7th Sep 2012
Summer is here, trouble is it’s September. A long dull blur has disappeared to reveal that the sky is still actually blue. We have a significant tourism business here and the visitor numbers are about level with last year which is satisfactory with national numbers down and the dreaded weatherman suggesting everybody stay indoors. It is no coincidence that the Summer blockbuster should be called “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
The news is all of Lord Oaksey’s death and reading Alastair Down makes me feel like hanging up my pen. Alastair attributes his love of racing partly to Oaksey writing of Mandarin’s win in France. Both men not only embody the passion for the sport of horseracing but also have transmitted that to the page. In founding the Injured Jockeys Fund, Lord Oaksey left a legacy few can match.
The weekend in Ireland promises great racing and we wish the Moyglare Stud all the best with their celebratory day at the Curragh on Sunday. Fifty years in Ireland but the first one after Walter Haefner moved to a higher vantage point. They deserve a big crowd to thank them for the great days and their sponsoring of the gate means that nobody has an excuse for staying away. The Moyglare Stud Stakes is the race I always dreamed of winning, and the Finnegans and Kelleways, the Murphys and Durkans and Henrys all showed it can be done. This season we have seen some great successes by the relatively cheaply-bought yearlings of last year, in the hands of some emerging talents, most notably Andy Oliver, ensuring that the dream lives on.
Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown is posing some air traffic control headaches as we see jockeys Buick and Dettori dashing from Haydock attempting a Group 1 double across the water. A win for Snow Fairy, Big Bad Bob’s niece,would be a cause for celebration here, although the forgotten horse Born To Sea could cause more turbulence if Johnny Murtagh adds to his tally of 100 Group 1 wins. That would raise this roof.