WHEN you are watching a sports event on TV, it’s always good to present it from the most favourable angles, show the crowds and give a bit of a “wish I was there” appeal.

The placement of the RTÉ camera podium at the Curragh is good for that, with a good view of the parade ring down behind it – but it took a bit of time to see too many viewing around the ring on Saturday.

“Three of the 13 Group 1s of the Irish flat season over the next two days,” – Richard Pugh told us.

And Tattersalls 2000 Guineas favourite Native Trail – “one of the world’s best, 11lb superior than his rivals,” suggested Jane Mangan, but there were not too many watching paddock-side early on as Blackbeard headed out for this big two-year-old race.

Indeed, Blackbeard might have benefited from not too many around him as he had Ryan Moore moving quickly in the winner’s enclosure with a bit of a Riverdance show with his front legs – “acting the messer” the lads called it. Emmet McNamara had him in his 10 to Follow from early season though.

With Ruby Walsh at the programme’s anchor, the recent IHRB/Kieran Cotter case was discussed early on, IRHB findings read out by Ruby, while noting the trainer has lodged an appeal on the severity of his fine and opinions had therefore to be tempered.

Jane Mangan condensed the two big issues – from each side. That the trainer hadn’t kept a register for a number of years – but “when was he inspected prior to this one?”


Back to the racing and Brad The Brief took the Greenlands Stakes despite some interference – “No, I think you get away with a lot here,” Ruby was adamant there was a bit of jockeyship involved by William Buick but he rode to the rules and there would be no change.

Earlier in the day the sculpture to Lester Piggott was unveiled and Rodrigo de Triano’s Guineas victory is replayed with Ruby reading out an almost endless list of the maestro’s big race wins.

Native Trail gets the job done in the Guineas and all connected with the impressive looking colt are well pleased including Norman Williamson, vendor of the odds-on favourite – “a fantastic horse to be involved with.”

Jane Mangan assesses, “He got the job done – that wasn’t a flat spot, that was tough – not the blown away display we expected but he got the money.”

The camera caught a relieved Charlie Appleby too in the stands - clenched fist and small fist pump.

Sheila Lavery was just as pleased with her second placed New Energy.

“Billy thinks he’s going to improve off that – and he’s bred by John O’Connor who bred Lady Kaya.”

After Raise You’s impressive Orby Stakes win, RTÉ’s Brian Gleeson is pulled from interviewing duties to ownership. What are the plans now for the progressive gelding? It’s hard to get an answer, Ruby notes - “If only we knew the owner, to talk to the trainer, to give us the inside?”

Joseph O’Brien reports “He’s an enthusiastic worker at home.” That’ll be like his owner then!

Gleeson savoured it. “Dad leading him in, extra special when you are close to the horse, to have a winner.”

There’s more vocal celebrations by former Meath GAA star Tommy Dowd and his pals in the Brunabonne Syndicate who were in good spirits after their success with Mashhoor.

“We haven’t much to cheer about in Co Meath in the last 10 or 15 years. If there to be another Sean Boylan, Johnny Murtagh is the man.”

The views of the parade ring got better as the day went on, and yes, it did look good to be there for those enjoying their success.