At the midway point in the season, we’re roughly on a par with last year in terms of winners. So far we’ve had 16 winners and a further 38 places and on winners are sixth in the trainer’s table and seventh by prizemoney earned. It would be great to break into the top five by the end of the season, which isn’t an easy task, but we enjoy challenges.
Listowel is a long way to go for racing but the journey home definitely seemed shorter after two nice juvenile winners for the yard in early June.
I was delighted to see Mintd get the win she deserved at Listowel over the June Bank Holiday weekend. A daughter of first season sire Olympic Glory, she really seemed to enjoy the step up to six and half furlongs on good ground. Billy Lee used her draw to Mintd’s advantage and she was an impressive winner. She’s not short of speed however and we could take a drop back in trip with her for the next stage of her career which will be to get some blacktype for her.
Mintd going for the win at Listowel
It was fantastic for True To Herself’s owners and breeders Tom and Brian ‘Beano’ McDonald, who won a Leinster football championship with Laois, that she won. She’s a nice three-year-old filly and we have taken our time with her so for her to win on only her second run, and her first over a mile, was very pleasing for us all. After her Listowel victory, we went to Limerick with her on 22 June for another mile race and she stayed on well to take second place towards the end.
Bloomfield was second in the Group Three Munster Oaks at Cork on 17 June behind Flattering, fifth in the Oaks at Epsom earlier in the month, and she was getting weight from our filly as Flattering is a year younger than Bloomfield. It was a good run, and she beat her old foe Glamorous Approach for the third time in succession but the good weather we’re enjoying isn’t particularly helpful for Bloomfield as John Connaughton’s homebred daughter of Teofilo would prefer a bit of cut in the ground.
Excelling Spirit, another homebred filly for John, broke her maiden on the same card at Cork after two good places on her first two starts. A daughter of Invincible Spirit, out of Love Excelling, who is a half-sister to Oaks winner Love Divine, this three-year-old has a fantastic pedigree and looks to be all about speed. She is a consistent filly and very professional, she broke well at the start with Billy and was really smart, racing mostly by herself. I think we will keep her around this trip of six and a half furlongs and look to gain some blacktype with her now.
Lethal Promise, a two-year-old daughter of Invincible Spirit owned by the Irish National Stud’s Racing and Breeding Club, was an impressive winner of the five furlong fillies’ maiden at Naas on 18 June. She was placed on her first two starts and that experience really stood to her at Naas as she learned so much from those runs. Lethal Promise is a lovely filly who is maturing nicely and she has a fantastic attitude. The next step with her is to win some black type.
Nathan Crosse, was very good value for his claim on Case Stated at Limerick on 22 June, and he did well with him as he acted up in the stalls. Case Stated is a grand, very honest and sound little horse who tries hard and he really toughed it out from the front to win. Nathan is a good rider and did exactly what I asked him to do with this horse and I was very pleased with him. It’s great for Case Stated’s owner Mary O’Leary for him to get this win under his belt.
Mary Tudor warmed up for her Irish Oaks assignment on 21 July at the Curragh with second place behind Easter Lily in the mile and a quarter Listed Oaks Trial at Naas on 27 June. She won over the trip on her seasonal debut at Navan on soft to yielding ground so I don’t think the extra two furlongs of the Oaks trip will be an issue for her. However all her best form has come on ground that has a bit of juice in it, which is not what she will find at the Curragh and that would be a concern for the Darley homebred from the family of Street Cry and Shamardal.
Snowstar is another Godolphin owned filly and she was busy for us in June, earning some blacktype in the Listed Midsummer Sprint Stakes at Naas. She showed some good, early speed and I think the five furlong trip suits her best.
Like Snowstar, Belle Boyd is a four-year-old filly owned and bred by Godolphin, and she made her seasonal reappearance in the Listed Glencairn Stakes at Leopardstown on 7 June. I was pleased with her third place finish and felt that she would come on for the run so we travelled to Chelmsford for a Listed contest over seven furlongs on the all-weather 13 days after that. She was unlucky to be second, beaten just a neck, and that’s her third Listed-placing so hopefully we can get the blacktype win for her that she is capable of achieving.