Tag Archive for: Ross O’Sullivan

Sea Sessions set for Cheltenham return after Festival disappointment

Sea Sessions will skip a trip to Aintree in favour of a return to Cheltenham in April.

Ross O’Sullivan’s charge won a Listed event at the Liverpool track back in December and was only beaten a short head at the same level at Doncaster in January.

Connections felt the Territories filly merited a subsequent crack at the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last week, where she was sent off a 50-1 shot and finished 25 lengths behind the winner, Brazil.

O’Sullivan was disappointed with that effort, but feels the Cheltenham Racecourse Fillies’ Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, another Grade Three event back at Prestbury Park on April 14, could be an ideal target rather than looking to the Grand National meeting.

He said: “We won’t go to Aintree. She was a little bit disappointing, she didn’t get much of a run (in the Boodles) – a big field with a small filly and it didn’t really work out.

“It was a messy race and they went very slow and the first two finished first and second. We kind of put a line through it.

“There’s an ideal race for her in Cheltenham again, a juvenile fillies’ race and we will probably go there in a month’s time. Travelling isn’t a problem.

“She’s an improving filly and she is game and she likes jumping.”

Cheltenham dream for Aintree winner Sea Sessions

Ross O’Sullivan is dreaming of running Sea Sessions in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival following her victory at Aintree on Saturday.

The three-year-old opened her account over jumps in a Listed contest at the third attempt, with a game display in difficult weather conditions.

O’Sullivan will probably give her one more run in the New Year before heading back across the Irish Sea for Cheltenham.

“We’d love to go to Cheltenham for the Fred Winter, the Boodles as they call it now, in March. That would be the dream,” said the County Kildare handler.

“The owner (John Robinson) is from Manchester. He goes to Cheltenham every year, apart from last year, and he would love to get a trip there. It depends on what mark she gets and if she can get in at the bottom. That would be ‘Plan A’, to head for Cheltenham.

“She will probably have a run after Christmas. We won’t go at Christmas because she’ll want a bit of recovery time after Saturday. She won’t run until the new year and if she has a run before (Cheltenham) it will just be one run.”

Reflecting on her Aintree success, O’Sullivan added: “It was great to get the black type for her. She came home well and was bucking and squealing around the paddock when she got back on Sunday morning.

“She handled conditions that day really well – the strong wind, the strong rain. She toughed it out well.”

Rocky runs rivals ragged to take Salsabil success

Rocky Sky ran her rivals into the ground to register a convincing success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

Having her first run on turf after three races on Dundalk’s the all-weather surface, the Ross O’Sullivan-trained filly was given an enterprising ride by Gary Halpin to win this Listed contest in tremendous style.

Rocky Sky (33-1) was soon driven up by Halpin to grab the lead and set a strong pace. The Rock Of Gibraltar filly, owned by retired jockey Mick Kinane’s wife, Catherine, then slipped the field on the home turn.

She kept up the gallop to cross the line four and a quarter lengths to the good over another 33-1 shot in French Fusion. Sacred Rhyme (12-1) was a length and a quarter back in third place.

Willow, the Aidan O’Brien-trained 5-4 favourite, appeared to have every chance but was well-beaten in seventh.

“She’s a grand filly. I thought the handicapper was very lenient on her when he gave her 83 after she was second to a very nice filly of Joseph’s (O’Brien’s My Generation) the last day in Dundalk, albeit in a messy race,” said Halpin.

“I knew coming here today that stepping up in trip and getting on to the grass, she’d be very competitive.

“She’ll come forward again from today. She’s an exciting filly and it’s very nice to ride a winner for Mr and Mrs Kinane and all the team at Castlefarm Stud.

“She’s a very nice filly going forward. She has plenty of pace and I’d say a mile-and-a-quarter is OK for now, I wouldn’t be in any rush to go a mile and a half with her as she has loads of pace.

“She hasn’t done anything wrong so far and the world is her oyster at the minute. She’s a good filly.”