PAT HEALY: This week Pat shares his thoughts on the Epsom Derby split screen controversy and looks ahead to Royal Ascot
It was a fantastic renewal of the Derby at Epsom and Desert Crown was very impressive. Given his rating the powers that be obviously think he was an above average Derby winner, and he certainly looked an above average Derby winner. From rounding Tattenham Corner you always picked him out as the horse that you thought was going to win the race and he duly did. He was just very impressive on the day and word during the week is that he’s going to stay in training as a four-year-old which is good news, so we look forward to seeing Desert Crown on more big days.
It was a brilliant result for Irish Racing having an Irish winner in the Oaks. Tuesday’s win gave Aidan [O’Brien] his 41st British Classic and he just continues to break and create new records. Obviously, he’s got a fantastic team there at Ballydoyle, which he’s always the first to say. When things go wrong, he takes responsibility so it’s only right that when things go well, he should accept all the plaudits. He’s a fantastic man, a fantastic trainer, and he’s fantastic for Irish racing.
Listowel was great, but obviously we got caught up in the split screen drama, clashing with the Derby. The racetrack had no say in what race would go off, that’s up to the powers that be, whether that’s Horse Racing Ireland or the broadcasters that call the shots. But it shouldn’t have happened. What I will say is whoever pressed the button to make the split screen, if they didn’t, would anyone have cared if they didn’t see Listowel?
The Derby is number one, it’s the biggest race in the world, everyone wants to be watching it. From my point of view, it wouldn’t have bothered me if Listowel wasn’t shown just for that race and maybe that’s what should’ve happened.
I’m looking forward to Royal Ascot next week. It’s the best Flat race meeting in the world and in the last couple of years the team at Ascot have really made it an international race meeting. I’m really looking forward to seeing Homeless Songs in the Coronation Stakes. She blew me away at the Curragh when she won the Irish 1000 Guineas. She beat Tuesday by five lengths, and I know Tuesday came out and won the Oaks over a mile and a half, but I would say that I think Homeless Songs could be a rocket and I’m hoping for another performance in the Coronation. She’s the horse I’ll be raving about all week.