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Thread: Gigginstown

  1. #21
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    Im sure discussions between Gordon and Cheveley Park will have taken on a new focus.

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  3. #22
    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkWing View Post
    Im sure discussions between Gordon and Cheveley Park will have taken on a new focus.
    And hoping that the Criminal Assets Bureau free up Labaik and associated assets

    Without the Gigi batallion- Joseph O'Brien could suddenly becomel Willie's biggest threat
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

  4. #23
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    The Arabian influence is surely unlikely when their operations centre on breeding. I can't see them being bothered for a few mares.

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maruco View Post
    The Arabian influence is surely unlikely when their operations centre on breeding. I can't see them being bothered for a few mares.
    No nor me - they would have done it already.
    The ocean is the desert with its' life underground and the perfect disguise above.

  6. #25
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    One of my most painful memories was watching Noel Meade early Tuesday morning Cheltenham 2105 on the schooling track.
    He was totally distraught after getting the news Road to Riches was declared for Ryanair chase instead of running in Gold Cup having finished third the previous year.
    W P and Jackie Mullins did their best to console him and keep him from prying eyes .
    I believe that was the day WP decided he was not going to suffer the same fate from anyone.

    I heard Giggi bought and built the Elliot set up and Gordon is paying him back over a term, which might explain the gradual withdrawal of Giggi.
    Last edited by edgt; 19th May 2019 at 1:41 PM.

  7. #26
    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    Interesting enough read in the Irish Indo

    Michael O'Leary has lost. That's not something that happens very often.

    Maybe it's never happened before. But his announcement last week that Gigginstown Stud will be wound down over the next few years is an admission of defeat in a fierce battle which changed the face of Irish racing. The Ryanair boss has run up the white flag.
    The battle began in September 2016 when Willie Mullins decided to put up his training fees for the first time in ten years. O'Leary's Gigginstown Stud, who had 60 horses at the trainer's yard, hoped some exception might be made for them. Mullins didn't agree, declaring: "I'm not willing to try to maintain the standards I have without putting up fees so that's the way it is. Everyone that comes into my yard is treated the same. We've evolved our methods of training, which obviously costs a lot, and we're not prepared to sacrifice that."
    So O'Leary took up his horses and walked. They were distributed among a number of trainers, but most of them and the best of them went to Gordon Elliot who had won the Gold Cup for Gigginstown with Don Cossack earlier that year and finished second to Mullins in the trainers' championship.

    The implications of the move for the balance of power in Irish racing were eloquently illustrated by Paddy Power's immediate move to make Elliott favourite for the 2016-'17 trainers' championship. Battle was joined, a joust between Mullins and Elliott which also functioned as a proxy conflict between Mullins and O'Leary. It became one of the most compelling battles in Irish sport.

    Before Gigginstown's defection, Mullins' position at the head of Irish National Hunt racing had seemed unassailable. Now, with O'Leary throwing money around like snuff at a wake and Elliott saddling horses in previously unprecedented numbers - 13 runners in the 2018 Irish Grand National, almost a third of the field in the 2019 Grand National, 1,234 runners in the 2016-'17 season to Mullins' 527 - all changed utterly.
    In 2017 and 2018, Elliott was leading trainer at Cheltenham and went into the season finale, the Punchestown Festival, holding a sizeable lead over Mullins in the battle for the Irish trainers' title. Twice Mullins overhauled him, the second time so comprehensively it seemed to somehow turn the tide back in favour of the older trainer.

    The season just gone was different. Mullins was top dog at Cheltenham and had the trainers' title sewn up going into Punchestown. There was also a notable decline in the performance of the Gigginstown horses. In 2018, O'Leary had seven winners at Cheltenham. This year he could only win one of out 28 at the sport's premier Festival.

    It was a significant humiliation and another followed at Punchestown with Gigginstown bagging a mere two victories, one in a lowly bumper, while the sport's other leading owner JP McManus took nine.
    O'Leary's statement that he wants to quit racehorse ownership to spend more time with his family shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. I know from personal experience that there comes a time when you regret losing opportunities to be with your kids.
    Yet there is plenty of speculation about the other reasons behind this precipitous withdrawal. The financial demands on O'Leary are mentioned but that seems unconvincing, given that few leading owners go into racing with profit in mind.
    The announcement has to be seen in the context of what, from Gigginstown's point of view, were debacles at Cheltenham and Punchestown. To ignore that is to ignore the huge role played by pique and caprice in Michael O'Leary's racing decisions.
    Both those qualities are part of the Ryanair man's psychological make-up. He is a man with a whim of iron. That was evident in the summary way he sacked Davy Russell and in the alacrity with which he withdrew his horses from Mullins' yard. The latest decision comes from the same stable.

    There's no point pussyfooting around Michael O'Leary. Banging on about the great contribution he's made and the journey he's undergone and the friends he's made along the way in racing seems insultingly condescending to a man who is as pure an example of a winner as Irish society has ever bred.
    'Why is Michael O'Leary pulling the plug on Gigginstown?' may be no more mysterious a question than, 'Debbie McGee, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?' O'Leary is not just a ferocious competitor, he's the competitive spirit in human form.
    When he refused to pay the increased fees at Closutton and took his horses away, he was essentially saying to Willie Mullins, "You need me more than I need you. Wait and see." There were times when O'Leary looked to be right about that. But eventually he was proved wrong. I'm not sure he could stomach that.

    It is remarkable that Mullins was able to not just absorb the loss of the Gigginstown horses, but to come back stronger than ever. In the last two months he has seen a successful end to his long quest for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, won a first ever Irish Grand National and set a prize money record for a National Hunt season. Now he has seen the greatest threat to his supremacy admit defeat. He should buy a lottery ticket while he's at it.
    This was a clash of the titans, a battle of wills between two men pre-eminent in their own fields who are used to getting their own way. "It's definitely a clash of personalities, neither of them will be dictated to," said Tony McCoy at the time of a split the great jockey did not think was entirely about money.

    Mullins did not hide his disappointment at O'Leary's defection but the words he used the day it happened, "I wish them the best, it's the way it is, we move on," which sounded fatalistic at the time now have the ominous ring of Michael Corleone telling someone he'll catch up with them later.

    Today it's Gordon Elliott who finds his plans for the future must be reappraised in the light of Michael O'Leary's actions. The gradual winding down of the operation means the consequences will not be immediately apparent but it may be that the Meath trainer is facing into his own years of the great test. Henry de Bromhead and Noel Meade will also find themselves severely weakened by the Gigginstown withdrawal.
    We have just witnessed the end of an extraordinary era in Irish racing. Perhaps the apotheosis of the Mullins-Elliott/O'Leary rivalry occurred at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival when both camps seemed to drive each other to new heights and split 12 wins between them as Irish trained victors outnumbered English ones 19-9. That's a figure we're unlikely to ever see again.

    The departure of O'Leary will leave a massive hole in Irish racing. His 922 runners here last season was surpassed only by McManus's 994. It's a long way down to hedge fund manager Barry Connell in third place with 111 runners, and just seven winners. Mullins' leading owner Rich Ricci had only 92 runners.

    O'Leary has been champion owner for the last five seasons and in that time has spent millions buying horses, from Irish point-to-point winners to French graded hurdle winners. It's impossible to see any individual operation repeating that level of investment. From the point of view of racing as an industry, his exit is very bad news.
    From the point of view of racing as a sport, things might be a bit different. The battle between Elliott and Mullins resulted in smaller trainers being badly squeezed. When Elliott saddled an enormous amount of horses, Mullins responded. In 2015-'16 they sent out a combined total of 1,348 runners. By this season that had become a whopping 2,105.

    The effect of this, with meetings and races which formerly wouldn't have seen much of the big two now saw them descend mob-handed, was to restrict opportunities further down the food chain. In 2015-'16 the trainers ranked from 11-20 in the championship won a total of 151 races. Last season that was down to a mere 80.

    This was at a time when the number of National Hunt trainers is declining, falling by over 10 per cent to 93 last year with proven performers like Charlie Swan, Sandra Hughes and Colm Murphy quitting in recent seasons. The absence of Gigginstown may open up things not just for trainers but for owners previously reluctant to take on the massed forces of Mickey O's maroon army.

    We shall see. One thing is certain. Michael O'Leary, the man who has taken on the aviation industry, governments, trade unions and assorted naysayers and won every time, has finally met his match. Who'd have thought his nemesis would look like a Kilkenny man in a fedora?
    As Alex Ferguson found when he tried to take on John Magnier, it doesn't matter how big you are in your own territory. When you get involved in racing, you're dealing with very serious people.
    Last edited by granger; 20th May 2019 at 9:17 AM.
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

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  9. #27
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    Read that at the weekend. Its an interesting take but wrong IMO. What is interesting to me is that O'Leary had been making bizarre suggestions especially with regard Tiger Roll (might not go for the grand national this year after winning the x-country, might not go for the grand national next year as he had done enough). The Apples Jade about face after the Dublin Racing Festival. I think his heart has gone from it. Shame. Certainly dont see it as being a resignation that he has come off second best vs Willie.

  10. #28
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    It is too narrow a narrative for me also but an interesting article
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

  11. #29
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    Typical Indo bullshit.

  12. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUKE View Post
    Typical Indo bullshit.
    They had a separate article written by a different journalist with the same script line interestingly enough
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

  13. #31
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    Some dreadful English!
    tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

  14. #32
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    Eamonn Sweeney is excellent on most topics, but his racing articles are generally poor by comparison.

    Sent from my SM-J415FN using Tapatalk

  15. #33
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    No way -some man for virtue signalling-which is never a problem when you write for the Indo.Tried very hard to fill the gap left by Eamon Dunphy but is basically irrelevant.

  16. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUKE View Post
    Typical Indo bullshit.
    It's an opinion piece, you don't have to agree with, no where has the author suggested it's anything more than a theory.

  17. #35
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    What an insulting, patronising load of spin.

    O Leary packed up because he and his children are busy doing other things. He came in the game, won plenty of races, demanded results and got many good results.

    Unlike JP, who happily paid 20 million (that's what he told the tax man anyway ) to place Jonjo O Neill in Jackdaws Castle.

    The only loser from O Leary's departure is the bloodstock industry, I think that's pretty clear.

    As for the Ferguson bit. Ferguson didn't take anyone on. It never went to court. He was distraught that a supposedly good friend shafted him, but why, eh?

    Well everything was just fine until The Rock of Gibralter beat Hawk Wing in The 2000 Guineas, (after an admittedly awful ride by Jamie Spencer on Hawk Wing). Magnier couldn't handle it.

    At that juncture something changed in the Magnier/Ferguson relationship and/or friendship and Alex Fergusons rights to The Rock Of Gibralter's stud fee's to boot
    Last edited by Marb; 21st May 2019 at 10:26 PM.

  18. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beef or Salmon View Post
    It's an opinion piece, you don't have to agree with, no where has the author suggested it's anything more than a theory.

    I'm not a fan of the Indo or its journalists with the exception of Declan Lynch who I think is a top man.

  19. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUKE View Post
    I'm not a fan of the Indo or its journalists with the exception of Declan Lynch who I think is a top man.
    I agree, the indo is a glorified tabloid!

  20. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUKE View Post
    I'm not a fan of the Indo or its journalists with the exception of Declan Lynch who I think is a top man.
    Lynch is consistently excellent

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  21. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUKE View Post
    Typical Indo bullshit.
    An (assumed) clever idea for a final line worked back into an 1200 words to facilitate it.
    "And still they gazed and still the wonder grew. That one small head could carry all he knew."

  22. #40
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    I really don't like the article at all. It is just a hot air and bollox argument that pits O'Leary and Mullins against each other. Willie wins and O'Leary loses is the conclusion.

    If I'm honest I'm surprised it got published. It's one of the the poorest pieces of journalism I've read in a long time.

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