The Duke – Queally showing his class

He might not quite be Frankel, but Tom Queally was celebrating victory at the weekend aboard Higher Power.

The Northumberland Plate winner showed his class and hopefully a few of you followed our two tips for the race, as they finished first and second.

Higher Power is a credit to his trainer James Fanshawe, who has gradually brought him on.

Sometimes, horses are hurried in to racing and heavily used as two and three-year-olds, meaning they never show their true potential. With Higher Power, the team has got their rewards for patience. Whether he can keep on improving and mix it at the very top level is a question for racing fans. Personally, I think he may have more to come.

Over in Ireland, Capri returned victorious in the Irish Derby.

Seamie Heffernan gave him a peach of a ride and should be credited for astutely judging how much horse he had under him.

Cracksman perhaps should have been a bit closer, but as at Epsom, he’s been beaten by a good horse.

Meanwhile, it’s no surprise to see Wings Of Eagles retired off to stud. Injury or not, I think he’d have been heading that way sooner rather than later.

A lot was talked about in the racing papers about how the Curragh should not have been racing while undergoing redevelopment.

It’s a tough decision, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Perhaps a switch of track might have helped create more of an atmosphere, but then quite frankly that has to be part of the reason the Curragh is going through such a transformation.

Unless you’ve got blinkers on, it’s pretty obvious that Irish racing needs a revival.

Sure, you’ve got Aidan O’Brien winning everything on the Flat and Mullins/Elliott/Harrington mopping up every Jumps race that matters, but the success of the training ranks in Ireland is not matched with the day-to-day attendances at even the premier tracks.

The consortium of owners and wealthy individuals who are funding the redevelopment of the Curragh should be applauded for putting something back in to the sport and having the vision to provide facilities befitting of such a prestigious venue. I can’t wait to see how the place looks after the revamp.

Hopefully, it will be a grand arena that stirs young Irish racegoers in to a lifelong obsession with the sport.

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