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Ross O’Sullivan blog: Baie Des Iles, Prix des Drags, Auteuil

07 Jun | BY Ross O’Sullivan | MIN READ TIME |
Ross O’Sullivan blog: Baie Des Iles, Prix des Drags, Auteuil

The Betway ambassador assesses his mare's chances of retaining her crown in the Prix des Drags in France on Sunday, and reveals some exciting personal news.

This is a very quiet time for the yard as most of the National Hunt horses have gone out in the field, but we’ve got a few two-year-olds, a couple of Flat horses and some summer jumpers for the next few months.

Baie Des Iles back for more

We are all really looking forward to Baie Des Iles trying to retain her crown in the Prix des Drags at Auteuil on Sunday. She’s in great form and we’ve been really happy with her over the past couple of weeks.

She has done some work on the Curragh which has gone very well. She’s working similarly to how she was ahead of the race last year.

With 13 runners declared there are less to take on than there would have been in the Grand Steep. Paul Townend can’t ride her as he has to ride for Willie Mullins, so we’ve booked Sean Flanagan.

He’s been having a great time of it lately. He’s third in the jockeys’ championship, has plenty of experience and we’re delighted to have him on board.

I see the tennis at Roland-Garros had to be suspended because of the weather earlier in the week and the racecourse is right next to it, so they’ve obviously had plenty of rain, which will help us.

It’s certainly not going to be easy, but there’s huge prize money up for grabs. Louisa Carberry’s horse Docteur De Ballon won a trial and was then was unlucky in the Grand Steep. He could well start favourite.

Willie has a couple in it – Isleofhopendreams and Total Recall – and they both have to be respected.

But Baie Des Iles absolutely loves Auteuil, she’s won round there three times. We hope when she gets back there she remembers where she is.

Her form this season has been pretty good. It started quite slowly and the Welsh National didn’t work out.

She ran well in the mares’ Listed chase at Naas and then would surely have won if she’d stayed on her feet at Down Royal.

Obviously it was very frustrating to miss out on the Grand Steep, but she runs well fresh on the back of a break. I think she’s in similar form and wellbeing to last year.

She left on Thursday lunchtime and got down to Warwick that night. She is then heading over to France on Friday.

We are flying in and out on the day on Sunday. Her owners Charles and Zorka Wentworth have quite a few horses in France these days and they have a few runners on Sunday so they’ll be there to cheer her on.

It’s going to be a very hard race to win again but I’m happy and confident that there is nothing more we can do. She’s as well as we could have her.

Quiet time of year

We’ll have a couple of runners the week after next but this is a quiet time of year for us. The Land Rover Sale in Goffs is next week and Katie and I will be there for a couple of days. We’ll try to get a young horse or two and hopefully find a proper one.

We have no real plans for a holiday this year as Katie is expecting our first baby in October which is very exciting for us.

Galway is the highlight of the summer and hopefully we’ll have a couple of runners down there. We have a few owners from there and I’m sure they’ll want to have runners there. It’s definitely on the map for us.

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Ross O’Sullivan

Ross O’Sullivan

Emerging Kildare-based trainer and one of Betway’s stable of racing ambassadors.

Ross O’Sullivan

Ross O’Sullivan

Emerging Kildare-based trainer and one of Betway’s stable of racing ambassadors.