Irish Eyes: Yulong Sunday best
The nap of the weekend comes in the first race at Dundalk on Sunday where Youlong Baoju takes a step down in class in the Dundalk Stadium race.
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Regular readers of this column will know the esteem in which we hold Edward Lynam's filly and whilst not wanting to rake over old coals, to summarise we believe Youlong Baoju is destined to make her mark amongst the top rank sprinters next season.
For now however, this race will have to do and as she is so well treated at the weights in this event - any price of evens or better is a steal!
It would be remiss of us not to refer to the news reported in The Irish Times earlier this week, which stated that The Aga Khan will not be allocating any yearlings to John Oxx following one disappointing season for the respected Irish trainer.
It must be noted that His Highness has been a steadfast supporter of Irish racing throughout the years and he even went so far as to purchase and then gift, the Stand House Hotel to the Turf Club in order to help further the redevelopment of The Curragh racecourse.
Now, with one fell swoop, this decision has effectively eroded all the goodwill he has rightfully earned with the Irish racing public. Over the past 25 years, the Aga Khan has won the Epsom Derby just once and the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes VI on two occasions - all three of these victories came courtesy of Oxx.
In his long history of racehorse ownership, the Aga Khan has only once ever won the Ascot Gold Cup with Oxx again pulling a rabbit out of the hat courtesy of 20/1 shot Enzeli.
Amongst the other 21 Group One races annexed by Oxx on behalf of the Aga Khan are the St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Beverley D Stakes in America, two running's of the Irish Champion Stakes and five Irish Classics.
Of course Oxx is best known for his handling of the superstar that was Sea The Stars, who coincidentally now stands at the Aga Khan's Studs, a deal no doubt instigated by the trainer. It was impossible not to pick up on the overwhelming feeling of disappointment (and that's putting it mildly!) at the decision on Irish racetracks this week amongst racegoers, journalists, trainers and jockeys. Many sports are littered with short memories but none more so than this great game.
Last week: Moran Gra, our each-way selection, brought home the money in the Irish Cambridgeshire at 12/1, having been available at 20/1 in the morning.