JOSEPH O’Brien revealed this week that he will establish a small satellite operation in Saratoga, New York.
O’Brien runs the Scott Heider-owned Agartha in the Belmont Oaks Invitational tonight and the Group 1-placed filly may stay stateside for the coming months, to take in some lucrative prizes at Saratoga, where eight weeks of action begins on Thursday.
The exciting project has been supported by the trainer’s high-profile American owners such as Peter Brandt, Team Valor and the Magnolia Racing Syndicate. O’Brien sent out five barrier trial winners at Dundalk on Tuesday and revealed a few of them will be considered to join already raced two-year-olds Alexis Zorba and Reckoning Force.
It was also revealed this week that O’Brien will take over the training of Cleveland from his father Aidan, following the purchase of the Chester Cup winner by Lloyd Williams. The four-year-old son of Camelot will now be aimed at the Melbourne Cup, which O’Brien already combined with Williams to win with Rekindling and Twilight Payment.
Derby winners could clash in King George
DERBY one-two Desert Crown and Westover are on for a rematch in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes after both were left in at the latest scratchings stage of the Group 1 contest this week.
However reigning champion Adayar was taken out of the race, due to take place next Saturday week, alongside stablemate Hurricane Lane. Last year’s runner-up Mishriff could bid to go one better while other notable entries include the Arc winner Torquator Tasso and Pyledriver. Aidan O’Brien took Gold Cup winner Kyprios out of the race but has still left the option open for Stone Age, High Definition and Hardwicke winner Broome.
Coursetrack apologises for inaccurate Irish Derby data
COURSETRACK, a statistical analysis firm which specialises in sectional timing of horse races, has apologised for inaccurate data provided for the Irish Derby last weekend.
The firm’s services were used by the Curragh for the first time last weekend after longstanding calls for the technology to provide industry stakeholders and fans with a more engaging experience of watching races. However, At The Races time expert and columnist Simon Rowlands found the figures released for the Irish Derby were “manifestly inaccurate”.
A spokesperson for the firm apologised in a Racing Post article earlier in the week, saying: “There are still technical integration elements that need to be completed and some inaccurate data was published for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for one furlong’s worth of data, for which we apologise.”
Elliott shows a profit
ACCOUNTS filed to the Companies Office show Gordon Elliott’s business continued to trade profitably last year, despite the fallout from the the trainer’s high-profile six-month suspension from training.
Accumulated profits at Cullentra House increased from €17,447 to €1.45m in the 12 months to the end of August. The firm’s 2020 accounts had last year disclosed that the company had “lost some training fees and sponsorship income since March 2021 due to the director’s suspension from training for six months”. (by Gordon Deegan)
Godolphin losses halve
LOSSES at the Irish arm of Godolphin’s global operation almost halved to €4.23 million last year.
The 49% reduction in losses at the stud operation came as revenues at Godolphin Ireland Ltd increased by 14% from €27.29m to €31.1m in the 12 months to the end of December last. The directors state that the revenue increase is due to the improved stallion roster in 2021 and the introduction of new stallions in 2021 such as Earthlight and Ghaiyyath. (by Gordon Deegan)