The boys are dreaming again


The boys are dreaming again

With the cold weather playing havoc with racing and other sporting fixtures in the UK in recent days, this week’s article gives time to a round-up of how local connections fared prior to the cold snap.

Sunday, 27 January 2013
12:00 AM GMT

With snow causing chaos in the UK and over 80% of all jump fixtures lost in the past week, it looked like I wasn’t going to have much to write home about. But as usual the locals came to the rescue in a tough week for those involved in racing.

Castletownroche legend John Joe O’Neill chalked up a brace of winners before the bad weather hit.

Firstly to Ffos Las on January 15th, where O’Neill had a nice winner in Dream Again Boys ridden by champion jockey Tony McCoy. This Presenting gelding turned what looked a competitive handicap hurdle into a procession. Backed as if defeated was out of the question, this lightly raced six year old was pulled up on his seasonal debut last November, but that form was well and truly left behind as he settled well and cruised up onto the leaders’ heels with McCoy sitting motionless for an emphatic win.

I imagine the handicapper will take a dim view of this and a heavy rise in the weights will ensue.

McCoy said, “Dream Again Boys seemed to handle the ground better than the others and on days like this, that makes all the difference.”

Moving on to Wincanton on January 17th and O’Neill and McCoy had an expected winner with Shutthefrontdoor for JP McManus. Sent off a 1/5 shot in this 2 mile novice hurdle, the son of Accordion was penalised for his 16 length at Uttoxeter in December and made hard work of this follow up victory.

Far from impressive, McCoy got a little more animated in the saddle from the second last and there was a moment where those who took such short odds were holding their breath. Finally, asserting over the final obstacle Shutthefrontdoor may do better over further distance and with a stronger pace than this race offered.

The time of this race was almost 50 seconds slower than the standard time for the distance which says it all really. This win took O’Neill onto 67 winners for the season and McCoy on to a remarkable 146th winner of the season.


Kilworth jockey Martin Lane had another 2 winners last week and should have been included in last week’s blog, but with so much going on last week and word restrictions, something had to give. So this is the perfect opportunity to make up for that omission.

On January 9th at Kempton, Lane rode Two In The Pink for Hugo Plamer to win a maiden in good style. This 3 year old filly by Clodovil was sent off 4/7 favourite and duly justified those odds in this low grade event. Two In The Pink showed modest form on two previous courses and distance starts and still looked green but didn’t have to improve a whole lot to win this.

Lane commented, “Two In The Pink was still very green, changed her leg and idled when she got to the front but she travelled really sweetly and I didn’t think she was going to come off the bridle. She will come on a lot and appreciate the grass but it was a bad race.”

Moving on to January 10th, again at Kempton, and Lane was in the winners’ circle, this time for top Newmarket trainer, James Fanshawe with Entitlement.

This 4 year old Authorised filly was again sent off favourite at 7/4 in this low grade handicap and having only her fifth run, duly went in at this testing 2 mile distance. Only rated 59, this gives her connections some scope to go on a run of wins if turned out quickly, but like everyone else the weather has scuppered those plans.

Lane said, “Entitlement tried, and she was tough. She was a bit keen as they went slow early but was good once she got to use her big, long stride.”


A special thanks to Paul Foran who contacted The Avondhu regarding Liam Keniry’s dead-heat winner last week, where both horses were trained by Stan Moore. I asked the question, “Has this ever happened before?” and Paul confirmed that only last summer there was a similar incident with two Tim Easterby trained horses, Deauville Flyer and Mirrored at Pontefract in April 2012.


Also congratulations to Conna trainer Jimmy Mangan who won the feature Grade 2 Mares Novice Chase at Thurles last week with Nora’s Fancy who was ridden by son, Paddy Mangan and owned by Michael Dixon. This daughter of Brian Boru was also bred by Grange Stud, Fermoy.

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