26/11/2017 Knockinroe (heavy)

This meet was held under the auspices of the Suir Vale Harriers and represented their first-ever autumn fixture which may have been occasioned by the loss of their solitary April date in both 2016 and 2015. Therefore, there is no collateral form history to speak of.

4yo mares maiden:

A winner for Warren Ewing who travelled to north Tipperary from his base in Northern Ireland with a mare, Hawthorn Cottage (by Gold Well) who was winning on her fifth attempt and picked up a rating of 80 which is very much middle-of-the-road for such a winner. She subsequently changed hands for £30,000 and is on her way to the UK.

It’s interesting to note that by May 2017 she had two good runs under her belt and is listed as sold to Nick Gifford for £20,000 last summer. In any event she found her way back to her Co. Antrim handler and increased her value by £10,000 with this victory.

4yo maiden: “He’s a nice horse who is progressing”

Another 4yo winner for Colin Bowe in the shape of

Blackjack Kentucky (C Bowe) by Oscar 6- (R91)

who scored on his second start in a maiden.

Run in a good time, this son of Oscar was impressive here and seemed to display bundles of stamina.

Pedigree: £100,000 Cheltenham December 2017; 7th foal; half-brother to winners Thyne For Gold (was second in a point and won 4 times 2m4f-2m7f jumps for Donald McCain-highest winning rating 109) & Champagne Present (won a point and a maiden hurdle over 3m for Jonjo O’Neill); dam 2m6f/3m hurdle winner, half-sister to Colin Murphy’s very useful 2m jump winner Clew Bay Cove and bumper/AW Flat/hurdle/chase winner Cumbrian Knight.

5yo maiden:

A win for Daryl Deacon’s

Voyage De Retour (D Deacon) by Craigsteel 45- (R88)

in a weak-looking maiden that attracted just 5 runners. He fetched £25,000 at the December sale and that’s probably not an outrageous punt to find a winner for Ludlow or Perth or Plumpton. Craigsteel will get his “average” winners but get them he does!

About to reject prior to observing that he attracted a new UK owner I can also relate that his immediate pedigree is not at all bad in that he is a second foal of a bumper-winning dam (won at Cork in 2009 for the same trainer) who in turn is half-sister to bumper/2m4f chase/2m6f hurdle winner Crash-who won a point, bumper, hurdle and chase for Michael Hourigan, out of point winning half-sister to 3m-3m3f jump winner High Island.

Post-race comment: “This is a lovely horse that did it very well today.”

26/11/2017 Boulta (soft-heavy)

4yo mares maiden:

There are two Boulta fixtures run each autumn and there have been contests for 4yo mares stretching back to 2008 when my current database starts. It will be clear from earlier comments that I am a skeptical observer of these mares as racecourse participants although there are exceptions that perhaps prove my rule with the 2015 scorer, Ms Parfois, being a spectacular five-time winner for Anthony Honeyball where a recent listed chase success at Newbury has brought her to a 134 rating. As I have mentioned before I shall present a full analysis of all 4yo maiden mares and their subsequent exploits in the ring and on the track before long.

This year’s November winner was the 81-rated

Danse Idol (John P.O’Callaghan) by Dansant Unraced (R81)

Withdrawn from the recent Cheltenham December Sale O’Callaghan trained a mare to win in 2016 and Same Circus has since won two hurdles for Donald McCain.

She is a half-sister to three winners including the mares Tough Chic who won a Fairyhouse maiden for Dermot Weld in 2003 and Honeyblood who scored over 10f in France in 2009. The dam is from the Moyglare Stud academy and won at two and it’s the vagaries of the game that find her eighth living foal grinding through the mud in Co. Waterford in the winter of 2017.

4yo maiden:

This event can certainly produce a good horse evidenced by the 2011 winner Ballyalton who scored at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. Crank Em Up and Robin Roe were divisional winners in 2015 and both won for David Dennis and Dan Skelton respectively. On the other hand, Dr Luigi (2014) broke my heart after looking well-handicapped but I think there will be pay days in last year’s winner Eviscerating who remains a maiden after 5 starts with Mouse Morris but I fully expect chasing to be his game.

March Is On (Cormac Doyle) by Gold Well 5 (R91)

March Is On scored at the second time of asking and joined the action at the last fence to suggest there’s more improvement to come. He has since joined Jonjo O’Neill. I’m not a fan of the new, somewhat enigmatic trainer.

Pedigree: E10,000 3yo, £36,000 Cheltenham December 2017; fifth foal; half-brother to 2m4f hurdle winner Ceos Agul Ol who won a summer maiden hurdle in 2015 for Pauline Gavin (R108); dam unraced half-sister to 2m hurdle winner Shannon Project (very average) and bumper winner Nordice Equity (won bang average summer bumper) out of 7.8f 2yo/useful 2m-2m2f hurdle winner. The pedigree offers little encouragement for stardom although his sire is a strong positive.

5yo maiden:

Typically, this winner will ship to England and win the occasional handicap and for this reason I think it’s worth while keeping an eye on last year’s winner Dara’s Present who has had just one promising hurdles run for Harry Whittington. Previous winners that scored under Rules include: Newtown Lad (2015-W3), Mai Fitz’s Jack (2014-W1) and 2014 winner Benenden who was well campaigned by Michael Scudamore to win two.

The Conditional (Martin Hassett) by Kalanisi 34P- (R88)

A gritty performance from the winner to win at the fourth time of asking. His previous form gave him a chance and he won from the front. Hassett has held on to him and his first try in a maiden hurdle showed some definite promise as he really only capitulated after the second last flight. His future surely lies in the UK.

Pedigree: E9,000 3yo; fourth foal; half-brother to UK point winner Champagne Benefit-poor track performer; unraced dam out of unraced half-sister to very smart bumper/2m hurdle winner Cardinal Hill so, again, it’s a light pedigree signifying the inexpensive cost as a store.

Hassett, who has links to Coolmore, has handled a few maiden winners and it was initially difficult to enthuse over this winner. However, I have just encountered one of my “sit up and take notice” moments once I examined his record of selling on maiden winners. It is simply, very impressive.

The full list is as follows: Jack Steel-won chase off 115 for Lucinda Russell, Robin Of Locksley-won 2 including a hurdle off 115 for Caroline Bailey, the STAR, Ms Parfois, has been a revelation for Anthony Honeyball and is a listed winner, Dingo Dollar has won three for Alan King and the dual winner Mulcahys Hill was a recent second in the Challow hurdle and threatens to be a very good horse. Only Jack Devine remains a maiden in two starts for Rose Dobbin but that includes a second placing in a novice hurdle at Catterick recently after Hassett held on to him to win two winners’ events.

One is surely strongly tempted to follow the future career trajectory of The Conditional with one’s wallet resting nearby.

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'