Qipco 1000 Guineas in Newmarket offers up the opportunity of some potential
feelgood stories for Irish racing.
of the 15 runners are trained in Ireland but with all due respect to Aidan
O’Brien’s quartet, or even Iridressa, who is trained by O’Brien’s son Joseph,
it is the fate of Lady Kaya and Skitter Scatter that will have the romanticists
Kaya was bought for €15,000 as a foal by Joanne Lavery, with a view to being
sold at a profit as a yearling. The interest wasn’t there however, so instead,
Joanne sent her into training with her aunt Sheila, who has forged a
considerable reputation in a very short term, having taken out a training
licence seven years ago at the age of 52.
a 10-length maiden success at the Curragh, there were considerable offers for
Lady Kaya but they have all been rejected.
the Group 3 triumph on her seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown last month,
that decision is paying dividends and given the family’s breeding interests,
Lady Kaya is already extremely valuable.
the steering will be managed by Robbie Colgan, whose biggest successes prior to
the 1,000 Guineas Trial had come in the Galmoy Hurdle and Troytown Chase over
Scatter is a homebred, running in the colours of Sonia Rogers of Airlie Stud.
She was handled brilliantly throughout her juvenile campaign by Patrick
Prendergast, and she gave her handler his first taste of Group 1 glory in the
Moyglare Stud Stakes, when Lady Kaya was back in fourth.
improved throughout the year and her running style appeared to indicate that a
mile would suit.
now, of course, is running under the John Oxx banner, after Prendergast merged
his operation with the Currabeg conditioner’s.
of the Don
Don Poli fan club will be delighted that the 10-year-old, formerly owned by
Gigginstown House Stud and once trained by Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott,
is making a quick return to Irish shores in the Boyesports Handicap Chase
(3.10) at Punchestown tomorrow.
was sold at Aintree for £170,000,prior to finishing 19th in the
English Grand National behind his long-time stablemate, Tiger Roll. A winner of
eight of his 20 races prior to that, a tally that included three Grade 1s and
two Cheltenham Festival successes, The Don also finished third in the
Cheltenham Gold Cup, to add to his RSA Chase and Martin Pipe Hurdle triumphs
around Prestbury Park.
is now owned by Darren and Annaley Yates, while Phil Kirby is his new trainer.
is his fourth appearance at the Irish National Hunt Festival, but he has never
won, finishing second in the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle five years ago,
third in the Punchestown Gold Cup and fifth in the Growise Champion Novice
next as Ruby moves on?
succession plan was in place a long while at Closutton, so that even as Ruby
Walsh surprised most people with his retirement announcement on Wednesday,
champion jockey-elect Paul Townend took up the slot seamlessly with a double on
his first day as Willie Mullins’s No 1 24 hours later.
happens in behind him will be interesting. We can expect David Mullins and
Danny Mullins to get more chances, while it was very interesting that Robbie
Power came in for the ride on the highly exciting Chacun Pour Soi in
yesterday’s Ryanair Novice Chase.
was a reminder of course of the different dynamics of being the main man. You
have to make a call and be prepared for getting it wrong, whereas as number
two, the decision is usually taken out of your hands.
it is also interesting to see Rachael Blackmore on board Stormy Ireland in the
Irish Stallion Farms EBF Annie Power Mares’ Champion Hurdle. Townend takes the
reins on Benie Des Dieux, with David Mullins getting the leg up on Good Thyne
Power, Blackmore has been employed successfully by Mullins before. This may be
something we see more of in the future.