Performance Review

July 2023

Leopardstown has been a lucky track for us this season and it was great to notch our second Group-race win of the season there when Self Belief put up a lovely performance to win the Meld Stakes. Billy gave him a beautiful ride and everything fell into place for us.

Although his two runs prior to the Meld weren’t overly strong, he was still working very well at home, seemed to be in great form and it felt like the right thing to keep him in the race. The field cut up and thankfully taking our chance paid off. He’s a nice homebred for Ballylinch Stud and we’ll aim him at the Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile at the Irish Champions Festival in September.

20 7 23 Self Belief Leopardstown

Self Belief wins the Meld Stakes in Leopardstown

We had another good result at Leopardstown when Vespertilio picked up blacktype by finishing second in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes. She came home well for third on her debut at Fairyhouse earlier in the month and we felt she had learned plenty from that, as well as being likely to enjoy stepping up to seven furlongs from six. Hopefully she’s one to look forward to for Al Shira'aa Farms.

There was also more blacktype for the Niarchos Family’s Cigamia when runner-up in the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse. I thought it was a brilliant ride from Colin Keane on the winner Zarinsk, who did the form no harm when winning the Minstrel Stakes on her next start. Nathan did nothing wrong on our filly but I thought all the riders in that race were probably out-ridden a bit by Colin, getting to the rail and the lead before slowing the pace down. Cigamia has started this season with two fine runs back-to-back.

Helpmeout is a very consistent filly for Redpender Stud and ran another rock-solid race when just touched off in a competitive seven-furlong handicap at Naas. We’ll be trying our best to get her head in front again before the season is out.

Coill Na Sionainne is another mare who has been holding her form well in the main and she ran another decent race when third in a handicap at Tramore. The handicapper might have a hold of her at the moment but it would be great if we could win another race with her for her owner-breeder Nicolas Varney.

It was nice to see Es Vedra take a step in the right direction when third on her first start in a handicap at Navan. Unfortunately the handicapper ended up knocking her out of the 47-65 handicap grade by raising her rating for the run, which is frustrating given how big a difference there is for horses stepping up in class at that level. Regardless, hopefully she can build on that run going forward.

Finally, Morning Approach kept on well again to finish third in a mile handicap at Naas later in the month. She’s now put some grand runs together and fingers crossed a race can fall her way over the coming months.

We’d obviously like to have had some more winners during the month but all our runners in pattern company performed very well and keeping up that quality is positive. We’re all eager to drive on and have a strong end to the summer months of the season.