I LOVE WEXFORD RACES
Model County track is like our local course
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.