Tote Inside Track – Johnny Levins 20th May 2016

Dundalk last Friday was a busy night for the yard as I sent up three runners.

Lex Tallionis was first up and he ran very disappointing, but I can honestly put my hands up and take the blame as I sent Donagh out to set strong fractions as I thought the other runners were doubtful of staying the trip. Unfortunately I got this horses weight wrong. I believed he was thriving and getting stronger while developing when in fact he was just getting heavier. The fractions he set during the race left no hiding place and his fitness was put to the test and failed. This is what trainers are talking about when they say you learn so much more at the races then you do at home as we don’t test them at home and you see so much more on a race day. I have learned now that I need to change his training schedule in order to get him back on track!

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Brokopondo and Donagh O’Connor winning at Dundalk in November 2015. Photo: Patrick McCann

Brokopondo was next up and this guy is all heart as he had a good break out on grass and wasn’t back in training that long. He had just done two bits of work and was just ready for a run. Having discussed this with Ronan (Whelan) he told me he will take his time out the back and creep away and if he gets tired that he would look after him. The pace was very strong up front and they quickened too far out for the level of ability that was in this race, and as it turned out riding a waiting race was the right move.

He ended up winning easily in a manner that would suggest we could have a bit of fun this summer with him before we put him on the transfer list to go jumping.

Bubblesontherise ran a very pleasing race in finishing fourth in what looked a good maiden. She probably ran to a mark of 83 which this time of year would be just short of winning a maiden, but she should improve a bit for the run and that could leave her winning her maiden. I was delighted with her behaviour on the night as I didn’t run her as a 2yo because she was mentally immature and simply wouldn’t have coped with the stress. In my opinion they are two types of 2yo’s the strong mind and the immature mind and I don’t care what ability they have if they have an immature mind and you drive on then you will never reach the full height of their ability. A 2yo’s mental attitude is the most important thing to monitor closely.

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Example of the times recorded by Johnny when working his horses

Ronan Whelan was in on Wednesday as we had a lot of horses to work. It was a mixed morning as not everything worked well. Mr Right done his final piece ahead of his engagement at the Curragh on Saturday and his times per furlong on our system were very impressive. Having Donagh (O Connor) and Ronan on work mornings is a great help and their input is very important, but with horses as we all know no one is going to get it right all the time, we don’t do pressure here and the only things to get judged are the horses.

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Awtaad and Chris Hayes winning the Power EBF Tetrarch Stakes The Curragh Photo: Patrick McCann 02.05.2016

It’s Guineas weekend at the Curragh and it looks like both days are attracting good solid fields throughout the cards. The 2000 Guineas is very tricky!

You would have to be a very forgiving person were you to fancy Air Force Blue especially at his current price. I have been very impressed by Awtaad, he has done all that has been asked of him and is a very professional horse that travels strongly in his races and seems to handle all types of ground. He is trained by the evergreen Kevin Prendergast and it would be a great story if he were to win it. Galileo Gold’s trainer’s judgment will be put to the test as there seems to be a heated debate between him and the owners on the horse’s stamina. The trainer publicly declared him as a mile horse and believes he won’t get the Derby trip. The Curragh is a stayer’s track with no hiding place and on slow ground you will have to stay further than the mile itself. So if the trainer is right then I can’t see him winning. Bravery is the most unexposed runner in the field having only run three times. He only ran once as a 2yo when finishing a two length second to Awtaad. His first run this season saw him run a very eye catching sixth in a hot maiden here. His final assignment was at Dundalk were he looked a little on the heavy side in the paddock and one would imagine he would improve a lot for the run. He sat off a slow pace and easily picked them up and won easily. For a punter willing to take a chance then 33/1 appeals as an each way selection.

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