If only I could get Barney Curleys phone number!


With only one more week of January to go, the gloom and doom of this Barney Curley wannabee has to lift very soon.

My “One for the day” tips have had a spectacular flop with a complete blank so far, I really should contact Barney and see just how he does it!

So much has been said and written about since last wednesday and that Barney Curley inspired betting coup that I cannot shed any particular new light or insight into the four horse gamble other than to marvel at it.

Irrespective of the money that might have been won with figures of €2m to €15m mentioned, to get four horses fit to race and win after a lengthy absence all on the same day is a story in itself.

We all know about this betting coup because it was successful, of course we never hear or rarely hear of the ones that fail.

Maybe there are not that many these days with the range of communications and the ability to track betting moves now really at the betting industries finger tips.

Anyway well done to Barney Curley and anyone associated in the effort, but I’m sure that you won’t be reading my piece here for eye catchers but here goes.

I’ve seen Gordon Elliot’s Un Beau Matin finish second at Punchestown and at Gowran Park on his last two runs for Gigginstown. Two totally different racing tactics were used each day with his attempt to win the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran worth noting. The 6 year old Sagamix gelding seemed to enjoy front running and showed enough to merit support when and wherever Elliott and Cooper turn up next with him.

Jimmy Devereux stands the giant horse Publisher as a stallion at Rostoonstown in Co Wexford . One of his stallions older sons, I Wonder Now ran a nice race at Navan behind the Cooper and Gigginstown horse Wounded Warrior in a maiden hurdle. Ok he is an 11 still running in maiden hurdles , but the important thing is he continues to show enough ability to warrant support. Admittedly he did disappoint at Fairyhouse this week but he has only run 8 times so far in his career and was good enough to win a Wexford bumper in 2008!

Hunter Chasing has a limited scope for finding winners with only a few races and an ultra competitive element to every race. That said Waterford based Vincent Halley and Paul Power have a nice sort in the shape of Boxing Along, who ran nicely in such a contest to be second at Thurles. A 10 year old by Witness Box he is thriving in the point to point fields having won 6 times and looks capable of adding to his record before the season is out.

Tom Foley is in rare good form himself with the Carlow based trainer seemingly one of the most profitable to follow at Gowran Park when he has a runner. He ran the 11 year old Tiraaz gelding Followmeuptocarlow in the beginners chase on Thyestes Day last week and ran well to be second. He has been mixing it between hurdles and fences and can add to his 4 previous wins over the coming weeks.

As always, these come with a health warning but they maybe worth following in the next few weeks.

Now if only I could get Mr Curleys phone number and see if he could share some of his wisdom with me!


These should win, but I don’t quite know when!


The inclement weather has really made me think twice about any eye catchers that have passed through my frazzled little brain. My one for the day tips which I pop up on Twitter and Facebook on the day of the race meeting don’t seem to be scoring with only a couple of them hitting the crossbar but none actually hitting the back of the net!

But I won’t be deterred, well not yet anyhow!

Colm Murphy has a nice novice chaser in his yard in the shape of Marlbrook. This 6 year old son of Beneficial carries the well known colours of JP McManus and the former Point to Point winner started this seasons campaign with a nice third place at Punchestown in November.

Murphy tried to build on this by returning to the same track on New Years Eve but the Mark Walsh ridden horse didn’t tell us very much as they fell at the 2nd fence. He still looks like a certain winner to me and could even be a little better than a run of the mill novice chaser.

On the same card the ubiquitous Willie Mullins saddled Ashjar to finish third in the 3 year old maiden hurdle under Paul Townend. Now a 4 year old, this colt by Oasis Dream carries the Simenon colours of Wicklow Bloodstock Ltd having being bred in France by the Aga Khan. While a maiden both on the flat and over hurdles, he won’t remain so for long assuming he can adjust to the softer ground conditions.

Tramore on New Years Day did well to race and one horse that caught the eye was the Edward O ‘Grady Alhaarth 9 year old Torphichen.  This 9 time winner hadn’t jumped a fence in public since September 2012, when winning at Listowel so his 7 length third to the classy Marito was noteworthy. O’Grady is a dab hand at placing his horses and the JP McManus owned horse should win once given the opportunity.

Drunken Counsel carries the Gigginstown House Stud silks and the 5 year old son of Scorpion seems to be improving with every run. A nearly 12 length third in a bumper at Fairyhouse under Nina Carberry might not seem to suggest an imminent win but he was ridden conservatively behind the comfortable winner Cillian’s Return so the form looks reasonable to my eye.

Two winners on the same New Years Day card at Fairyhouse that it might be best to keep on the right side of are Civena and Thelobstercatcher.

John Berry and his 7 lb claimer Adam O’Neill landed a 16/1 surprise in the Beginners Chase with the 8 year Oscar mare Civena. This dual hurdle winner had also won a Point to Point before this and looks like she can win again for the Goforit Syndicate.

Pat Fahy saw his 10 year old Silver Patriarch gelding win over 3 miles 1 furlong in the hands of David Casey. This is the horses second win in a row over fences and now that he has hit form he looks capable of adding to it for his owner George Moore.

As is always the case, all of these carry the health warning of , they should win but I don’t just quite know when!!!!

Take a chance on these when they run next.


I was flicking through the racing calendar till the end of the year and tried to visualise just how many winners I would back till New Years Eve.

I can’t say that I came up with a healthy number but in any case I will share a couple or more of options that could be worth all our whiles taking a chance on when they run next.

Navan on the 7th saw Willie Mullins win a maiden hurdle with Vautour. In doing so he defeated Lieutenant Colonel over 2 miles from the Dessie Hughes yard. The 4 year old son of Kayf Tara had won his bumper on his previous start st Punchestown and while not troubling the winner he showed enough to mark him down as a future hurdle winner for Gigginstown House Stud.

On the same card Margaret Mullins saw her 4 year old Kings Theatre filly Ballychorus finished third at 25/1 in a mares maiden hurdle. Racing in the colours of Barry Connell and ridden by Danny Mullins she ran particularly well here and seems likely to pick up a race before long for her Doninga based connections. Given her inexperience this race will see her hopefully come on in leaps and bounds.

Cork racecourse is one of the fairest galloping tracks in the country with form there nearly always replicated elsewhere. A recent bumper at the track saw the Jimmy Mangan trained and Jane Mangan ridden Monty’s Meadow win well over 2 miles. This Oscar 5 year old looks a more than likely repeat winner but my eye catcher was the Kieran Purcell trained Garri Rua under Paul Power. This Milan 6 year old raced prominently and while giving way to the winner looks certain to give the Co Kilkenny based Purcell another winner. Home bred by his owner Thomas O’Neill this horse has already had two runs over hurdles and this will be where his future lies.

We move onto Tramore on the 12th where Adrian Maguire and Declan Queally got a nice tune out of their winning Point to Pointer Davinia’s Tip. This Presenting mare couldn’t resist the challenge of Sunday Serenade but stayed on to finish second at 16/1. Maguire based in Co Cork will most likely place this mare wisely and she looks a certainty to win for her owner Mrs Toni Tipper.

On the same card Co Tipperary based trainer Ray Hackett saw his Broadway Flyer 6 year old gelding Phil The Flyer come from off the pace to be second in his father Liam’s colours. The winner Flaming Dawn, confirmed his promise when winning here under Jane Mangan while Hacketts horse will win particularly when facing a hurdle or two.

Again the health warnings on these horses should be taken into account but they looked good to me!

Noted in Running.


It is kind of difficult to ensure that horses listed as eye catchers actually perform on the day! So the health warning contained here is that these eye catchers should win but maybe not on the day that you actually back them!!!!. That said let’s see if any of these get your attention over the coming weeks.

Lisronagh last weekend saw the Tipperary Hunt stage a very successful Point to Point with a couple of interesting horses coming out of the afternoon. John Dunford and Barry O’Neill teamed up with an interesting runner in the shape of Fiord Cottage in the Five and Six Year Old Mares Maiden. The Beneficial 6 year old raced prominently on the day until falling three fences from home when in the lead. Owned and bred by Geraldine Fitzgerald she looks like a mare that could be worth following in this sector, at least until the ground changes dramatically.

On the same card the two divisions of the Six Year Old Geldings Maiden threw up an noted runner with The Bomber Ryan for Shay Slevin. This 6 year old son of Presenting has now been placed in his last three Point to Points, at Lisronagh, Lingstown and Kinsale and was only a little over a couple of lengths off the first pair at Lisronagh. Owned by Michelle Ryan, registered with the Bree Hunt and ridden by JJ Slevin he has had some experience on the track and might just be able to nick a race before long.

The same race threw up an even more interesting runner in the shape of Aracataca for Denis Hickey. The 6 year old by his own stallion Craigsteel, was making his debut on the day with a Wexford Foxhound Cert. Gently ridden by Jamie Flynn he was well off the pace until taking closer order on the final circuit before fading back before the second last. Coming from a nice National Hunt family which Garryrichard Stud and Knockmullen House Stud have had for some time he looks likely to add to the pedigree in the near future.

Aidan O’Brien is sure to find a winning opportunity for his wife, Ann Marie’s 4 year old Shield in the not too distant future following his good second at Thurles on the 28th. The son of Dylan Thomas came out second best to the Willie Mullins trained Lucky Bridle in a 2 mile maiden hurdle, but his form this season has been getting progressively better and he should add to his bumper win of last season. Already tried at the highest level having run in the Champion Bumper with Irish Champion Joseph O’Brien in the saddle at Cheltenham the home bred looks like a horse that is worth following.

Ben Arthey from his base in Ballymena picked up a bit of Black Type at Navan on the 24th with Midnight Steaker in the Listed Bumper. Having touched 50/1 on the day the 4 year old Midnight Legend mare finished third behind Shesafoxylady under Noel McParlan to indicate even better things to come. This winning Point to Pointer has ability and is one for the notebook.

As always these are horses that caught the eye in the past week or so, they might be worth a further look in the not too distant future.

Spotted in Running, from a Beauty to a King.


Aidan O’Brien seems to be putting a nice string of National Hunt horses together this season with many waiting just to see who might be in line to take out a trainers licence to handle any increased numbers in the short to medium term.

But enough of idle speculation, the Ballydoyle maestro did introduce a nice bumper horse at Punchestown on the 17th when the JP McManus owned MacBride finished third under Sarah O’Brien. Well touted beforehand the 7/4 favourite failed in a tight finish with only a pair of heads separating all three. This 4 year old son of Oscar looks sure to win next time out if presented with the right opportunity.

The winner of that bumper, Lieutenant Colonel, is trained by Dessie Hughes and was ridden by Johnny (JJ) King to win. The Co Tipperary based amateur jockey was also one to put into the notebook at Lingstown on the 24th when he finished an eyecatching second on The Wexfordian. This horse was another debutante with the 4 year old Shantou gelding running a good race in Peter McCreas colours behind all the way winner One For Arthur. Home bred by McCrea, King wasn’t hard on the horse and he is sure to pick up a maiden for his astute trainer Liz Doyle.

John Kiely has had Kilbarry Beauty on the go since a bumper win in Cork in 2012. Owned by Claire O’Keeffe the 6 year old daughter of Saffron Walden finished strongly at Wexford in the 2 mile novice hurdle on the 19th under Paul Townend. It would be no surprise to see her stepped up in trip to justify support next time out. O’Keeffe is of course wife of Con O’Keeffe from Kilbarry Stud where they stand Garuda and Classic Cliche as stallions.

Thurles on the 21st saw Declan Queally ride a patient race on Mm Dazzler in the 2 mile bumper behind Western Boy to finish second at 25/1. The Fruits of Love 5 year old is trained by Adrian Maguire and has progressed out of the point to point fields to merit attention when he next runs.

Denis Murphy part owns the point to pointer Abhainn Dubh with Martin Kelly. This 5 year old son of Coroner had failed to get around on his last two starts at Kinsale and Curraheen. He did however manage to put in a clear round at Lingstown to finish third behind Crazy Jack and Johnny King. He was held up out the back for most of the 3 mile trip and just didn’t have the speed to catch the leading pair. Murphy should be able to find a winning opportunity for him before he is sold on.

King himself is worth watching as his performances over the past week mark him down as a man to watch both on the track and between the flags.

As always, these were spotted in running and it’s no harm to see where they race again, after that it’s up to yourself !!!!!

On the Track and Between the Flags eyecatchers.


It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks with little chance sometimes to catch your breath and look at some good performances for the future.

Between the Flags Donnchadh Doyle was a little unlucky at Affane when his 4 year old Rough King fell when leading at the last fence under Andrew Latta. He had been in front for most of the 3 mile journey and looks certain to win irrespective of where or when he runs.

Sparkalark was another last fence faller that caught the eye this time at Ballinaboola. The 4 year old was running a good race behind Old Storm on the day under Paul Power when coming to grief. Trained by Vincent Halley in Waterford this Flemensfirth gelding would be a serious option for punters over the coming weeks.

On the Track Willie Mullins sent his 6 year old mare Supreme Carolina to Clonmel where she finished well taking second place in the 3 mile hurdle behind Questions Answered. This 6 year old Traditionally mare was given a tender ride and looks capable of adding to her race record for the Co Carlow based genius.

Staying over the jumps Dessie Hughes has seen his Indian Icon placed in a couple of 3 year old hurdles, the last at Navan. He must however be hopeful that the 3 year old can recoup any losses incurred on his last couple of runs. Hughes would have a good line to this world of 3 year olds and I feel he will gain a winning bracket soon.

Big Generator ran a nice race in a 2 mile hurdle at Navan with the Jim Mernagh owned 7 year old son of Generous finishing second. Paul Nolan is astute at placing his horses and this horse is equally at home over fences or hurdles and might win again if allowed to lead in a more restrained fashion.

These are a few horses that have caught my eye and should be worth following.

Noted in running so put in the notebook.

It is always nice to track a horses form throughout the season and see how it might develop. As always this exercise is dependent on the form of the horse, its trainer, the conditions encountered and a fair dollop of luck. These eye catchers hopefully will be worth following financially, but sometimes its just worth tracking a horses pedigree and sire line for the pure interest of it.

John Kiely is a shrewd trainer operating out of Dungarvan Co Waterford and is always one to note. His Toe The Line was a beaten favourite at Punchestown on the 30th of October under Derek O’Connor but the 4 year old Shantou filly looks likely to win soon. Having won at Listowel in September the smaller field that she encountered at Punchestown may not have suited.

On the same card David Splaine finished an eye catching fifth in the maiden hurdle on Safecracker. This 4 year old son of Helissio is trained by John Murphy in Upton Co Cork and ran his best race yet for the yard. Starting at 66/1 he looks like a horse that could be tracked for the future, particularly when he hits the handicaps.

Clonmel on the 31st saw the Waterford yard of Henry De Bromhead run the 5 year old Oscar mare, Wilde Sapphire, to finish second under Andrew Lynch. This mare raced prominently over the 2 mile trip until headed by the winning favourite Gallant Tipp. She was well supported on the day in the betting ring and looks like a mare that can add to her broodmare potential.

Pat Fahy has his yard in Co Carlow in good form and he might conjure a win from his British recruit Thelobstercatcher. Second at 14/1 at Clonmel in the 3 mile Handicap Chase under Paul Townend the horse was patiently ridden to come through but had to give best on the end. A four time hurdle winner, his last two years ago at Chepstow, he hasn’t managed to win yet over fences but the omens are good for that situation to be rectified.

Down Royal on the 1st of November saw Co Meath based Gordon Elliott introduce Speed Demon. The 4 year old Beneficial, a winning point to pointer at Lingstown in March finished third under Jane Mangan. This bumper may have been a good race with Ebazziyr touching off Carnduff on the line but the Gigginstown owned Speed Demon will recoup the losses incurred on the day.

These are just horses noted in running, it’s not scientific but they might be worth keeping in mind someday soon!

Five for the Notebook.

With a bumper weekend of racing ahead of us both inside the rails and between the flags it is always worth taking a while to note a few eye catchers for the note book.

Jessica Harrington kick started her season with five winners in early October. Her Co Kildare based yard remains in good form and she might be able to notch another winner with the juvenile hurdler Sin Miedo. This son of Intikhab showed up well at Punchestown having improved steadily since transferring to hurdles.

The Desperado Syndicate, based in Ballywilliam in South West Wexford might just be able to pick up a nice pot with Six Stone Ned. Their 7 year old Great Palm gelding ran really well in the Grade 3 Buck House Chase behind Art Of Logistics and should add to his winning record. No doubt the ever skillful Noel Meade will map out a plan for the owners from his Co Meath yard.

Co Tipperary based trainer Tom Hogan sprang a surprise with Neck or Nothing winning his bumper at 16/1 under Johnny Burke. This Intikhab 4 year old could be tried in a higher calibre race before long and may be worth an investment.

Andrew Ring and Philip Rothwell have developed a nice partnership at Fairwood in Co Wicklow. Their 5 year old mare Cheap as Chips has switched to jumping fences and is one to note. Second at Downpatrick the Mr Dinos mare won over hurdles at Wexford in March and looks like a mare that could win off a lightweight for her Baltinglass based Syndicate of owners.

The big fundraising day in Limerick saw the flat jockeys compete against the jumps boys in one race with Johnny Murtagh winning. Pat Smullen did get a fine tune from Anoosou in the same race with the 9 year old son of Cyborg finishing third. Trained by Liz Doyle in Wexford the horse if kept sweet should add to his winnings over the winter months for owner Paddy Monahan.

Betting Cures the Budget Day Blues!

It’s pretty much grasping at straws to suggest that having a bet into the future might be the only way to cure the Budget Day Blues! But hey if these eye catchers don’t win you could always send your betting slips into Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin and see if they can organise a refund!!!

Philip Rothwell continues to keep his yard at Fairwood, Co Wicklow busy with a policy of running his horses on a regular basis once they are fit and well. He is always capable of getting a horse spot on and one to note for the future has to be Tynaghs Trooper. This 7 year old by Pyrus is exposed having run 18 times. This fact shouldn’t put you off and his run at Tramore on the 10th was an indicator of better days to come.

A leading point to point rider in her day Liz Doyle has her Wexford based yard in good form and she must get a winning bracket soon with Sensing. This 6 year old Singspiel mare showed a little promise in bumpers without success and her switch to hurdles should pay dividends. A good second at Limerick on Sunday last the 13th when supported makes her a mare that should go into your notebook.

On the flat Aidan O’Brien introduced a nice 2 year old at Navan on the 9th in the shape of Gypsy King. This son of Galileo is well regarded and should win for the Ballydoyle maestro if raced again this season. This meeting saw Joseph O’Brien break the record of Michael Kinane by riding more than 115 winners in a season. He has now extended that to 118 winners in Ireland and he has secured another jockeys championship to boot, not bad for a 20 year old.

You should also pop Colin Bowe’s mare Little King Robin into your notebook as the former point to point winner did well against Willie Mullins hot pot Indevan at Limerick on the 13th. This 5 year old daughter of Kings Theatre should gain a winning bracket based on this run for Bowe’s Co Wexford yard.

William Codd ran another eyecatcher at Fairyhouse on the 12th when The Amarillo Kid took third place at 14/1. This three time winner was just run out of it on the day but the 8 year old son of Milan should get his head in front, either over hurdles or over the bigger obstacles before long.

Pop them into your notebook and see if they manage to improve your bank balance!.

One for the Notebook

William Codd has a nice team of horses in place and will be hoping for a productive few months ahead. At this stage of the season it is always good to see a yard in form and his horses seem to be in gear at present from his Co. Wexford base.

At Clonmel on the 3rd he saddled Tico in the handicap chase with the 8 year old son of Robertico putting in a good effort to take second place at 20/1 under Mikey Fogarty. With the ground in his favour this former point to point winner is one for the notebook.

Codd also saw his Milan 5 year old Festival Opera, put in a much improved performance in the bumper under his brother Jamie. A drifter in the market on the day he looks like a future winner.

Another bumper horse that should be pencilled in is Henry’s Girl. This 4 year old daughter of Royal Anthem made a fine debut at Roscommon on the 1st October under Derek O’Connor to be second. Trained by John Kiely in Co. Waterford this nicely bred filly should win soon.

Cootamundra a 10 year old son of Broken Hearted has managed to win twice in his career. Trained by John Berry he has a couple of really good runs to his credit over fences and he returned to action at the same Roscommon meeting on the 1st. An 8/1 second in a Grade 3 race under Robbie Moran, it cant be too long before a winning opportunity is found for him.