PAT HEALY: This week Pat heaps praise on King George winner Adayar, and shares his thoughts on the Galway Races so far.
It was a hugely impressive performance from Adayar at the weekend and it’s remarkable that he is the first horse in 20 years to win the King George after winning the Epsom Derby, which just goes to show how tough of a race it is. It was also very apt that he could achieve the feat only a few weeks after the sad passing of Galileo, the last horse to do the double, even though he won the Irish Derby in between!
To beat a world class colt like Mishriff and a world class filly like Love you have to give a seriously impressive performance, and he did. The sky’s the limit now for Adayar and we can only look forward to seeing what more he can achieve.
It’s been great to be back at Galway this week and see a bit of the atmosphere that we didn’t have last year being behind closed doors. Obviously, Galway would have preferred more than the thousand spectators they were permitted and it’s sad that a lot of racegoers are missing out, but it is a step in the right direction and there has definitely been a bit of a buzz about the place.
Tuesday was an unfortunate mistake for the Jessica Harrington camp, but I’m sure that everybody in the sport from the IHRB to the yards themselves will learn from this, there’s no point dwelling on it now so long as lessons are learned.
Dermot Weld showed us again on Monday why he is the king of Ballybrit when landing the feature with Coltor. Finny Maguire was doing the steering on Coltor, and his father Adrian actually won the Galway Plate for Dermot back in 1993, so it was a unique double for the Maguire family.
The Summer Mile saw Ado McGuiness register his third success in the race in as many years, and it was nice to see the Manchester based Dooley family welcome in their winner and celebrate appropriately. It’s been a fantastic year for Ado and his stock just keeps rising, he had a winner in Doha at the start of the year and he seems to be getting a better quality of horse.
Willie Mullins and Paul Townend landed their second Galway Plate on Wednesday some 10 years after their first with Blazing Tempo. It was a top-class performance after finishing second last year and the race had clearly been the target for a while, which showed when he finished like a very strong horse.
The weather hasn’t been so kind on the south coast of England as it has in Galway but despite that there has been some quality racing. I thought Poetic Flare would win the Sussex Stakes but full credit to Alcohol Free who is now a three-time G1 winner, so she’s obviously a very high-class filly. Maybe Poetic Flare just wasn’t suited to the undulations of Goodwood and with the cut in the ground, I’m still a huge fan of his and think there’s still more to come, but after Wednesday I’m now a fan of Alcohol Free as well!
I’ve said it before, but this is just a fantastic Flat season that we are witnessing, and the Sussex Stakes just cemented that point. We’re looking at a fantastic crop of three-year-olds and there’s still so much left to come.