I've been coming for ten years on a jolly, now I'm a Royal Ascot trainer, says O'Sullivan


Longbourn and Warrior Brave represent Co Kildare at flat racing's British showpiece

Friday, June 17, 2022
Ross O'Sullivan and wife Katie Walsh aren't just at Royal Ascot for the craic - this year he has two runners

Ross O'Sullivan and wife Katie Walsh aren't just at Royal Ascot for the craic - this year he has two runners


You know you are doing something right as a trainer when you have entries at Royal Ascot, writes Tom Masters.

Ross O’Sullivan and wife Katie Walsh have been making the trip over for a decade now, but after ten years of coming for pleasure, this year marks the first time the pair have come with business in mind.

His first runner? 66-1 shot Longbourn, who entered the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes off the back of a promising win at the Curragh last year.

He led for large parts of the race, in the end though, it was just too much for the six-year-old, who finished 14th.

He said: “It’s amazing, myself and my wife Katie have been coming here for the last ten years on the jolly really, having fun with friends and just enjoying the whole social aspect of it – but we’ve never had runners, so that makes it extra special. 

“To have a runner and another runner on Sunday is really, really exciting, it’s been the plan for the last couple of months. 

“Coming up to it, you hope that you’ll get there, and now we’re here, we just can’t wait.”

Perhaps a better chance for a surprise victory for O’Sullivan comes in Saturday’s Wokingham Stakes, where three-time Irish Champion Jockey Colin Keane rides 40/1 outsider Warrior Brave.  

“The horse is a sprinter, he is again owned by an American woman, Eleanora Kennedy, who has flown in to be with us,” said O’Sullivan. “She’s never been, neither of my two owners have been before, so they’re both as excited as I am.

“They want to soak up the whole experience of it and being at the highlight of the calendar of flat racing is really exciting - we’re not an overly big yard, but to have two runners is really great.”

While O’Sullivan - who had 12 wins last season and three this campaign - is just happy to have entries at Royal Ascot, he is crossing his fingers that Warrior Brave is competitive and hoping for a bit of magic in his maiden Royal Ascot venture.

He added: “It’s like going to Cheltenham or anything like that, it’s great to be here, it’s great to have runners and the expectations are just we hope they are respectable. It's so competitive, everyone is here and they’re such good horses at this meeting.

“All you can hope for is a bit of luck, and you never know, maybe something magical will happen."
 

It’s amazing, myself and my wife Katie have been coming here for the last ten years on the jolly really, having fun with friends and just enjoying the whole social aspect of it – but we’ve never had runners, so that makes it extra special. 
- Ross O'Sullivan 

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