Sigh. At the Cheltenham auction last week, I had picked out a few horses to buy, including Take The Stand, HedgeHunter and War of Attrition. I phone Orla for some advice and she recommended number 10, Iris’s Gift, so I purchased that as well.When it came time to purchase, HedgeHunter was more expensive than I had anticipated, so I decided not to purchase War Of Attrition. Big Mistake ! The results were
1) War of Attrition
2) HedgeHunter
3) Forget The Past
4) L’Ami

HedgeHunter returned 25% of the pool, but had I picked up WOA, I would have picked up another 50%. Next year I’ll stick to my convictions.

Meanwhile, the tips turned out to be pretty good; watch this space this time next year !



This past weekend saw me take a quick trip over to Dublin to catch up with family and, of course, for the annual Cheltenham dinner.The flight over was horrendous. In a fit of lunacy I had decided to see what steerage was like on Continental. Boy, was I sorry I did. Their coach has slightly more legroom than Aer Lingus – an inch more I’d say, but unfortunately I was on a very full flight. On a 757, a full plane is not a great place to be, and I was in the worst of all not great places – the bulkhead row at the back, where the seats don’t recline.

So I was pretty miserable by the time I reached Dublin. Nevertheless, after breakfast at home and crashing out for a few hours I was all set for a good night out.

We met up at Neary’s for a few pre-prandial drinks, and then adjourned to the SGH Club, for another few aperitifs, before all fourteen of us trooped down to dinner. Food was great, and then we whipped out our notebooks to focus on the real agenda for the night – the tipsters.

The speeches, of course, were enlightening, with Fran Woods and Jessica Harrington and others offering their tips. I’ll reserve comment on whether or not they were good tips until after the Gold Cup ! The auction was, as usual, hectic. I managed to pick up a few runners and will see in a few days whether or not it was a worthwhile trip… Meanwhile, the tips are listed below…

The table we were at was a long one, so conversation was a little difficult from end to end, but I think we all (Mr and Mrs F, John B, BFVM and Niamh, Frank and Noriko, Peter F, Daithi Fada, Anne-M and Sally, K and M, and myself) had a good time. Indeed, after dinner we adjourned to the bar where, after multiple digestifs, and AM’s being propositioned, we got embroiled in a seisiun. Suffice it to say that it was 5am when I got home…

Saturday met up with Blanaid, an old friend, and her family for a very pleasant lunch before catching up with family later and then Frank again for a late beer. Sunday saw me on another horrendous flight, back to NY and finally to Rhinebeck to meet Jenn and the kids for lunch.
Tips :
March 14 Supreme Novices : Sweet Wake, Temoin, Refinement (ew)
March 14 Arkle Chase : Accordeon Etoile (not on soft ground), Foreman, Missed That
March 14 Smurfit : Brave Inca, Hardy Eustace, Asian Maze
March 14 Sporting Index : Native Jack
March 14 Fred Winter : Royals Darling

March 15 Royal and Sun Alliance Novices : Denman, Travino
March 15 Royal and Sun Alliance Chase : Commerical Flyer, Darkness, church Island
March 15 Queen Mother : Central House
March 15 Coral : Sky’s The Limit
March 15 Kim Muir : Dun Doire, Black Apalachi
March 15 Bumper : Wichita Lineman

March 16 Novices : Turpin Green
March 16 Ryanair : Fondmort, Impek
March 16 Ladbrokes : Golden Cross
March 16 Plate : Made In Japan
March 16 Pertemp : Oulart

March 17 JCB : Detrouit City, Mr. Night, Breathing Fire (ew)
March 17 Gold Cup : Monkerhostin, Celestial Gold, L’Ami, Hedgehunter

We’ll see !




March 9, 2006 | Leave a Comment

Spring is here. There are some signs of life in the garden. Perhaps the winter is finally drawing to a close. We’ll see.Meanwhile, the kids are great. Orla is continuing her reading, and like her daddy was at her age, is hooked on books. She tries to sneak out of bed, when she’s supposed to be going to sleep, to get more reading in. High on her fiction best seller list is “Go Away, Spot” and “Learn with Dick and Jane”. I’m sure Shakespeare won’t be too far away…

Both kids continue to pester us with requests for animals. Two weeks ago they wanted birds, so now we have two finches. Last week it was fish, so we have two new catfish. This week Eoghan was inconsolable because Jenn wouldn’t get him a guinea pig. Sigh. Where will it all end ?

Meanwhile, Orla is turning into a real hard taskmaster. I arrived in work the other day to discover the following message that Orla had left for me a little earlier :

Dad, I’m going to give you 10 minutes.
Call back.
And you better make it quick !

Needless to say, I wasted no time in getting back to her. I didn’t want an earful…