We were glad to finish out the season with some smart winners over the course of October, rounding off our year on the 26-winner mark.
It's been a good, solid campaign with plenty of highlights, quality stakes winners and a good level of prize money earned, while we obviously also had some winning performers sold on for our owners through the season.
It was certainly a positive end to the year for the Niarchos family's Up Helly Aa, who ran out a good winner of the Listed Navigation Stakes at Cork under Billy Lee. He had been a bit backward in the early stages of the season but he's progressed very well and we're obviously looking forward to seeing what he can do next year.
Looking forward to seeing what Up Helly Aa can do in 2020
Lustown Baba also got her head in front on the same card at Mallow under a lovely Leigh Roche ride before winning the €120,000 Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Race Final at Naas, which was a brilliant result for everyone involved. She's a very honest filly and loves a cut in the ground.
We feel we have Downforce in good nick at the minute and he ran with credit when second to the hugely-improved Make A Challenge in the Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh - take the winner out of the race and our lad has finished a length and a half clear of everything else. The Listed Wentworth Stakes over six furlongs at Doncaster is his target next month.
It was fitting that Thiswaycadeaux finished her career with an excellent second in the Listed Knockaire Stakes at Leopardstown, picking up valuable black type. She's a five-time winner and has been a brilliant servant for us. We'll be holding onto her for breeding purposes, so hopefully we can mate her well.
Bongiorno gave a good showing when fifth behind a well-bred three-year-old in the Listed Beckford Stakes at Bath. She's another filly who has done very well for us and will now be heading to the paddocks.
I thought it was another lovely run from Epona Plays when not beaten far in third at Leopardstown on just her second start. She comes from a great family for Renzo and Raffaello Forni, who are brilliant supporters of the yard, and hopefully she can follow in the footsteps of her relations going forward.
Royal Canford ran a good, solid race at Navan behind a Ballydoyle-trained winner and I think there may be more to come from her next season for Mike and Anne O'Donnell, great racing people.
I can see Call Of The Jungle improving with a little more time and she has gone home for a break now. She's put together some nice runs and I'd imagine seven furlongs with an ease in the ground could see her to good effect. Mogwli wasn't beaten far in his last couple of starts and seems to have more ability than he's been showing. We'll give him another run at Naas on the final day of the Flat season.
Finally, we were delighted to see Cheryl McClean win the Newcomer Award at the 2019 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards towards the end of the month. It's a fantastic achievement for her and she has a lovely trip to Dubai to look forward to!