Everybody needs help finding a diamond in the rough and some of Ireland’s leading trainers will be attempting to do just that in June’s store sales, writes Josh Graham.
The Goffs Land Rover sale will take place from June 8-10 with
Cheltenham winners Put The Kettle On and Belfast Banter just a couple of the past graduates of the event.
We caught up with some of the Irish trainers currently enjoying a fine run of success who will be attending the upcoming sales keen
to work with new owners to source a future stable star.
Philip Rothwell bagged three winners at Punchestown Festival and knows what it takes to unearth a gem.
"It’s magic when your horse goes on to have success - you get a great
sense of achievement," Rothwell said.
"When we have had the chance to spend bigger money, we have turned up some very good horses.
"Somebody said to me afterwards ‘you were the second leading trainer at Punchestown Festival’ and
that’s magic out of a small yard.
"I’ve had a Cheltenham Festival winner before and a number of horses that have placed there and that is where we all aspire to be so, hopefully, we can unearth something that will give us a live chance.”
not just an eye for talent that stands him out from the rest, with Rothwell’s picturesque yard in the Wicklow mountains another area that helps him gain an edge over the competition.
"It’s huge to have the facilities because the sport is so competitive in Ireland and it’s very fine margins between winning and losing," he said.
"The staff and support of very good owners is a big recipe and the whole recipe has to
be put together to churn out winners in this country."
Eoin Griffin has also enjoyed a handful of winners of late, while previously training graded winners Kazal and St Devote, and he revels in the process of finding and developing untried
horses at real value.
"We are all there trying to look for something that is going to slip through the net and it’s pretty competitive," Griffin said.
"We look for something that represents a bit of value.
"There’s a lot
of professional satisfaction that comes from selecting an untried horse, bringing it right through from the breaking in process, educating the horse and preparing them for their racing career.
"When that horse does go on and win it brings
greater satisfaction than buying a ready-made horse that has won a point to point or a flat race."
Griffin, who has had three winners in the last two months and is based in the south east of Ireland at Beacon Hill Stables, places great emphasis
on athleticism when he looks for a horse up for auction.
"I place a lot of emphasis on the dam-line,” he added.
"I'll be forgiving on some conformational aspects with the amount of money I have to spend as we have to make allowances.
are looking for horses that move well, carry themselves well and are athletic. "Winners that are coming right from the first dam down and back through the generations indicates soundness in the pedigree."
Ciaran Murphy only took over his training licence
from long-time mentor Dot Love at the start of this year but has already been blessed with plenty of winners out of Charlestown Stables in County Meath.
He knows all about the professional satisfaction that comes from working with owners
old and new on the journey of producing a horse to compete.
“It’s fabulous when you source a horse that goes on to do well," Murphy said.
“It’s a long road before you get them to the track so it’s very satisfying if you can buy a
horse for an owner and produce them on the track and win with them.
“There’s great satisfaction in that process.”
And Murphy revealed keeping his horses fit and healthy is his key to success.
“We might do things a little
bit different to most,” he explained.
“We get them out on the paddock most days and we do plenty of work with them once they are eating up well.
“Having the horses fit is primarily the thing that we look at and then it’s all about
having them good enough after that.”
If you are interested in sourcing a horse at the upcoming sales now is your chance to contact a trainer and begin your journey to owning a Punchestown or Cheltenham festival winner. See https://bit.ly/3yUAFgI to find a trainer and start your journey.