Noel Meade’s Runners At Cheltenham 2023
We caught up with one of Ireland’s top horse trainers to get insight on Noel Meade’s runners at Cheltenham 2023 from the man himself.
Meade has been one of the best trainers in both Ireland and Britain over the past couple of decades. In 2023 he is bidding for more success at Prestbury Park during the running of the next edition of the prestigious Cheltenham Festival.
In our chat with Meade we got the latest on his runners at Cheltenham 2023, Ireland’s prospects at the Cheltenham Festival and his thoughts on competing against the other top horse racing trainers.
Noel Meade’s Runners At Cheltenham 2023
I’m not sure what Thedevilscoachman will run in, probably the Brown Advisory, but he does want soft ground and the last couple of years that hasn’t come up in Cheltenham, but he is entered.
We have another horse, Idas Boy, who was supposed to run last weekend but was unfortunately lame behind and didn’t get a chance to run, but he’s a possibility for the Brown Advisory too.
We will run a mare, The Model Kingdom, in the Mares’ Novice hurdle. I am not sure if Cheltenham is the right place for her but her owners were keen for her to go, she’s won her first three or four on the bounce and she could run a big race. Whether she can get up the hill or not remains to be seen, but she’s a speedy mare.
Beacon Edge is in the Stayers’ but I think it is more likely to contest the Coral Cup.
Affordale Fury won his first two starts and then fell at the last on his third run. He was disappointing on his next run but we’ve always thought he was a decent horse and if we’re happy with him then he may run in the Albert Bartlett. He’s also entered in the Ballymore, but we will see how he works at home.
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Ireland’s Chances At Cheltenham 2023
When you look at the depth of it, Paul (Nicholls) has a couple of very good horses, very good novices and they have chances. Nicky (Henderson) will obviously have Constitution Hill and a few others scattered around.
We have a lot more horses to compete with, I suppose, than the English do. I am sure Willie and Gordon will bring over 130 or 140 horses between them.
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Challenge Of Competing With The Big Horse Racing Trainers And Yards
We go about our business as best we can but it is very difficult at the moment because, I have always said, “he who wins in the sale ring, will usually win on the track.”
Willie [Mullins], Gordon (Elliott) and Henry [de Bromhead] have been buying up practically everything, the top lots, this is why the English trainers are struggling as well because the top horses are going to those couple of trainers.
Willie is exceptional, there is no doubt about that. But when you win races, you get more horses and when you get more horses, you win more races. Then, the better races you win, the better horses you get and the better horse you get, the better races you win. That’s the way it is.
Willie was probably the first trainer to come along and say look, we don’t want just one, or two, or three horses that can win a race, we just want to keep buying good horses. He has kept buying and buying.
When I started training, if you had 60 or 70 horses then you had a huge string. Now, it’s around 250 to 300 horses and it’s a colossal amount. A lot of them, especially Willie’s, are very well bought. I can’t afford them. It’s very difficult to compete against.
Noel Meade On Willie Mullins
Because he is prepared to run them against each other, Gordon likewise, they have no problems running three or four in one race for three or four different owners. I don’t know how he gets away with it, but he does.
Ok, there might only be eight runners in a Grade 1 and four or five might be trained by one person, but they are all sent out there to do their best so it shouldn’t make much difference, other than the fact that it’s which one the public wants to pick.
With Willie, it’s a bit like Aidan O’Brien, you know if you’re going out on his second horse then you still have a chance.
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