We were delighted to have a really strong month of October thanks to a total of six winners, including a double at Listed level and a Group 1-placed effort on British Champions Day at Ascot.
It was fantastic to win the Listed St Brigid's Pastures Stakes at the Curragh with Are We Dreaming, who got a super ride from Billy and ran out an impressive winner. I was especially thrilled for the Oghill House Stud team to get a win like this on the board after the passing of their own Hugh Hyland in September.
This filly has done a lot of improving through the season and will now be offered at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale in the Sceptre Sessions.
Are We Dreaming's impressive win at the Curragh
Another three-year-old who has progressed really nicely with racing this season is Ballylinch Stud's Self Belief, and he produced a lovely performance to win the Listed Trigo Stakes at Leopardstown on his third start. I previously trained his dam Fact Or Folklore, a Listed-placed mare who won three times and stayed a mile and a half. He's a smart horse who I'm looking forward to next season, and I think he's a very good advert for his sire Make Believe.
It was also great for Nathan Crosse to ride his first Listed winner in the process, not long after reaching the milestone of riding out his claim.
Self Belief wins The Listed Trigo Stakes at Leopardstown
Drummin Life has improved with each of her three runs over the past couple of months, and it was a lovely performance from her to win last time at Gowran in a fillies' mile maiden. She did it easily, even though the ground was probably a bit soft for her, and she looks a nice prospect for owner-breeder Frank Fahy.
An easy win for Dummin Life Gowran
Lovejoy was another good maiden winner for us during the month at Navan, as she got the job done first time out over five furlongs. Bred by Amanda, she hails from a family we're familiar with and has done a lot of growing since her debut. I probably shouldn't have run her at Dundalk since but hopefully she'll stay progressing and we'll bring her back next season.
Lovejoy gets the job done at Navan
I was impressed by Blazing Skies when winning a fillies' maiden at Gowran by nine lengths for Irish National Stud Racing. Being by Dark Angel, you couldn't have been certain beforehand about her relishing a mile and a half - but she really thrived when stepping up to that trip for the first time.
Blazing Skies' impressive win at Gowran
One of our old favourites Downforce rolled back the years to come home in front for the eighth time in his career in a six-furlong handicap at the Curragh - seven years on from his first win for us. He's been a great stalwart in the yard, is great for leading our yearlings and tries very hard - sometimes! He turns 11 next year and it's great to see there's still life in him.
Old favourite Downforce wins at the Curragh
It was a super run from Insinuendo when third in the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot. She's off to Bahrain for a valuable Group 3 next month and hopefully she'll give another good account of herself.
Cnodian was runner-up on back-to-back starts at the Curragh, and continues to be a great servant for Rory and Noeleen O'Toole. She's only small but gives her all, and will be back in action again next season.
Another decent result at the Curragh came when Life In Colour earned black type in the Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes. Her aim will be another Listed race in France towards the end of next month.
Echoing reached the frame when third in a fillies' maiden at the Curragh too, and we'll be trying our best to get a win on the board with her before the end of the year.
As we come closer to the end of the Irish Flat season next month, it's great to be hitting the line strongly with our best October yet in terms of numbers of winners. Here's hoping the horses continue to show their best into the coming weeks.