After a quiet weekend and a couple of runners at Naas mid-week, Johnny Levins is back with his second blog; updating the progress of his two-year-olds, reviewing last week’s runners and previewing his three runners at Dundalk this evening.
We had a quiet weekend last weekend with no runners, so I took the opportunity to do our second phase of stalls work with our two-year-olds. It is very important that we take our time during this part of their education as a lot of races are won and lost at the start of a race. We normally lead them through the stalls with rugs on them as the rugs act as a cushion against the side part of the stalls. Once they are comfortable with this we then tack them up and ride them through the stalls. This is all done in the yard and the more forward two year-olds then will jump out of them down at the gallops. All two-year-olds took to it really well and I was very pleased with how professional they were.
We were at Naas on Wednesday with two runners in the premier handicap for three year-olds over 6f. Both horses were ridden by jockeys who never rode for me before as both my jockeys were unable do the light weights.
I was worried about the ground beforehand for Rateel and I was considering declaring him a non-runner, and I suppose what swayed me to run was the fact he was ridden by a very experienced jockey in Niall McCullagh and he is clever enough to know that if he wasn’t handling the ground he would mind him and keep him balanced. That is the way it turned out and although he wasn’t beaten that far we now know for sure he doesn’t act on slow ground.
Touch Of Frost broke well from the stalls and showed early speed to get into a good position and that is exactly what you need over these sprint distances. He lost his place at the 2f pole before rallying again well inside the last furlong to nab 3rd close home. Speaking to Danny (Grant) he reported that a just took a blow two out and once he filled his lungs he ran on again and should improve for the run. Both horses came out of their races well and will have the weekend off.
Ineffable (Michael Hussey, orange) win the 1m handicap in a tight finish from Lex Talionis Dundalk Stadium Photo: Patrick McCann 26.02.2016
We have three runners tonight at Dundalk!
Lex Tallionis runs in the rated race for three year olds (18.55). It’s a race for horses with a handicap mark of 90 or less and horses will carry an extra 1lb for every 1lb above the rating of 80. Lex is at most 6 lbs wrong and that is why Donagh (O Connor) takes the ride as he can take off a very valuable 5 lbs to correct the weights.
Lex is in great form and his work on Tuesday was more than good enough to win a race like this.
Brokopondo is having his first run back after a break. He is fresh and well but the run will bring him on and I expect he will need it badly as he got quite fat on me during his break.
Bubblesontherise is a nice filly that I never got to run as a two-year-old, she was just mentally immature and I felt she wouldn’t have coped with all the stress and could easily go the wrong way, so I decided to bring her on slowly and she is just ready to start now.
Leopardstown hosted their trials day on Sunday and one can only be impressed with the way the filly Now Or Never won her trial. She showed an exciting turn of foot when Kieren asked her to quicken. It looked as if Kieren made up his mind at the furlong pole that he was sitting on a live classic contender and spend the last furlong trying to pull her up! Whether she wins or not connections can look forward to an exciting season ahead.
Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page J.F.Levins Racing for updates on our runners.