A local County Down horse trainer has received a number of horses from the Gigginstown Stud stable.
Brian Hamilton produced a major announcement at his annual pre-Christmas open day last weekend writes Joe Kavanagh.
The Ballynoe trainer, located not far from Downpatrick, revealed he had been sent horses from the Gigginstown Stud operation owned by Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary. The horses are excellent National Hunt stock and are three-year-olds which Brian Hamilton will prepare for their first races.
A sextet of youngsters have arrived at the Ballynoe-based trainer’s yard. This was the first time Ireland’s leading owner has had horses in training outside the Republic of Ireland. Brian Hamilton said: “ I am delighted and honoured Gigginstown have sent me these horses. They are all beautifully bred and correct youngsters and I hope to repay their faith next season with some successes.”
The well-attended annual pre-Christmas open day event saw owners watch horses on the gallops and get updates on the progress of their charges while Hamilton who has currently fifteen horses in training added: “The majority of horses in my stable are owned by syndicates… they are really nice people and very enthusiastic. I have youngsters by Shantou, Oscar and Presenting etc to aim at the younger maiden races next year and I just realise how lucky I am to be in this position.”
The Ballynoe trainer, himself a former Northern Region Champion rider, has a solid record of educating and producing talented high quality youngsters to make future chasers in the years ahead.
Definitely Red a former graduate of Hamilton’s stable which won a Templepatrick point-to-point in 2013 continues to endorse the quality going forward being now the winner of fourteen races and almost £400,000.
Following winning the Mildmay Chase at Aintree last Saturday for the second time, the former local horse will be aimed at next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup having finished sixth in the blue riband last season having also contested the Aintree Grand National.
However, his trainer Brian Ellison confirmed the Gold Cup was the ultimate target this time around and said: “He has been a fantastic horse to train. The next step will probably be the Gold Cup. We’ll go straight there fresh and I just hope we get better ground than last year.”
The Ballynoe trainer had a busy weekend last week and Cuff Parade, also owned by the trainer, made a very encouraging debut when third in a competitive maiden at the Tattersalls point-to-point on Sunday.