Cheltenham Fri, 17th Mar, 2023
Galopin Des Champs
I didn’t realise the pressure I was under. I’m absolutely delighted for Audrey Turley (owner), Paul was under huge pressure too and gave him a peach of a ride. The plan was to drop him in and come through, I said to him ‘I think you’re on the best horse, the fastest horse, so as long as he doesn’t get running with you just tuck him in somewhere and put him asleep’ — and he did. It just worked out, he gave him a brilliant, cool ride. Everyone was questioning the distance and his stamina, they were going to make it plenty fast so I didn’t want him up there in the early exchanges. If he has the class, he’ll come through, if he hasn’t then there’s no point. All the thoughts go through your head, have we gone too far back? They had gone such a gallop, something had to give. One or two fell and we missed all that, we’d a lot of luck. I think that man on board, when the pressure comes on, he’s very good.
Cheltenham Fri, 17th Mar, 2023
She travelled into the race at maybe the five-furlong marker and rather than fighting her Paul just let her gallop and held onto her as much as he could for a long as he could. He thought she was actually idling come up the straight and thinks there is a little bit more in the tank — she looks a star mare. But for the traffic problems in Leopardstown she’d be unbeaten for us. I’m very happy with how they all ran, bar Blood Destiny (finished ninth) who was disappointing. I don’t know what happened to him, but all the rest ran their race. It’s a nice start to the day.
Cheltenham Wed, 15th Mar, 2023
Impaire Et Passe
It was quite a deep race, Champ Kiely, Gaelic Warrior, Hermes Allen from England — all horses with good form lines. It was competitive, Willie was right to go for the Ballymore and not the Supreme. He’s really a blank canvas, that was the fourth run of his life, he’s won by six and a half lengths and came over the last in the lead. The sky’s the limit at the moment — the dream is very much alive. That was good, I was very impressed. When he got through, the change of pace coming down the last — wow. I think that was just his fourth run of his life so there’s improvement there. I’m looking at him as a chaser, but you have to ask yourself would you stay hurdling? You have to look at Champion Hurdles and things. Yesterday I was telling Michael Buckley (owner of Constitution Hill) that we were going to have go off and shop again to buy one to beat him, but maybe we have one here. His jumping is great, so maybe we have one.
Cheltenham Tue, 14th Mar, 2023
He travelled as well as I was hoping the whole way. Paul said he hit a flat spot down the back but then when he picked him up, he came alive under him. I didn’t watch the finish as I was trying to watch our other horse who had fallen, but thankfully he’s OK. It’s good to get on the board early in the day. It was a bit of a worry at the last but I thought, all being well, it looked like he had enough in reserve at that stage. He has a habit of brushing through the top of his fences but it is not something we are practicing! Like a lot of French horses, he can find a fifth leg due to all the schooling they do early in their careers. I’m not looking to up him in trip yet, I always think if a horse is comfortable at two miles they are easier to train and keep sound, so I’m hoping he’s a Champion Chase horse for next year.
Naas Sun, 12th Mar, 2023
His schooling yesterday left a bit to be desired and I think Paul was relieved to get around let alone win but there is definitely plenty of room for improvement.
Gowran Park Sat, 11th Mar, 2023
He's a real decent horse and a horse that I've been trying to get out all spring,. I was hoping to qualify him for Cheltenham but he just wasn't right and we waited. The Doc's bumper came up and we decided to nominate him for this bumper. I think he's championship class. We'll look for a winners' bumper, whether we wait for Punchestown or go for one before that. He's from the top drawer and is another nice horse for Cheveley Park, I think. He's a horse we were looking forward to and we'll look forward to seeing him again after that performance. He'd actually prefer better ground but he is a big heavy unit too.
Leopardstown Mon, 6th Mar, 2023
It wasn't the plan to make the running, but she took me there and I was a little worried she was doing a bit too much the whole way around, but she picked up well in the straight. I'd imagine we'll give her a chance at some black-type, maybe in Fairyhouse. She has a lovely pedigree. I think that's Brendan's (O'Sullivan) first runner, and winner, in his colours so it's very special for him. It looked like a good bumper on paper and I'd say the second horse is nice. Anything that wins at Leopardstown first time out is normally not too bad.
Wexford Sun, 5th Mar, 2023
He (Dancing City) did it well, it took him a while to get going but he was staying on the whole way to the line. The first and second are two nice horses. I doubt he will go to Cheltenham now and we'll try to find a winners bumper for him at home. the new motorway is a big help.
Leopardstown Sun, 5th Mar, 2023
Paul (Townend, winning jockey) said he was probably just getting fit - he always looked big and I even thought he looked big in the parade ring today. He's probably just coming right and while it's the wrong end of the season to be coming right, at least he's won and he won well. It's probably too late to go to Cheltenham now and we'll keep him for Fairyhouse and Punchestown, or Liverpool. We'll see how he comes out of that and see what races we have him in before we decide.
Naas Sun, 26th Feb, 2023
We completely changed tactics, he has a lot of speed and I said to Paul to lock him up and don't let him out until near the last. As it was, I think he appeared in front too soon and was probably lucky to hold on in the end. It was a good tactical ride from Paul at the end of the day. I'm looking forward to going back on the Flat with him. I got him from Jean-Claude Rouget and he was very sorry to lose him. As the ground gets better in the spring time he'll find it easier to get that trip so there will be a nice race in him over hurdles as well.
Fairyhouse Sat, 25th Feb, 2023
That was good, I thought a drop in grade at this stage of his career was probably no harm. He was careful at some of his jumps and then got some really good jumps. He jumped well when it mattered over the last. The dry conditions were a huge help to him. I might try and pick out another race like that. The (Grade 3) Imperial Call Chase at Cork (April 9th) might be a possible. The Aintree Bowl is a possibility but you are running up against Grade 1 horses there and we might be as well off keeping below the radar. That's his first win for two years and I'd prefer to keep him in a lower grade at his age and be competitive. Then we could try and finish up at Punchestown where he had a great day with Ruby Walsh, if he could roll back the years maybe he could do it again.
Fairyhouse Sat, 25th Feb, 2023
She jumped super and then things just fell apart but I think she will improve. She's essentially a good jumper and it was just maybe being in front. She's a nice mare and I think she's going to improve. She'll head for the Triumph Hurdle, I'd imagine. If she just keeps her jumping together she's going to win lots of prizes. She's one we have been looking forward to. We sort of had to rush her preparation to get her ready for this but we felt she needed it if she was going to go across the water. She passed the test, she didn't pass it with flying colours but she passed it.