The final weeks of the 2016 flat season were successful ones for the yard with winners right up to the end of October and nice performances that give us a lot to look forward to for next season.
Our good run of form that began in August continued all the way through September and October.
The end of another morning session on the gallops
The victory of Colour Blue in the Sovereign Path Handicap at Leopardstown on Irish Champions’ Weekend was a particularly pleasing success. She has been so consistent for her owner Garret Freyne, who has been a great supporter of the yard over the last few years. Colour Blue has won at least once a season for the last four seasons and it was great that she was able to win a valuable handicap for him on the biggest day of the season in Ireland.
Champagne Or Water is another filly who has been a flag-bearer for the yard in recent years and it was fantastic to see her claim her first blacktype victory in the Listed Edmund and Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes during the Harvest Festival there in September.
A five-year-old, she too has been a model of consistency since her juvenile season and continued that right through to the end of 2016. She began the year by beating Colour Blue in a decent handicap at Gowran in April and she was placed in two big handicaps at the Guineas Festival and on Derby weekend. Her Listowel success was the first time we tried her at the 1 mile 1 furlong trip and it was also her first race in Listed company.
Champagne Or Water stayed on well at the end for Billy Lee and it was a tenacious performance and lovely for her owner, Leanne Scott, to have a Listed winner with the only horse she has in training.
Downforce is another horse who started the season well, winning decent handicaps at Sligo and the Curragh on Irish Guineas weekend. He came back to win nicely in the TheTote.com Handicap in Tipperary at the start of October over seven furlongs and then finished off the season with third place behind Sovereign Debt and Blue De Vega in the Listed Knockaire Stakes at Leopardstown.
He is a horse that we have liked from the beginning and I am hopeful that he will make up into a smart sprinter for his owner Donal Finnan next season.
Childhood really came into her own in the Autumn, after a small summer break. She broke her maiden in Down Royal in early September before winning the Birdcatcher Premier Nursery at Naas in the middle of October. We are lucky to have some nice horses for Godolphin and it was great to win a race that has such a history to it for them.
It was a good few weeks for fillies in the yard looking to break their maidens. First up was Joyce Compton who won a nursery at Gowran in late August for Garret Freyne, who enjoyed a good few weeks thanks to her and Colour Blue. A few days later Perle De La Mer made a winning debut for Anne Marie Burns, taking a seven furlong maiden at Galway. Wild As The Wind was the third of the trio to get her head in front, claiming a fillies’ maiden at the Curragh over nine furlongs for her owner-breeder Frank McNulty at their final meeting of the season in October. It was just her second run so hopefully she will continue to be lucky for Frank