Gigginstown Shuffle The Pack Again …

July 28th, 2017 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

I have never met Michael O’Leary or anyone from Gigginstown Stud but they are evidently quite hard to please.

Following the fall-out with Willie Mullins last season the news broke today that Bryan Cooper will no longer be riding as first jockey and the owners will not be employing a retained rider for the new season.

Bryan Cooper was appointed to the post early in 2014 following the sacking of Davy Russell, which at the time also came as something of a surprise. Gigginstown now intend to use, in that well-worn phrase, “the best available” and that will include Cooper as and when required.

Given their track record I suggest this is the best way forward for both owner and any future rider. This is something that Jack Kennedy would be wise to keep in mind as his phone becomes increasingly busy.

I see that Tom Segal previewed the St Leger in today’s Racing Post.

We both like Crystal Ocean as a possible slow-burner for the race. Much will depend on where he runs beforehand, but an entry for the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York suggests Sir Michael Stoute has that race in mind.

The other one I like, without any news yet that it may be the target, is Coronet.

Ever since I saw her plugging on bravely to win the Zetland Stakes over a mile and a quarter last October – where, incidentally, subsequent Derby winner Wings Of Eagles was a well-beaten fourth at 10/1 – I have had the St Leger in mind for her. Her subsequent form points to her being suited to a step up to a mile and three-quarters and she will get a 3lb fillies’ allowance.

Her next target may be the Yorkshire Oaks.

Glorious Goodwood and Galway are almost upon us. I have to concede that I find this one of the most challenging weeks of the year, to such extent that I no longer produce a publication for Goodwood.

I believe that its fundamental to any serious approach to betting that there must be a very high probability that the best horse will generally win the race, and due to the vagaries and idiosyncratic nature of the track this simply does not apply at Goodwood. I put Chester and Bath into a similar category. I suppose I should also include Epsom – they would never build a racecourse there in this day and age – but I have a long-established understanding of that place so it’s excluded from that list.

I will, though, have a few thoughts for Goodwood and following my time spent in the company of a couple of well-connected Irishmen at Cartmel there may also be something for Galway. All will be revealed on my line …

Have a great weekend and bye for now!