Cork Wed, 9th Sep, 2020
Loch Lein she is a lovely filly and we've always thought a lot of her. She has a massive frame and is thriving on her racing. She has entries in the (Group 1) Cheveley Park (at Newmarket) and there's a race at Fairyhouse (Ballyhane Blenheim Stakes) for her but we'll let mum decide and whatever she does this year, she'll be a better filly next year. Shane said she hated the soft ground the last day and I was worried about the ground being too quick today but she handled it really well.
Curragh Sat, 22nd Aug, 2020
Make A Challenge That was impressive. I wasn't expecting that, to be honest, I was expecting Speak In Colours to give us a right test and probably beat us. I thought we were always better over five but that is his ground. There aren't too many horses that would live with him on that ground, he just motors through it. This was only a stepping stone to the Flying Five here on Champions Weekend. He's in Tipperary during the week in a Listed race. We don't work him much at home. He's been coming here, picking up prize-money, and using races to step to another race. We just feel he's better fresh like that and he's had a little break, I'd say he's really freshened up well. This time last year he came alive and hopefully he is coming good again. There is a good program. There is the Flying Five, the l'abbaye and Champions Weekend at Ascot. We'll look at the three of them. It's great for Joe as well, he's having a good run of it. Hopefully it keeps raining and if the horses keep running like that I'll be happy. I wouldn't say Battaash is unbeatable but he's going to be very hard to beat. You'd be disappointed that A'Ali didn't show more as he beat us here but that was on better ground. Obviously we are better on this type of ground.
Cork Sat, 8th Aug, 2020
Pearls Galore She is a handy filly and I was a little concerned about her carrying that weight but I thought this was the race for her and I hoped she'd win it. I think it is hard on a filly to step from a maiden straight into a Stakes race and I felt she could be competitive in a handicap. I haven't thought past today but the aim would be to try and win a Stakes race with her. She is nice filly and I'm thrilled she did what she did.
Limerick Fri, 17th Jul, 2020
Pearls Galore She is a nice filly; we have had her since January and she came from France. There is an unusual story with her as her grandam (Group 1 Prix Vermeille Stakes winner Pearly Shells) was bred here at the track by Lord Harrington. She is Lord Harrington's back pedigree and is coming home to win her maiden. I'm very happy for her to win her maiden and we'll see how she comes out of this.
Curragh Fri, 10th Jul, 2020
Make A Challenge It was good to see him back. The last day was a bit of a mess. A few times we rode him too forward over six including Champions Day at Ascot last year. It was very easy to say that Joe was there too soon but he doesn’t like to be held up. It was more me than Joe last time as I decided to change it up. I left it to Joe today and he told me he’d get it right. To be fair he had to battle and he did. I thought he was beat but he stuck the head down.
Bellewstown Thu, 2nd Jul, 2020
Inflection Point We said coming here that this was his Derby, going down the hill and around as he has loads of pace,. It's taken us a while to try and get a handle on him. Hopefully he can learn from that and go forward. He's not the most straight-forward. Shane gave him a super ride. Maybe he'll progress from here. It was an ordinary race but he won well. The last day we maybe just sat on him a bit too much, horses got up around him and he was all buzz and too strong. He showed it there today. He's only had a handful of runs and hopefully he's learning.
Curragh Sat, 27th Jun, 2020
Ancient Spirit It’s nice to see him back up his win in Navan. He’s a lovely horse and is growing in confidence getting his head in front. He didn’t get things his own way today and had to go after the horse in front. When he’s got there Shane said he did it easy enough.
Naas Sat, 20th Jun, 2020
Make A Challenge It’s good to see the horse back. We brought him to Doha and he didn’t have much of a winter break. He’d no luck out there — he was drawn wide and got shoved off the bend and the ground was too hard. We were just thankful to get him home in one piece,. He was working with Sceptical a few weeks ago. He probably got disappointed when Sceptical edged him out once or twice. It wasn’t good for his head so we worked him with some lesser types and got his confidence back up. There is a fair chance he could go for the Greenlands next weekend. There are plenty of options and keeping him and Sceptical apart is our biggest problem. I think five is his best trip. Like Sceptical today he just got gobbled up late on in the Group 1 at Ascot last October. Joe gets on great with him and Joey Sheridan gets on great with Sceptical. They might meet one day but for the moment we’ll try and keep them apart. We ran Sceptical today as we felt he needed the extra few days (after his run at Naas). He ran his heart out. Frankie (Dettori) was critical of himself for committing too soon but I wasn’t. I thought we just got outstayed on the day on dead ground by hardened campaigners which we are not. I think we can come forward again from that. We are looking at the July Cup and long term the Flying Five for both of them. Frankie said on better ground and conserving a bit more energy that six would be no problem. There is also the Nunthorpe and I would be favouring
Curragh Fri, 12th Jun, 2020
Maid Of Spirit she’s a filly that Con Harrington owns but it’s her first run for us. They thought quite a bit of her in England. She’s a speedy filly and well-bred, and is in foal to Footstepsinthesand. She has until August to run away so that’s a great start. As with all well-bred fillies they would like to get a bit of black type but she’ll need to improve a bit. Chris said she took a blow and she might improve fitness wise. She’s in the Rockingham so we may go for that and then try for a bit of black type.
Navan Wed, 10th Jun, 2020
Mutadaawel I had him entered for the Lincoln and I thought he was good enough to run a respectable race there. So if I thought that I thought he should win today. He had a break because of Covid-19 but he came back in as fresh as a daisy and we've been very happy with him. Conor is back riding out and knows the horse inside out. I thought he hit the front a little bit soon but the horse just took him there as he was full of running. He toughed it out at the end. Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning got me last year at the Curragh, on the line, and I thought they were going to do the same again today (with short-head runner-up Ambitious Approach). Thank-god he toughed it out. It's a serious way to start the season and we badly needed it. The horses seem to all be in very good form and hopefully the bit of a break did us all the world of good.
Navan Wed, 10th Jun, 2020
Ancient Spirit we couldn't be happier with him. He was unlucky at the end of last year to get beat and it's great that's he's come out and done that today. He really battled. He's learning to do things right now. Shane jumped out and kept him out to let him relax in his own time. I think he'll get a lot of confidence from today. He has a few entries and I'll let mum, Michael (Donohoe) and Mr Zhang have the conversation about where they are going to go. He's very versatile and I think he'll go on any ground. He's just a good solid horse and a exciting, fun horse to have for all those group and listed races. He could be anything if he keeps improving like he has.