AIRO were delighted to be able to sponsor the Winter Series in Dundalk awards once again for the 2020/21 season. The series was very well supported by trainers and owners and was highly competitive throughout. We sponsor two categories 'Horse with Most Points' and 'Horse with Most Wins' and we feel it is really important to recognise and support owners through our sponsorship
Horse with the Most Points Award
Winner: Sunset Nova Owner(s): Men of Forty Eight Syndicate
Trainer: Andrew Slattery
Sunset Nova has been a model of consistency for his owners throughout this season and was a clear winner in the horse with points winner on 42 points.
Horse with the Most Wins Award
Winner: Togoville Owner(s): Patrick J McCann
Trainer: Anthony McCann
This season, Togoville received legendary status at Dundalk. Not only did he win 3 times on the bounce, he set a record of 14 wins at Dundalk and connections announced his retirement at the awards meeting.
Recent weeks has seen an explosion of entries into National Hunt maiden hurdles and handicap hurdles. Owners are experiencing severe frustrations in attempts to get a run into their horses and we want to assure owners we are continually expressing those frustrations to Horse Racing Ireland.
There are many contributing factors including:
Fortunately there is some cause for optimism that the situation may well improve.
The re-scheduled meeting next Monday in Limerick (19th April) will comprise of 4 races 2 x Maiden Hurdles (one Mares) and 2 x H’cap Hurdles each of which will divide and hopefully go a little way to alleviate some of the backlog. The resumption of P2P’s will take some of the horses out of the system and we are also hoping that in the coming weeks 6YO+ P2P horses will return to the points circuit but want to assure you are we are monitoring this situation very closely. Winter horses traditionally end their season at this time of year leaving the path clear for summer horses and there can often be something of an increase in demand around April/May but this year with the additional issues referenced above it has become a more serious issue.
AIRO, through its representation both at HRI board level and on the NH programming committee continue to make representation to HRI in order to find ways to alleviate this issue on behalf of our members
What a race and what an unbelievable outcome for Irish National Hunt racing. Rachael Blackmore continued her good run of form to power home in the Randox Aintree Grand National at Aintree. She etched her name into racing folklore as the first lady rider to win this most famous race of all and has established herself as a role-model for every young aspiring jockey regardless of gender.
Huge congratulations are extended to owner JP McManus, his wife Noreen and their Family. It is very poignant that when National Hunt history was being made that his green and gold silks were involved considering the huge impact he has made on the sport both sides of the Irish sea. For Henry DeBromhead, I’m sure this dream season is one he never wants to wake up from and we are delighted for him and his team at Knockeen Stables in Co. Waterford.
Kevin Blake in his commentary on ITV steered viewers to a 50/1 bet for the first four home being Irish trained much to the bemusement of his fellow presenters and how right he was! Not only were first four home Irish trained but the first 5 and 9 out of the first 10 to finish the race. That is a remarkable achievement and we want to extend our heartiest congratulations to all connections.
Other Irish Winners at the festival included the following:
Grade 1 – Abacadabras – Gigginstown House Stud –Denise Foster
Grade 1 – Belfast Banter – Direct Bloodstock Ltd – Peter Fahey
Grade 1 – Fakir D’Oudairies – JP McManus – Joseph O’Brien
Grade 2 - Me Too Please – Mrs A L T Moore – Arthur Moore
Grade 3 – Livelovelaugh – Mrs S Ricci – W P Mullins
Grade 3 – Tronador – M J Wasylocha – Denise Foster