22/10/2017 Rathcannon  (soft/heavy)

4yo maiden:

It seems a long time ago and it is – 2007/08 in fact – since Eric McNamara trained 25 winners in a National Hunt season. Many lean years follow but last season (2016/17) showed an upswing in his fortunes when 9 winners were trained so it’s good to see him back again.

There’s not a lot to be gleaned in studying McNamara’s previous point maiden winners although I do recall following his 2008 scorer, Flemensford, over the proverbial cliff when he was in training-he subsequently won three races on the track.

The win here for

I Can’t Explain (E McNamara) by Getaway Unraced (R91)

simply looks like a point-to-point investment for one of his stable employees coming through. Bought for €15,000 as a 3yo he is now in Seven Barrows with Nicky Henderson and if he is in that august stable that is good enough for me. He is by far the best of 5 foals out of a mare who is a half-sister to 2003 Hennessy winner Strong Flow so that will, presumably, also have appealed to Henderson. I often feel it’s significant when these horses are sold privately pointing to private relationships based on reliable information especially as avoiding the strong auction rings for these horses is a risk in itself.

One piece of “homework” I have set myself is to study McNamara’s recent record at the Limerick Christmas meeting as he used to a master for preparing one there at his local track.

I have had a soft spot for this maiden ever since it was won by Run With The Wind in 2010 and has consistently produced some useful sorts.

22/10/2015 Tinahely  (yield-soft)

4yo maiden:

Whisperinthebreeze (T E Hyde) by Kayf Tara Unraced (R92)

Tim Hyde operates in the higher echelons of the flat breeding game but has always retained a love of the jumps game – his father rode Prince Regent to Gold Cup success in the forties – and usually produces something of interest in the 4yo maiden sphere between the flags. Robin Roe and Walking In The Air have been two of his last four winners in points in recent times that have tasted success in the UK whilst Brewin’upastorm has yet to race for Olly Murphy-he is a £250,000 purchase after winning for Hyde last April.

It appears Whisperinthebreeze is now housed in Jessica Harrington’s stables in Co. Kildare and if the Twitter-sphere is correct he is a horse to follow. Up to 2015 every winner since 2008 had gone on to track success in the UK. Last year’s winner has only had three outings under Rules, so far.

5yo maiden:

Shantaluze (R Black) by Shantou 5- (R89)

Richard Black from Bunclody, Co. Wexford. Who?

He trained his third consecutive winner here and 6 weeks later ( December 3rd) Mount Rushmore made in four-in-a-row over an 18-month period. Clearly, a young man who knows what he’s doing. The reason the sequence wasn’t broken with the above’s first run (finished 5th) is that Black only took charge of the horse thereafter.

His two previous winners were Thomas Do – yet to win in three starts for Donald McCain (cost £70,000)  – and the mega-expensive Maire Banrigh who is with Dan Skelton and cost an eye-watering £320,000. When I relate that this is for a winning point-to-point mare I have to say I’m staggered.

In any event Shantaluze has also joined Donald McCain (this time for £40,000) so that looks a vote of confidence in both Thomas Do andShantaluze in my view. £40,000 is not expensive in today’s market and it will be interesting to observe the progress of this “nice, genuine horse”.

My review of Mount Rushmore will follow for Week 9.

If you would like to get in touch to discuss any aspects of the bloodstock and racing industry please contact me at: dskelly@davidskelly.ie

If you would like some advice in relation to your business ventures I would be pleased to call to your premises for an initial meeting which is provided on a complimentary basis.

If you would like to get in touch to discuss any aspects of the bloodstock and racing industry please contact me at: dskelly@davidskelly.ie

Alternatively, if you would like some advice in relation to your business ventures I would be pleased to call to your premises for an initial meeting which is provided on a complimentary basis.

'The Accountant who knows his Assert from his Elbio'