Dentist's leg-work key to White Soks success
It has been a great thrill handling White Soks Roks and seeing him develop into such a top-class stayer.
Following his recent success in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket, we will now go for the top prizes at home and in England.
The Dogfathers Syndicate picked out the dog from Denny Lennon. Brian Spratt, who is a member of the group, and was recommended by Ann Quinlan to give the dog to me. I got him at around 14 months and he showed plenty from an early stage, but we had a lot of trouble with him.
He was spiked in a qualifying trial at Kilkenny and it was for all the world like a track leg. It went straight into the bone and every time we gave him a trial back, it would open again.
We had it operated on, but it didn't work. Then, one of our owners David Tuohy, a dentist, saw the injury. He took an imprint of the leg where the wound was and brought it away with him.
David made up a type of plastic shinguard and we put tape over it. It meant the wound wasn't taking the blow. It worked and in time we were able to drop the shinguard and use tape only.
In his early races he was getting caught for pace to the bend and always looked a stayer in the making.
When we moved him up in distance he was short of full fitness after all the time he had missed. At his fifth attempt, he won over six bends at Kilkenny and then won a 12-dog 750 at Shelbourne.
He won the Night of Stars 750 and then we sent him for the Crayford event as we thought the track would suit. I sent him over to Danny Riordan and his early pace killed off his rivals over there.
He is due back home from England today and we will give him a little break before we go for the Barrys Tea at Curraheen and the Corn Cuchulainn at Harold's Cross.
The plan is to go back to England again and the likelihood is that he will go back to Danny after the Corn Cuchulainn to be prepared for the St Leger. There is nothing else for him here at that stage.
I have a few nice young dogs in the kennel as well. Melodys Diamond is a lovely bitch and she is running in the Kirby Memorial at Limerick but I think she will make a real stayer. Valais First is a nice bitch and could be an Oaks prospect.
I have 12 pups starting off, all off my Produce Stakes winner Whiteys Hawk, and I think we might have a few nice ones among them. We were a bit unlucky in the Irish Cup at the weekend but my two runners ran very well.
It's an exciting time and we should have fun with what is shaping into a nice team.
Rachel Wheeler is a young trainer on the move and she can make a profitable trip to Shelbourne tonight where she has two very likely sorts.
Cashels Pride looks a real snip in the grading in the concluding A3 575 (10.25), while the promising Dudleys Dream (8.55) will take all the beating in an A4 event.