Saturday, 29 September 2018

5 Irish Bred Horses to Follow at the Spring Racing Carnival

Horse Racing At Moonee Valley
Irish-bred racehorses are renowned the world over. Even if they've never raced in the Emerald Isle itself, bloodstock operations there command the utmost respect. 

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the Southern Hemisphere's premier flat horse racing event across several weeks and racecourses. All this thoroughbred action down under reaches its zenith with the Melbourne Cup - the race that stops a nation - on Tuesday, November 6.

In celebration of their exploits, either previous or since being shipped to the other side of the world, and in anticipation of this year's Spring Racing Carnival, we take a detailed look at five Irish-bred horses to follow (and maybe bet on) during the event.

Kings Will Dream 

Casamento gelding Kings Will Dream is by a mare out of dual 2000 Guineas hero Rodrigo De Triano. His grandsire's British and Irish Classic glory may have come way back in 1991, but this Irish-bred ex-English trained four-year-old was bought by new owners and sent down under. Now in Australia, he is with Darren Weir - having previously been in the care of Micky Hammond.

Before moving hemispheres, Kings Will Dream won one of his three starts - a mile maiden at Pontefract where he stayed on strongly to touch off odds-on favourite Sharja Bridge by a head. The runner-up is trained by Roger Varian and has since gone on to run well in a series of handicaps over a mile (and slightly further) to be rated 106 by the British assessor. 

Kings Will Dream has clearly improved with every outing since joining Weir. Although winless in those three runs, he has gone down by narrow margins in two of those at Caulfield. They came when a close-up fourth to Showtime in a Group 2, before reversing that form when a fast-finishing third and denied just a head by Humidor in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes.

This is one horse that continues to get better with the main events of the Spring Racing Carnival clearly his targets. Although beaten two lengths when tipped up by Oddschecker for the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington, Kings Will Dream was best of the rest in-behind shock winner Grunt. 

He seems to be producing more but has only won on soft ground. Humidor and Kementari had Caulfield form turned over off similar race terms and it may just be that the sharp left-handed track that's always on the turn suits him better. For that reason, a host of British bookmakers have Kings Will Dream as the clear best-price 4/1 ante-post betting favourite for the Caulfield Cup over roughly a mile and a half.

While there's no real evidence on breeding he'll get that trip, it's less of a stretch than going all the way up to two miles for the Melbourne Cup. He is 20/1 for that stamina test but, despite missing out on victory in the Makybe Diva, Kings Will Dream is exempt from the Caulfield Cup ballot and guaranteed a run in that. 


Torcedor




Until being purchased by the Australian Bloodstock Stable, Torcedor was one of Irish horse racing's leading flat stayers. His pedigree is pretty impeccable being by top Australian sprinter Fastnet Rock and out of a Sadler's Wells mare. 

Torcedor clearly takes more after his damsire than his father with stamina and staying virtually guaranteed based on performances for former trainer Jessica Harrington. He twice places behind British champion stayer Stradivarius when a narrow third in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and then half-a-length runner-up in the Goodwood Cup. 

Those are two of Europe's premier stayers' events on the flat and, prior to that, Torcedor won over two miles on soft ground at Ascot in the Sagaro Stakes. The new owners have quickly targeted the Melbourne Cup since sending the six-year-old gelding to new handler Andres Wohler. 

While Torcedor perhaps found his debut in the trainer's native Germany a little on the short side over a mile and a half, he was sent off odds-on and tailed off in last. That's resulted in his Melbourne Cup price being eased by bookies around the world to 25/1, which, provided he makes it through the ballot, is underestimating his ability over his optimum trip. 

Emotionless

Godolphin are sending their lightly-raced five-year-old gelding Emotionless down under after the son of Shamardal and 2001 Breeders' Cup Distaff heroine Unbridled Elaine shaped well in the Middle East. He's had just two races this season, finishing second to Saeed bin Suroor's Benbatl over 1m 1f in the first. Emotionless then won a Listed race over 10 furlongs at Newbury when making all and landing the spoils comfortably. 

He looks a very unexposed type for the Caulfield Cup, which explains why British sportsbooks make him a best-price 16/1 shot for that big race on Monday, 22 October. Emotionless was beaten just a length on his only start over the approximate mile-and-a-half trip at Meydan. 

Trainer Charlie Appleby and connections have also entered Emotionless in the Cox Plate - the race at Moonee Valley dominated in recent years by Australian wonder mare Winx. However, the boys in blue may have a better chance with another runner as this one is rated a rank 100/1 outsider.


Cliffs Of Moher





Galileo colt Cliffs Of Moher represents crack Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien and Coolmore partner Susan Magnier. The four-year-old has only won three of his 15 starts, but that does not tell the full story as the Ballydoyle maestro prepares to send him to Australia. Cliffs Of Moher could run in either the Caulfield Cup or Cox Plate after accepting early closing entries for both races. 

A gallant runner-up to stablemate Wings Of Eagles in the 2017 Epsom Derby, Cliffs Of Moher had just the previous starts before the premier British Classic. Although unable to better that for the rest of last season, he has won at Group 2 level at home in Ireland this year. Cliffs Of Moher has also shaped well when a two-length second in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh and later third to Roaring Lion in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown. 

As his powerful connections have since given him a break to freshen him up for a tilt down under, Cliffs Of Moher cannot be discounted at 25/1 for the Caulfield Cup. He's also 33/1 in the Cox Plate betting if O'Brien and Coolmore plump for the daunting task of denying Winx in her bid to win that race for a fourth consecutive year.

Muntahaa 


Newmarket trainer John Gosden has had another fine season and one of the highlights was having a one-two in the valuable Ebor Handicap at York led by Muntahaa. This five-year-old grey gelding could head to Australia following that career-best success. 

It took three tries over the trip, including when fourth behind Harbour Law in the 2017 St Leger at Doncaster, but Muntahaa finally got the one-and-three-quarter-mile trip. As he's run really well in handicaps, it wouldn't be a stretch to see Gosden and owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum send him to the Melbourne Cup. 

Jockey Jim Crowley took the unusual step of racing Muntahaa wide in the early stages of the Ebor, so taking that into account, he actually ran further than the trip because he did that. It is evidence he may well stay the two-mile distance of the Melbourne Cup as a result. 

Having carried the highest weight in the Ebor to victory since the mighty Sea Pigeon landed the spoils off the top weight of 10 stone, Muntahaa's claims of doing well are obvious. The Australian handicapper has taken a chance allotting him significantly less than he carried at York.

Punters must regard Muntahaa as a serious prospect if turning up down under. His Melbourne Cup odds of 33/1 look very generous in light of all he has going for him and he's only had four runs this season, so connections may go to the well again.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Irish Racecourses: Curragh

The Curragh Racecourse
The Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland. A flat open plain of almost 2,000 hectares. It's actually between Newbridge and Kildare. 

The Curragh is synonymous with Irish horse breeding and training. 

The Curragh Racecourse - known as The Curragh - is the most important in Ireland. In fact the meaning of the name means ''place of running horses''. 

The first recorded fixture took place in 1727. However, racing was held on the plains long before. This course is recognised for a number of Flat races including: 


  • Irish 1000 Guineas    
  • Irish 2000 Guineas
  • Irish Derby 
  • Irish Oaks 
  • Irish St Leger 

All Group 1 race of the highest caliber. Over 40 notable races are held at this course. I very much doubt any racecourse in the world has a higher number. 

Flat racing:

The Curragh is a horseshoe-shaped course win a circuit of 2 miles and a steep uphill run in of 3 furlongs. The sprint distances over 5 -6f 
is straight. Low draw is favoured in sprints, while high numbers on round course.    

Contact details:

Curragh Racecourse 
Curragh
Women watching at The CurraghCounty Kildare
Ireland 

Tel: 353 45 441 205
Fax: 353 45 441 442




Travel information: 

The Curragh racecourse is about 30 miles from Dublin (Dublin-Cork-Limerick road). It's 9 miles from Naas and just 2 miles from neighbouring Newbridge. 

Over 30 pick up locations by coach £25 pp (racecourse admission an return coach) 

You can buy a combined racecourse and rail ticket at Dublin station (Heuston Station) for all weekend meeting. 

The nearest airport is Casement some 20 miles away. 

Monday, 14 May 2018

Irish Racecourses: Dundalk

Irish Racecourses: Dundalk StadiumDundalk [Dalgan's fort] is a town of County Louth, Ireland. It sits on the Castletown River, flowing into the Dundalk Bay. It is near the border of Northern Ireland between Dublin and Belfast in the province of Leinster. 

Horse Racing and Greyhound Racing is held at Dundalk Stadium. This is Ireland's first all-weather race track opening in August 2007. It cost 35 Million euros. 

Local transport 

Dundalk is located 52 miles North of Dublin. The racecourse is just one and half miles from the town centre of Dundalk. 

Bishop Court's airport is about forty miles away. 

Flat racecourse:

Dundalk is a left-handed course covering ten furlongs with a run in of two and a half furlongs with an up hill finish. A low draw is an advantage over 5 - 6f.   

National Hunt racecourse:

The turf course was closed in 2001. The racecourse dated back to 1889.


Contact details:
Ladies at Dundalk
Dundalk Racecourse 
Mullgrove 
Ballymascanlon
Dundalk 
County Louth

Tel: 353 42 937 1271 
Fax: 353 42 937 1271 

Website: http://www.dundalkstadium.com/

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Irish Racecourses: Down Royal

Irish Racecourse: Down RoyalLocated near the city of Lisburn, Northern Ireland, is Down Royal Racecourse. 

Racing has taken place at Maze, near Lisburn, since the 18th Century on land donated by Arthur Hill - the 1st Marquis of Downshire. In truth, horse racing goes back to the days of King James II (1685) when the Royal Charter formed the Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders. King George II donated £100 to run the King's Plate. 

Although in the United Kingdom, horse racing at Down Royal comes under the jurisdiction of Horse Racing Ireland.   

Flat racing course:

Down Royal is almost a square right-handed galloping track of almost 2 miles. It features a downhill run in to the straight and a slight uphill finish to the line. Horses use a chute for the 5f races. No draw advantage.

National Hunt course:

Down Royal is almost a square right-handed galloping track of almost 2 miles. It features a downhill run in to the straight and a slight uphill finish to the line.There are ten fences (2 ditches) and and eight hurdles on the circuit. 

Major Flat races held at Down Royal include: Ulster Derby (June)

Ladies at Down Royal
Major National hunt races include: JNwine.com Champion Chase (November) 

Transport:

Down Royal Racecourse is located two and a half miles from Lisburn and ten miles from Belfast. 

There is a bus service from Belfast. 


Belfast airport is under ten miles away. 


Contact details: 

Down Royal Racecourse 
Maze
Lisburn
County Antrim 
BT27 5RW 

Tel: 48 28 926 21256
Fax: 48 28 926 21433 

Email: info@downroyal.com 

Website: http://www.downroyal.com/

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Saturday, 12 May 2018

Irish Racecourses: Downpatrick

Downpatrick racecourse
Downpatrick is a small town about 20 miles from Belfast in County, Northern Ireland.The population is just under 20,000. Did you know that Downpatrick cathedral is said to be the burial ground of St Patrick who was known as the ''Apostle of Ireland'' and patron saint of Ireland.    

Downpatrick is one of two racecourses in Northern Ireland. The other is Down Royal.  

Its history dates back 300 from 1685. It is one mile away from this historic town. With a strong local following, this is one of the friendliest courses you can visit. 

Downpatrick is is just under 100 hundred miles from Dublin and 28 miles from Belfast. 

Nearest airport is Bishops Court just over 1 mile from the course. 

Flat racing:

This right-handed oval and undulating course over 11 furlong circuit. A short 1 furlong uphill run in. No draw advantage. 

National Hunt racing:

This right-handed oval and undulating course over 11 furlong circuit. A short 1 furlong uphill run in. There 5 hurdles and 7 fences. 
  
Contact details:

Ladies at Downpatrick Downpatrick Racecourse 
71 Lismore Road 
Bishopcourt 
Downpatrick 
BT30 7EY

Tel: 48 446 12054
Fax: 48 448 42227 

Email: info@downpatrickracecourse.co.uk  

Website: http://www.downpatrickracecourse.co.uk/  

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Irish Racecourses: Cork

Cork racecourse, Ireland
In the province of Munster, Cork is the largest southernmost county of Ireland. It is Ireland's second largest county with a population of over 500,000 people. 

Cork boarders four counties: Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary & Waterford. It contains the Golden Vale pastureland with West Cork one of the major tourist destinations, especially its rugged coastline and megalithic monuments. The county has mountain ranges, the highest point being Knockboy (706m) on the Shehy Mountains which border Kerry and accessed from Priest's Leap.      

Cork has an impressive coastline with beaches and sea cliffs and peninsulas including Beara, Sheep's Head, Mizen Head and Brow Head. The latter being the most southerly point of mainland Ireland. There are many islands off Cork coast including Fastness Rock which lies in the Atlantic Ocean about seven miles from the mainland.

Cork Racecourse Mallow - because it is held at Mallow, County Cork) stages both Flat and National Hunt racing fixtures. 

It is located just over 20 miles north of Cork and about 40 miles from Limerick. 


The first steeplechase - between to churches steeples, from Buttervant to Donerail - took place in 1752, down the road from Mallow. Cork Park was lost in 1917 but in 1924 racing at Cork commenced under the control of Lieutenant Colonel F F MacCabe. 

Following a £7 million refurbishment, the racecourse re-opened in 1997.

The three-day Easter Festival is the highlight of Cork Racecourses' sporting calendar.

Contact details:

Cork Racecourse (Mallow) Ltd
Mallow
Cork 
Ireland

Beautiful walks in CorkTel: 353 22 50210/50207
Fax: 353 22 50213 

The racecourse is located 1 mile from Mallow town. Mallow is accessible by bus or train from Dublin. Stop at Cork for Mallow. Best get a taxi from Mallow Station to the racecourse. 

The nearest airport is Cork, which is 4 miles away from the course.  

Flat racing:

Cork is a right-handed level track with an inner course of 10 furlongs. The outer circuit is 12 furlongs. There is a draw advantage on sprints for high number. However, over 7f it pays to be dawn low. There is no real advantage over one mile although stall one seems to do well.  

National Hunt racing:  

Cork is a right-handed level track with an inner course of 10 furlongs. The outer circuit is 12 furlongs. There are eight jumps per circuit with three in the home straight. 

Website: http://www.corkracecourse.ie/

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Irish Racecourses: Clonmel

Clonmel racecourse
Clonmel is the largest town in County Tipperary, Ireland. 

It name means ''honey meadow or honey vale'' most likely related to the richness of the soil in this fertile location. This town in the province of Munster has a rich history noted for its resistance against the Cromwellian army (1649 - 53). Oliver Cromwell led the forces of the English Parliament. 

The town lies on the northern bank of the River Suir, flowing from Tipperary to Waterford. It's source coming from Devil's Bit Mountain situated in the Comeragh Mountains.  

The Census of Clonmel in 2016 detailed a population of 17,140.     

St Mary's Church remains one of the architectural features of the town, built in the 14th century.  

The annual Clonmel Junction Festival (from the first weekend of July, lasting nine days) is very popular. It features several international acts.

Powerstown Park is the horse racing venue for Clonmel Racecourse, two miles from the town centre. Public transport via train is available to Clonmel station.

The nearest airport in under thirty miles away at Waterford. 

St Mary's Church, Clonmel

It hosts both Flat and National Hunt racing. Horse racing dates back to 1913. The course often has over 120 horses running at each meeting. 

It was refurbished in 1998. 

Flat Racing:

Clonmel is a right handed oval of 1 and a 1/4 miles with a run in of 2 and a 1/2 furlongs, with an uphill finish. 

National Hunt Racing:

Clonmel is a right handed oval of 1 and a 1/4 miles with a run in of 2 and a 1/2 furlongs, with an uphill finish. There are six hurdles and seven jumps on this circuit. 


Contact details: 

Clonmel Racecourse 
Davis Road 
Clonmel 
County Tipperary
Ireland 

Tel: 353 52 72481
Fax: 353 52 26446

Website: http://www.clonmelraces.ie/  

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