You would’ve struggled to find a more popular Irish Grand National winner than Rogue Angel given the emotional back-story behind the Gigginstown runner’s success yesterday.
The 16/1 shot was as game as ever in landing the spoils at Fairyhouse and it was a victory all the more poignant for trainer Mouse Morris.
Having lost his son, Christopher, in tragic circumstances last June, Morris fought back tears after his charge saw off the challenge of Bless the Wings to secure his handler a second win in the race.
He told the Racing Post: “I’m not able to say much. This is for Tiffer [as Christopher was known]. It’s unbelievable to think he was looking down on us today and helped us.”
Rogue Angel has been installed as a 50/1 shot for this year’s Grand National at Aintree although fans may have to wait to see the eight-year-old take his chance over the famous fences.
“I wouldn’t mind running him at Aintree but he’s probably too low in the weights to get into the National. We’ll see. Maybe next year,” said Morris.
Ferguson given responsibility for Godolphin shake-up
Having decided to focus his attention solely on the Flat, one of Godolphin’s most influential employees has been given clear instructions by his new boss.
Sheikh Mohammed has told chief executive John Ferguson to give the operation “a kick in the belly” as it prepares for an assault on the sport’s biggest prizes.
And that’s hardly surprising given the fact that principal trainers Charlie Appleby and Saaed Bin Suroor failed to deliver a single European Group 1 success in 2015.
Ferguson himself has admitted that Godolphin has underperformed in recent years but with a renewed focus he’s hopeful of turning things around and reeling in his rivals.
Speaking to the Racing Post he said: “People build up this Godolphin versus Coolmore thing, and quite rightly as it’s a bit like Manchester United versus Manchester City, but it’s just that one team isn’t performing right now.”
“No-one was more disappointed than me after Emotionless finished last behind Air Force Blue in the Dewhurst, especially as I had to present the trophy.”
Emotionless is the 12/1 second-favourite for the 2000 Guineas with re-opposing rival Air Force Blue just 4/5 to land the first Classic of the season.
Wesley Ward raider could be the talk of Donny
American trainer Wesley Ward is a familiar face to Royal Ascot racegoers but rarely do his charges feature this early in a British turf campaign.
That’s all about to change though with the bubbly handler set to send five horses across the pond to this Saturday’s quality card at Doncaster.
The Lincoln is the feature race but it’s Ward’s intended Brocklesby runner, Create A Dream, who could grab the headlines.
Ward has high hopes for the unraced two-year-old filly and hopes to have our very own Frankie Dettori onboard his mount.
The trainer said: “We’re really excited about it and we’re expecting big things from Create A Dream, bigger things than the Brocklesby, even though it is a historical race.”
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