I’m still having a busy time in the run up to Christmas.
On Thursday night I went to a do in the city – later on the Duke and Duchess of York turned up (separately), giving me my celebrity action although I didn’t talk to them. I got to Heathrow late, meeting Tom Goff, and we flew to Cork – from there we went to Cashel and stayed in the Cashel Palace hotel.
After an early start we made our way to Kiltinan Castle stud, which is owned by Andrew Lloyd-Webber (www.kiltinancastlestud.com). Tom looked at a couple of mares he had placed there and then we had a good look around – it is a staggeringly beautiful place, both the grounds and the castle. From there we went to Coolmore.
Coolmore was very different to Kiltinan – new buildings built to high standards, a smart reception with TVs, expensive paintings etc. We were extremely well looked after – we wandered around and we were shown most of the stallions – Galileo, Montjeu, Danehill Dancer, Rock of Gibraltar, Hawkwing, Hurricane Run, Oratorio, Peintre Celebre and others. The only one we didn’t get to see was Sadlers Wells who was out having a walk. Amazing stuff. Later I had a look at a couple of yearling fillies and then we headed back to the airport.
I got back to Hammersmith just in time to watch Shepherds Warning in the 7:00 at Wolverhampton. She won well – unfortunately I didn’t back her. Lilac Moon ran later, but ran poorly – I think she’s over the top now and needs a break.
I’m interested in the Boylesports International hurdle today, but there are too many I fancy. Straw Bear is, I’m told, in excellent form and will run a big race. Osana is an intriguing runner given that he is favourite in the Ladbroke in a weeks time. Afsoun cost me dear last time when he ultimately gave best to Hardy Eustace, but Mick Fitzgerald dropped his whip before the last and that surely cost him the race. There are other good horses in the race but I think the winner will come from these three – I’ll go with Afsoun.