Performance Review

September 2023

We had been hitting the crossbar with no fewer than six seconds during September until a strong finish to the month when we were delighted to send out two winners at Cork and Bellewstown.

Helpmeout was fully deserving of her first win of the season when getting her head in front in a mile handicap at Cork under Dylan Browne McMonagle. Hats off to her owner-breeder Jimmy Murphy of Redpender Stud, as he was more keen than I was to run in this race and it’s great that it all worked out well.

26 9 23 Helpmeout Cork

Helpmeout's first win of the season in Cork

As for our Bellewstown winner, Mogwli came up trumps with a good performance in the Barney Curley Charity Cup Handicap under Wesley Joyce in Amanda’s colours. He’s a grand horse who is training for the apprentices to learn on, and when he wins a race like this every season, he pays for his training fees a little. He’ll be kept on the go and will head to Navan in early October for an apprentice handicap.

27 9 23 Mogwli Bellewstown

Mogwli comes up trumps in Bellewstown

At the Irish Champions Festival, we were delighted with the run of Vespertilio when a fine second in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh. She ran a cracker in defeat.

Hopefully it looks like the first two home are very good fillies, and the form of the race has been boosted since by Porta Fortuna and Pearls And Rubies coming out of the Curragh to finish 1-2 in the Cheveley Park Stakes next time. We’re going to dream about the 1000 Guineas over the winter and won’t be running her again this season.

One very genuine filly who hasn’t fully had luck on her side this year is All Lies Ahead, who has been runner-up four times this year - including on back-to-back starts in the past month. She ran very well on both occasions at Roscommon and Fairyhouse and fingers crossed she will get her turn again for the Hylands and Oghill House Stud team soon. There’s a suitable race for her at Navan in early October.

Red Heel showed up well when finishing third in the same Fairyhouse race as All Lies Ahead before probably finding the ground too soft at Bellewstown later in the month. She has won on the all-weather before and we might head back to Dundalk again over the coming weeks.

It seems as though gelding Fernao has done him good and he put up a solid showing when runner-up in a competitive seven-furlong handicap at the Curragh. He might have even won had the race been another furlong further, but we were eager to run him on that weekend when his owners were around to see him race. Hopefully he can build on this run and go one better in due course.

Amazon Lady has been in good form too. She was only beaten a couple of lengths in the Listed Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary before finishing a close second at Down Royal off a big weight back in handicap company. Her aim will be the Listed Brigid's Pastures Stakes at the Curragh in early October.

Cardinal Zin was unfortunate to just bump into one too good at Listowel when second in a mile maiden. He continues to run well and fingers crossed a race will fall his way before the end of the season for Mike O’Donnell.

There was a nice debut run at Galway during the month from Steve Fisher’s Vassula Ryden, who came third to a well-touted winner in a seven-furlong maiden. She’s the type of filly who can be a bit lazy but will hopefully get fitter from her races and progress. We could look towards a maiden at Leopardstown in October for her next.

Finally, Lively Set was only beaten a length when fourth on her debut at Navan before picking up prize money when sixth in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes at the Irish Champions Festival. Those two runs have come over five and a half and six and a half furlongs, and we’re looking forward to stepping her up to seven furlongs around a bend next time.

Thankfully we’ve seen plenty of our horses performing really well throughout the month, and getting a couple of winners on the board was important. I’m delighted with how things are going but we all want more winners as we approach the closing weeks of the turf season.