Tuesday 21 February 2017

High hopes of Rip proving the one in Millions

Published 03/09/2010 | 05:00

This is a very important time of the year for us with a lot of big races coming up, none more important than the Tattersalls Millions Champion Stakes at Leopardstown tomorrow.

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After a lot of discussion between us all, we have decided to run three in the race -- Rip Van Winkle (Johnny Murtagh), Cape Blanco (Seamus Heffernan) and Beethoven (Joseph O'Brien).

We are happy with the preparation of all three horses for the race; Rip Van Winkle is in good form. Kaname (Tsuge) and Seamus, who ride him in all his work at home, are very happy with him. Cape Blanco and Beethoven are very well also; Joseph rides them both every day and is happy with them.

We decided not to run Fame And Glory in the race and so will look at the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Longchamp for him next. We run Lillie Langtry in the other Group One race on the card, the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes.

She is just back in work after a little break since her last run and although she is just ready to start back, we think and hope that she will run very well. John (Reid), who rides her every day, is very pleased with her. Starspangledbanner travels over to England tomorrow morning to run in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock. As Johnny is staying in Ireland to ride Rip, Colm O'Donoghue takes over the ride.

No one knows Starspangledbanner better than Colm as he rides him every day at home and in all his work. He has done a great job with him, getting him to settle into our routine in Ballydoyle since he arrived from Australia a few months ago.

We were all really delighted with Misty For Me's win in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh last Sunday -- Seamus gave her a great ride. Our other three runners in the race ran very well also and hopefully will develop into nice middle-distance fillies for next year.

Of course the other big sporting event happening this weekend is the All-Ireland hurling final on Sunday. In our house we have a big team of Kilkenny supporters and naturally there is a big Tipperary following here in the yard so, whether it will be black and amber or blue and gold, there will still be flags flying in Ballydoyle on Monday.

For more information on racing in Ireland this weekend check out www.goracing.ie

Irish Independent

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