Naas July 21st
We had our biggest winner at Naas a few years ago but generally I feel ours perform underwhelmingly there. I’ve no idea why that is, variance most likely. Anyway we head there with 2 tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to seeing them both. Gwan So debuted recently at Fairyhouse and it was OK. He fluffed the start and made up his ground very quickly. He floated for a couple of furlongs and then got tired. If he was more streetwise and more efficient in the run he could run well. I’d like to think he’s good enough to win his maiden. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, that’s a good race, but encouragement would be nice. Morph Speed got a nasty cut between his hind legs the last week in June and I definitely thought he would be at least 3 weeks recovering and a further 6 getting back fit. He missed 2 weeks ridden exercise and has been rolling along over the last 3. He will have lost that edge he had for his last win and I won’t get it back without a run. A mile is on the short side but with a view to getting him firing on all cylinders then it’s a trip that should work well. He is well and the race has cut up but a fully operational miler on the right side of the handicapper will have too many guns for him. We have a few runners to finish out the week so it would be nice if one of them grabbed something. Racing is navigating another serious controversy. Once an industry falls in the sight hairs of a programme like Panorama then there’s only going to be one outcome. It is to be hoped however that everyone thinks about their own involvement in the ongoing care of these animals. There are wonderful 2nd career options. We’ve rehomed plenty and from time to time receive updates on their ongoing care. We’ve also had to make the most difficult decision of all for horses that have suffered injuries from which they won’t recover. Euthanasia should always be kept as simple as possible for the injured animal. It’s a terrible reality of the game but a responsibility we’ve always taken seriously. Owning a racehorse brings with it a load of expense and responsibility far beyond getting it to the races and winning. A trainer has to insist on that responsibility being upheld.   Regarding racing’s most recent storm, the IHRB need to get on with ensuring the sport is clean and policed to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. I can’t change anything, in this instance, for me there are no learning points. Last night’s programme has made me sit up. There are a few candidates I’ve checked up on today. The ongoing care of our horses needs to be front and centre. We need to be better.

2017 Richard O'Brien Racing Limited