Tote Inside Track – Darren Bunyan – August 26

Hope you all had a good week.

Hit The Bid’s Group 3 Win The Highlight of a Great Week

It’s been a particularly busy week for us at New Rathbride Stables. As mentioned in recent blogs we now have all of the horses back in action and the team are doing an excellent job keeping everything moving forward.

Last Saturday we had a fantastic day at the Curragh when our classy 2yo Hit The Bid won the Group 3 Curragh Stakes. He was returning after more than 90 days since his previous run and undoubtedly will improve significantly from the run in terms of fitness. The ground was as soft as he would want and we probably just got away with that on the day. He’ll be seen to much better effect on ground which is good or better. He’s a beautiful big athletic horse and is a joy to watch on good ground as he just floats along taking everything at his ease. As ever, Leigh Roche did a great job in the saddle and he has been excited about this horse from the first day he sat on him.


                       Hit The Bid winning the Curragh Stakes (Group 3)

He is by the prolific sire Exceed And Excel and out of a multiple listed winning Selkirk mare. The dam’s family is full of speedy black type performers and Hit The Bid has inherited that speed in spades. From day one we’ve believed that he is a very good horse with a big future. From earlier in the season we had him in the Phoenix Stakes (Group 1) and a few weeks ago we entered for the Mill Reef Stakes (Group 2). We won’t see the best of him till next season when he matures fully into his big frame. Days like Saturday are a bonus for a horse like him. We are likely to run next in the Mill Reef Stakes (Group 2) at Newbury in September if the ground is good.

Straight To Victory Syndicate Deservedly Having a Great Year

I was delighted to see him win for the Straight To Victory Syndicate who have been wonderful supporters. The syndicate is deservedly having a great season. I bought 3 yearlings for them last year. The first of those to run was Mister Trader who won the first 2yo race of the season and since subsequently finishing an excellent 2nd to the outstanding Caravaggio in the Marble Hill Stakes (Listed) has been rated among the leading 2yo’s of the season. Hit The Bid was the second of those yearlings to run. So no pressure on the 3rd one then! 🙂 The syndicate are a great group of sporting owners who are loving the journey they are on with their horses. Given that they are spread across the world in London, Dubai, Singapore and Australia our team app is a great way to keep them all involved and up to date. They are a joy to train for and always allow me whatever time I feel is required to get a horse right.  I’m very much looking forward to having many more successful days for them. The lads had a great day all round on Saturday since we fancied our chances and they helped themselves to the amazing odds on offer from those generous bookies! (SP 50/1 and a lot bigger earlier in the day). Certainly a day we won’t forget and hopefully many more ahead.

Mister Trader
Mister Trader (Leigh Roche) wins the Tally Ho Stud EBF Maiden at The Curragh

Goffs Doncaster Yearling Sales

I spent the early part of this week at Doncaster yearling sales as the UK & Ireland yearling sales season swung into action. As mentioned previously, in recent months I’ve been travelling around to assess stallions and studying sales catalogues until the print was almost worn off the pages! So it was fantastic to at last get to see the yearlings up close. I think the overall quality of horse at the sale was better than last year and this was reflected in both the average and median prices being up for the 2 days. The sale was dominated by sire of the moment Dark Angel who was responsible for 6 of the 10 top lots. Definitely no sign of Brexit blues at this sale, but it will be interesting to see whether the Irish sales in September show any impact from the recent weakness of Sterling given how many UK buyers we normally find at those sales.

I couldn’t be happier with my own two purchases this week. The first is an absolutely cracking colt by Dark Angel who came from a very good hotel, Yeomanstown Stud. I genuinely thought this was one the nicest horses I saw during the two days and so I was both surprised and delighted to land him for £60,000. The fact that he was the 2nd last lot through the ring on Tuesday night might have helped since things had quietened down by then. I’m also delighted with my second purchase, a lovely filly by first season sire Epaulette. She ticked all the boxes for me and at £16,000 I think she was another bargain buy. It’s great to have two lovely yearlings on board before we head to the Irish sales in September.

Curragh Thoroughbred Trail on Irish Champions Weekend

I must also mention the Curragh Thoroughbred Trail on Sunday 11th September during Irish Champions Weekend. We’re part of Trail 5 which starts at our neighbour Willie McCreery’s and then comes to our yard before finishing at the National Stud. At the time of writing I believe there are still some tickets available. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the visitors to our yard and will ensure it’s a great experience for all. You can view details and booking options on the following link:

2016 yard and gallops 242 (1)

   Horses relaxing at New Rathbride Stables

This Weekend’s Racing

Before looking at this weekend I must say I was delighted to see one of our horses to follow, Mecca’s Angel (9/2), win the Group 1 Nunthorpe at York last week. Hopefully, some of you will have stuck with her. Unfortunately we won’t get to see much more of her since she will be retired at the end of this season but I would stick with her wherever she turns up before then. She’s a class act.

None of our horses to follow are running this weekend so we’ll need to look elsewhere for some inspiration. The Round Tower Stakes (Group3) 4.25pm at the Curragh on Sunday is an interesting looking 2yo race. I was impressed by Holy Cat on her debut at Leopardstown. In a strong looking field she is probably less exposed and has more potential to improve than many of her rivals here.

You can follow our progress on our website

Have a great weekend. Best of luck!


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