Ireland Needs More All-Weather Racing

I was very pleased to see Edwulf win the Beginners’ Chase at Punchestown on Saturday.

It did take a little while to break his duck over fences, but in his defence, he’s contested some quality Beginners’ Chases.

His jumping has been an issue in the past but he was surefooted on Saturday and it was nice to see him put it all together.

Where we go next has not been decided. JP McManus has numerous horses with similar profiles so we’ll sit down later in the week and map out a plan. I wouldn’t be keen to rush back too quickly with him as that was his fourth run in a seven week period.

Impressive Indrik
Indrik ran well in the bumper to finish third behind what looked a very smart winner. He’s a stayer in the making and the Annus Mirabilus syndicate will have plenty of fun with him for the rest of the season.

I was really taken by the winner Paloma Blue. He was very green in the closing stages and for a horse of that inexperience to go and win a bumper, marks him down as horse with a big future.

Kempton Park Closure
The closure of Kempton Park has been making plenty headlines in recent days. I’m not into the politics of racing but it seems such a shame to lose a track of this quality. I’ve seen people questioning the need for another all-weather track in the UK. I’d never bemoan all-weather racing. A track in Newmarket is sure to be utilized by all the top trainers.

More All-Weather Action

I’d love to see another all-weather track in Ireland and if that’s not the case, then Dundalk should be used more regularly.

The lower grade races in Dundalk are oversubscribed every week. We had four entries in a 45-65 graded race last week and the closest one of these entries got to getting in was 22 on the ballot. There was 60 entries in the race. The safety limit in Dundalk is 14 runners.

I realise the authorities are keen to keep the quality of the racing up in Ireland – we don’t want low grade horses racing for poor prize money. I could bring these horses to the UK but you barely cover your costs even if one wins. That’s after expenses are taken into account.