Tag Archive for: Point Lonsdale

Point Lonsdale ready for National service at the Curragh

Point Lonsdale aims to extend the perfect start to his career to five races in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby, Point Lonsdale won the Chesham at Royal Ascot, beating Reach For The Moon, and has handled each subsequent rise in grade with aplomb.

He won a Leopardstown Group Three by three lengths and a Curragh Group Two by four and a quarter, but undoubtedly faces his stiffest test to date.

“He’s done everything he’s been asked so far and seems to be in good form since his last run,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien.

“We’ve just taken gradual steps with him and he’s been coming along gradually.

“We’ve been happy with him since the last day.”

One of his rivals is already a Group One winner, however. Hugo Palmer’s Ebro River had run solid races in England through the summer but journeyed to Ireland to win the Phoenix Stakes and is attempting to complete a double last achieved by Air Force Blue in 2015.

“He’s in good form and we’ll see how he gets on,” said Palmer.

“He’s stepping up to seven furlongs. I think he’d have won the last day over seven, but he’s taking on different horses this time.

“I think it will be nice, good ground by the sounds of it.”

Ebro River has already enjoyed one successful trip to Ireland
Ebro River has already enjoyed one successful trip to Ireland (Niall Carson/PA)

Colin Keane rides Duke De Sessa for Dermot Weld, who has made no secret of the regard in which he holds the colt.

“We think he’s a very nice horse, we thought a lot of him going to Galway,” said Keane.

“I thought in Galway the only thing that might beat him was the track and that it was his first time out, to be honest, and it turns out it did.

“He rectified that at the Curragh the last day and showed us what he’s being showing us at home. We think he’s pretty smart all right.”

Charlie Appleby has sent Quorto and Pinatubo to win in the last three years and this time relies on Native Trail, winner of the Superlative Stakes last time out.

In the fillies’ equivalent, the Moyglare Stud Stakes, the sponsors are aiming to win the prize for the first time with Homeless Songs.

Fiona Craig, of Moyglare Stud, said: “She looks amazing. She’s only run the once as Dermot chose not to go for the Debutante, just because he felt she didn’t need a tough race three weeks beforehand.

“I think she’s been training very well – the lads seem very happy with her.

“It’s a very competitive Moyglare with some very good fillies there, but I’m sure she’ll run a good race.

“It’s quite exciting. We’ve been second and fourth, but we’ve never won it before.

“It would be a bit of a dream to win it.”

Love was successful at Royal Ascot
Love was successful at Royal Ascot (David Davies/PA)

Another star on show is O’Brien’s multiple Group One winner Love, who drops in class for the Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes.

She returned to action this season by winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes but has been beaten in the King George and Juddmonte International since.

“Things just haven’t quite gone to plan since Royal Ascot, the pace of the races weren’t ideal but she’s been in good form since the last day,” said O’Brien.

While she faces some smart fillies like La Petite Coco and Thundering Nights, it is nothing like the challenges she has come up against recently against Adayar and Mishriff.

Point Lonsdale bids for top billing on starry Sunday at the Curragh

Point Lonsdale is one of the many stars on show on a mouth-watering second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh.

Unbeaten in four starts to date, Aidan O’Brien’s colt already tops ante-post lists for both next year’s 2000 Guineas and the Derby.

The son of Australia is set to face six rivals as he steps up to Group One level for the first time in Sunday’s Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes – including a trio of British challengers in Ebro River, Great Max and Native Trail.

Hugo Palmer’s Ebro River is already a Group One winner, having landed last month’s Keeneland Phoenix Stakes over a furlong shorter at the same track, while Native Trail will bid to provide Charlie Appleby with a third National Stakes success following the recent triumphs of Quorto (2018) and Pinatubo (2019).

Great Max represents Michael Bell, with Duke De Sessa (Dermot Weld), Anatoli (John Feane) and Ultramarine (Joseph O’Brien) the other hopefuls.

The juvenile fillies get their chance to shine in the preceding Moyglare Stud Stakes, in which Aidan O’Brien saddles both Concert Hall and Prettiest.

The standard is set by Joseph O’Brien’s Debutante Stakes heroine Agartha, with course-and-distance scorer Cairde Go Deo (Ger Lyons) and once-raced maiden winner Homeless Songs (Weld) also in contention.

The first of four Group Ones on a stellar card is the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes, which sees Tim Easterby’s Winter Power bid to follow up her Nunthorpe victory of last month.

She is joined on the trip across the Irish Sea by Kevin Ryan’s defending champion Glass Slippers, as well as Dragon Symbol (Archie Watson), Rohaan (David Evans) and Significantly (Karl Burke) – while the home team is headed by Joe Murphy’s course favourite Gustavus Weston.

The Weld-trained Search For A Song will bid for a third successive win in the Comer Group International Irish St. Leger.

She is one of 14 runners declared for the one-mile-six-furlong Classic, with Joseph O’Brien’s pair of Twilight Payment and Baron Samedi and Johnny Murtagh’s Ebor hero Sonnyboyliston chief among her rivals.

Aidan O’Brien’s multiple Group One winner Love, meanwhile, has her sights lowered for the Group Two Blandford Stakes.

Point Lonsdale primed for National Stakes

Point Lonsdale will put his unbeaten record on the line in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend.

The Ballydoyle colt has completed a flawless sequence of four runs and four victories so far, taking a maiden at the Curragh in June and then going on to win the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.

A graduation to Group Two level followed in the Futurity Stakes, again at the Curragh, where Point Lonsdale was a comfortable winner once more – by almost five lengths.

Group One company awaits the juvenile on Sunday week.

“He was very impressive the first day at the Curragh – then he went to Ascot, and every day after that he’s never done anything but please,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien.

“He’s very straightforward, (and) everything has gone very well with him.

“He’s a lovely horse. He’s a good mover and he doesn’t mind making the running – we’re delighted to have him really.”

Point Lonsdale is by Australia – who won the Derby, the Irish Derby and the Juddmonte International for O’Brien – and the trainer has noticed a striking similarity between father and son in terms of temperament.

“He’s absolutely the very same as his dad – he was one of those very rare horses that didn’t have any fight or flight response,” he said.

“That’s very rare – and what that means is that when you put him in first gear, he stays in first gear and then goes into second gear if you want him to.

“He doesn’t decide to go into any gear by himself – he’s always waiting to be told what to do.

“It’s a trait that’s very unusual, and that sort of horse always saves (himself) for when you want. When they’re like that and they have the class that he has – and do those fractions – it’s a very serious weapon to have.”

Point Lonsdale’s placid nature means he does not necessarily need a stablemate to smooth him a path through the race – and he could therefore be Ballydole’s sole runner in the National Stakes.

“He’s a horse that’s very happy to stand alone – he’s happy to do his own thing,” added O’Brien.

“If someone is there to help him, fine – but if not, he’s happy to plough his own furrow.”

Elsewhere on the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend, O’Brien has another juvenile Group One hope in the shape of Prettiest in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

The Dubawi filly was well beaten in the Phoenix Stakes last time out, but her trainer feels that speed test was not ideal and that a return to seven furlongs could see her at her best.

Amhran Na Bhfiann may be part of Aidan O'Brien's Irish St Leger contingen
Amhran Na Bhfiann may be part of Aidan O’Brien’s Irish St Leger contingent (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)

“We ran her in the Phoenix, and it probably wasn’t the right thing and wasn’t fair,” he said.

“The pace was strong early, and we went with the pace, but she’s probably a filly that wants seven furlongs or a mile.

“She’s in good form recently, (and) a strongly-run seven furlongs we think, and hope, will suit her. She seems to have come out of the last race well, and we hope she will leave it behind her.”

O’Brien is likely to have several contenders in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger, with Galileo filly Passion leading the team.

Grand Prix de Paris runner-up Wordsworth may also take his chance alongside 2020 Derby winner Serpentine – while confirmed stayers Santiago and Amhran Na Bhfiann both hold entries.

“Passion has been going there for a good while – she’s had a few runs,” said O’Brien.

“Wordsworth could go back there, and Serpentine could go there. Santiago is a possible, and Amhran Na Bhfiann is a possible.

“We could have a few more than one or two in that, but Passion is the one that’s had her eye on it for a while – and Wordsworth. Serpentine won his maiden around there, so that would be interesting as well.”

Point Lonsdale posts emphatic victory in Futurity Stakes

Aidan O’Brien’s leading juvenile Point Lonsdale continued his seamless career progression so far as he remained unbeaten with a dominant display in the Group Two Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes at the Curragh.

Point Lonsdale, previously successful in his maiden over this course and distance, the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and then a Leopardstown Group three last month, was a 1-6 favourite to take another rise in class in his stride.

The Australia colt duly did so, assuming control from an early stage under Ryan Moore and easily maintaining and ultimately stretching his advantage to win by more than four lengths from Maritime Wings.

Point Lonsdale took care of the same opponent on his previous appearance, and his Chesham form had been substantiated earlier in the day when runner-up Reach For The Moon was a decisive Group Three winner at Sandown.

Bookmakers responded to his latest demonstration of superiority by shortening him half a point into 3-1 for the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, while he also retains his grip at the head of the market for both the 2000 Guineas and Derby.

O’Brien quickly confirmed, however, that Point Lonsdale’s next assignment will be a third appearance over this same course and distance – in next month’s Group One Vincent O’Brien National Stakes

The Ballydoyle trainer said: “We’re delighted with him. He’s a lovely, straightforward horse.

“He relaxes, he quickens – and his head goes down to the ground when you ask him. He’s happy to go in front, but if someone wants to lead him, great. When you want him he quickens. He’s a classy horse.

“He wouldn’t like that (yielding) ground – he wants good or better to be ideal, because he’s a lovely mover.

“He’ll come back here for the National Stakes – that’s the plan.”

Agartha was an all-the-way winner of the preceding Group Two on the card, for the two-year-old fillies in the Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes.

Declan McDonogh bounced Joseph O’Brien’s Agartha out in front – and as the race developed, she always had matters under control to win by two lengths as the 4-1 co-favourite of four.

The daughter of Caravaggio, racing for the sixth time in a busy campaign, was unable to win a maiden in four attempts but sprang a surprise in a Leopardstown Group Three last month – and confirmed her improvement over the same trip here.

Sunset Shiraz, the only maiden in the eight-strong field, stayed on from off the pace to get closest to the winner – but Agartha was in no danger from the 25-1 outsider.

O’Brien’s assistant Brendan Powell said: “She’s unreal, she’s tough – and Declan said she seems to go on any ground.

“Last time out he made plenty of use of her, and he’s done the same today. You could see them trying to come at her one by one.

“Shane (Crosse) was on the other one (fourth-placed stablemate Seisai) and said they went a proper gallop.

“She seems to stay well – she gallops well and puts her head down. Most of all. she’s an absolute trier.

“I know most were over shorter trips, but it makes you wonder how she didn’t win her maiden. You don’t mind that, with what she’s done now!”

Dual champion jockey Colin Keane had a treble in the bag after the opening three races – all juvenile maidens.

Both Eclat De Lumiere and Straight Answer were successful on their respective racecourse debuts, and then Duke De Sessa was an emphatic winning favourite on his second career start.

Dermot Weld’s well-bred filly Eclat De Lumiere struck late down the middle of the track in the Stallion Farms EBF Maiden, for a half-length success from favourite Benitoite at 7-2 – in the colours of Moyglare Stud.

Juddmonte’s Kodiac colt Straight Answer, trained by Ger Lyons, took control of the DMG Media Irish EBF Maiden mid-race on the way to a length-and-a-quarter victory as 15-8 favourite from Rhea Moon.

Then Keane completed his treble, and a double for Weld, when 6-4 shot Duke De Sessa proved far too good for the opposition in the Coolmore Arizona Irish EBF Maiden – winning by almost five lengths.

Weld confirmed his high opinion of the winner, and Classic aspirations next year.

He said: “He’s a lovely colt.

“He was probably unlucky not to win in Galway but he’s progressed from that and learned from that day. You could call him a winner a long way down there.

“He’ll have one more run this year in a Group race. I’ll speak with (owner) Maurice Regan and see which one we’ll pick.

“He’s a very smart colt and a lovely horse to look forward to – a potential Guineas horse for next year.”

Classic favourite Point Lonsdale faces Futurity test at the Curragh

Point Lonsdale is the star attraction at the Curragh on Saturday as he puts his unbeaten record and tall reputation on the line in the Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes.

Impressive when making a winning start to his career at the Curragh in early June, the Australia colt has since completed his hat-trick victories in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.

Aidan O’Brien’s exciting youngster tops ante-post lists for both next season’s 2000 Guineas and the Derby and will be a warm order to make it four from four this weekend in a Group Two contest his trainer has already won on 13 occasions.

O’Brien said: “He’s been very professional in everything he’s done so far.

“We’ve been happy with him since the last day and this is the next step up the ladder.

“We’ve just been taking it one step at a time with him, Listed, Group Three and this is a Group Two and he’s shown gradual improvement every time.”

Point Lonsdale will be ridden by Ryan Moore, who told Betfair: “A brother to Broome, Point Lonsdale, is a very exciting prospect.

“He showed tenacity when overcoming greenness and toughing it out to beat Reach For The Moon in the Chesham at Royal Ascot. That form is working out well with Reach For The Moon, Sweeping and Masekela having all won races of various standards since.

“He followed that up with a very nice three-length defeat of Maritime Wings in the Group Three Tyros at Leopardstown on good ground.

“In terms of form he has the edge here, seems versatile in terms of ground and is progressing nicely.

“This is another step in the right direction for him and I’m looking forward to riding him.”

O’Brien also saddles The Acropolis and The Entertainer, while son Joseph runs Tyros runner-up Maritime Wings and Point Gellibrand.

Jim Bolger’s Leopardstown maiden winner Manu Et Corde completes the six-strong field.

The juvenile fillies get their chance to shine in the preceding Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes, which also carries Group Two status.

Jessica Harrington, who trained multiple Group One winner Alpha Centauri and landed this prize with her half-sister Alpine Star in 2019, is this year represented by Alpha Centauri’s full-sister Discoveries.

The daughter of Mastercraftsman improved from her debut fourth at Leopardstown to open her account over this course and distance on her second start and further improvement can be expected.

Alan Cooper, racing manager for her owner-breeders the Niarchos family, said: “Hopefully it will be a good race.

“Alpha Centauri didn’t actually run in the Debutante, but we thought we’d name the race after her.

“Discoveries improved from her first run to her second and I think Mrs Harrington is hoping she can step forward again.

“Let’s hope it all comes together.”

Aidan O’Brien fires a twin assault, with course and distance scorer Concert Hall joined by Galway Festival-winning stablemate Twinkle.

O’Brien said of Concert Hall: “We’ve been very happy with her since her last run.

“She obviously progressed from her first run to her second and we think she’s progressed again.”

Moore has sided with the former, and said: “Concert Hall showed the benefit of a run in Fairyhouse when winning the same maiden as Snowfall did a year earlier over course and distance last time out.

“As you would expect, being out of Oaks winner Was, she finished off her race very well and showed guts to come back at them after being headed.

“Like her mother, she seems to have plenty of ability and a good attitude to go with it. Aidan has won this race with some very talented fillies over the years and hopefully this filly can take another step forward and go well.”

Joseph O’Brien also saddles a couple of previous winners in Agartha and Seisai, with the Johnny Murtagh-trained Hapipi Go Lucky and Mise Le Meas also in the mix for what promises to be an informative contest.

Point Lonsdale impresses with Tyros triumph

Point Lonsdale had no trouble stretching his unbeaten record to three with a comfortable success in the Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.

The Chesham Stakes scorer at Royal Ascot pulled clear of his four rivals in the straight to give trainer Aidan O’Brien an eighth straight win in the Group Three over seven furlongs and 15th in all.

The full brother to Group One winner Broome just had to be rousted along in the early strides by Ryan Moore to get a good position as Gabbys Girl set the pace.

Travelling better the further they went, the 1-8 favourite set sail for home two furlongs out and was not hard ridden to score by three lengths from the staying-on Maritime Wings with Unconquerable third of the five runners.

“We’re delighted with him. It was his first time to race around a bend and Ryan was very happy with him,” said O’Brien.

“He’ll probably go to the Futurity next. It was nice for him to get a lead there and he would have learned a bit more today.

Point Lonsdale after his Leopardstown success
Point Lonsdale after his Leopardstown success (Gary Carson/PA)

“That’s his ground, he’s a very low mover. He won in soft ground last time but that would have to be his favourite ground. He’s lovely and low and his head goes down.

“He was even a bit green when he got to the front here today.”

Point Lonsdale was cut to 10-1 favourite, from 12-1, for the Qipco 2000 Guineas and 9-1 favourite, from 10-1, for the Cazoo Derby with Paddy Power.

Point Lonsdale tests credentials in Tyros Stakes

Aidan O’Brien’s next great hope Point Lonsdale puts his reputation on the line in the Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.

The Australia colt maintained his unbeaten record in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot – beating Reach For The Moon, himself an easy winner subsequently.

Speaking after his Ascot win, O’Brien said of Point Lonsdale ‘I hope he’s a Classic horse that can go for the Guineas and the Derby’ – and he is already favourite for both those races.

He faces four rivals on Thursday – including the unexposed Maritime Wings, trained by O’Brien’s son Joseph, who was bought by Team Valor after winning at Leopardstown on debut.

“We’ve been happy with Point Lonsdale since Ascot – everything has gone well with him since,” said O’Brien.

“It was pretty soft at Ascot, and he likes nice ground. He’s a lovely-moving horse, so that should be in his favour this time.”

O’Brien is also represented in the other Group Three on the card, the Frank Conroy Silver Flash Stakes, by Prettiest – who finished a fair fourth in the Albany Stakes at Ascot.

The form of that race has subsequently been given a boost by the winner and second, who went on to finish first and third in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.

“We were very happy with her run in the Albany,” said O’Brien.

“She came back quick enough after her maiden win – but we’ve been happy since, and everything has gone well with her.

“We didn’t think the step up in trip would be a problem for her.”

Ger Lyons is represented by Juncture, second on debut to O’Brien’s Contarelli Chapel before winning easily next time.

She is owned by Juddmonte, and their racing manager Barry Mahon said: “She’s a very nice filly and she’s training nicely. She won well on her last start, and now she’s stepping up to Group company tomorrow.

“It’s a small but very competitive field. Aidan O’Brien’s filly (Prettiest) is going to be tough to beat on her fourth in the Albany.

“We like our filly and we’re hoping she’s going to progress now in the second half of the year.”

Point made in thrilling Chesham

Point Lonsdale came out on top in a thrilling renewal of the Chesham Stakes to deny the Queen a famous winner on her visit to Royal Ascot.

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore had only tasted success once this week, with Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes – but their supporters latched on to this once-raced Australia colt.

Sent off the well-backed 10-11 favourite, he was given a real race of it by Frankie Dettori on the John and Thady Gosden-trained Reach For The Moon.

Understandably in the conditions, it was only a steady pace set by Sweeping, who was still in front of the main group entering the final furlong while Reach For The Moon led Masekela on the far side.

Point Lonsdale then came through to challenge and with Reach For The Moon pulled clear, with the latter drifting right and the favourite going off to his left.

It did not stop him going forwards, however, and he won by half a length. Great Max caught Sweeping for third.

Coral make Point Lonsdale a 12-1 chance for next year’s 2000 Guineas. Paddy Power and Betfair go 16-1 about the Derby.

O’Brien said: “Sorry about that (beating the Queen’s horse), but we are delighted with Point Lonsdale.

“We were delighted with his only run at the Curragh. Everyone has always been happy with him and we think a lot about him. He’s very smart. For a horse bred to be a middle-distance horse he’s always shown a lot of speed.

“It’s unusual for an Australia to be so far forward and the great thing is he’s so genuine and when you ask him he digs deep. He’s a very good mover and that’s why I was worried about the ground, because he’s a colt that bends his knee and is very low.

The Queen with Frankie Dettori and gallant Chesham runner-up Reach For The Moon
The Queen with Frankie Dettori and gallant Chesham runner-up Reach For The Moon (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“But he’s a baby still and did wander in the closing stages. He does it very naturally and will have learned a lot today.

“I hope he’s a Classic horse that can go for the Guineas and the Derby. He has a good chance of getting a mile and a quarter and might get further.

“We will look at the Group races in Ireland, something like the National Stakes, but it will depend where the boys want to go as to where he runs next.”

Moore added: “He’s typical of the Galileo family. He’s green still, he’s still learning but he was very efficient in these conditions. He’s doing this through pure class.

“He doesn’t need this ground, he just handles it. He’s got plenty of heart.”

Thady Gosden said of the runner-up: “It was a great run and we’re really happy with him. That was only his second career run, he is still very inexperienced.

“I think Reach For The Moon and the winner Point Lonsdale got lonely in front, but they both ran on well and look two nice prospects.

“Obviously our lad handled the ground, but he would also prefer better ground in the future – he is one to look forward to.”

Point Lonsdale bound for Chesham assignment after striking Curragh debut

Point Lonsdale looked an exciting recruit to Aidan O’Brien’s juvenile team when making an impressive racecourse debut at the Curragh.

The full-brother to Group Two winner and stablemate Broome could even prove a bargain buy at the 575,000 guineas he cost as a yearling after he comprehensively disposed of the opposition in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C&G) Maiden over seven furlongs, earning a tilt at the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Smartly away from stall one, Point Lonsdale, the 7-4 favourite, was always at the head of affairs with market rival Barud alongside him in the early stages.

However, Dermot Weld’s charge, who had the experience of a previous run, was shrugged aside at the business end of the contest.

Point Lonsdale asserted in grand style to score by five and a half lengths from Unconquerable. Mannix was half a length away in third place with Barud fourth.

O’Brien said: “He was working very smart and we wanted to get him out as we felt he was a horse for the Chesham. That’s what we think of him.

“He shows everything at home. He travels, he quickens and relaxes – all the right stuff.”

Dr Zempf came from last to first to strike at the first attempt with an equally-eyecatching display in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race – with connections nominating the Group Two Railway Stakes as his next race.

A 420,000 guineas purchase at Tattersalls, the Ger Lyons-trained colt travelled sweetly in behind as Missing Nation took the six-strong field along.

Dr Zempf is going the Siskin route
Dr Zempf is going the Siskin route (PA)

Hadman made an early bid for victory with the 7-4 favourite Elliptic also coming through following a tardy start.

The final furlong turned into a duel between Dr Zempf (5-2) and Elliptic, with the former, ridden by Colin Keane, comfortably getting on top to win by two and a quarter lengths.

Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother, said: “He’s a lovely horse and is after doing that very well. He took it in very well beforehand and during the race he was very professional.

“We’ll take him home and see how he comes out of the race. He will improve as today was his first day seeing grass. Most likely the next race will be the Railway Stakes – the Siskin route.”

The Lyons team doubled up when Reve De Vol finished best of all to take the Listed Sky Bet Orby Stakes.

O’Reilly led them in the 10-furlong affair and stuck to his guns throughout, as Geometrical and then Patrick Sarsfield put down strong challenges.

It looked like the latter had just about done enough, only for Reve De Vol to fly home once Keane had switched and got a clear run approaching the furlong pole. A head was the winning margin at the line over Patrick Sarsfield, with O’Reilly another half-length back in third.

Shane Lyons said: “That was a very good performance. Colin said a very true-run mile and two would be right up his street. There was a bit of cat and mouse there today.

“Colin was able to fill him and try to get a gap out. He hit the line hard and it’s a nice race to win.

“He’s bred to get a mile and a half, but Colin said a true-run mile and two would suit so if he keeps winning then we’ll keep him at that.”