Horse Racing

Halpin and Davis’ new alliance enjoys early success at Dundalk


Attention was drawn to the burgeoning act of jockeys Gary Halpin and Sean Davis, better known for riding the winners than for producing them, as their Graduation Song For Who ( Ire) (Galileo Gold {GB}) claimed an impressive six-feathered maiden winner opening at Dundalk on Friday night.

The song For Who, which Halpin and Davis bought for €28,000 at last year’s Goffs Sportsman’s Sale before selling it to Howson & Holdsworth Bloodstock for £42,000 in a dizzying sale, was a hit on its third attempt. for trainer John O’ Donoghue in the colors of the Purebred Genesis.

Although he was consigned by Tally-Ho Stud at the Goffs UK Breeze-up Sale, Songs for Anyone was sourced and produced by the racers, who will deposit under the name GS Bloodstock from the establishment their new Ulundi Lodge on Curragh next year .

“Your assessment is correct – you are telling people what you think horses can do and it is important that they support you,” – Gary Halpin

Halpin said on Friday night, “We bought him at Sportsman’s Sale under Rushway Stables for €28,000. We were looking for something that could glide and he looked sharp enough to do it. We put him on our list, and Roger O’Callaghan, with whom we worked closely for many years, also met him. It’s a help that he likes him.

He added, “I got him ready at Kevin Prendergast’s pitch in Friarstown on Curragh. He stayed there all winter and did most of his early work while I hung out at Kevin’s and he traveled from there to Doncaster, where he sold to Matt Holdsworth for Noel Hayes. We are so lucky that Tally-Ho is happy to hand him over to us.

“He was really popular enough to sell. George Boughey and Mark McStay supported him. I think George is the lower bidder and I’m pretty sure Mark has been supportive of him for a long time too. Luckily, the right people took care of him.”

Halpin enjoyed his best season ever as a racer in 2016 teaming up with 36 domestic winners while his biggest success was aboard the Rocky Sky (Ire) trained by Ross O’Sullivan (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) in Listed Salsibil S. at Naas last semester.

Davis is back in Ireland after a successful break in the UK, where he claimed 56 winners in 2019, and, along with Halpin, will continue to drive while preparing the winners.

However, Halpin’s name won’t be on the racing card any time soon, with Friday’s win being a timely tonic for the man sidelined with a broken jaw.

He explained, “We have 11 people at the moment but there will be a few more that will pay us back in the next few days and we will add one or two more in January. We’re looking at having about 15 two-year-olds coming out next year.

“Sean and I will be signing with GS Bloodstock next year. Interesting. Especially now that things are spinning and breaking, we can see them make progress. Unfortunately I don’t ride them myself at the moment as I have a non-functional jaw fracture, but I’ll see a lot on the ground.

“I think we have amassed a group of horses that will reach a good level. The Inns Of Court (Ire) pony we bought in Doncaster has had three updates since we got it. He’s now half-brother to Believing (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) who has done a great job of being a stakeholder for the Purebred George Boughey and Highclere.

“She is someone we will be keeping a close eye on next year. Mick Fitzpatrick sold her for 115,000gns at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-up Sale in April, so all things being equal, we’re hoping to get our guy to Craven safe and healthy.

Regarding the rest of the upstart battalion, he added, “We have a lovely Cotai Glory (GB) pony that we paid €65,000 for at Tattersalls Ireland. He is consigned by Tally-Ho and is the half-sister to Fairyland (Ire). He will be very interesting.

“We were sent a chubby Kodiac (GB) who is a half-sister to Middle Park winner S. Supremacy (Ire) and has a good pony Dandy Man (Ire) from the Slade Power family. (Ire). We were a good group and there were a few other people there as well.”

When asked how the equestrian winners compare to their production, Halpin said, “It’s completely different. It was a completely different feeling. Your judgment is correct – you are telling people what you think horses can do and it is important that they support you. As a jockey, your judgment should be right when you ride a working horse or ride it in a race, your feedback should be good. This is a little more pressure. It’s a different kind of pressure.”

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