Reliance on or repetition of clichés is one of the greatest foibles in this business. Yet sometimes they are unavoidable. Hereafter details one such of those days…
‘Horses for courses’ is one which, naturally enough, has its origins in horse racing. Though it has readily morphed into being useful in many other facets of life. However, for today’s musings in this space, it requires re-deployment in its original form.
Owing to the propensity there is for previous victors in the Guinness Kerry National at Listowel. Whether that be jockeys or their equine partners. Most recently, you had Lisa O’Neill winning the southern jewel twice and, if memory serves me correctly, Eric McNamara’s Questions Answered and Tony Martin inmate Northern Alliance took Kerry gold more than once.
The name of Joseph O’Brien can now be added to that illustrious list from the viewpoint of trainers. Thanks to the still progressing Busselton. That the Brains Trust in Owning Hill – and it’s quite a one – saw fit to send the gelding chasing as a 4-year-old should be signpost enough he was considered to be a step above the ordinary.
Even allowing for that, one couldn’t but be a little awestruck seeing the steed in the yellow and blue stripes make light of his tender years, still-growing experience and the fact he had to make nearly all of his own running.
Whether or not Hewick would’ve overhauled JJ Slevin’s mount is neither here nor there. However, as if Busselton running a blinder wasn’t noteworthy enough, the ever-admirable Darraso was only inches away from making it a 1-2 for the O’Brien yard.
The irony, of course, is that not all that long ago the bespeckled trainer indicated his intention to wind down his National Hunt string. In my view, taking the easy way out concentrating on the Flat.
You’d hope, though, that this latest big success in the people’s racing might at least have been thought provoking during what was also a particularly poignant day at the foot of the green mountains.
Tragically, the De Bromhead name will now eternally be linked with Kerry following the devastating, untimely passing of young Jack following a fall at the pony racing in Dingle.
Thus, it’s quite probable there wasn’t a dry eye at The Kingdom track when Rachael Blackmore guided Life In The Park to an impressive success in the novice chase on the card. In the colours of Gold Cup-winning owner Barry Moloney.
A great day’s racing with plenty of pointers for what may be to come in the weeks and months ahead. Yes, there was a whiff of what had been missing for the last couple of seasons.
Mind you, overriding everything else was the reality of how trivial it all is compared to what some people are going through.