The new HRI headquarters in the Curragh R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way 7 c h a p t e r 2 Stallion viewing at Kildangan Stud 8 R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way chapter 2 The Development of Modern Racing in Ireland Through the sixties and seventies the racing and breeding industries in Ireland were starting to prosper.
This is due in no small part to the fact that, in the last three decades, some of the best stallions in the world have stood in Ireland thanks to the hard work and investment by some immensely skilled horsemen. R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way 9 c h a p t e r — The industry was put on a good footing too, thanks in no small measure to one of the most important changes in Irish racing, instigated by a legendary figure, Joe McGrath.
A member of the first Irish Free State Dail and a cabinet Minister, he left politics to concentrate on his brainchild, the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes, from in the art and science of training racehorses and took it to a new level.
It shouldn’t be underestimated how extraordinary it was at the time for Derby winners to consecutive seasons, 1963-65.
Based on the Curragh, the centre of flat horse training in Ireland, he concentrated primarily on Flat horses from the start and was especially 12 R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way the hard work and investment by some immensely skilled horsemen, most notably Coolmore Stud.
The latter’s resident Sadler’s Wells was the outstanding stallion of modern times, being Champion Sire in the UK and Ireland on no fewer than 14 occasions, thus breaking the record of the legendary foundation stallion St Simon.
His deceased former studmate Danehill took over the Champion Sire mantle from him in latter years as well as dominating the Australian racing scene. Aerial view of Coolmore Stud betting and built the foundations for the current regulatory body that runs racing now, Horse Racing Ireland.
McGrath also, along with the other shareholders, sold Leopardstown racecourse to the Racing Board for a nominal price to ensure that racing continued at the famous course. Coolmore Stud Through the sixties and seventies the racing and breeding industries in Ireland were starting to prosper.
This is due in no small part to the fact that, in the last three decades, some of the best stallions in the world have stood in Ireland thanks to Racing Dynasties – Dreapers, Taaffes, Mullins, Walshes, Carberrys & Moores… Of course the Cheltenham National Hunt Racing Festival is a special place to both English and Irish horsemen alike, and there have been two defining moments there for Ireland that fall into the category of “Where were you when this happened?” The first was Arkle’s breathtaking victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1964 and the second was Dawn Run’s brave win in the same race in 1986.
Both horses’ wins had a deeper significance too because their connections have established deep family associations with racing that are still thriving today.
Arkle (the greatest Steeplechaser ever) was trained by Tom Dreaper whose son Jim is also a successful trainer today and he was ridden by Pat Taaffe whose son Tom was himself a top-class jockey and is now a successful trainer.
Dawn Run was trained by Paddy Mullins whose sons Willie, Tony and Tom are now top trainers and whose grandsons Emmet, Patrick and Danny are all fine jockeys.
This exemplifies another great strength that Irish racing possesses: namely great racing families and continuity of horsemanship through the generations.
The Walsh, Carberry and Moore racing families are also great examples of this. c h a p t e r 2 R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way 13 — John Oxx, Jim Bolger & Dermot Weld John Oxx and Jim Bolger have also contributed hugely to Ireland’s lofty reputation on the world’s racetracks, both winning the English Derby plus Group 1 races at the Breeders’ Cup in America and Dermot Weld the Hong Kong International meeting.
Dermot Weld, one of the undisputed masters of world training, is still the only European trainer to win the Melbourne Cup, which he has done twice with Vintage Crop in 1993 and Media Puzzle in 2002, and also to win an American Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes with Go Jim Bolger and Go in 1990. c h a p t e r 2 “Other trainers have had the cream of the best-bred yearlings and haven’t come up with the goods but Aidan has.” Guy St John Williams, Racing Historian Aidan O’Brien frequent 1-2-3s in the Irish Derby and other Group 1 races demonstrate, he is simply a genius with horses.
Yes, he has the might of Coolmore Stud behind him, but having the ammunition is only half the battle in racing.
It’s how you use it that’s more important. 14 R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way John Oxx with Sea the Stars after his famous victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe National triumphs, the Dan Moore-trained L’Escargot in 1974 to the Tommy Carberry-trained Bobbyjo in 1999.
Incidentally, Tommy Carberry was the rider of L’Escargot. The importance of all these figures and their achievements should never be underestimated or underplayed simply because of the enormous work done by so many people over so many years to make such wonderful sporting occasions a reality.
And that is what it takes, years of hard work, dedication and investment.
These great horses don’t come along by accident and they don’t win big races due to luck.
The people involved in racing today in Ireland have inherited a legacy that other nations can only dream about because they are standing on the shoulders of so many giants. c h a p t e r 2 — 23 c h a p t e r 4 he Arabian horses at the time were selectively bred by the Bedouin noble families for generations, with emphasis on speed and endurance, and were a much more refined and pure “Asil” breed than any European horse.
In particular three stallions that were imported into England in the 17th and 18th centuries had a profound effect on the population of racing horses at the time and are frequently referred to as the “Founding Fathers” of the modern Thoroughbred population.
They are the Godolphin Arabian, Darley Arabian and Byerley Turk.
The Darley Arabian was born circa 1700 and the story goes that he was bought from a Bedouin Sheikh, Mirza II, in Syria by Thomas Darley, an English merchant, for 300 gold sovereigns.
However, the story goes that the Sheikh regretted the sale of his finest colt and reneged on the deal but Darley eventually took possession of the colt and he arrived in England in 1704 and T became a prolific sire of good racehorses.
As is seen below in the genealogical chart of 2008 Derby winner New Approach’s male line, it traces back to this great stallion. (see page 24) The Byerley Turk was a ‘spoil’ of war.
He was taken from a captured Turkish officer at the Battle of Buda in Hungary by Captain Robert Byerley, serving under King William III of Orange.
This was 1688 and the horse was deemed to be around eight years old at the time.
When Byerley was dispatched to Ireland his ‘war charger’ came with him and participated at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
The horse also took part in a race meeting at Down Royal that year, winning the top prize of a Silver Bell.
He later went to stud in England.
Incidentally, New Approach’s dam-sire Ahonoora traces directly back in his male line to the Byerley Turk.
The Godolphin Arabian’s antecedents are less clear but it was believed that he came from Tunisia and that he was owned by King Louis XV of France before being purchased by an Englishman Edward Coke and brought to England in 1729.
On Coke’s death he bequeathed the horse to his friend Roger Wiliams before the Earl of Godolphin acquired him and stood him as a stallion.
Descriptions and portraits of him refer to his exquisite quality and proportions, and his male line survives today through his grandson Matchem.
While it is true that all of today’s racehorses can be traced back in the sire line to one of these three stallions, it must be remembered that, as stallions, these horses were only contributing 50% to every thoroughbred they sired.
The mares they crossed with also had many powerful stallion influences in their own genetic make-up and in this way many other stallions contributed greatly to the thoroughbred population.
Such stallions whose sire lines did not survive but whose influence was represented in their daughters include the Curwen Bay Barb, Bethell’s Arabian and the Lister Turk.
In 2005 the renowned Irish geneticist Professor Patrick Cunningham traced the genes of almost all of today’s racehorses back to 28 “founder” horses including mares.
He also found that the most influential mare in the background of today’s racehorse population is Tregonwell’s Natural Barb Mare, tracing back to the 1650s.
She has contributed 14% of the genes passed down the female line.
However, the modern thoroughbred population is no different to most other breeds including humans, where an inverted pyramid effect takes place in which a large population base comes from a quite narrow original gene pool with environmental factors providing as much of the variation in the population as genetic make-up. 24 R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way STUD BOOK In 1793 the General Stud Book was published in England by James Weatherby, the then secretary of the English Jockey Club.
At the time racing and breeding records tended to be haphazard and, in order to regulate it somewhat, Weatherby undertook to provide an account of the pedigrees of racing horses of the time.
Though updated many times since, this tome traced the pedigrees of about 400 select mares and stallions whose lineage could be reliably known and this core group formed the breed which later came to be known as “Thoroughbreds.” From such small beginnings the breed has found its way to almost every part of the globe.
To this day the Weatherby family, now a limited company, still maintains the records of the Stud Book or Thoroughbred Breeding Registry in both Britain and Ireland.
It is also responsible for the day to day administration of racing itself in Britain.
A strange phenomenon is that the Thoroughbred, which was essentially Anglo/Arab stock became vastly superior to other breeds that developed outside of those in the closed Stud Book.
The separate Arab breed that exists today is approximately one second per furlong slower than a thoroughbred.
That doesn’t sound like a lot but even in a race of eight furlongs would represent a mismatch that could barely be evened up by a vast weight concession from the thoroughbred.
Whether it was environmental factors some genetic compatibility or a combination of both, something clicked 300 years ago in the coming together of this most refined Arabian blood with the native horse stock that produced this superior horse. Darley Arabian Over the last 150 years the sire-line of the Darley Arabian, through his descendant Eclipse, himself one of the greatest racehorses to have ever lived, has become dominant and 80% of modern racehorses are descended from his sireline. Sadler’s Wells The modern equivalent of Birdcatcher is Sadler’s Wells.
Born in 1981 and named after a famous dance theatre in London, this stallion is quite simply a legend.
As a racehorse he was trained by the legendary Vincent O’Brien and he won the 1984 Irish 2000 Guineas and later in the season he also won the Irish Champion Stakes at the now closed Birdcatcher The Irish-bred and raced horse, Birdcatcher was one of the “The remarkable breeding legacy of Birdcatcher makes him one of the most influential sires in racing history.” Dr Tony Sweeney, Irish Racing Historian c h a p t e r — Tony Morris, Racing Post NEW APPROACH – an example of a horses ancestory In some respects the ancestry of thoroughbreds can be traced more accurately and more reliably than that of people.
Below is the sireline of the Irish-bred and trained New Approach, European Champion Two-Year-Old of 2007 and World Champion Three-Year-Old of 2008. New Approach 2005 Winner of eight races inc.
English Derby, Irish Champion Stakes, English Champion Stakes, National Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes, all Group 1 (bred in Ireland) Galileo 1998 Winner of six races inc.
English and Irish Derby (bred in Ireland) Sadler’s Wells 1981 Winner of six races inc Irish 2000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes Northern Dancer 1961 Winner of 14 races in USA inc.
Kentucky Derby Nearctic 1954 Winner of 21 races in USA Nearco 1935 Winner of Italian Derby Pharos 1920 Winner of 14 races in England including English Champion Stakes Phalaris 1913 Winner of 16 races in England Polymelus 1902 Winner of 11 races in England including Champion Stakes Cyllene 1895 Winner of nine races including Ascot Gold Cup Bona Vista 1889 Winner of English 2000 Guineas Bend Or 1877 Winner of English Derby Doncaster 1870 Winner of English Derby Stockwell 1849 Winner of English St Leger and 2000 Guineas The Baron 1842 Winner of English St Leger (bred in Ireland) Irish Birdcatcher 1833 Winner of five races in Ireland (bred in Ireland) Sir Hercules 1826 Winner of seven races, 3rd English St Leger (bred in Ireland) Whalebone 1807 Winner of English Derby Waxy 1790 Winner of English Derby Pot-8-os 1773 Winner of 30 races in England Eclipse 1764 Winner of 18 races in England, unbeaten.
Marske 1750 Winner of two races Squirt 1732 Winner of several races, race record incomplete Bartletts Childers 1716 Unraced Darley Arabian Circa 1700 Unraced Incidentally, New Approach’s dam-sire, Ahonoora traces back to Herod who came from the Byerley Turk. c h a p t e r Classic win by a colt or gelding at the Curragh.
Sadler’s Wells then began a stallion career at Coolmore Stud in 1985 and from the time his first two-year-old runners hit the racecourse in 1988 he has been a sensation.
He was Champion sire in Britain and Ireland a record 14 times, firstly in 1990 and then from 1992-2004.
His sons Galileo and Montjeu have now taken over his mantle as the dominant stallions around today.
Both winners of the Irish Derby, they have each sired English and Irish Derby winners and are the most influential ‘Classic’ race stallions in Europe. 4 26 R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way c h a p t e r 4 New Approach R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way — 37 “Sea The Stars was a big heavy foal but he was beautifully put together.
He was always a very nice foal, he was trouble-free, never sick a day in his life, he was just a very easy horse in every way.
He was always a very easy mover, a good walker, good temperament.
He just had this quality, a little arrogance: ‘I am superior to every other horse’.
He has it in spades, the look of a king.
Always had it.” John Clarke c h a p t e r at the trainer’s yard.
It is the trainers, work riders and jockeys that polish the diamonds to produce the finished product.
But if the preparation before the horse gets to him is of the right quality, the job of the trainer is an awful lot easier.
Here are the steps a horse takes before becoming ready to be trained to race. 6 he former Chief Executive of the Irish National Stud in Kildare, John Clarke, knows only too well that Sea The Stars is a rarity.
Yet he represents the dream of the breeding world. “You need luck as well as good blood lines to produce a horse like Secretariat.
It’s a funny thing.
For instance, Secretariat has a half-sister who looks like a potential winner.
But he also has a half-sister who couldn’t outrun a fat man going downhill.” Helen Tweedy Helen Tweedy was the owner of Secretariat, who won American Triple Crown in 1973 (Kentucky T Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes).
Her experience serves to emphasise that there is no such thing as a certainty in racing.
There is a long journey to travel from a foal being born to it reaching the racecourse, if it ever does.
It is all too easy to forget the time and endeavour that has been invested into that horse before it arrives FLAT Weaning Although the natural foaling time for horses is in the summer, the convention that all thoroughbreds share birth dates of January 1, regardless of when they are born, has encouraged people to produce foals early in a year (after an 11-month gestation period) so that they are not at a competitive disadvantage.
The day after a foal is born – anywhere between February and June usually – they are brought out to a field for a half hour and led up and down.
For the first week they are out on their own, after which they are put together in clusters of four or five, ensuring that the groups are all the same age.
John Clarke’s successor as Chief Executive of the Irish National Stud is John Osborne, whose father, Michael was Manager there for 12 years. “As my father used to say, a foal is born at one-tenth of the adult body weight but a half of its height.
So it’s tall and gangly.
Nature has designed it that way, that the foaling process lasts no more than an hour and that the foal can gallop as quickly as its mother within an hour of being born.
That was to protect it from predators.” The next step is to wean them from the mares around August or September.
Any foals born in May wouldn’t be weaned until November.
By this stage, the foals are around six months old and have established a fair degree of independence, 38 R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way Throughout this time, the foals are wormed on a monthly basis, while a farrier comes in once a month to do their shoes.
Sales You have to decide what foals are going to what sales very early on.
Foal sales take place in Goffs, Tattersalls and Doncaster in November, and with closing date for entries around April, the foals are just a few weeks old when the call is made. breaking away to play.
By the time they are three weeks old they are already mimicking the dam by nibbling at solid food.
They get supplementary feed along the way to make sure they have a good solid diet before the milk, which is their primary source of nutrition, is taken from them.
The weaning is done gradually, with two mares being taken from a group and continuing that until the quietest mare is left with four or five foals and then suddenly they are on their own.
The mourning period is very short.
By the next day, neither mare nor foal will even know a separation took place. c h a p t e r “It’s difficult because they can change a lot” admits Andrew Hughes, General Manager of Thistle Farm, in the parish of Danesfort outside Kilkenny. “We just have to make the decision about which sales they will go to depending on how forward they are or not at that stage.” — 2m3f 2m1f “It’s a Group 1 track with very good ground.
A lot of trainers use it for work because it’s always in good HURDLE condition.
CHASE It’s a very fair track that’s straightforward to ride.” Declan McDonogh National Hunt & Flat leopardstown Facts about leopardstown The Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial was won by the subsequent Epsom Derby winner in three consecutive years: in 2000 by Sinndar, 2001 by Galileo and 20002 by High Chaparral.
The course record for attendance is the 21,000 patrons who turned up on August 28, 1990.
The World Athletics Cross-Country championships have been held at Leopardstown twice: in 1964 and 2002.
Pat Smullen has a clear liking for the Dublin venue.
He is the top Flat jockey here from 2006 to July 2010 in terms of winners, percentage of strike rate and profit for the punter.
A premier National Hunt track also, Leopardstown has played host to some of the sport’s absolute legends such as Arkle, Istibraq, Hardy Eustace, Monksfield, Best Mate, Florida Pearl and Beef Or Salmon. A left-handed, round, dual purpose track of one mile and six furlongs, with a run-in of almost three furlongs and an uphill finish.
It has seven hurdles and 10 fences, while a high draw has the advantage in sprints.
Built in 1888, it was purchased by the Racing Board (now HRI) in 1967 to secure its future in racing.
Home to the Hennessy Gold Cup, Irish Champion Hurdle and Irish Champion Stakes. Contact Details Leopardstown Racecourse, Foxrock, Dublin 18.
T: 01 289 0500 E: email@example.com W: www.leopardstown.com Course Characteristics The course is a left-handed oval of one mile and six furlongs with an uphill finishing straight.
Location Leopardstown is situated in Foxrock, Dublin 18, 6 km south of Dublin city centre. 64 R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way “Seems to favour horses with a bit of pace.
You can come from quite a bit back when the ground is soft though.” David Casey Flat course 7f 1m — c h a p t e r 8 A left-handed, dual purpose oval of one mile and four furlongs, with two chutes of two furlongs that join the four-furlong straight which has an uphill finish.
There are six hurdles and eight fences on the circuit, with a low draw best in five and six furlong races.
The first meeting took place in 1924. Contact Details Naas Racecourse, Tipper Road, Naas, Co.
Kildare T: 045 897 391 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.naasracecourse.com Course Characteristics The course is left-handed, undulating and one mile and four furlongs in length with a stiff uphill climb to the winning post.
Also a chute for sprint races that joins the straight.
Location Located about 1km from Naas town centre in the Thoroughbred county’ of Kildare. Facts about naas Cheltenham Trial Day in 2009 produced three Grade 1 winners.
Go Native claimed the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, three weeks after being victorious in Naas.
Joncol subsequently won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown, while An Cathaoir More claimed the Arkle Chase at the same venue. 2004 Irish champion two-year-old, the David Wachman-trained Damson, won at Naas before taking the honours in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh.
Such is the competitiveness of the racing that no single jockey or trainer on the Flat is worth following exclusively.
However, Moyglare Stud Farm-owned horses have returned a profit of €5 per euro for anyone who sticks with the famous black jacket, white sleeves, red cap and black star on Tipper Road. R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way 67 Flat course 1m 1m2f 6f 5f 2m 1m5f RDLE National Hunt c h a p t e r 2m 2m4f 2m6f 2m1 m1f f 2m1f 2m 2m4f 2m5f 2m6f 2m7f — SILKS 3 121 OWNERS/RIDER Finsceal Beo K.J.
Manning Drawn 1 Almost completed famous 1,000 Guineas treble and sure to take all the beating here.
Finsceal Beo 5 ﬂat wins �758,792.90 – C D – Handicap Rating 119 9/10 fav K.J.
Manning 9.0 won nk 2L from Dimenticata 9.0 and Peeping Fawn (USA) 9.0 CUR 27 MAY 07 11rn Group 1 1m Gd/Frm 1min 39.3sec K.J.
Manning 9.0 hd 2nd to Darjina (FR) 9.0 LONGCHAMP 13 MAY 07 13rn Group 1 1m Gd K.J.
Manning 9.0 won 2½L 1¼L from Arch Swing (USA) 9.0 and Simply Perfect (GB) 9.0 NEWMARKET 06 MAY 07 21rn Group 1 1m Gd/Frm 1min 34.9sec 2004 ch f by Mr Greeley (USA) – Musical Treat Bred by Rathbarry Stud M.A.
Ryan DARK BLUE & EMERALD GREEN HOOPS, quartered cap TRAINER 9-0 (126) J.S.
Bolger on the premises at the business end of races. 4, 3, 2 and the coveted 1 are what you want to see.
The numbers start from first runs to last, moving from left to right.
Recent finishes are usually more relevant than something that happened three years ago.
In terms of national hunt, steer clear of anything with too many Fs or Us – Fell and Unseated Rider.
That suggests a problem with the obstacles.
A horse can have all the ability in the world but if it doesn’t jump well, it will lose more than it wins.
Abbreviations used here can include: U = Unseated Rider P = Pulled Up B = Brought Down F = Fell and R = Refusal But there is more to this form than meets the eye.
Apart from the finishing positions, cards provide in-depth information on a horse’s last three runs.
A variety of websites will go THE FORM BOOK Nowadays, all race cards carry information on a horse’s previous races.
The first thing to look at is where the horses have finished.
The numbers to the left of their names indicate that.
A lot of 0s indicate a failure to be 98 R A C I N G t h e I R I S H way
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