My name is Steve O Connor and I am currently a member of the 2011 – 2013 Darley Flying Start. Last week I was lucky enough to begin my US work placement with leading bloodstock sales agency Bradley Thoroughbreds, based no further then across the hallway from the Flying Start office in Lexington, Kentucky. Having worked in the US for, what has felt a very short 3 years, with leading stud farms, pinhookers and breeze up consignors I am now given the opportunity to experience a different side of the industry. Instead of training and teaching the young racehorse the ways of the world I am now thrown into a world of observation, selection and evaluation, it is a world of opportunity, a world of excitement in an industry that will hit fever pitch this Saturday at 6 40 ET.
I of course refer to the ‘Triple Crown’ bid of I’ll Have Another as he approaches the test of champions in the G1 Belmont Stakes. I was lucky enough to be at Churchill Downs where he called on all his class, guts and glory to wear down Bodemeister and I hope this great athlete is rewarded with a crowning moment this Saturday. Bradley Thoroughbreds will also be well represented this weekend at Belmont by Desert Blanc (GB) in the $500,000 Group 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap. I am just beginning to appreciate the amount of effort that goes into identifying top prospects such as Desert Blanc and I hope he does the team proud this weekend. It is a team that I am very happy to be a part of and I really look forward to the next 5 weeks.
On a final note on the last two occasions a Triple Crown hopeful tested his metal in the Belmont, Big Brown & Smarty Jones, there were increases in simulcast wagering on the race by 5 – 10 million compared to other years. Therefore I recommend getting involved and my trifecta, superfecta picks are:
- I’ll Have Another 2. Union Rags 3. Paynter 4. Dullahan
(Might just box them – just in case)