It was good to close out the 2021 turf season with a couple of nice winners in October, as well as some promising runs from our young horses with a view to next year.
I was delighted to see Punakha get her head in front in a fillies' maiden at Gowran after some fine runs in defeat. She's been very consistent and definitely deserved her turn. It was a great result for Eimear Mulhern, with this filly being a homebred, and I'd imagine she'll be back again next season in the hope of picking up some black type.
Punakha deserved her turn at Gowran
Huddle Up also got on the scoresheet at Navan, having shown up well at Naas three days earlier. Michael and Anne O'Donnell were delighted to both see him come home in front and then sell him a couple of weeks later. All in all, it was a great month with him.
I thought Coill Na Sionainne ran a blinder when going for a decent pot at Navan and was just touched off. She's a very solid mare and hopefully will be back again for more next season.
Star In The Making showed some good form during the year and importantly earned some black type when placed in the Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh. It was fantastic for Madeline Burns and I'd imagine the filly will be covered by a stallion like Bungle Inthejungle as she heads on to become a broodmare. She's got a nice pedigree and was bought with the idea of getting black type and retiring to the breeding sheds, as she can do now.
There was also more black type for Loveday when third in the Listed Legacy Stakes at Dundalk during the month, continuing her very consistent run of form. Billy felt that she may have been a little weak in the final 50 yards and I've since turned her out to allow her to strengthen up for next season.
A great month with Huddle Up
Pepper Streak has been a solid two-year-old for us and ran a big race when edged out at Dundalk a few weeks later. A lovely, big type, she's growing at the moment and we'll give her some time to develop before the start of next year.
Life In Colour had a couple of smart runs in maidens when placed at Navan and the Curragh. Rory Cleary felt last time that while she's a nice, big filly, she's probably still a little bit weak. That run came shortly after her previous start, maybe a bit too soon, but we wanted to get her out again while the ground suited. She's a beautiful looking filly and hopefully can progress next season.
There was another solid run from Mogwli when third at Navan. Dillon Butler did nothing wrong on him and I'm sure the horse will be back in 2022 for apprentices to ride.
Prince Hector is probably more of a miler but we dropped him back to six furlongs at Naas in the hope of finding the right opening for him. He ran well when fourth and has since been gelded. Fingers crossed he'll be a nice horse for next season.
Even Flow had a couple of decent runs when third in a maiden at Tipperary before finishing fourth on her first all-weather start. She mightn't have been in love with Dundalk and was subsequently claimed.
As the turf season has drawn to a close, we'd like to take the chance to thank all our team and owners for their continued support. We had a good campaign, seeing our prize money boosted nicely from 2020 and equalling last season's tally of 21 winners.
Group 2 successes at the Curragh for Insinuendo and Epona Plays were the biggest highlights - we're looking forward to having Insinuendo back with us next season, while Epona Plays is preparing for her next career as a broodmare. Here's hoping she can produce one as talented as herself.
Going forward, there will be less two-year-olds for 2022 than previously but I'm happy with our numbers and there are some lovely three-year-olds to look forward to. We should have a nice group of horses for the new year.