PAT HEALY: Pat reflects on the Listowel Harvest Festival and heaps praise on Wayne Lordan after his fantastic win at The Curragh.
Listowel Harvest Festival
I’d like to thank everyone hugely for all their efforts in making the Harvest Festival at Listowel such a success. Thank you to all our sponsors, the trainers, jockeys, grooms and of course the racegoers for making it such a wonderful seven days of racing. We were blessed with the weather, and we amazingly had 92,000 people through the gates which is fantastic for the town. It certainly was a memorable 164th Harvest Festival, that’s for sure.
There are always a few things that you can tweak, but I was chuffed with how it went and I’m already looking forward to next year.
The Kerry National was another fantastic race and our feature of the week never fails to deliver its shortage of drama. It was so unfortunate that Hewick and Jordan Gainford tipped up at the last when bang in contention, but thankfully both are okay. Shark [Hanlon] has set his sights on America with his stable star, and for the horse to put in that sort of performance under top-weight shows he’s a very talented racehorse who could easily take a very high rank this season.
Wayne Lordan at The Curragh
There are sometimes when you’re on a racecourse when you genuinely don’t believe your eyes, and Wayne Lordan’s ride on Waterville at The Curragh on Sunday was one of those. It was one of those moments when as the line got closer and closer, he looked more and more likely to win, but to get the horse up considering where he was turning in, was nothing short of remarkable.
It was a ride that we’ll be talking about for many years to come and the only one I can compare it to was AP McCoy’s on Wichita Lineman at Cheltenham a few years ago. Both were superb in their own right and take a serious horsemen to get a horse to win from the position they found themselves in.
It was fantastic to see Chris Hayes ride a four-timer at Down Royal on Monday. His feat was further evidence of the strength of the Irish weighing room at the moment and I think it’s fair to say it’s the strongest in the world. Any time a jockey rides four winners on a card then they should be applauded and he’s another Irish jockey that would certainly be able to hold his own anywhere across the globe.