Tag Archive for: Adrian McGuinness

McGuinness eager to take Breeders’ Cup challenge with A Case Of You

Adrian McGuinness is backing A Case Of You to produce a “huge run” as his first ever contender at the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Del Mar in November.

The three-year-old was last seen winning the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp on October 3, a race that secured his ticket to the $1million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

A tilt at the Prix de l’Abbaye was a late decision for the trainer, who was inspired to supplement A Case Of You for the race after his half-length defeat at the hands of Romantic Proposal in the Curragh’s Flying Five Stakes.

The Longchamp contest saw the costly decision to head to France justified however, and gave the colt another shot at gaining a ‘win and you’re in’ place at the Breeders’ Cup.

“Straight after the Flying Five we said we had to go to France,” McGuinness said.

“It wasn’t a case that you had to put your hand in your pocket, he’d earned his money to go there and we decided that we had to go.

“It was either the Abbaye or Ascot, we felt if Ascot got very heavy it would be a real testing slog, so we decided to supplement him for France even though that was sharp.”

The race was a tense watch for McGuinness with Corine Barande-Barbe’s Air De Valse making all of the running and A Case Of You only just catching her on the line to prevail by a short head in a photo finish.

“There was somebody standing beside me in the stands who thought I had gone mad,” McGuinness said.

“The last half a furlong I knew he was coming. I came off the stands and thought ‘I hope it’s not another second in a Group One’, because after being second in the Flying Five I thought ‘will I ever be that close again?’.

“It was a long minute or so before it was called, the joy and the celebrations after it though were unbelievable.”

The decision to take up the slot in Del Mar was an easy one for McGuinness, who was disappointed to have missed the earlier chance at the Curragh.

“We did think of the Breeders’ Cup after the Flying Five, a ‘win and you’re in’, and it was pity we were only second,” he said.

“He’s only had three races since June, once we were told we’re a ‘win and you’re in’ it was a no brainer for us.

“It’s a great thrill for us to have a horse to go there, it’s brilliant for us to get out there and see what it’s all about.”

A Case Of You has produced some of his best performances on softer going, but the ground on his Flying Five run was good and McGuinness is sure he will handle the Del Mar turf.

“They tell me it’s not flint hard,” he said.

“It’s quick but there is lovely sponge in the surface out there.

“The ground in the Flying Five wasn’t slow that day, he handled it well, and I think he’ll handle it.

“He handles soft ground, but I think he’ll be better on nice ground.

“I think if the horse produces what he is capable of doing, it will take a good horse to beat him.

“The draw is key, we’d love a low draw which would be massive help to him, I’d be confident that he’s going to run a huge race out there.”

Casanova and Saltonstall go for Listed gold at Listowel

Adrian McGuinness has two shots at success in the Listed Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes on Tuesday.

The Lusk-based trainer is responsible for two of the 11 runners in the one-mile-one-furlong contest, with both Casanova and Saltonstall holding entries.

Casanova comes into the race in fine form having prevailed on his last two outings, winning at Galway before following up at Punchestown last time out.

The five-year-old’s rating has risen from 79 to 99 over the span of those two outings and he will now dip his toe in black-type company for the first time.

“Casanova is improving, he’s just getting stronger and he’s improving no end,” McGuinness said of the Frankel gelding.

“He’s gone up to 99 and with the form he’s in he’s definitely worth a shot.

“He’s a very well-bred horse and he’s in great form, so I’m looking forward to a big run in stakes company from him.”

Stablemate Saltonstall will also take his chance at Listowel, his 12th run in a season that has seen him alternate between stakes contests and big-field handicaps.

His last performance was a 10th-placed run in the Northfields Handicap, where he started at 22-1 and faced 23 rivals over a trip of a mile and two furlongs.

The chestnut already has Listed form, having won the Glencairn Stakes over a mile on heavy ground last season.

“Saltonstall’s record speaks for itself, he won a Listed race for us last year and he’s been a superb horse,” McGuinness said.

“He ran a very, very good race for us the last day at the Curragh, we were very happy with his run over a mile and two (furlongs).

“He’s back to his favourite trip with a little bit of cut in the ground, he seems to be really solid and he’s the highest-rated horse in the race, so we’re looking forward to a big run from him as well.”

McGuinness planning Abbaye outing for A Case Of You

Adrian McGuinness’ A Case Of You is heading to France as he is set to be supplemented for the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp.

The three-year-old was last seen finishing second in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on September 12, coming home half a length behind Romantic Proposal having started at 33-1.

That performance was the colt’s first run over five furlongs, with his prior victories having been collected over six or six and a half furlongs in the Group Three Anglesey Stakes, the Dundalkstadium.com Race and the Group Three Lacken Stakes.

A Case Of You will now tackle a sprint trip again on October 3, with the last call for entries for the five-furlong event on September 30.

“He’s going to be supplemented for the Abbaye, so he goes there next week,” McGuinness confirmed.

“He came out of his race really well, he was bouncing and very happy.

“I think he’s improved, it was his first time over five (furlongs) and I really am looking forward to a big run there (ParisLongchamp).

“People were telling me that he was a seven (furlong) horse and that he needed six (furlongs), but he showed me a lot of natural speed at home.

“That’s why we decided to drop back to five, it was his first run ever over five.

“For a three-year-old to run for the first time ever over five furlongs, taking on some of the best sprinters in training and to finish the way he finished, you couldn’t complain.”

Should the son of Hot Streak fare well in Paris, a voyage further afield could be on the agenda as McGuinness is considering another international speed contest in the shape of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

“We’ll make plans after that, we’ll see which way the Abbaye goes, but there is a possibility that if he ran well he might go to the Breeders’ Cup,” he said.

“Either way I do think he’s definitely going to get better, he’s an exciting horse to look forward to for the future.”

Harry’s Bar set for Urban Beat clash at Tipperary

Adrian McGuinness reports Harry’s Bar in fine shape as the six-year-old bids to be the toast of punters in the Listed Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary on Thursday.

The six-year-old is seeking his first win in a season that has seen him take on the best sprinters in the game in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot before two runs over a six-furlong trip at the Curragh.

The latter races ended in defeat, but the chestnut – who even went to Saudi Arabia in February – went well at Dundalk in mid-August as he returned to form to finish second behind Ger Lyons’ Angel Palm.

“We were very happy with him on his run back at Dundalk,” said McGuinness.

“He just doesn’t seem to like the Curragh, but a flat track at Tipperary I think will suit him really well.

“He’s in very good form so we’re looking forward to a big run.

“The ground will suit, I think it’ll be nice good ground as it’s very warm here at the moment.”

Johnny Murtagh’s Urban Beat is well-fancied having finished third behind subsequent Nunthorpe winner Winter Power in the City Walls Stakes at York last time out, but McGuinness considers his gelding a worthy adversary for the five-furlong contest.

“Johnny Murtagh’s horses at the moment are on fire,” he said.

“Of course he’s the one to beat, but our horse is a very good horse and if he puts his A game forward he’ll be bang there with him.”

Also on the card, Pretty Gorgeous drops down in class from Group One company for the first time in a year when she lines up for the Group Three Coolmore Stud No Nay Never Fairy Bridge Stakes.

Since winning the Group Two Debutante Stakes at the Curragh last August, Joseph O’Brien’s filly has contested five races at the highest level.

She was successful in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket after finishing second to Shale in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, but has failed to make the frame in three starts this campaign. Connections will be hoping Pretty Gorgeous can regain her confidence stepping back in grade.

Her rivals include Jessica Harrington’s Deauville Listed scorer Loch Lein, the Paddy Twomey-trained Pearls Galore, who won the Group Three Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse, and Michael Halford’s eight-year-old Surrounding, winner of this race in 2019.

There is a British raider in Archie Watson’s Parent’s Prayer, who was only beaten four and three-quarter lengths when ninth to Mother Earth in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville three weeks ago.

Current Option grabs Concorde glory

Current Option doubled Adrian McGuinness’ career Group Three tally, with the Lusk trainer’s second win at that level in successive weeks, in the Coolmore US Navy Flag Concorde Stakes at Tipperary.

McGuinness was still searching for his first Group winner on the Flat only eight days ago – until Bowerman delivered for him in the Diamond Stakes at Dundalk.

Current Option proved he can do it on the turf too, just getting the better of a stirring duel with runner-up Laughifyouwant.

The four-year-old, already the winner of a big handicap and a Listed race this summer, was prominent almost throughout and produced a sustained challenge in the final furlong under Gavin Ryan to prevail by a short-head at 7-2 – with the staying-on Soul Search two lengths further back in third.

“That’s my first Group winner on the grass, but I had my first Group winner with Bowerman last week –  it’s so easy after 20 years!” said McGuinness.

“This is brilliant and is great for the lads – this horse keeps improving, and we’ve had so much fun with him.

“It is great for (owners) the Dooley brothers in England, and the late Bart O’Sullivan was a great supporter too – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.

“He wasn’t a cheap horse (85,000gns at Tattersalls in July 2019), but he has well and truly covered himself long before today – and today we are in bonus territory.”

Overseas adventures may beckon next for the much-improved gelding.

McGuinness added: “We’ll see what’s on the agenda in Ireland, but more than likely he will go to the Middle East for some of their festivals.

“We haven’t killed him with racing this year either way – and we’ll sit back and think about things now.”

Sweet Gardenia earlier sprang a 25-1 shock in the Listed Coolmore Churchill Stakes.

John Joseph Murphy’s filly was an even bigger price when she struck for the first time at the third attempt as the 50-1 winner of the valuable Silver Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes at Naas back in August.

She had managed only fourth and 10th at Group Three and Listed level since, but got back to winning ways decisively under Robbie Colgan – by a length from 5-6 favourite Ontario.

The latter appeared to be going easily into the straight.

Colgan stole through to lead on the far rail, though, and kept on tenaciously to keep Ontario at bay.

The winning trainer’s son George said: “She is a very smart filly, but ran a small bit flat (last time) and we were disappointed with her at Leopardstown.

“The Ballyhane race was also a nice race to win, and we’re delighted to win this Listed race, and hopefully there will be plenty more to come with her.

“There are a couple of races she could run in later this year, but she’ll be a lovely filly for next year too.”

Bowerman sparkles with Diamond success at Dundalk

Bowerman gave trainer Adrian McGuinness a first Pattern success with victory in the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Diamond Stakes at Dundalk on Friday.

Sent off a 10-1 shot, Bowerman stepped up from his defeat in the Desmond Stakes last time to run out a half-length winner of this Group Three affair under Colin Keane.

While McGuinness had sent out Beau Michel to win in Graded company over obstacles, the handler was striking at Group level for the first time on the Flat.

He said: “He’s an unbelievable horse. Colin said he’s so relaxed.

“We worked him up here during the week and he was very good. He’s a dream horse to have and I’m delighted for the lads, the Total Recall Racing Club.

“They’re very loyal owners and have been very, very lucky.

“That’s the first Group race I’ve ever won, so I’ll remember it.

“He’s probably going to be finished for a while, but if some of the Middle East races open up later on the year, he’ll head out to one of those places – Dubai or he could go to Bahrain or Doha if we can get an invitation.

“I’m thrilled to bits. I’m lucky to have two or three very nice horses and that’s what it’s all about. When you get those type of horses, you can go an awful lot more places.

“I know what it’s like coming down here with 47-65 horses. I’m 18 years at it now and we’ve been lucky to get good owners in.”