Rookie trainer Robbie McNamara, who made a sensational start to his new career earlier this month, looks set to saddle four horses at next week’s Galway Races.
McNamara recorded a double from his first four runners at Cork on 8 July when he bookended the card with Flat recruit Chadic and former point-to-pointer Rathcannon.
Chadic scored on his hurdling debut to ensure the 27-year-old won with his very first runner under Rules, while Rathcannon landed the concluding bumper in authoritative style after quickening impressively in the closing stages.
Rathcannon won’t feature at Ballybrit’s marquee meeting, but Chadic is being aimed at the feature on Monday evening, the Connacht Hotel QR Handicap, a race McNamara enjoyed two notable successes in during his riding career, while Call Vinnie, Rogue Agent and Tenth Amendment will also make trip west from his Curragh yard.
Chadic has been handed preliminary entries for both the novice hurdle and the race formerly known as the GPT Handicap on the opening day, with McNamara favouring a tilt at the latter.
During his time in the saddle the Limerick native won the competitive Flat handicap confined to amateurs on Ghimaar and Majestic Concorde, both trained by his former boss Dermot Weld.
Majestic Concorde ran in the purple and gold silks of leading jumps owner Dr Ronan Lambe, and Chadic will also carry those colours on the opening day of this year’s seven-day extravaganza.
“I think he will go for the big handicap,” McNamara revealed.
“Willie Mullins’ Muthaza could prove very hard to beat in the novice hurdle and I’ll probably go for the big pot with him.
“Chadic came out of his win in Cork very well and didn’t have the stuffing knocked out of him.
“He’s also fairly versatile and straightforward. There could also be a hurdle race for him later in the week.
“Finny Maguire will ride him if he’s not required by Dermot Weld.”
Rogue Agent could prove an intriguing acquisition after being bought out of Andre Fabre’s yard.
“He ran well when he was with Andre Fabre and was rated 87 or 88 and he’ll go for a maiden hurdle.
“He’s schooled very well and I’m expecting a big show from him.”
Former Weld inmate Call Vinnie filled the runner-up berth on his debut for McNamara and will hold multiple entries over timber and over birch.
“He could well go for the three-mile handicap hurdle,” he said.
“But he’ll only run once in the week as he likes to be kept fresh.”
McNamara’s yard feature a mix of runners from very different backgrounds, with number of juveniles in training alongside his older Flat and point-to-point recruits.
One member of his two-year-old team is already exciting the handler and looks set to be unleashed next week.
“Tenth Amendment is by Arcano and goes very well,” McNamara enthused.
“He’ll run on the Friday or the Saturday.
“He’s shown lots at home and should run a lovely race.”
Returning to the subject of his bumper winner, McNamara explained the reason for his absence from Galway.
“Rathcannon has been busy and ran in two point-to-points before he joined me,” he said.
“He deserves a bit of a break and I thought it would be a bit selfish to run him.
“He’s a horse to look forward to.”
McNamara, who received plenty of publicity when he made an explosive start to his career as a handler, also revealed that he anticipated his early successes after setting high standards for himself from the start of his new career.
“I’d have been very disappointed if two of them didn’t win,” he admitted.
“They were fit and well and knew their jobs.
“It was great to get off to a good start.
“There was no pressure from outside but I’d put a lot of pressure on myself. Three or four months preparation went into it all.”