Horse racing world celebrates sport’s return


Edward Brady

IT WAS great to see horse racing returning to Naas at the start of the month and it was the same old story for Aidan O’Brien as he had two winners at the June 8 meeting.

More Beautiful (above) won the first race for him and might go now for the Queen Mary or Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, where she would be a leading player after this win.

Elfin Queen won the Irish Stallion Fillies Maiden Race by six and a half lengths. She now looks a lot stronger than she was when she was a two-year-old and I’m sure that she will pick up some good races this season.

O’Brien then had had four winners at Leopardstown too, the following day. Enistymon won well in the 1pm race, then Tiger Moth won the 1.30pm race, where the second and third horses, Dawn Patrol and Order of Australia respectively, were also his horses.

In the 2pm race he did it again, having the first three in the Derrington Stud Derby Trial Stakes. The outsider of the three, Commorant, won at 10/1. Russian Emperor finished second after he was forced to swing four wide entering the straight and it looked like he might catch Commorant, but he kept finding more to hold on. Russian Emperor wasn’t knocked about in the finish for second.

Love Rocket won the Leopardstown Fillies Trial Stakes after getting the run of the race. I think he’ll get better when he steps up to a mile.

On Monday June 8, betting shops in Ireland were allowed to open up again, so local independent bookies opened their doors, but the big firms like Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and opened on Monday June 15 in line with openings in England.

In the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, Kameko won the race, beating Wichita by a neck. O’Brien said he was happy with his run. I think Witchita can turn it around if they meet again. To me it seemed like Wichita was on one side tracking the favourite Pinatubo, while Kameko was running down the middle of the track on its own. I think Witchita and Frankie were concentrating on the favourite who he did beat on his side and I think he could turn the tables next time.

It’s good that Horse Racing Ireland managed to salvage 48 meetings, which were lost during the Covid-19 lockdown, while Punchestown will play host to flat racing for the first time in 18 years.

One horse to follow is Love, who won the 1000 Guineas and goes for the Oaks, which I think she can win for O’Brien. Innisfree will go well in the UK Derby or the Irish Derby; depending on which one he goes for. Last but not least, a two-year-old to look out for from O’Brien’s stable is Brazil, who I think will turn out to be very good!