Hope you’ve all had a great week.
What a fantastic weekend of racing at the Curragh last weekend. The weather certainly had an impact with more than 20 non-runners on Sunday alone as the ground softened. But despite this we had two days of top class racing and many great stories unfolding. Many congratulations in particular to my neighbours Adrian Keatley/Shane Foley and Kevin Prendergast/Chris Hayes who won the 1000 and 2000 Guineas respectively. I was delighted for all concerned.
Our own highlight was undoubtedly Mister Trader running a blinder to finish a close up second to the much touted Caravaggio in the Marble Hill Stakes on Saturday. I’m told Caravaggio is the fastest they have had in a long time at Ballydoyle, which is of course quite a recommendation. Himself and Mister Trader pulled 4 1/4 lengths clear of the field while setting a very impressive time and are clearly two very smart colts. While I wouldn’t necessarily be going looking for Caravaggio I won’t be running away from him either.
Returning from a 2 month break Mister Trader was a bit too fresh and well in himself and didn’t settle in the early stages of Saturday’s race. In addition, he seemed to hit a false patch of ground in the final 100 yards causing him to temporarily switch onto the wrong leg. While not of itself being the difference between winning and being second it certainly didn’t help and I’m sure we haven’t seen the best of him yet.
Mister Trader is a tough and straightforward colt who has coped well with the soft ground he has encountered in his first 2 races. However, I’m looking forward to seeing him on better ground since his best homework has certainly been on good ground. I also have no doubt he has improved significantly from his run last Saturday. The penny has really dropped with him now and he is thriving. We have the exciting prospect of taking him to Royal Ascot. We’ll make a decision closer to the time on whether it will be for The Coventry, The Norfolk or The Windsor Castle. I think he’ll be competitive in whichever of those he lines up. I also have a feeling that the Irish 2yos might be worth following at Royal Ascot this year, since at this point they are looking stronger to me than those those in the UK, though the American 2yos coming over add an additional degree of uncertainty.
I must also add words of congratulations to a relatively small breeder, Mrs Imray, who bred two of the current top 6 in Timeform’s European 2yo Ratings (namely Psychedelic Funk and Mister Trader). Two inexpensive colts who are making their presence felt.
Navan Races – Saturday 28th May
The 2yo race at Navan this Saturday will be run in memory of Merryn Lacy, the beautiful young girl who sadly passed away this month after a most brave battle with cancer. In her short life she touched so many people and there would be no more fitting result than for Ger Lyons to win it given the fantastic support himself and wife Lynne provided to Merryn and her family. It would be the result of the weekend for me, and I certainly wouldn’t bet against Ger making it happen with his runner Medicine Jack. Our best wishes to all concerned.
I run High Speed in the Kiltale Junior Hurlers Handicap on that Navan card. While there’s undoubtedly a race in her I’m not convinced this will be her day since she could do with a little more ease in the ground. However, we’ll let her take her chance and see how she goes. We bought her cheaply with the objective of making her a winner before re-offering her at the breeding stock sales later this year. She’s a lovely looking filly and being by Kodiac she’ll be attractive to breeders once we make her a winner. She came close when finishing 2nd for us at Tipperary and we’ll look to go one better with her.
Naas Races – Sunday 29th May
Naas has an excellent looking card on Sunday, with 3 listed races and a Group 3 adding a touch of quality. The 2yo races will be of particular interest to me. Psychedelic Funk should win the Rochestown Stakes (Listed). I think he’s one of the best we’ve seen in Ireland or England this season so far.
At face value, the Coolmore Fillies Sprint (Listed) doesn’t look as strong as some of the previous runnings of this race. I’m ruing the fact that my own 2yo filly Celerity picked up a little knock on her debut and won’t make the line up this time. However, she’s back flying again at home and I’m very much looking forward to getting her back on track during the coming weeks.
You can follow updates on our website www.darrenbunyanracing.com
Best of luck!