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PAT HEALY: This week Pat reflects on last weekend’s Eclipse and even shares his thoughts on whether or not ‘football is coming home’


St Mark’s Basilica

We already thought St Mark’s Basilica was a very good horse, but his win in the Eclipse at Sandown proved he’s top class. I suppose now you’d have to wonder how he could have got on at Epsom had Aidan [O’Brien] run him there. He obviously wouldn’t be certain to stay the trip, but the way he won over 1m2f on Saturday suggested he probably would have got it. From my own personal point of view, I’m just disappointed I haven’t been able to see him yet as a three-year-old given he’s only run in France and England.

It’s going to be fascinating to see how he gets on for the remainder of the season and you’d imagine we’ll see him in the Irish Champion Stakes, which, on paper at least, is shaping up to be an absolute cracker with the likes of Poetic Flare and Adayar reportedly on track to run there.

He’s certainly become a very important horse for Coolmore given his stallion prospects. As we know Galileo has been anunbelievable in the breeding sheds, but he’s not going to be around forever and the lads will be hoping St Mark’s Basilica can follow in his hoofprints over the next decade or so.

Brian Arnold

I wanted to give a quick shout to Brian Arnold. He’s a real character and has been doing some really funny bits on Twitter and Tik Tok over the past few weeks. He did one of me which was very funny as well as Kevin O’Ryan and more recently he did a version of ‘It’s Coming Home’. He used the 23 Irish winners at Cheltenham in it and it was fantastic. It’s well worth a watch and it actually got picked up on Sky Sports News ahead of the England Denmark game.

It’s great that a normal bloke is getting huge recognition for just having a bit of fun. He’s given everyone in racing a real laugh, which at the moment is exactly what we all need. I wish him all the best with them because he’s a breath of fresh air and is a perfect tonic to the tough times we’ve had over the past 18 months or so.

Killarney Festival

The Killarney Festival starts next Monday and I’m really looking forward to five days of great action. It’s obviously going to be another strange year with no fans, but when things do return to normality it’s definitely one for racing fans to go to. It has to be one of the most scenic racetracks in the world and it’s a real pleasure to watch live racing at.

Is it coming home?

I thought England were the better team against Denmark and it’s fantastic to see them in the final of the Euros. It’s going to be tough against the Italians, but anything can happen in a final. It will be a great match and I’m really looking forward to it.