I Wouldn’t Start Training Now If I Was A Young Lad

Faugheen looked very impressive at Leopardstown on Sunday. He was awesome – he jumped and travelled and did everything right.

Faugheen The Machine
He looks virtually unbeatable in the Champion Hurdle. I think Nichols Canyon might have been feeling the effects of the Ryanair Hurdle because you can’t go from beating him in the Morgiana to that. There’s no way any horse could improve that much in a run. The Champion Hurdle is Faugheen’s race to lose.

BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle Day - Lepoardstown Races

Douvan looked great and couldn’t have done any more than what he did but at the end of the day he beat a very poor field. His jumping is superb which will play to his advantage in Cheltenham so again, it’ll take a fair one to beat him in the Arkle.

I just don’t think it will be as easy for him as it will be for Faugheen. He’ll take all the beating also though.

BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle Day - Lepoardstown Races

Bumper Horses
Village Mystic looked good in the bumper but I’m not sure there has been an outstanding bumper winner this season. The best bumper winner for me so far this season was Jessica Harrington’s horse Our Duke at Punchestown who has since gone on to win a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown. However, our horse Death Duty came out and beat him at Navan on his second bumper run.

Although, he’ll never win a Cheltenham bumper because he’s a three mile chaser in the making so it will be interesting over the next couple of weeks to see what Willie comes out with. We’ll know a lot more then.

HRI Statistics
The 2015 statistics released by Horse Racing Ireland were concerning with a decrease in owner figures. I’ve said this before but it all comes down to the owners being looked after properly.

We really need to try and get as many owners as possible back into horse racing, especially young people.

We have the Gordon Elliott Racing Club, but syndicates in general have decreased significantly in recent years. Slowly but surely they’re starting to come back and hopefully things will start picking up soon. Syndicates are more important for the smaller trainer than the bigger one. Smaller trainers around the country are feeling the pinch and without the backing of a bigger owner, it is very difficult to find the quality of horse to compete.

If you were a young lad now starting off as a trainer it would be hard. I’m in a very lucky position that things worked out well for me and I definitely wouldn’t like to be trying to do it all over again.