Saoirse Dun us proud

One length from ca­reer win left me de­flated

Bray People - - SPORT - RAC­ING with ROTH­WELL

THE PAST week was all about Saoirse Dun and his bid for the Ir­ish Grand Na­tional.

As you can imag­ine we were all thrilled af­ter dec­la­ra­tions on Fri­day morn­ing when it was fi­nally con­firmed that Saoirse Dun would in­deed get the op­por­tu­nity to run.

Al­though I was de­lighted, it was some­what short lived as the lovely sun­shine had me fac­ing an­other dilemma; dry­ing ground.

I was re­ally quiet wor­ried by Satur­day with the ground be­ing given as “good to yield­ing” and not a drop of rain in sight.

There was rain fore­cast for Sun­day but at that stage I was doubt­ful that I could take the chance to run such a big heavy topped horse on good ground.

Fairy­house race­course to their credit was do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to make sure that the ground was safe and con­tin­ued to wa­ter the track.

Sun­day was a dreary day and rain fi­nally ar­rived late evening. It was re­ported that there was to be 8mm of rain and so there was to be no wa­ter­ing of the track.

Un­for­tu­nately there was only 4mm of rain which was less than the 5mm that would have been put out on the course had rain not been fore­cast.

I was still in two minds on Mon­day morn­ing with the ground re­main­ing as “good to yield­ing”. Ul­ti­mately af­ter quite a bit of cor­re­spon­dence be­tween Saoirse Dun's own­ers and my­self, a joint de­ci­sion was made to run in the Na­tional.

Saoirse Dun didn't dis­ap­point any of us on Mon­day evening and I found my­self get­ting very ex­cited as I could see how well he was trav­el­ling and jump­ing through­out the race.

Andrew was giv­ing him a lovely ride stay­ing well out of trou­ble. As the three horses ap­proached the last fence I re­ally thought we would get to the front, al­though it def­i­nitely looked like the line came a lit­tle too early for us, fin­ish­ing third in the Ir­ish Grand Na­tional was far from a dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance.

In some ways to be just one length from what would have been a ca­reer win left me feel­ing a bit de­flated when the dust set­tled. I'm very lucky to have a horse of Saoirse Dun's cal­i­bre in the yard and there is al­ways next year to look for­ward to. For now Saoirse Dun is off to the field for a wellde­served break.

I will be hav­ing an evening out for all of our staff mem­bers over the com­ing weeks. Their hard work over the last few months' has def­i­nitely paid off and a huge amount of credit must be given to ev­ery­one in­volved. I am grate­ful to be able to ar­rive up to the yard on a daily ba­sis to be greeted by people who not only gen­uinely en­joy what they do but are happy to be part of some­thing big­ger than just one in­di­vid­ual and it's called a “team”. Well done lads.

I will be driv­ing the lorry my­self to Ballinrobe on Tues­day and with five horses to run I'm hop­ing that the four hour jour­ney won't be in vein. It's an evening meet­ing so an early start is re­quired and with our last run­ner in the bumper at 8.05pm it will be a case of leav­ing home on Tues­day and re­turn­ing into the early hours of Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

I have No­time­toserve en­tered in the Sean Hughes Me­mo­rial H'cap S'chase in Kil­beg­gan on Fri­day evening and hope­fully he can fol­low up on his win in Tramore. He has con­tin­ued to work well at home and his last few races have def­i­nitely ben­e­fited him. All Honours is also en­tered but would pre­fer the ground on the yield­ing side of good, which is still a pos­si­bil­ity at this stage.

I will also have some run­ners in Lim­er­ick on Sun­day, Udo's Choice be­ing one of these. His run to fin­ish sec­ond in Tramore was very en­cour­ag­ing and there is noth­ing to say he can't go one place bet­ter this week.

If the ground con­di­tions were to change dra­mat­i­cally over the week I would run Popa Flora in the Hand­i­cap Chase but he does re­quire at least soft ground and doesn't han­dle any­thing bet­ter.

I also have a horse called Frankie Bal­lou en­tered for Lim­er­ick on Sun­day but I am con­sid­er­ing keep­ing him to run in Punchestown next week. I re­ally like this young horse and am look­ing for­ward to him for the fu­ture. This is a horse I'd rec­om­mend fol­low­ing over the course of the Sum­mer.

It's hard to be­lieve that Punchestown is just around the cor­ner, it seems win­ter rac­ing is all but fin­ished.

I have a nice bunch of horses lined up for the week of Punchestown and I'm look­ing for­ward to an­other week of top class rac­ing where I'm sure some stars will shine through.

Shut­the­front­door, cen­tre, with Barry Ger­aghty on board, races clear of even­tual third, Saoirse Dun, right, with Andrew Ring on board.

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