I JUST about survived a good few days with the boys in Ireland this week at Goffs Sales.
I was over at the prestigious Orby Sale earlier last week and we came away with six or seven lovely horses for the future.
And it doesn’t stop there, as we’ll be staying in Newmarket tonight to inspect the yearlings at Tattersalls tomorrow ahead of the massive Book 1 Sales in the coming days.
It’s the most hectic time of the year, so it’s fair to say we did let our hair down when we had the chance in Ireland earlier this week.
I travelled over with Richard Hannon and Ralph Beckett and, while we were pretty dry on the plane going over, we very much enjoyed the craic during our stay.
We always stay in a nice little hotel in Naas which has a pub attached, which is dangerous for obvious reasons.
Let me say nobody does hospitality quite like the Irish.
Mind you, things became a little bit ropey on the flight coming home as we were racing to beat Storm Agnes.
Hannon has always assured us if anything went wrong with the plane or the pilot he could get us out of trouble and fly us home.
I hope I never have to find out if he is telling the truth!
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It’s a huge weekend of racing and I’m disappointed we don’t have any runners to take over to France on Arc day tomorrow.
No doubt, it is one of the great days in the racing calendar and we always enjoy heading over there when we can.
But I’ll definitely be cheering on Westover for Ralph and Rob Hornby, who are two good mates of mine.
He is a hugely likeable horse and Ralph seems very happy with him ahead of the race — I think he has a massive chance with ground on the decent side at
Longchamp for the first time in a few years on the big day.
It would be a huge result for his owners Juddmonte as well, and I was over the moon to win another big race for them last weekend with Array.
They only sent us horses for the first time last year and so far we have managed to win a Guineas for them with Chaldean and now a Mill Reef with this smart colt.
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It was special to win the race for the first time, given he is named after the horse that put my dad on the map as a trainer.
Juddmonte are brilliant owners to have involved in the yard – long may our success for them continue.
Talking of our 2,000 Guineas winner Chaldean, it’s all systems go with him for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day on October 21.
He probably enjoyed himself a little too much on his mid-season holiday and we had to get plenty of work into him to get him to racing weight, which is why we skipped yesterday’s Joel Stakes.
He’ll head straight to Ascot — as will Coltrane and Sandrine who are both doing well after their trip to Donny earlier this month.
Mind you, I can’t say the same of my beloved Southampton at present.
After a good start to the season we have lost four straight games, and the performances have dropped off which is very alarming.
Thankfully, if we can sort out the individual errors at the back there is still time to turn it around.
We have a massive game against so-called ‘dirty Leeds’ in the early kick-off this afternoon.
It was a 2-2 draw when we were both in the Prem last season and I wouldn’t put anyone off that being the score again.
The racing this weekend is top-notch, there’s lots of good football on Saturday, the Rugby World Cup too and, of course, the Ryder Cup followed by the NFL tomorrow evening. What’s not to like!
It’s a pity I can’t just spend this weekend slouching on the sofa!
We actually don’t have too many runners this afternoon, but I reckon our best chance of a winner is MISS INFORMATION (4.50 Newmarket).
She won nicely at Ascot last time and I think she is well-handicapped off 78 – while we think the step up to seven furlongs will suit her well.
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