Tag Archive for: Ginto

Churchstonewarrior has bright future after fine Naas run

Jonathan Sweeney is hopeful there is more to come from Churchstonewarrior after his promising placed performance in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle.

The seven-year-old was a 25-1 chance for last weekend’s Grade One feature, with eventual winner Ginto at the head of affairs as the 5-4 favourite.

Ginto – who cost a princely €470,000 at the sales – justified his odds with an impressive victory to cement his Cheltenham credentials, but Sweeney’s gelding ran pleasingly in fourth having travelled and jumped well throughout under Mark Walsh.

The race was the horse’s first foray into top-level action, having previously finished second in a Grade Three at Cork in early December.

Prior to that he was successful in both a maiden and a novice hurdle and has bumper form from last season with a Thurles success under his belt.

“I was delighted with him, you’d have to be wouldn’t you?” Sweeney said.

“It was a high-quality race, it was definitely was, and I thought he ran very well.

“It was a big step and I suppose it’d be the best run he’s had yet.”

Sweeney has no confirmed plans as of yet, but a graduation to chasing is the long-term goal with a novice campaign over fences the expected target next season.

“We’ve got to put a bit of a plan together to see where we’ll go next, but he’s fine and he’s come out if it really well. We’re very happy with him,” he said.

“He’s a lovely horse who seems to be taking everything in his stride.

“Please God he’ll be something to look forward to not just this year, but also next year over a fence.”

Ginto claims Grade One gold for Elliott and Kennedy

Ginto added his name to an illustrious roll of honour with a front-running victory in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle.

Envoi Allen and Bob Olinger are the two most recent winners of the Grade One contest, with both horses going on to claim the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival two months later.

After impressing on his first two starts over timber at Navan, Ginto was the 5-4 favourite to successfully graduate to the highest level and led from start to finish under Jack Kennedy.

The market leader began to come under pressure from the home turn, but kept finding and was ultimately well on top as he passed the post with just over four lengths in hand over Grand Jury.

Hollow Games, like the winner trained by Gordon Elliott, was just a neck further behind in third.

Elliott said: “Jack said he wasn’t doing a stroke the whole way. He jumped well and stays well. He’s very idle in front on his own.

“He’s a fine looking horse. Jamie (Codd) rode him in Navan where he travelled better with a lead. He was having to do all the donkey work today and a better race will suit him better.

“It’s a first Grade One winner for Bective (Stud, owners). They are big supporters of Cullentra and of Irish racing. They are on holiday in Dubai and will be watching and hopefully enjoying it.”

Ginto in the Naas winner's enclosure
Ginto in the Naas winner’s enclosure (Donall Farmer/PA)

Coral cut Ginto’s odds for the Ballymore to 8-1 from 16-1, while he is 5-1 from 8-1 for the longer Albert Barlett Novices’ Hurdle. Betfair make him an 8-1 chance for both races.

“I think he’ll stay further, I think all he does is stay,” Elliott added

“We had to stretch them and if it turned into a sprint it wouldn’t have worked.

“Hollow Games ran very well. He was stopped a couple of times and probably should have been second.”

Elliott mounts twin assault on Grade One prize at Naas

Gordon Elliott holds an incredibly strong hand in his bid to win the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle at Naas on Sunday for the fourth time in six years.

Elliott runs both Ginto, unbeaten in two over hurdles including a Grade Two at Navan last time out, and Hollow Games, a Grade Three winner at Navan himself.

Both are owned by Noel and Valerie Moran’s Bective Stud with Davy Russell maintaining his partnership on Hollow Games and Jack Kennedy declared on Ginto.

Elliott said: “Ginto looks like he could be anything. He’s a horse for the future. He looks to be a chaser and was bought to be a chaser, so whatever he does over hurdles is going to be a bonus.

“Hollow Games is a nice horse. He doesn’t do anything flashy at home, but he’s always there for you on the racecourse.

“They both deserve to take their chance in a race like this and we’re looking forward to it.

“There are different opinions from different lads in the yard and if either of them win I don’t mind. They have the same owner so there is no pressure.”

The chief threat to Elliott’s pair appears to be Willie Mullins’ Whatdeawant.

He beat Ginto in a bumper last season but has only one run over hurdles under his belt, a win at Navan.

“Whatdeawant has surprised us on the track. His form is better than his home work, which is always a great sign,” assistant trainer Patrick Mullins said.

“He’s a very uncomplicated ride. He stays well, but showed a good turn of foot to beat Ginto in his bumper. On that form we’d have to be very hopeful going into this race – it’s competitive with Ginto and Hollow Games, but we’re expecting a big run and hopefully he’ll continue to surprise us.

“It’s nice to have a horse in training again for the Mulryans (owners). We had Ballyamber around 20 years ago for them, who won a lot of races and there were a few others as well, but they came back to us with three or four horses last year and Whatdeawant is the best of them at the moment. Hopefully he will show that on Sunday.”

Henry de Bromhead, who won the race last year with Bob Olinger, runs Grand Jury who sports the same Robcour colours.

Elliott celebrates magnificent seven at Navan

Gordon Elliott had a day to remember at Navan as he trained the winning horse in an incredible seven of the eight races on the card.

Willie Mullins’ Whatdeawant claimed division one of the Kilberry Pub & Kitchen Maiden Hurdle, after which the Elliott onslaught began as he took every remaining contest of the day.

Enjoying three winners over hurdles, three over fences and one in a bumper, Elliott’s achievement was made all the more special as Navan is the track closest to his County Meath stable.

“It’s been an unbelievable day – to get seven winners at one track and at Navan as well, my local track,” he said.

“I don’t know if it’s been done before in Ireland, but to train seven winners is unbelievable and we’ll never forget it.

“This is special after the year we’ve had, it just shows what it means to the staff and all my owners and friends.

“You see the likes of Noel Meade clapping you in, they are your proper friends, I can’t believe it.

“We’re back doing what we love doing.”

The Goffer took division two of the maiden hurdle, striking at 10-1 under Jody McGarvey to triumph by eight lengths.

Ginto then became two from two over hurdles after a runaway success in the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle in the hands of Jamie Codd.

Starting as the 11-8 favourite from a field of five runners, the five-year-old ran prominently through the two-and-a-half-mile contest and took up the lead over the third from home.

From there the gelding was comfortably able to pull away, striding clear of the Joseph O’Brien-trained Eric Bloodaxe to register an impressive 11-length victory.

“That was great, he’s the horse we thought he was,” Elliott said.

“He’s a big galloper. From the second-last to the line is what I loved today, he just galloped. He’s a good horse.”

Ginto could now head for the Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle, a Grade One event run over the same trip in January.

“He’ll get an entry for the race at Naas and we’ll see,” said Elliott.

“We’ll have a chat with (owners) Noel and Valerie (Moran) and see what they want to do.

“He’s a chaser in the making.”

Betfair slashed the winner in price to 12-1 from 25-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Codd was replacing the injured Davy Russell, with Elliott adding: “He just sprained his wrist and he’ll be all right.”

Riviere D'etel maintained her unbeaten record over fences in style
Riviere D’etel maintained her unbeaten record over fences in style (PA)

Elliott and the Morans made it a big-race double when the equally-promising Riviere D’etel recorded a straightforward victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Klairon Davis Novice Chase, this time with Denis O’Regan doing the steering.

Winner of her first two chasing assignments and sent off the 1-4 favourite, the four-year-old filly had little trouble making the transition to Grade Three company, bowling along in front from the off and coming home 12 lengths clear of Take All.

Elliott said: “She’s a good mare. Whether we go for something at Christmas or not, I don’t know.

“She’s had two runs now and Noel and Valerie are away on holidays for Christmas, we came here for that reason. We’ll see how she is and how she comes out of the race.

“Denis said she’s actually become really relaxed when she gets to the front. They didn’t let her away and she jumped very professionally. I’m very happy with her.”

Commander Of Fleet was a 40-1 winner for Shane Fitzgerald and Elliott in the valuable Bective Stud Handicap Hurdle.

In a large field of 28 runners, the seven-year-old put two unsuccessful runs this term behind him when prevailing by two and a half lengths from Denis Cullen’s A Great View.

Carrying a sizeable burden of 11st 5lb, Elliott’s gelding, who was a Grade One-winning novice, could now target the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham.

“It was a good performance. He was a good horse back in the day,” the trainer said.

“To be honest I was worried he had a lot of weight, but it was a good performance and he did it well. I was very happy with him.

“He was running well the last day before he fell, so that’s great. We might try to qualify him for the Pertemps now.”

Farouk D’alene then made it five in a row for Elliott with a three-quarter-length win in the Navan Racecourse Beginners Chase, triumphing at 7-2 under Kevin Sexton after running prominently throughout the race.

Conflated was the next horse to oblige after starting as the 9-4 favourite for the Fox Rock Handicap Chase with Fitzgerald in the saddle once again.

“He’s a good horse and was a graded horse over hurdles, but he lost his way a bit,” said Elliott.

“I fancied him in the Kerry National, but he unseated at the third fence. It’s great to win a nice pot with him.

“It’s been an unbelievable day. We have a lot of young horses and as I’ve said before it’s about rebuilding.

“I love this place, it’s probably the best racecourse in the world, never mind in Ireland. The best horses normally win here and there are no excuses. I don’t know what it is, but our horses seem to like it here, we won’t complain!”

Itswhatunitesus, Elliott's seventh winner on the Navan card
Itswhatunitesus, Elliott’s seventh winner on the Navan card (PA)

Elliott then claimed his seventh and final success of the day in the Racing Again At Navan On December 18th INH Flat Race, with Codd steering 10-11 favourite Itswhatunites to a six-length win.

“He’s a lovely horse and we won’t do much more with him this year,” said Elliott.

“We’ll give him a break and we’ll probably bring him back for Fairyhouse and leave it there. He’s one for the future.”

Ginto makes striking impression at Navan

Ginto is two from two over hurdles after a runaway success in the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle for Jamie Codd and Gordon Elliott.

Starting as the 11-8 favourite from a field of five runners, the five-year-old ran prominently through the two-and-a-half-mile contest and took up the lead over the third hurdle from home.

From there the gelding was comfortably able to pull away, striding clear of the Joseph O’Brien-trained Eric Bloodaxe to register an impressive 11-length victory.

“That was great, he’s the horse we thought he was,” Elliott said.

“He’s a big galloper. From the second-last to the line is what I loved today, he just galloped. He’s a good horse.”

Ginto could now head for the Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle, a Grade One event run over the same trip in January.

“He’ll get an entry for the race at Naas and we’ll see,” said Elliott.

“We’ll have a chat with (owners) Noel and Valerie (Moran) and see what they want to do.

“He’s a chaser in the making.”

Betfair slashed the winner in price to 12-1 from 25-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Codd, meanwhile, was replacing Davy Russell, with Elliott adding: “He just sprained his wrist and he’ll be all right.”

Riviere D'etel maintained her unbeaten record over fences in style
Riviere D’etel maintained her unbeaten record over fences in style (PA)

Elliott and the Morans made it a big-race double when the equally-promising Riviere D’etel recorded a straightforward victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Klairon Davis Novice Chase, this time with Denis O’Regan doing the steering.

Winner of her first two chasing assignments and sent off the 1-4 favourite, the four-year-old filly had little trouble making the transition to Grade Three company, bowling along in front from the off and coming home 12 lengths clear of Take All.

Elliott said: “She’s a good mare. Whether we go for something at Christmas or not, I don’t know.

“She’s had two runs now and Noel and Valerie are away on holidays for Christmas, we came here for that reason. We’ll see how she is and how she comes out of the race.

“Denis said she’s actually become really relaxed when she gets to the front. They didn’t let her away and she jumped very professionally. I’m very happy with her.”

Commander Of Fleet was a 40-1 winner for Shane Fitzgerald and Elliott in the valuable Bective Stud Handicap Hurdle.

In a large field of 28 runners, the seven-year-old put two unsuccessful runs this term behind him when prevailing by two and a half lengths from Denis Cullen’s A Great View.

Carrying a sizeable burden of 11st 5lb, Elliott’s gelding, who was a Grade One-winning novice, could now target the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham.

“It was a good performance. He was a good horse back in the day,” the trainer said.

“To be honest I was worried he had a lot of weight, but it was a good performance and he did it well. I was very happy with him.

“He was running well the last day before he fell, so that’s great. We might try to qualify him for the Pertemps now.”