07. June – August 2015
In just over a week’s time the highlight of the Irish racing season takes place with Leopardstown and the Curragh hosting the second Irish Champions Weekend.
This is a fixture that will always be very special to us as Fiesolana gave the yard a first Group 1 success when winning the Matron Stakes twelve months ago. As the latest Champions Weekend approaches the horses couldn’t be in better form and the last six weeks have provided their share of highlights.
At the start of the year we were fortunate to be sent some lovely two-year-olds and several of these have made their mark lately while offering the promise of much more to come in 2016. Among these is Godolphin’s French Blue who couldn’t have won any better on her debut at Dundalk last month. She is a filly that we have had to bring along gradually at home and she didn’t have too much done going to Dundalk so it was great to see her win by over four lengths as she really does look like one that will come into her own next year. Hopefully she will have a decent future at Stakes level.
Another filly whose best days are head of her is the Niarchos Family’s Radiantly. A wide draw and the six furlong trip weren’t ideal for her on her debut but she stepped forward nicely from that first run to win a maiden over an extended seven furlongs at Tipperary last week. She may not run again this season but we do believe that she could make up into a very nice middle distance prospect next year.
Dolce Straga, who is owned by a new Italian owner Renzo Forni, will hopefully develop into a nice sprinter after winning a five furlong maiden at Tipperary several weeks ago. She has since run well at Group 3 level at the Curragh and will hopefully give a good account of herself at Salisbury tomorrow.
Dolce Straga’s maiden was part of a memorable evening for us at Tipperary early last month when the yard enjoyed its first treble. The other winners that evening were Bridgets Fable, another nice two-year-old, and the improving sprinter Ostatnia who we hope will represent us well in the Bold Lad Sprint at the Curragh next weekend.
Much earlier in the season Fact OF Folklore won a maiden at Dundalk and she was one that we hoped would progress well throughout the campaign but slow ground is quite important to her so she has been quite lightly raced over the last four months. Her favoured ground did bring out the best in her at Roscommon on Monday though as she won a reasonable fillies handicap in decent style. Once conditions remain in her favour she could be worth following for the remainder of the autumn.
Our Irish 1000 Guineas third Devonshire was only just denied a first stakes race victory at Killarney a couple of weeks but hopefully her turn will come over the course of the autumn. Elsewhere we were thrilled with Champagne Or Water’s Cambridgeshire fourth on Sunday and hopefully there is a good handicap to be won with her while Aridity is a two-year-old of promise and there was a lot to like his debut third in a useful Killarney maiden recently.