Irish Derby Weekend
Irish Derby weekend marks the approximate halfway point of the season and there will be a few spectators on sight this weekend. At least that is my understanding. Standing in the wide open empty spaces of racecourses on balmy summer evenings is starting to feel more than a bit ridiculous. Chessman runs tomorrow evening and it might be his last hurrah for us. His form this year is neither good nor bad and despite the fact he continues to drop in the handicap it’s not bringing him closer. Travels well, flattens out, repeat. There is a better version of him, I just can’t seem to find it. We have a blank day Saturday but we should be back in tow come Sunday. I have a 2yo colt I might start on Sunday. He is the famous Ulysses colt eulogised by The Bloodstock Connection’s own Johnny Hassett. He has ticked along since his breeze up sale and if he pleases me Friday and Saturday I’d be inclined to let him start. It’s kind of fatalistic but once these lads take shape, keep their action and behave themselves then they’re as well starting. You’re giving them the springboard to get themselves going. It’ll be interesting to see what a run does for him. Irish Acclaim should run shortly after and this little terrier appears in great form. I was a bit worried he might be set for a spell in the doldrums after his first turf run for us. He left that behind him the last day, travelled brilliant and looked right back to his best. A repeat has him competitive. I had the lovely Morph Speed for the 12f Premier Handicap on Sunday’s card but a bastard pheasant put paid to that plan Monday morning. He and I were floating through some fast work when the squawking fucker got me buried and Morph Speed managed to jump some white railing. He cut himself between his hind legs and had to go on pain killers and antibiotics. A right nuisance, we were both feeling sorry for ourselves Monday but perspective is often easy to find. He’ll be fine soon enough. Speaking of meds I wonder is it time for trainers to come together and sign up to a charter, some sort of a memorandum of understanding when it comes to PEDs in the sport. There is a lot of doubt, suspicion, uncertainty swirling around at the moment. I don’t think the IHRB are allaying the fears of Messers Bolger or Kimmage. Repeating the words testing and zero tolerance isn’t proving enough. Holes can be picked in both. At the end of the day if trainers can behave themselves then we can have a sport to be proud of. As Ger Lyons said on Off The Ball it is possible to be clean AND competitive and his outfit is proof of that, presumably the majority of others are too. How to frame such a charter or to police it would take a bit of doing. It would involve veterinary buy in and would have a cost. There’s some version of it that would help. Mr Bolger says we have a problem, we have a problem, even if it’s just a cloud hanging over us. A racehorse is the most extraordinary animal, he doesn’t need anything, just point him in the right direction and look after him, he’ll take you somewhere if he has the head and the engine.

2017 Richard O'Brien Racing Limited