I LOVE WEX­FORD RACES

Model County track is like our lo­cal course

Bray People - - SPORT -

FORTY RUN­NERS lined up at the start for the Crab­bie's Grand Na­tional on Satur­day and it was a race that didn't dis­ap­point.

Un­for­tu­nately the lime­light was taken away from the win­ner and the sheer mag­ni­tude of the prize with the call­ing of a stew­ard's en­quiry due to what is be­ing per­ceived as the re­sult of a false start.

Hav­ing spo­ken to one of the 39 in­volved on the day it was much clearer as to the rea­son­ings of the jock­eys on the day, and their re­fusal to go back to the stew­ards to hear the fi­nal de­ci­sion on the mat­ter.

I was cer­tainly un­der the im­pres­sion that the en­quiry was a re­sult of the jock­eys not lin­ing up at the start cor­rectly and in so do­ing so put the as­sis­tant stew­ard, who was stand­ing in front of the line of horses, in con­sid­er­able dan­ger and was thus jus­ti­fied.

Noth­ing is ever clean cut and the en­quiry wasn't ac­tu­ally ad­dress­ing the fact that there was a false start, but the fact that the jock­eys had lined up six sec­onds too early which I found a lit­tle strange.

It seems that when the starter hit the but­ton for the tape to rise, al­low­ing for the start to com­mence, it didn't work cor­rectly and the tape didn't go up quickly enough.

Surely this is a sit­u­a­tion that we see year in year out with a start­ing sys­tem that can only be de­scribed as ar­chaic.

Surely some­one in the BHA must have re­alised be­fore now that it just doesn't work and ask­ing 40 keyed up horses and jock­eys full of an­tic­i­pa­tion to line up and stand for even six sec­onds is a trav­esty at the very least.

Re­gard­less of my opin­ions on the mat­ter there is to be a date set for an of­fi­cial en­quiry. I'm sure we will be well in­formed in due course but hope­fully there will be light at the end of the tun­nel for both the starters and jock­eys and maybe even a re­view of the out-dated ap­pa­ra­tus that is cur­rently called a ‘start­ing sys­tem’.

I was de­lighted to see my se­lec­tion for the Grand Na­tional Pineau De Re storm home by five lengths un­der the mount of Ir­ish­man and Kil­dare na­tive, Leighton Aspell.

It was a great day for him hav­ing come out of re­tire­ment only re­cently.

Pineau De Re was sold out of Ire­land only one year ago as the con­nec­tions felt there was lack of op­por­tu­nity for him here.

I'm sure his cur­rent trainer, Dr. Richard New­land, must be ec­static with this achieve­ment and con­sid­er­ing he runs a small yard with just 12 horses I'd say this is one horse he won't be for­get­ting in a hurry.

Kayf Tara had a very strong week as a Na­tional Hunt Stal­lion and this was ev­i­dent in Ain­tree last Fri- day with six of his off-spring com­pet­ing in the lu­cra­tive listed mare's bumper, of which he suc­ceeded in hav­ing the first, third and fourth horses home on the day.

Satur­day saw him with seven en­tries in the geld­ing's bumper and the first past the post once again.

It was back to Fairy­house on Sun­day where yet an­other son of Kayf Tara, Lieu­tenant Colonel, won the fea­ture race un­der the mount of Brian O’Con­nell for Gig­gin­stown Stud.

I have been an ad­vo­cate of Kayf Tara for the past few years and cur­rently have two in train­ing. The first of these is an un-named well bred filly that I own my­self for sale.

She looks promis­ing and al­though it is early days she gal­lops re­ally well.

The sec­ond is a geld­ing named Noth­ing in the­book, he will run in Sum­mer Bumpers and looks like an ex­cit­ing sort for the fu­ture, hope­fully he will fol­low in some of his pre­de­ces­sors foot­steps.

I had just two run­ners over the weekend at Toome­bridge Point To Point and al­though it was a painstak­ing jour­ney, it was well worth the trip.

Flight Line was the first of my run­ners in the Mares Maiden, she was an easy win­ner by four lengths rid­den by the in-form Jamie Codd.

The sec­ond of my run­ners was Ac­cord­ing To Dan in the older Geld­ings Maiden, this time un­der the mount of Barry O’Neill, an­other am­a­teur jockey that is clock­ing up a mul­ti­tude of win­ners; he gave our horse a great spin to win by yet again four lengths.

I was thrilled to be com­ing home with a dou­ble but I was also de­lighted for Flight Line's owner.

John Leckey, as he was on home turf and I know that meant a lot to him.

I own Ac­cord­ing To Dan my­self and will make a plan for him over the com­ing weeks.

I have a busy week ahead with run­ners in Lim­er­ick on Wed­nes­day, Wex­ford on Fri­day and Tramore on Sun­day and Mon­day.

I will have a pos­si­ble five run­ners in Wex­ford with Get In Pat, Catcher On The Moon, Ben­e­fi­cial Spirit, Bot­tle Rat­tler and Cross To Bos­ton none of which will be with­out chances.

All Honours and No time to serve will go to Tramore on Sun­day and an­other pos­si­bil­ity of a fur­ther four run­ners in Tramore on Mon­day with Udo's Choice, Catch­ing Time, Ur­ban Gale and first time out Cregg more Lady in the bumper depend­ing on the num­ber of en­tries.

I love rac­ing at Wex­ford and feel like it's my lo­cal track, it's def­i­nitely the short­est jour­ney and there is al­ways a great buzz around the course hope­fully it can be a lu­cra­tive evening for all con­nec­tions.

Leighton Aspell, rid­ing Pineau De Re, wins The Crab­bie's Grand Na­tional Steeple Chase at Ain­tree.

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