Thurles Sun, 20th Jan, 2019
Camelia De Cotte She wears a hood and she’s not an easy ride, but fences seem to have been the making of her — she’s a far superior mare over fences compared to what she was over hurdles. It won’t be easy, because she has penalties to carry and Meri Devie is a good mare who won well on her first start over fences at Naas. Our mare goes there in good form, and hopefully she can pick up some more black type.
Punchestown Mon, 14th Jan, 2019
Elfile She had some nice form in France but she wasn't exactly showing off her form. We didn't come here full of confidence but she seems a natural jumper, and I'd say that's her trip and maybe softer ground. I think she'll improve and as I keep saying a lot of our maidens are a bit behind where they could be. We'll stick to that trip for the time being and she could go further in time.
Clonmel Thu, 10th Jan, 2019
French Made She was getting a lot of weight off a mare who had more experience than her and the further she was going the better she was going,. She wasn't impressing me coming down the hill as I thought she was coming off the bridle and Paul said the same. We'll probably go up in trip but she could be alright at this trip if we ever get winter ground. We've had soft ground at Tramore, Cork and at Limerick. She will progress in mares' novice races and she will probably get a Triumph entry but she will want to be a lot sharper. She is owned by Sean McManus and his daughter Julie, from Drogheda who couldn't be here but take a big interest.
Tramore Tue, 1st Jan, 2019
Al Boum Photo It looks a strong race — more like a Grade Two than a Listed race — but I suppose the ground is soft in Tramore, which suits these staying chasers. We run the three of them, as we’re getting into 2019 and we need to get these horses out. Al Boum Photo would probably be the pick of them on last season’s form. He’s a Grade One winner and we hope he could be a Gold Cup horse. The worry would be our horses that ran over Christmas that hadn’t had a run this season looked like they needed it. Our three Grade One winners in Leopardstown — Aramon, Kemboy and Sharjah — had all had a run. We want to see Total Recall jumping well as his jumping let him down at the end of last season. A good, clear round would be good for him. Invitation Only needs to improve.
Punchestown Mon, 31st Dec, 2018
Bachasson It was a nice surprise to finish the year off,. It's great to have him back because he had a nasty injury after the Gold Cup. This was a nice race to bring him back but I didn't dream that he was straight enough to win but he did it well. I might keep him hurdling for the foreseeable future and the same with Killultagh Vic, if I can find races for them. Scarpeta will obviously be the same. He probably just wanted a longer trip and his jumping let him down again. Killultagh Vic will probably get an entry for the Irish Gold Cup but I thinking more about the horse and keeping him sound. He'll have to get an entry alright but we'll see. I'm trying to keep both of them hurdling. I'd like to keep Bachasson hurdling anyway, I might have to change my plans with Killultagh Vic. I'm thinking about keeping them sound but we'll have to see. I hadn't been thinking about the Irish Gold Cup but it's a race we'll have to consider.
Leopardstown Sat, 29th Dec, 2018
Sharjah The ground is crucial to him. It made all the difference. Patrick said he's so good on the ground,. I'm very happy for Patrick and very happy for Rich, who probably hasn't had the best Christmas for him. I thought the mistake put Melon out of the race. Ruby felt he was staying on at the end but it was very disappointing from him. However a good few of our horses having their first runs this season have run similar types of races and I'm hoping he'll improve on that. It's been up and down for us but I'm very pleased to get another Grade 1 today.
Leopardstown Sat, 29th Dec, 2018
Good Thyne Tara She's very tough. We're probably lucky to still have her in training. We didn't get the rain this winter and if we had I would have just sent her back. The ground is good and she loves it. David said she went down on the sand track where it was heavy and she hated it. He said the minute she stepped out on the grass she was a different mare. He wanted to make the running on her and I said 'okay go ahead and do that'. It worked out for him again. It was a big surprise to me as I didn't think she was up to that standard but the more she does the more she improves. She's probably just a little better than a lot of them on this ground. We'll see what happens when the ground gets heavy. I was delighted with Elimay. It was her first run for us. Charlie Swan bought her in France for JP McManus. She's not a big mare but she's obviously got a big engine, I think. For her first run over hurdles here it was good. With Limini, I'm just wondering if the runs she had on the Flat on very firm ground might be telling now on this unseasonably dry ground here. She might just improve back to her old form if the weather breaks. Ruby felt she wasn't letting herself down on it. She wants more of a cut in the ground.
Leopardstown Fri, 28th Dec, 2018
Kemboy It’s a fantastic race, it’s going to be very difficult to win it. Kemboy is improving all the time, he’s the right age and profile going into this race. He won a big handicap at Punchestown and a Grade Two last time out. He’s going to have to step up to Grade One level now, but we’re very happy with him at home and this race will tell us a lot about where we are going at the end of the season. We are hoping Bellshill will make up into a Gold Cup horse this year. We do have a slight concern about him going left-handed as his form is better right-handed, but we can see no reason for that. Leopardstown hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for him. He got beaten in a bumper, was beaten in a novice hurdle and fell in a novice chase. He’s in good form at home and looks fantastic. The form he showed at Punchestown and Fairyhouse in the spring, off an interrupted season, shows the level of ability he has. We’re hoping he’s a Gold Cup horse this year.
Limerick Fri, 28th Dec, 2018
Redhotfillypeppers it was a nice opportunity for her but that's her game jumping fences, and it will bring out the best in her. Everyone one of the fences up the back she was gaining lengths and she'll go further as well. Class got her trough there but it was a good place to start her. We'll see the best of her over fences.
Thu, 27th Dec, 2018
Aramon Aramon works well at home and we’ve been happy with him since Fairyhouse. He’s going to have to step up slightly on what he did in the Royal Bond (third), but that was a messy race, so he could. Sancta Simona is a very exciting mare and will love this ground. We’re expecting a very big run out of her. It doesn’t look the strongest of Grade Ones, so hopefully they’ll both run well.