilAblE AnYwHERE

AlSO: Horses broken and prepared for Sales, Pt-To-Pt, Foaling, Livery etc.

Tel: 059 8631 647 • John: 087 2700 255 Richard: 087 6257 415

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SELLING SADDLES, BRIDLE WORK & CLOTHING Berney Bros Saddlery, Main Street, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare Tel. 045 481228 | Fax. 045 481094 Email. Web.

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07/05/2014 15:08:24 09/05/2014 18:58:09

Social Network

Social Network 59


Goffs National Hunt

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Social Network

Tom Mullins and Harold Kirk

Nina Carberry and Paul Carberry


Martin Cullinane

Noel Meade


Photography: Peter Mooney

Land Rover Sale 2013

The Land Rover Sale is Goffs premier National Hunt Sale and a leading source of Cheltenham winners including Champion hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup winners. The June sale in 2013 saw record temperatures matched by record prices. The success of Land Rover horses this year sets the scene for another scorcher in 2014.

Ben Case

Edward O’Grady

Henry De Bromhead Richard Pugh

Jessica Harrington, Katie Harrington and Barry Geraghty

Goffs National Hunt

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Social Network

Mouse Morris

Tim Hyde, Charlie Swan, Carol Swan Brian Murphy and Sam Curling

Joseph O’Brien


Goffs Emmet Mullins and Patrick Mullins Nicky Henderson

Barry Geraghty and Tom Malone

Harry Fry

Willie Browne, Ted Walsh, Michael Browne

Goffs National Hunt

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Social Network

David Minton, Peter Molony and Nicky Henderson

Wilson Dennison and Kevin Ross Jonjo O’Neill and Kieran McManus


Philip Hobbs and Aiden Murphy


Photography: Caroline Norris

Goffs Punchestown Sale 2014

Gordon Elliott

On day three of the Irish National Hunt Festival leading trainers, agents and owners packed into the winners enclosure for a capacity turnout at Goffs Punchestown Sale. The original festival sale, a market leader in its category, attracts top National Hunt buyers from Ireland and the UK looking for their next stable star. This year’s event saw the number of six figure sales double year on year.

Tim Hyde, Dan Skelton, Charlie Swan

Crowd shot

Goffs National Hunt

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Social Network

Meta and Dermot Cantillon John “Shark” Hanlon

Rebecca Curtis and Gearoid Costelloe

Charlie Longsdon

63 Dessie Hughes

Evan Williams

Willie Mullins

Ros Easom


Edward O’Grady

Henry De Bromhead

Andrew Nolan and Nick Nugent

Gerry Hogan, Barry Fenton, Emma Lavelle, Ciara Hogan

Gofs National Hunt

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home TURF

Ireland and Leinster rugby star and Land Rover brand ambassador Jamie Heaslip talks man’s best friend, technology and the Punchestown Festival.


horoughbred athlete, Ireland captain and Naas native is a big fan of the Punchestown Festival. You could say he grew up with it. As a schoolboy in Naas he recalls the entire school being given days off to go and spend at the Festival enjoying the thrill of the rides at what he describes as, “Funderland in horse country”. The family-friendly element of the festival has grown in strength since

Jamie was in short pants. The festival issues 10,000 tickets through the local schools and gives the kids a thrilling 50,000 square feet of bouncy castles and rollercoasters. While Heaslip also used the occasion to cut his teeth at the bookies he wised up fast. “I know what I’m good at and betting on horses isn’t one of them.” Heaslip’s family home is adjacent to Naas Racecourse where he used the track as a training ground, running around it, weighed down by the weights in his

Mark Stedman



backpack, while on the Senior Cup squad at nearby Newbridge College. In military circles this is known as running with a bergen – it seems a fitting type of training for Heaslip given that his father’s job as a the brigadier general serving with the UN took the family to many far flung places including Tiberias in Israel, on the Sea of Galilee, where Heaslip was born in 1983. Innovative training methodology is something that Heaslip is keen to explore further. When he recently visited Coolmore Stud with the Ireland team the medical engineering graduate was surprised to see that the stud farm used science and technology to improve their horses’ performances, taking bloods to fast track recovery and using GPS trackers to determine how fast an animal ran and the distance it covered. As an investor in Kitman Labs, a sports science company working to reduce the risk of injury within professional sports organisations, he is interested in “any marginal gain in any professional sport”. As someone who “sees the value of sport and sport science” the Coolmore visit had him wondering if the profiling system the lab was working on could be adapted for the bloodstock industry. When he’s not training he’s hanging out with his best friend, a British bulldog called Jay-Z, named after the hip hop rapper and producer. The three-year old canine weighs in at about 30 kilos and is kept on a nutritional tight leash with Heaslip monitoring every calorie he consumes as closely as he does his own intake. While the two go for the occasional run together Jay Z prefers their down days when he can take a back seat and travel in style in the rear of Jamie’s Land Rover Defender clipped securely into place using a dog seat belt. He’s also used the vehicle to ferry artists from the stage to back stage at previous Oxegen music festivals, which were held at the racecourse every summer. He recalls ferrying Marcus Mumford, lead singer with Mumford & Sons, and fellow Leinster stablemate, Cian Healy, who qualified as an artist because he was DJing that weekend. When he’s alone in his car he likes to play tunes on Spotify through bluetooth. “When we win it’s something upbeat, going out kind of music. When we lose I don’t play any music at all.”

Goffs National Hunt

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*on the recommended retail price © Kildare Village 2014 02/14

Kildare Village. A member of the Chic Outlet Shopping ® Collection of Villages

LIKE SHOPPING. BUT BETTER. The finest designer boutiques. All in one place. With up to 60% off. *




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DRIVEN TO ANOTHER LEVEL The all-new Range Rover Sport’s refined driving dynamics deliver performance and agility like never before. So no matter the terrain, it takes driving to another level.

Official fuel consumption figures for the Range Rover Sport Range in l/100km (mpg): Urban 8.3 – 20.5, Extra urban 6.7 – 10.0, Combined 7.3 – 13.8. Co2: 194 – 321g/km. Drive responsibly on and off-road.

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07/05/2014 15:13:47

Profile for Jane Matthews

Goffs national hunt 2014  

Goffs national hunt 2014