Hope you all had a good week.
Busy Times at The Stables
It’s a particularly busy time of year for the team at New Rathbride Stables. In addition to our normal work preparing the horses for runs we’re also busy with the yearling sales. On top of that we’ve already started breaking in the new yearlings we’ve purchased recently. I like to take my time to break them in properly at a pace where they are enjoying the experience and learning to do things the right way. The objective will be to have them all broken, riding and with a base level of fitness established by mid-December. We’ll then give them a break around Christmas so they begin next year fresh and ready to step up to the next level.
Tattersalls (Ireland) September Yearling Sale
I’ve been at the September Yearling Sales at Tattersalls (Fairyhouse) this week. Part 1 took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, and as usual it was difficult to buy the nicer horses. We had a larger number offered over the 2 days than 2015 (501 v 440) and both the average selling price (+3.6%) and median (+5.6%) were up on the year. The clearance rate wasn’t as strong as last year and as ever there were times when the ring became hot or cold.
Tuesday was the stronger of these two days and I was the under bidder on a few lots. You’ve got to stick to the plan and stay disciplined no matter how difficult it can be at times! There will always be challenges along the way with horses but I’m a big believer that there is no point putting yourself under pressure from the outset by paying too much upfront. During the opening session I managed to buy a very nice colt by Frozen Power at what I believe was a value price. An early foal (Feb 20th), he’s athletic and well balanced and looks the sort who will make a really nice 2yo. I very much liked him as an individual. His dam won 8 races and has had only one previous runner which won twice in France as a 2yo including a Listed race, and was also 2nd in a Group 2. Our lad has a great temperament, which is one of the criteria I rate highly when buying a young horse. I’m very happy with the purchase and he has already settled in well at our yard. He’ll now form part of a new 2 horse syndicate for next season.
The other horse in the syndicate is a lovely 2yo filly by exciting first season sire Epaulette who has been all the rage at the sales this year. He’s getting very nice horses and this filly is very much in that category. Her dam’s side also provides lots of encouragement with plenty of winners and black type. I bought this filly at The Premier Yearling Sale at Goffs Doncaster last month. She’s a lovely athletic filly with a fantastic temperament and looks the type to be a fast early season 2yo.
We’ve structured what I believe is a very attractive syndicate around them. Each 10% share is €8,000 which covers both the purchase of the two horses and all training costs for the next year. It’s already proving popular via our website (www.darrenbunyanracing.com) and I’m hoping it will be fully subscribed relatively soon. It’s great to see new owners joining the yard via our syndicates and we’ll look forward to an exciting and fun journey with these two promising young horses.
The yard also has a number of runners to look forward to this weekend, beginning with Lady Maesmor in the 5.20pm at Dundalk on Friday. She is a filly I bought cheaply and was only beaten by less than a length on her last run. On that occasion her wide draw was the difference between winning and losing. She has fared better in the draw this time and with a bit of luck in running, as you always need in these sprints, I think she’ll be there with every chance. She’s a tough genuine filly who is in great form currently.
On Sunday at the Curragh we’ll run Dazzle The Duel in the concluding handicap. While the ground might be softer than ideal for him he’s in that kind of form where we really need to get him out for a run. He was another value purchase and has been a fantastic asset to the yard. He was impressive in winning a nice handicap for us at Newbury last year and is worth his weight in gold to the stable. He’s a great work horse and also leads the 2yo’s. He certainly owes us nothing and if he gets through the ground on Sunday he’ll be competitive.
We might also introduce a very nice 2yo (Low Latency) on Sunday but we’ll be keeping an eye on the weather since he wouldn’t want it soft. The forecast is not providing much encouragement on that front currently but let’s see.
There’s a stunning €1,000,000 on offer for the Pick 6 at the Curragh on Sunday and it might be worthwhile including our 2 in your selections since they should both be competitive, particularly if we don’t get too much rain before then.
Have a great weekend. Best of luck!