Last weekend at the Curragh was both heart-warming and magical. One simply had to be there to witness the ovation Kevin Prendergast received in the winners’ enclosure after Atwaad had just landed the 2000 Guineas. I had a wry smile when Kevin was interviewed and asked when did he know he had a Guineas horse, he replied “today”.
The 2000 Guineas Winner Atwaad
Let me bring you back to two weeks before the start of the flat season on a Tuesday morning at 7:10 am. It was a misty morning with a sharp nip in the air and just as I was about to moan about how cold it was, I was quickly put in my place by Kevin and told to man up. Jeremy Harley, Kevin’s assistant whispered to take no notice, “he has a good horse working here and is a bit anxious”.
I have four horses appear over the hill in two pairs and as they approach us they join up and finish the piece of work upsides. Good work I thought and turned to Jeremy to discuss it, Kevin pipes in and asks about the two horses on the far side, I reply they are Rateel and Your Pal Tal. He never asked anything else and both horses won on their next starts. We turn our attention to two horses of Kevin’s appearing over the hill and witness a very impressive piece of work. I asked Kevin what was the horse on the near side and to my surprise he replied very softly “that’s the 2000 Guineas winner Atwaad”. He is a remarkable man!
The 1000 Guineas
The 1000 Guineas looked a penalty kick for minding. The very valuable black type for 2nd and 3rd was up for grabs for the next two best fillies on the day. Jet Setting was not in on this act and was in no mood for minor honours. After Shane Foley set a nice even gallop on Jet Setting, Ryan Moore decided at the 2f pole to take it up on Minding and put the race to bed, but Jet Setting fought all the way to the line to prevail by a head. The fact that they pulled around ten lengths away from the third tells you this was no fluke, It was a very impressive performance. The path her trainer Adrian Keatley took with this filly is nothing short of a fairytale and he proved that he can think outside the box – he’s brave, ambitious and certainly very talented and deserves all the credit one has to offer.
We brought seven 2yos to the Curragh on Monday morning for a racecourse gallop. The idea behind this is to show them that bit more than they see at home and give them the experience of a raceday. I was very pleased with how they all took it and we are due to do it again on Sunday after racing at Naas.
Racing At Navan on Saturday
We have a very busy day at Navan on Saturday as we are due to run four.
Bective is a colt that I like and his work at home is good enough to show up well in a maiden. He will be at his best later in the year when he is that bit stronger but he might be vulnerable to more well developed horses at this time of year. He is ready to run again and I’m happy to let him take his chance.
Brokopondo is in great nick and should go very close. He has a horrible draw to overcome but he does nothing but surprise me so I won’t doubt him.
Lex Talionis is getting fitter as I have completely changed his training schedule after what I learned on his last run. I expect a completely different run from him and I’m hoping he will go close.
Brosnan ran a very eye catching run the last day as she got stopped at a very crucial stage. It’s a good race but she is in great form and has her chance.
The 2yo is hard to fancy as we don’t have enough form to go on but my other three all have their chances.