Bob proves his worth to Barry yet again!

As someone that has been involved in the racing scene for a number of years – albeit in a loose, removed way – this corner can attest that there’s no greater thrill in the sport than to see a horse one is in the least bit connected to going to war. Disappointments will of course outnumber the good days, but when the latter do come, they’re unforgettable. Beware, there’s an old chestnut about to fall here. The contribution made by and importance of the Coolmore operation and some of the leading Arab owners to racing – both as a sport … Continue reading Bob proves his worth to Barry yet again!

Money talks – and things become more exclusive

One suspects that a Ballydoyle return to the National Hunt ranks has been in the offing for some time. It’s a good while ago now since the Goldhawk feature in Phoenix magazine first commented on the sizable breeding enterprise established by Aidan and Ann Marie O’Brien. Why it’s significant is that all the breeding operations for the flat operation seemingly come under the Coolmore banner. This other venture seems to be very much a case of husband and wife going off their own bat. Noel Meade Undoubtedly, Joseph’s weight situation must have been a consideration too. How long the 20-year-old … Continue reading Money talks – and things become more exclusive

Commendable character can’t cover chances coughed up

In many ways, Keith Wood remains my favourite rugby player. Yes, Brian O’Driscoll continues to be majestic – we’ll refrain from going into the past tense just yet – and there have been many others equally as influential during Ireland’s greatest era. But there was something extra special about ‘Woody’.Maybe it was because he didn’t exactly go about things the conventional way. A mirror image of one’s self if you will. When Wood scored a try, it wasn’t your typical forwards rumbling, brute force effort. There were elements of that to his play, as well, of course. The Garryowen man … Continue reading Commendable character can’t cover chances coughed up

Difficult to Shield enthusiasm for the best week of the year

This corner learned long ago that, when not based too far from here, Jim Bolger used to begin working his horses for the forthcoming Flat season while Christmas festivities still ensued. He probably still does. Which might explain why he who is now the master of Coolcullen always wracks up plenty of winners early in the season.While Dermot Weld has, for many years, trained a small string to compete in National Hunt fare, with a great degree of success too, in terms of crossover between flat and NH, that’s been as far as it’s gone from the flat side since … Continue reading Difficult to Shield enthusiasm for the best week of the year