From Cheltenham to Aintree (potentially Punchestown!). After his excellent 6th in the World Hurdle the next step on the road for OSCARA DARA looks to be a return trip to the Aintree Festival, where he finished 4th behind Darlan last season.
With news on the fall-out from his superb run at Cheltenham as well as plans for this week at Aintree it’s over to Mr Phil Boyle…
The Spring Festivals…
Well I hope not too many of you followed me in with big bets on Oscara Dara at Cheltenham in the World Hurdle, but if you did then I hope you also followed my selections each day over on my blog at http://bgracing.wordpress.com because at least that way you should have won your money back!
What a day we had. It is the stuff you dream about when you get involved in racehorse ownership and we lived it for a day. Every single one of the partnership owners was together on a racecourse for the first time and we all had a brilliant day!
We started our afternoon with a meet in the car park as we knew we would struggle to all stay together once inside the gates and that was a great way to start the day. A great memento of the day was our entry badges, complete with Oscara Dara’s colours and name – an added benefit being that they allowed access to all areas!
First order of the day was a walking the track session and I have to say it is pretty surreal standing out in the middle of the course looking back into the filling stands when usually I am in the stands looking out. It was also a “normal” days racing at the Festival however and I did not want to miss any of the action so I was soon in my usual spot for the first couple of races! I did concede defeat and watch Cue Card destroy the Ryanair field from the patio at the front of the Owners only Lawn Bar.
Once in the pre-parade ring, I realised that it was not just us who were nervous. Alex, Oscara’s lad couldn’t get his Ladbrokes sponsored jacket on as his shaking hands could not undo the zip! Thankfully Oscara Dara was a lot calmer than the lot of us!
The pre-parade and paddock part of the day zipped by, so much so that I was convinced that there could not have been a normal gap between the Ryanair and the World Hurdle! We followed the horses down the horse walk and stood in the middle of the track while they paraded.
Watching the race was a truly “money cannot buy” experience as we stood on the Old Course, the other side of the rail from the final flight! We have to acknowledge that Oscara Dara ran a cracking race. I am not sure it was run to suit as they went too slow early and too fast in the middle of the race, which I believe suited the doubtful stayers a lot more than it did Oscara Dara but we could not complain with the outcome and won enough prize money to more than cover the expenses of the day.
In the days that followed, attention turned to Punchestown as we would have loved to take Oscara Dara back there after last season’s win, but as time progressed the race looked more and more likely to be extremely tough. Thankfully Oscara himself gave us an alternative option as we had felt that Liverpool would all come a bit quick, but with 10 days before the Liverpool Hurdle, he was moving really well at Seven Barrows again.
Unless anything untoward happens over the weekend, we will put him in the Liverpool Hurdle on Monday and take a look at our likely rivals. Perhaps we will be back at Aintree for the second year rather than Punchestown and if so, let’s hope that he can improve on his 4th place there last season!
I will be back in due course with a further update!
Thanks as always to Phil for his excellent article and there is more on the BG Racing partnership on Phil’s own Blog – http://bgracing.wordpress.com
Hopefully we will be seeing OSCARA DARA strutting his stuff at Aintree this week but if not then there is always the back up plan of Punchestown, I’m sure Phil and team won’t mind a little jolly across the Irish Sea if needs must!
Best of luck to Phil and the team and as always ENJOY the day 🙂