There were plenty of promising runs from our young horses this October but of the four winners we sent out from Rathbride Stables over the course of the month, the highlight has to be Lustown Baba, who enjoyed a brilliant time of things at the Curragh.
She's really matured as the summer went on and luckily enough her owners, the Back Road Syndicate, have been patient and resisted running her on fast ground. They were rewarded when it came up soft, winning a six-furlong handicap impressively before a very good performance four days later to win the Listed TRM Waterford Testimonial Stakes.
She's always worked well and is a very honest filly - she just ploughs through testing ground when others can't. We've given her a break for the winter and we'll plan on having her back nice and early next year for black type races.
Our highlight of the month, Lustown Baba
Our old yard favourite Downforce ran a blinder when third to her last time too, giving 6lb away to the filly. He's obviously very effective on soft ground as well.
We were really happy with the way Up Helly Aa ran when second in the Group 3 International Stakes at the Curragh also. It's just a pity how the timing of the year panned out for him, but we're really looking forward to seeing him back again in 2021.
Lightning Boltz has been knocking on the door all season and it was great to see him get his head in front at Dundalk in the colours of Madeline Burns. He handled the surface well and I'd imagine we'll run him a few more times up there over the winter.
Wood Ranger seems to have been thriving over the last while and I was delighted that he won a very nice pot at Naas during the month. He's a tough two-year-old who handles a cut in the ground and gallops right out to the line. I think he'll go on better ground too when he gets stronger. We'll head back to Naas again next month for the valuable Birdcatcher Premier Nursery.
I thought South Forest ran a cracker when producing her best run yet for us at Tipperary, just bumping into one who won again next time and went up 13lb since. Billy felt that she's just beginning to learn her game so we're delighted with that.
Delighted with Wood Rangers performance at Naas
Even Flow is a lovely filly who's progressing nicely. She was third over five and a half furlongs at Navan before running a great race when second to a well-bred Moyglare filly at Gowran over a mile. She's finished for the year but we're looking forward to her next season.
There were two nice runs from Truth Prevails at Navan during the month as well, finishing second and third in sprint handicaps. She's a strong filly who enjoys soft ground so I'd imagine we could look towards more five-furlong races early next year and cover her during the same time.
Fictitious Lady has tended to find one too good in fillies' maidens but we were pleased with her second at Leopardstown when dropping to seven furlongs for the first time. She tries hard but still looks a little on the weak side and I'd like to think that if we could get her to win before the end of this year, she could be a different filly next season when she's stronger.
Always Waitin was a little green when not having the clearest of runs at Dundalk but he loved the surface and still finished fourth. There's a seven-furlong race back at the track in November that we've earmarked for him.
Angel's Trumpet has been taking his racing well and is a hardy three-year-old. He'll go on any ground but seems to like an ease and could improve for being gelded in due course.
I think Raffaello may have been getting a little cute from having apprentices ride him, but he produced a couple of good runs back to back at Dundalk and Cork when Billy was aboard this month. We'd love to find a race for him to get his first win of the year.
Lightning Boltz gets his head in front at Dundalk