Top Moon impresses over hurdles
24.08



Mark Walsh made it four from four since returning from injury when enjoying an armchair ride on Top Moon in the Hurley Family Maiden Hurdle at Kilbeggan.

The 1/3 favourite shrugged off Zayriyan around the home turn and wasn't extended in coasting home by 11 lengths for trainer Joseph O'Brien.

Zayriyan got a runner-up reward at 'Burlington Bertie' 100/30.

This gave O'Brien an across-the-card double as Alligator Alley took the Listed Julia Graves Roses Stakes at York under his brother Donnacha.

JP McManus' racing manager Frank Berry said: “He kept it simple. It didn't look the strongest of contests and he had the run over hurdles which stood to him.

“Hopefully he can go forward form that. He likes that good ground and we'll see where we go with him now.”


Alligator Alley overcomes adversity to win


Air Supremacy returns to winning ways


Air Supremacy returns to winning ways


Healy Racing Photos
23.08


An excellent Killarney continued for J P McManus and Mark Walsh as Air Supremacy led home a one two for the green and gold on the day they lost their champion hurdler Espoir D’Allen, in the Kerry Group Handicap Hurdle.

For the Joseph O’Brien yard Air Supremacy proved three lengths superior to Gavin Cromwell’s Spades Are Trumps. Of course it was Cromwell that had care of the brilliant young hurdler Espoir D’Allen.

Well-backed favourite Party Playboy (11/4 into 15/8) couldn’t match the McManus principals and he ended up three parts of a length back in the bronze medal position.

“It was easy to watch over the last two,” said McManus racing manager Frank Berry.

“It took him a few runs to get the hang of it but he ran respectable in Galway. He got a bit tired. He’s come forward on the bit of good ground though, which he’s handled well.

“He keeps a bit for himself. You wouldn’t think passing here with a circuit to go that he might win, but he got a good ride.

“It’s good to see Mark back (only yesterday returned from injury).

“Poor old Gavin (Cromwell) could have done with the winner — it’s tough on him (the loss of Espoir D’Allen).”



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Royal Aide & Severus Alexander make it a 1-2 in the Handicap for Joseph

Healy Racing Photos
22.08



Joseph O’Brien sent out the first and second in the G.M.H.D. Apprentice Handicap at Killarney as the Shane Crosse-ridden Royal Aide (2s out to 5/2 favourite) triumphed convincingly.

Stable companion Severus Alexander did best of the rest in the mile and three heat, but Royal Aide easily brushed him aside by three and three parts of a length.

For Killarney specialist John Murphy Vita Veritas ended up two lengths back in third.

"He ran ok the last day when he met a good bit of traffic and he won nicely today and handled the bit of juice in the ground," said O'Brien.

"He is progressive, is a well bred horse but took a while to mature. I'd imagine we'll step him up in trip and see what happens.

"He is in at Bellewstown on Wednesday and I'd say there is a fair chance he'll run."
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Buckhurst wins the Royal Whip to give Joseph a treble

Healy Racing Photos
16.08


Buckhurst (11/2) held on by an ever-dimishing head to land the Group Three Royal Whip at the Curragh.

Leo De Fury (7/1 from 10/1) kept cutting into the deficit in the final furlong but couldn't quite get on terms and had to settle for the runner-up berth.

Guaranteed was a length and a half way in third at 12/1.

Sir Dragonet, the 4/9 favourite, came in fourth on his first crack at a mile and two furlongs having finished a close fifth in the Epsom Derby in June.

Buckhurst gave trainer Joseph O'Brien a treble on the card as he also enjoyed victories with Brook On Fifth and Chrysalism.


“He's very tough and tries his heart out,” said jockey Donnacha O'Brien who sealed a double on the card.

“I probably committed him a little bit early and he got a little bit lonely in front but when the Harrington horse came to me he found again.

“I thought I'd get to make the running but Kevin's horse seemed to be keen so he went on and I was happy just to take my horse to his outside and get a lead off him for a bit longer.

“I was always going to be forward and keep it simple.

“Once the runner-up came to me my horse found a little bit more, he was probably getting a little bit idle in front.”

When asked about future plans he replied: “I'm sure he could be on his travels but I've no idea and I'll leave that to them.”

Paddy Power shortened Buckhurst from 20/1 to 14/1 for the St Leger.

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Chrysalism gives Joseph a quick fire Double 

Healy Racing Photos
16.08


Joseph O'Brien completed a quick double at the Curragh this afternoon when Chrysalism ran out a convincing winner of the Luke And Nellie Comer Memorial Nursery.

Alan Persse took the mount on the daughter of Starspangledbanner and tracked the leaders on the far rail on the 6/1 shot.

He sent her into the lead a furlong-and-a-half from home and she went on to post a two-and-a-quarter length win over long-time leader For The Trees.

The winner was making her handicap debut after three maiden runs. She had been fourth at Galway on her latest outing.

“Her maiden form wasn't bad and she was always stepping up. The ground and the trip suit her today,” said Persse.

“It was only a matter of when to kick on her as she travelled everywhere and did it nicely.

“The plan was to follow Shane Foley and Robbie Colgan as their horses had the form. Thankfully they were on my side, I got a nice lead into it and it all worked out.

“You had to give her a little each-way chance on her maiden form and thankfully it all worked out.”


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Brook On Fifth impresses on debut 


Healy racing photos 

16.08




A massive field of 29 went to post for the opening auction maiden in the Curragh but the race itself boiled down to two horses with Brook On Fifth getting the better of Edward Hopper.

Newcomer Brook On Fifth picked up the lead with a quarter of a mile to travel but soon had Edward Hopper on his tail.

The only horse that was able to go with them in the final furlong was Champers Elysees in third.

However, at the business end Brook On Fifth kept on well for Donnacha O'Brien to score by three parts of a length at 5/1.

Brook On Fifth holds an entry in the Group One Fillies' Mile.

Donnacha O'Brien said: “I think Joseph (O'Brien) liked her. It's hard to know how good they are but at the same time when there are that many runners they can't all be useless.

“She was good. She was still a little bit green when I got there, hanging a little bit both ways, so I think there is a bit of improvement in her but she definitely has talent and I think she's a smart filly.

“She did it smartly and pricked her ears towards the line.

“I think you'd have to look at stakes company with her now. Going to those black-type races you will learn more from there, that's definitely the next step.”


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Master Of Reality heads Joseph's team for the Irish St Leger Trial

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16.08
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Aidan O'Brien has long dominated Irish racing but he will be outnumbered in Friday's Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial Stakes (2816m) at The Curragh - by his son.

There's six acceptors for the €100,000 (A$160,000) race, which serves as the main lead-up for the G1 Irish St Leger on September 15 over the same course.

Joseph O'Brien has four runners in the field, with two of them raced by Australian-based owners - Master Of Reality for Lloyd Williams and Downdraft for OTI Racing.

Master Of Reality, tasked with 62kg as topweight, is racing for the first time since finishing third in the G1 Ascot Gold Cup (4014m) on June 20 when beaten by a length by Stradivarius and Dee Ex Bee.

Downdraft has won his past two starts at Listed level in Ireland but the likelihood of the Irish St Leger Trial being held on rain-affected ground has his connections concerned. A top-three finish is imperative to lift his official rating before the release of Melbourne Cup weights on September 10.

Aidan O'Brien's two runners are Southern France and Capri, the latter having finished sixth in the Ascot Gold Cup at his most recent start and meeting Master Of Reality 1.5kg better.

Southern France finished fourth to Stradivarius in the G1 Goodwood Cup (3619m) on July 30.

The other feature race at The Curragh on Friday is the G3 Royal Whip Stakes (2000m) where the Aidan O'Brien-trained Sir Dragonet will be widely expected to bounce back from defeat as favourite in the G1 Epsom Derby (2419m) on June 1.

Sir Dragonet won his first two starts, including an eight-length romp in the G3 Chester Vase (2472m) on May 8, before finishing fifth in the Derby.

Opposition will again come from Joseph O'Brien with the Williams-owned Buckhurst, a last-start winner of the G3 International Stakes (2000m) at The Curragh on June 29.

Ryan Moore will ride Sir Dragonet while Joseph's brother, Donnacha, will partner Buckhurst.

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Perfect Tapatino gets his head in front on the line


Healy racing photos 

14.08



Perfect Tapatino (5/1), a fast-finishing second in the Ladies’ Derby at The Curragh on his previous start, went one place better with a battling victory under Donnacha O'Brien in the McEnery Cup Handicap, just getting the better of the front-running Trossachs (9/2) to win by a head.

De Name Escapes Me (11/4 fav) kept on well for third another half a length away, with Contrapposto somewhat short of room close home back in fourth.

The five-year-old winner has been a steady improver since joining Joseph O’Brien’s stable last year, winning his first race at the Curragh last September off a mark of 61 and gaining his fifth career victory here off 88.

The winning trainer Joseph O’Brien observed: “He's a tough horse. He's kept improving and improving since last year and that's another career best there today.

“It's a nice pot to win and Donnacha gave him a great ride.

“There is the mile-and-a-quarter race on Champions Weekend but we might not aim too high.

“That was a 100 race there today and he'd be good and competitive in one of those again.

“He could even get a bit further than a mile-and-a-half and that's an angle we could explore with him.”


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Latrobe set to contest the Irish St Leger


Healy Racing photos 

09.08.
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Next month's Irish St Leger looms as a crucial race in terms of Melbourne's spring features with Latrobe poised to tackle reigning Melbourne Cup champion Cross Counter following a Group 3 win on Thursday at Leopardstown.

Trained by Joseph O'Brien, who teamed with Latrobe's part-owner Lloyd Williams to win the 2017 Melbourne Cup with Rekindling, the Irish Derby winner of two seasons ago impressed as an odds-on favourite in the Ballyroan Stakes over 2400 meters.

Williams confirmed on Friday that Latrobe would progress to the Irish St Leger on September 15 before a decision would be made on whether he returns to Melbourne or stays in England for Champions day at Ascot on October 19.

Latrobe was among the entries this week for October's $5 million Cox Plate and is expected also to be among the nominations for the Melbourne Cup, for which he is currently rated a $26 chance.

Latrobe ran a close second in last year's G1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington at his only Australian start.

Williams has twice taken the Irish St Leger in the past, with his former top-class stayer Order Of St George in 2015 and 2017.




Latrobe returns to winning ways




Healy Racing photos 
08.08



Irish Derby winner Latrobe got his head back in front for the first time since his big day at the Curragh last year when taking the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown this evening.

The Camelot colt had given brothers Joseph and Donnacha O'Brien a memorable day last June and struck again for the siblings in tonight's Group 3 contest.

Sent off a 9/10 shot in the mile-and-a-half contest the hotpot tracked leader Blenheim Palace before being asked to hit the front a furlong-and-a-half from home.

Latrobe ground out victory in the closing stages, holding Guaranteed at bay by three-parts-of-a-length.

“He did it nicely. He had a nice position, Donnacha said he happy throughout and he said he was galloping on well at the line,” said the winning trainer.

“The main reason for coming here was that Lloyd and Nick (Williams) felt that it would be important to get a win under his belt this year and then we could make a plan for the second half of the year.

“He has options all over the place. He could go to Australia but he has options in America as well, there are places like Japan and there are big races here as well. I'm not sure where exactly he's going to go yet.

“He seems pretty versatile trip-wise as he's ran well at ten furlongs and also at one-mile-six this year.

“It was a messy race but he did have the right position. Donnacha said he always felt like he was well in command.

“You'd be delighted to get his head back in front.”

Donnacha O'Brien added:- “He won nicely. He's doing things right now as he's gone completely relaxed.

“I probably ended up going a bit slow for my own good but it's nice the way he switched off like that and he stays well in the last two furlongs, there is plenty in there.

“He's a lovely horse and I'm sure there are plenty of options for him.”



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Ex owning Hill inmate Rekindling retired to stud


07.08 Racing.com Photos
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The 2017 Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling has been retired to stud.

Part-owner Lloyd Williams confirmed the news on Wednesday in a text message, indicating the son of High Chaparral would stand next year in Europe.

Rekindling's win as a Northern Hemisphere three-year-old carved out a new record for the race as Joseph O'Brien became the youngest trainer, at 24, to claim the Melbourne Cup.

Rekindling did not race for 18 months following his Melbourne Cup triumph and he only returned for the one start in the Australian Cup at Flemington in March this year, where he failed to beat a runner home.

He raced just 11 times across both hemispheres but in that time contested an Epsom Derby and won a Group 2 Curragh Cup in Ireland before making history in Melbourne.

The six-year-old was not among the six Cox Plate entries from Williams' Macedon stables when nominations closed on Tuesday,


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Feux De Bois gives Joseph a treble


Healy Racing photos 
06.08



Feux De Bois brought up a Roscommon treble for Joseph O'Brien in the Ireland's Hidden Heartlands Flat Race, but not without a scare.

The 4/5 favourite was well clear in the final furlong, with Tom Hamilton in the plate, however, Dakota Beat (8/1) ran on strongly from another parish to get to within a head of the eased-down winner.

More Lies Ahead (7/1) finished third, a further eight and a half lengths back.

Assistant trainer Brendan Powell said: “Tom has ridden a lovely race until the last 50 yards and he’s a very lucky boy.

“He’s galloped well at home and he’s been away a few times. He stays all day.

“He’s hit the front far enough out. When a race packs up like that you always think should I sit or should I go, and he’s given him a squeeze and got there.

“On a young horse like that, or even an older horse, you never stop niggling away until the line. He’s a great rider and I think he’ll learn from that.”

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Cut Em Down slays the opposition


Healy Racing photos 
06.08



Joseph O'Brien and JJ Slevin doubled up at Roscommon when Cut Em Down did just that to the favourite Cliff House in the J.F. Hanley Beginners Steeplechase.

Cliff House led narrowly from Cut Em Down after the second last with the pair clear of the remainder.

Cut Em Down (7/2) stayed on to pick Cliff House (2/1f) approaching the last and was driven four and a quarter lengths clear by Slevin on the run-in.

Third-placed Roconga (12/1) came in 13 lengths adrift.

Assistant trainer Brendan Powell said: “He did it well. He travelled well at Tipperary the last day as well but walked from the second last home.

“It probably wasn’t the greatest of races today but he jumped well and stayed on well.

“It’s nice for JJ as well, he’s so dedicated and loves schooling. He never panics in a race and has a cool head on him.”

O'Brien and Slevin teamed up with Grey Waters in the preceding race on the card - the mares' beginners' chase.


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Grey Waters finally breaks her winning drought




Healy Racing photos 
06.08



Joseph O'Brien's Grey Waters landed a punt in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Steeplechase at Roscommon.

From as big as 7/1 in the morning, the grey mare went off 3/1 favourite.

It has been a while between drinks for her as her last success came in a flat handicap at Kempton in November 2017.

You couldn't have called her an obvious winner turning for home, though, as she was niggled along in fifth by JJ Slevin.

She was ridden before the third last and then made headway to close at the penultimate fence

She took over from Presentingprincess on the run to the last and toughed it out well on the run-in as easy-to-back Darling Miss (7/2) stayed on.

There was two and a quarter lengths between the pair at the line. Presentingprincess (9/2) dropped to third, a further four lengths away.

Assistant trainer Brendan Powell said: “She stopped quickly the other day on the Flat at Galway.

“She had a pop yesterday morning and she jumped well. She put down at the ditch both times today and JJ did well to sit on her.

“She stays well and will probably end up staying three miles. JJ said turning in he always knew that he was going to get there and she had her ears pricked.

“She’s had headgear and tongue straps on but nothing on her today. Horses are weird animals, and after being so disappointing at Galway she’s gone and won today, so they are all happy.”


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Linger makes it 2 wins on the week at Galway


Healy Racing photos 
04.08


Linger (7/2) was another horse to double up for the week at Galway as he followed Monday evening’s six length handicap hurdle victory with an equally emphatic win in the JPK Fencing Handicap over Im 6f on the level.

Winner number eight of the week for jockey Donnacha O’Brien, and a fourth for winning handler Joseph O’Brien, he challenged wide on the track turning for home and quickly went clear of his rivals.

Six and-a-half lengths was the margin of superiority on this occasion, as the winner showed himself to be thriving under both codes.

He’s had three wins and two placed efforts from five starts since joining the O’Brien stable earlier in the year.

It was a second win on the Flat for the Cape Cross six-year-old, in addition to four wins over hurdles.

Brendan Powell, assistant trainer to Joseph O’Brien, remarked afterwards: “I was a bit worried about the ground with him but he seemed to cope with it well.

“Donnacha gave him a beautiful ride. He was drawn wide but went down the inner and saved ground, and he pulled out at the right time. The horse stays well and he seems in great order.

“He’s won two for the guys (Rugby & Racing Syndicate) this week. That’s four for us and he’s been half of them.”

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All The Answers given a great ride by O'Keeffe


All The Answers given a great ride by O'Keeffe


Healy Racing photos 
04.08



All The Answers (11/4 fav) built on a nice comeback run at Killarney to win the Lord Hemphill Memorial Handicap Chase by a decisive six lengths on the final day of the Galway Festival.

It was a third win from six visits to Ballybrit for the Kayf Tara eight-year-old, who had won two hurdle races at the track in 2016.

Here, he registered a fifth career success in all, and it was the biggest prize he has landed thus far.

A second winner of the afternoon for the season’s leading N.H. claiming rider Darragh O’Keeffe, and his twentieth winner of the season, he moved into second travelling notably well on the run towards the home straight behind the driven-along leader Rock The World.

O’Keeffe could afford a couple of looks behind him before sending on Joseph O’Brien’s winner, with Lucky Pat (10/1) staying on for second and Rock The World (16/1) back in third at the line

Winning owner J.P.McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry said: “He did it grand, jumped well and seemed to like the drop of rain that came. He ran well at Killarney and has come on from that.

“It’s nice to get a good prize out of him, and hopefully we can find something similar maybe in Listowel.

"You would be delighted with the way he jumped and he got a grand ride from Darragh.”


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Waitingforthedays continues winning ways



Healy Racing photos 
01.08



“I had a good draw, she has good gate speed and I got a grand position,” reported champion jockey Donnacha O’Brien after winning the Rockshore Handicap for his brother Joseph on Waitingfortheday at Galway.

“I got there too soon on her and as she’s never going to win too far it’s hard to know how good she is,” further reflected O’Brien after triumphing by half a length on the 7/1 victor.

Emphatic got closest to the John Dollard-owned Waitingfortheday in second place, but the eye was really drawn to Yuften who stayed on well for third place, three parts of a length back.

The favourite Koybig (7s into 5s) was fourth.

"She is improving away all the time and Donnacha gave her a lovely ride and saved all the ground. You can't get there too soon on her but he said he got there sooner than ideal but she is a great filly, she really is," said Donnacha O'Brien.

"We'll try and get some black-type with her now; you have an option of a Cambridgeshire with her but she will be mid 90s after today.

"She was entered in the next race, the Corrib Stakes, but I'm glad we went here."