Healy Racing Photos
Joseph, has a strong candidate in Iridessa, winner of the Fillies’ Mile in the autumn and third on her reappearance at Leopardstown.
“She’s in good shape and we will see what happens,” he said. “It’s nice to go there with what we think is a live chance. She is working well and she had a nice run on her first run of the year.
“Hopefully we get a nice draw. We are looking forward to it.”
Successful over flights at Thurles in November, the son of Presenting, failed to complete on three of his next five starts, but was carried out on his most recent outing at Clonmel.
Having opened on-course at 4/1 this afternoon, the bay six-year-old eventually went off a 13/2 chance under Sean Flanagan.
After racing mainly in second, he jumped into a share of the lead at the fourth last, and was ridden to the front after two out.
Song Of The Sky, who didn't have the clearest passage from the last, then threw down a strong challenge on the run-in, but the line came just in time for Commandant, as he prevailed by a short head.
The runner-up was returned at 8/1 (from 10s) under JJ Slevin, while 33/1 chance Overbury Prince was another length and three parts back in third.
Bothar Dubh was sent off the well-backed 13/8 favourite (from 9/4), but made a mistake at the first and unseated Mikey Sweeney.
Flanagan said afterwards: "I got there too son. Luke Dempsey's one (Indian Music) made a mistake at the fourth last and I kind of just landed in front.
"He travelled well enough into the straight and put in a really good jump at the last. I thought I was going well enough to the line but then JJ came at me. He was probably idling a bit in front."
Recently-retired trainer Brendan Powell is looking forward to a new chapter after revealing he is to join Joseph O’Brien’s powerful team.
The rider of 1988 Grand National hero Rhyme ‘N’ Reason, Powell announced on Tuesday he was handing in his training licence.
However, it has not taken the 59-year-old long to find himself a new job – confirming on Sky Sports Racing’s Racing Debate programme on Sunday that he is set to return to Ireland for what he described as a “fantastic opportunity”.
Powell said: “I’ve been to Ireland a couple of times in the last month or six weeks and I popped into Joseph O’Brien’s a few times. I went over there again on Friday and I’m going to go and join him.
“Joseph has a big yard and he’s going places. I’ve had a few mornings there and it’s fantastically run with great staff.
“Joseph, I think, wants to spend more time in the yard, so I’m going do a lot of the racing and hopefully look after some owners and syndicates.
“I’ll be in the yard on a morning – hopefully when the horses are schooling.”
He added: “There’ll be a lot of travelling and a lot of racing especially, which I do enjoy.
“It looks a fantastic opportunity. I never thought I’d go back to Ireland to live, as much as I love it there, because I’ve been here since 1977.
“I’ve got to an age now when I need to do something where the pressure is off. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Joseph gives an update on some of his Group 1 horses and updates on some of his other promising horses
Buckhurst Healy Racing photos
Buckhurst looks to be a horse that connections can get excited about throughout the new season after his debut run at Leopardstown on 6th April. This is a race which has been won in the past by Irishcorrespondent before that horse went on to finish 3rd in Churchill’s Guineas. Buckhurst’s next target looks like being the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.
Joseph said: "We thought last year that he was pretty good, but he had a setback and pulled a muscle.I'd imagine Buckhurst will go for the Derrinstown Derby trial in a few weeks' time at Leopardstown on May 12th.He's obviously got options across the water as well. He's a little bit behind now, as he's had just the one lifetime start. He's a nice horse and if he happens to make the Derby, great, but we won’t force him."
Buckhurst holds an entry for both the Epsom & Irish Derby’s.
Joseph added: "We'll take it one step at a time. He's probably going to meet Broome back at Leopardstown, which would probably be a big ask on just his second start but, like I said, we'll give him the chance to be a Derby horse and see how things work out."
Latrobe Healy Racing Photos
Latrobe is likely to make his seasonal debut in the Group 3 Alleged Stakes at Naas on Saturday.
Joseph said: "I'm very happy with how he’s wintered, really happy with him. He'll start back in the Alleged Stakes on Saturday and we'll go from there.He's a great horse to have in the yard and we're looking forward to him. The main aim with him will be to win a Group 1 and he'll probably end up on his travels to Australia later in the year. For what races, I'm not sure, but you'd have to say that's likely.”
He was asked if he thought that Latrobe was a stayer? Joseph said: "I don't think so. I think a mile and a half could be his optimum trip. He's got a big cruising speed and a strongly run mile and a half is what he wants.The Tattersalls Gold Cup could be an early-season target and we can regroup after that. He's a huge horse so you'd have always thought he'd make a better four-year-old. Hopefully he does."
Latrobe also holds an entry in the Group 2 Coolmore EBF Mooresbridge stakes held at the Curragh the scene of his Irish Derby success.
Iridessa,the winner of the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket in October last was no match for Lady Kaya on her seasonal debut at Leopardstown last weekend, but Joseph is keen to aim her at the Group 1 Qipco 1,000 Guineas.
Joseph said: "I was very happy with how she ran at Leopardstown over the weekend and the plan will be to head to the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket with her now.
She doesn't look like an Oaks filly but she's by Ruler Of The World and I guess we'll just have to play it by ear with her. I wouldn't be rushing to a mile and a half with her, We’ll see about the Oaks. Her grand-dam (Starine) was probably a mile-and-a-quarter filly, while Ruler Of The World was obviously a mile-and-a-half horse.
Iridessa also holds entries in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas & the Irish Oaks.
Of his 2 year olds, Joseph said : "I like the what I see, we've got around 70 of them. We've two-year-olds by Gleneagles, Guitafan, Muharaar, Golden Horn, Free Eagle and American Pharoah, and I'm looking forward to getting them started."
Joseph could have his first 2 year old runner of the year on Saturday at Naas as Phase After Phase is entered in the first.