I haven’t written here for a while and a quick look through our recent results gives an indication why. We haven’t run many with chances. A combination of youngsters finding their feet and a few older ones finding theirs or battling the handicapper. Such is life. There was a time when I would be beating myself up about this but they’re just not for troubling the judge at the moment. It’ll turn. We have had more 2 year olds than usual and they should have a health warning attached to them. They just take their own time and not much one can do about it. We’ll keep a few going for the all weather. Lockdown has been extraordinary for everyone and for the most part we’ve been incredibly lucky. Businesses have been decimated and lives changed massively. We have been affected of course. It has been tough for owners to justify the continued cost of a hobby that they can’t enjoy. Plenty have stuck with it and hopefully we can find a way to repay that resilience. My day to day routine is largely unaffected. Yard, kids, some combination of both and occasional racing. Now I just don’t have to feel bad about not visiting anyone. Owners can’t go racing, can’t visit their horses. WhatsApp is terrific and they have to stomach me droning on about their charges. Pandemic penance.   Interesting and somewhat depressing to read and consider Mr Bolger’s assertions in a recent The Irish Field article. I can’t say I have ever had concrete knowledge of anything untoward happening and it is dispiriting to think he could be right. He’s not one for rash outbursts however and it would be nice to see the IHRB addressing his concerns. Questions have been raised on the quality of testing in the UK and Ireland compared to France. I would like to see a zero tolerance policy. If the French have systems picking up what we’re not then up the standard to theirs. Forget thresholds, there is no need for horses to be showing up on raceday with remnants of anything, legitimate or otherwise, in their systems. Racehorses require veterinary care but there’s well documented withdrawal periods for all those legitimate therapies. There was a recent survey circulated gathering information on trainer’s mental health. I was thinking of this and laughing to myself driving the 4 hours to Dundalk last Wednesday with a very moderate 3 year old. He was bred by my Dad and I’ve stuck with him for that reason alone. He ran his little heart out finishing in rear. How he has ended up with an opening mark of 60 defies belief. He might (MIGHT) do something eventually but why other’s striking successes should impact me I can’t understand. The real deal he is not.    

2017 Richard O'Brien Racing Limited