To European racegoers of a certain age, there was only ever going to be one contender for the title of the greatest trainer of all time: O’Brien of Ballydoyle. The past couple of decades have caused many to reassess their opinion as a challenger has emerged: O’Brien of Ballydoyle. In one sense, Vincent O’Brien’s achievements will never be surpassed. He created the Ballydoyle empire from scratch, re-shaping the international racing landscape through the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s after having sent out multiple winners of the great jumps races in the post-war years—the Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle.
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Usurping the Ballydoyle battalion for favouritism in Sunday’s G1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh, Quorto (IRE) showed his mettle to emulate his sire Dubawi's 2004 success and register a career high in battling fashion.
This just in: the Melbourne Cup is fast becoming ‘The Race That Thwarts a Nation’. Nobody except newly arrived Martians should have been greatly surprised by an Irish 1-2-3 in the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
John Boyce says that if Frankel's achievements with his first crop juveniles in 2016 are anything to go by, it looks like we may have discovered another super stallion. Time will tell. Another year will reveal all.
Galileo reclaims the money title; with just 10 days left in the year, he has 2016 progeny earnings of an incredible $30,082,927, and once again leads all six black-type categories, with 39 BTW, 71 BTH, 30 GSW, 54 GSH, a mind-blowing 14 Group 1 winners (by comparison, Dubawi, Tapit and North America number two sire Curlin have five each), and 24 G1H. Dubawi is second in Europe, with the earners of $17,886,202.
For the past 20 years, Seamie Heffernan has been the ultimate team player at Ballydoyle: self-effacing, patient, uncomplaining, a shoulder to the wheel. But his maiden Breeders' Cup success, unmistakably, was the result of an inspired and vivid exhibition of individual flair.
"The one thing that never ceases to amaze me, is how things have turned out for the Irish-based racehorse breeding business Coolmore, and its international agencies, Ashford in the USA and the Hunter Valley’s Coolmore Australia." - Mick Goss / Summerhill CEO
'Tongue-tied' is not a term you’d ordinarily apply to Aidan O'Brien, a man who just last week was named number one trainer in the world. It’s a common practice among racehorse conditioners to apply aids like blinkers, visors, hoods, cheek pieces and tongue ties to assist in the regulation of things like gate and cruising speed, lethargy, concentration and easier breathing, and nobody it seems, pays more attention to these details than the top man in his profession.
This is a story about triumph. Napoleon erected the Arc de Triomphe at the top end of the Champs Elysees to commemorate the most prosperous period in French military history. In 1920 the French racing authorities inaugurated the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in salute to the pinnacle of Continental horse racing; on Sunday, what has become Europe’s premier racing contest was renewed for the 96th time, and what a triumph it was.
You have to love this story just as much as you love the way Chris McGrath tells it. His favourite story of the week is also a perfect story for the time of year; a time when all of us, the dreamers, and the cynics, and everyone in between, follow each new yearling round the ring much as gamblers do the ball bouncing round the roulette wheel. Of course, the business needs the guys who pile millions on odd-or-even, red-or-black. But it also needs them to watch in bemusement, from time to time, as their chips are scooped by the fellow who has staked his modest all at far more precarious odds. The ball bounces, wobbles, and finally snags into a numbered groove: the wrong colour for many, but exactly the right number for one. And, because this game calls for skill as well as luck, that man will often turn out to be Bobby O'Ryan.
The importance of highlighting positive stories that come out of the Thoroughbred industry was the theme of the night during the Darley Flying Start Conference on Thursday evening in Lexington. "Good News Gold".
I met Henry Candy courtesy of Bridget Oppenheimer, who was hosting him during the KZN racing season at their palatial home, Milkwood, in the dunes of La Lucia. Henry Candy was the quintessential English gentleman.
Anyone attending the foreign correspondents’ lunch at Summerhill on Sunday (21 journalists from 8 different countries, by the way), would’ve been intrigued to hear John Slade’s public discourse on his belief of investing in families, and how pivotal he believed his policy had been in sustaining Summerhill’s position among the pre-eminent farms in the land.
Phonsie O'Brien, Vincent O'Brien's youngest brother achieved a lot in his own right in racing.
Traffic Guard symbolized the highest athletic virtues as a racehorse, rock solid mental resolve and massive physical attributes.
Highest Timeform Annual Ratings for Progeny of Galileo (Ire) through 2014.
Edmund Burke observed of the subsequent 14th Prime Minister of Great Britain, 'He's not a chip off the old block; it's the old block itself.' This story has echoes in modern-day racing. From his Ballydoyle Stables in Co. Tipperary, Vincent O'Brien proved himself to be the greatest trainer the world had ever seen. Who, if anyone, could follow in such a man's footsteps?
Summerhill’s young resident sire Golden Sword, the only son of High Chaparral at stud in South Africa, has seen his full-brother, All Body And Soul, get his second in Ireland over 2400m for trainer Tracey Collins. The 2012 gelding has had just five starts, winning twice and placing once.
The LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Rankings for 3-year-olds and upwards which raced between 1st January 2016 - 6th March 2016.
Solskjaer was a Group 2 winner over ten furlongs and is a half-brother to Yeats (Sadler's Wells). He came from champion breeders, Summerhill Stud in South Africa, where he stood since he retired from racing.