A quick look back then it’s full steam ahead
Mike Deasy, sitting in for Gary McKenzie, on a Classic prospect for Jim Bolger and a quiet season for Ryan Moore
Racing back at Cheltenham last weekend meant the winter game was in full swing, but I think it’s safe to say there’s better to come from Prestbury Park and, Frodon notwithstanding, the two-day card was a little underwhelming.
Indeed, the big takeaway from last week came from the Flat with Jim Bolger having a live candidate for Classic success next season after Mac Swiney won the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster in determined style.
It was 78-year-old Bolger’s first Group 1 victory since Verbal Dexterity won the 2017 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.
Bolger had Mac Swiney down as his Derby horse and, in this game of forever looking forward, it’s good to see the County Kilkenny handler with a live candidate for Epsom where, in 2008, he won with Mac Swiney’s sire New Approach.
That said, next week The Racing Hub writing team will be looking back rather than forwards to pick their highlights from the 2020 Flat season. The chances are that Ryan Moore (pictured) won’t feature.
He’s won a respectable 70 races in Britain, one less than last year but the tell-tale stat is his winnings. Total 2020 earnings stand at £2.5m. With one more winner last year he earned £5.2m, in 2018 it was £5.1m.
Of course, there has been less prize money on offer this year but it’s been a quiet season by his standards. And it’s never been clear if the horses he’s ridden for Aiden O’Brien have been Ballydoyle’s best.
He’ll keep knuckling down and ride to the best of his abilities, but talk of a succession plan is getting louder.
After mentioning last week that Timeform announced they’re no longer publishing the Racehorses and Hurdlers & Chasers annuals, there’s no sign of a new edition of the Racing & Football Outlook Guide to the Jumps – there’ll be many a stats fan who’ll be missing it, including our very own Old Nell who’s keen on hot trainers