There were four winners to come from Rathbride Stables over the course of September and the highlight of the month has to be the Group 3 win for Epona Plays in the Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes at Gowran Park.
She's the fourth horse from her dam that I've trained and all four have now won at least two races each. Three of them, including Dolce Strega and Bumbasina, have got black type as well, so it's a family we've really enjoyed training for Renzo Forni.
Highlight of the month, Epona Plays at Gowran Park
I'd imagine Epona Plays will be finished for this year but we can hopefully look forward to having her in training again next season.
It turned out to be a very good afternoon for the yard at Gowran because we also had the first two home in a fillies' maiden, thanks to Insinuendo and Parisienne Ways.
We've always thought a lot of Insinuendo. She's a big, lovely filly who's had some little niggles and took time to grow into herself. We're delighted with how she's done and it was great for Mick and Dympna Deegan to have a winner with us, hopefully there'll be many more to come. The plan is for the filly to run in the Listed Garnet Stakes at Naas on October 18.
I thought Parisienne Ways ran a lovely race to be second too for Charlotte Holmes and a syndicate that she's involved with. We're looking at running her back in a fillies' maiden over a mile and a quarter at Cork on October 13.
A fillies maiden win at Gowran Park for Insinuendo
We also had a good result at Mallow during the month when Petticoat Rule got her head in front. She's owned by a syndicate of football lads, mostly from around Clane, and they had a few quid on her so I'm thrilled for them.
Amanda would have been delighted as well when Mogwli got his third win of the season at Navan - he's been great for us this year. Jack Cleary knows him well, having won on him at the Curragh, and gave him another good ride.
We were pleased with how Up Helly Aa ran in the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes at Irish Champions Weekend when third. Billy got stuck a little too far back and was shuffled wide, so I thought it was a creditable run considering things didn't go his way.
He saw out the mile and a half well - that gives us options - and all being well his next start will come in the Group 3 International Stakes at the Curragh on October 11.
I think we're getting the hang of Marchetti now and she ran a lovely race at the Curragh when third in a fillies' maiden. She did nothing wrong and a little more ease in the ground should help her.
Great result for Petticoat Rule at Mallow
Fictitious Lady finished just behind her in fourth and continues to run fairly consistently. She's a big, weak filly who we'd love to get a win into and it's possible she could head to Dundalk, rather than running her on ground with a cut in it on the turf.
We were very happy with how Always Waitin shaped on his first start at Cork when coming home well for third. He enjoyed the good ground so we'll have to see how the grass is looking for the rest of the season, or else head to Dundalk as well.
Windham Belle was unlucky not to get her first win of the season on the same card at Mallow. Her rider lost his stick and she was only beaten a neck and a head. The winner on the day, A Step Too Far, went on to win the Joe McGrath Handicap at the Curragh on her next start and it was a good run from our filly in defeat.
We're looking forward to hopefully running Wood Ranger in the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Race Final at Naas on October 18. He finished third at Navan during the month over five and a half furlongs and Billy felt an extra furlong, as well as an ease in the ground, would suit him well.
Yenillik is as honest as they come and he was a good second at Limerick over just shy of a mile and a half too. He needs daylight and handicaps don't suit him so we'll look for another maiden.
Aside from what's been happening in terms of the racing itself, I thought it was very unfortunate to see that owners are no longer going to be able to continue going racing while the country is at Level 3 restrictions. It was great to have them back with us for the couple of weeks that they were allowed to come, and I'm sorry they won't be there for the time being.
Here's hoping they'll be back at the track with us again before long and in the meantime we'll be trying our best to add to our tally for the remainder of the season.