It’s fantastic to have the new Flat turf season up and running for 2023, and we were delighted to get a winner at the Curragh’s first meeting of the year through Insinuendo in the Group 3 Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes.
We’ve had a bit of luck in this race in recent years, with Epona Plays also winning it in 2020, and I was delighted that Insinuendo managed to get her head in front after finishing second here 12 months earlier.
She’s been a smashing mare for Michael and Dympna Deegan. I’m delighted that they didn’t end up selling her last year. We’re looking forward to targeting her at Group 1 races for the season ahead, and she will have some options in England. She’s won in Group 2 and Group 3 company, and has been placed in a Group 1, so we’ll be trying our best to win at the top level with her.
Insinuendo wins at the Curragh's first meeting of the year
On the same card at the Curragh, Mogwli wasn’t beaten far on his first start back when fourth in a six-furlong handicap under Nathan Crosse. He ran another respectable race when turning out again a few days later at Navan, finishing fifth in another sprint handicap, but I probably shouldn’t have run him because five furlongs is just a bit too short for him. The handicapper had given him a 3lb rise for his Curragh run which didn’t make life any easier.
Downforce is a real yard favourite and he ran a grand race on his first run of the year at the Curragh when fifth in a competitive five-furlong handicap. As it turned out, he might have ended up sitting in a pocket in the wrong place at the time, rather than kicking on a bit earlier. He’ll head to Cork next month for a similar race.
I thought it was a nice run from Self Belief on his seasonal reappearance when third in the Listed Plusvital Devoy Stakes at Naas. He probably just didn’t get home on what was very testing ground. He’s a nice gelding by Make Believe and hopefully he can build on that run into the coming months for owner-breeders Ballylinch Stud.
It was great to see decent crowds at the Curragh and Naas to kick off the new season, and fingers crossed we will have plenty to look forward to as the year progresses here at Rathbride. We’ll be doing our level best to build on a good start to the season.