A HUGE weekend of action with Altior and Bristol de Mai defeated by rising stars and the mare Laurina making a cracking chasing debut.
But who or what has made my latest Good Bad Ugly column?
No doubt that away from the equine action the big news was Hollie Doyle banging in her 100th success of the season at Chelmsford.
Doyle is an absolute pocket rocket, a little dynamo of a rider, and the type of jockey that would have done even better than she is if the weights had stayed low in many handicaps.
That said, weights and measures are not stopping Doyle, because quite simply she has tremendous talent and horses run for her. She has to get to 107 before the end of the year to beat Josephine Gordon’s record of 106.
Part of the joy of the Doyle success is her partnership with Tom Marquand, whose career is also on an upward curve.
They have both recently come back from holiday, and while social media pictures can often pain a very false impression, it genuinely appeared as though they had a good time together, being able to take the mickey in equal amounts.
Doyle and Marquand are a great duo, and everyone should wish them well. At the moment their personal joy is mirrored by their professional success. Long may it continue.
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It was bad news for Altior at the weekend that Cyrname was too good in the big Grade 2 chase at Ascot.
Cyrname himself is a bad boy, in that he just grinds his rivals into submission. Look, there is every chance this form cannot be taken at face value first time out on pretty nasty ground.
But take nothing away from the Paul Nicholls star.
That said, I thought Altior was running bad through most of the race. He never looked happy and he hasn’t looked happy at Ascot before.
It was bad advice that many gave Nicky Henderson that Altior should go up in trip. Nothing in his effort suggested he enjoyed it.
Of course he’s getting older, but it’s too early to write him off in any sort of way. I would drop him back in distance straight away. He is not going to win the King George at Kempton.
Who would want to be a trainer in Ireland next year?
The news has come out that Donnacha O’Brien is on the verge of joining his brother Joseph in going down that route.
So that means Aidan and Joseph are now going head to head with another of their family. Surely this could get ugly. If nothing else it’s going to give the Coolmore lads a headache as well as JP McManus – I mean who do they send their good horses to?
And what will the others think if they don’t get the good one? Maybe Horse Racing Ireland will simply start programming race for the O’Brien family.
Of course this column wishes Donnacha all the best – not much to live up to mate, only a dad who is a legend and landed just about every race worth landing and a brother who has won a Melbourne Cup and a Breeders’ Cup race. Crikey!