Tommy Stack is one of the veteran trainers of the Irish racing scene having held a license for 30 years. Stack first came to prominence as a National Hunt jockey, being crowned Champion Jockey in Great Britain in 1974/5 and 1976/7, but perhaps being best known for riding Red Rum to his third success in the Aintree Grand National.
Since joining the training ranks in 1986, Stack has been a regular visitor to the big-race winner’s enclosure. His Group 1 winners over the years have been Kostroma (Beverly D Stakes), Las Meninas (1000 Guineas), Tarascon (Moyglare Stud Stakes and Irish 1,000 Guineas), Myboycharlie (Prix Morny) and Alexander Tango (Garden City Stakes).
With the Stack yard currently being in fine form, Tommy’s assistant trainer Fozzy took time out from his busy schedule to talk through his team of horses with Kevin Blake of At The Races.
2 b c Choisir – Alexiade
Made a winning debut at the Curragh in June and followed it up with an excellent second to Churchill in the Group 3 Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown a month later.
“He’s in good shape since he ran so well in the Tyros. That was a good effort from him, as he was still a bit a raw. Churchill would have known a lot more than him at that stage and that probably showed on the day. The plan is to go straight to the National Stakes at the Curragh with him and I’d be hopeful he can step up again and give a good account of himself. He wants fast ground.”
A LITTLE BIT ME
2 gr f The Factor – Sayedah
Closely related to the smart miler Battle Of Marathon, she shaped with promise on her debut in a maiden at the Curragh in July.
“She ran well for a long way on her debut at the Curragh and just got a bit tired late on. Five and six furlongs will be her trips for the time being and I’d be hopeful she can win her maiden before the end of the season.”
A SHIN IMPALA
3 b g Evasive – Muzayadah
Rated 81, he won a maiden at Dundalk in March and has shaped with promise in two starts in handicaps since.
“He was busy enough during the winter, so we gave him a break after that. He’s back in full swing now and should be ready for the track again at the beginning of September. He’s a big horse that strengthened up well during his break, so I’m hopeful there might be a bit more to come from him. He’ll stick to around a mile.”
4 b f High Chaparral – Thoughtful
Rated 82, she won twice as a three-year-old and has shaped with promise in both handicap and stakes company this year.
“She’s been finding it a bit tougher this year than she did last year. She came up a bit short in Listed company, so we’ll just lower her sights a bit now. She wants fast ground and hasn’t really got it this year. She can race a bit freely, so wouldn’t be sure to stay far beyond a mile, but we might try it at some stage just to see.”
3 b f Fastnet Rock – Question Times
Rated 101, she won a maiden at Dundalk last season and has since run very well in stakes company, including when second in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot.
“She was a bit unlucky on her latest start in a Grade 2 race at Saratoga. She looked to have every chance, but her saddle slipped with over a furlong to race to she was eased up after that. I’ve left her over there and there is another Grade 2 for her at Saratoga again on Sunday 21st August that looks likely to suit. I was over there to see her work last Tuesday and I was very happy with her. She’s a filly with plenty of talent, she just needs things to fall right for her.”
2 b c Power – Varmint Lady
Rated 83, he has shaped with promise in maidens and made a solid nursery debut at Tipperary in August.
“He ran OK the other day at Tipperary, but the handicapper probably put him in high enough based on what he had done. He’ll stick to five and six furlongs and likes fast ground.”
2 b c Fastnet Rock – Green Castle
Has shaped with promise in both his starts to date, most recently finishing fourth to Utah at the Curragh.
“He ran quite a nice race at the Curragh the other day. He’ll be a lovely horse next year, as he’s a big colt that should do well with time when he steps up to 10 and 12 furlongs. He’ll probably only have one or two more runs this year and hopefully he’ll win his maiden before too long.”
6 ch g Bahamian Bounty – Raja
Rated 105, he won two Listed sprints last season, but disappointed on his return to action at Cork in April and has been absent since.
“He fractured his knee in last start, but he’s back in now. Whether we get him back on the track for the back end of this season, I don’t know, it could be a struggle, but all being well he’ll be back racing in the spring. He has to have soft ground.”
4 b g Hurricane Run – Rahya Cass
Rated 89, he has won a maiden and a handicap at Dundalk.
“His all-weather form seems a lot stronger than his grass form, so we’re going to run him in a valuable handicap at Dundalk on Sunday. He’s stepping back up to a trip he’s won over and hopefully he’ll go well.”
3 b f Pour Moi – Wanna
Rated 89, she won a maiden at Listowel in June and has since acquitted herself well in Listed company.
“Annoyingly she just got beaten a neck for third in a Listed race at Galway, but we’ll keep going in those type of races and try to get that black type. She’s a versatile filly with regard to trip and ground, so we have a few options for her.”
2 b f Royal Applause – Nasij
A €67,000 yearling purchase, she made an encouraging debut in a maiden at Leopardstown in May.
“She ran a lovely race on her debut at Leopardstown and we’ve just had a couple of niggly problems with her since then. We’ve left her in the Tattersalls sales race on Irish Champions Weekend and we’re aiming her towards that. She’ll probably get seven furlongs eventually and should be up to winning her maiden.”
5 ch g Footstepsinthesand – Pivotalia
Rated 107, he has only had five starts in the last two seasons, but has won the Irish Lincoln and two Group 3 contests.
“He’s been a great servant, but it’s no secret that he really needs soft ground. He’s very effective when it’s testing and he’ll tip away in those Listed and Group 3 races whenever he has his conditions.”
3 b f Holy Roman Emperor – Highindi
Rated 78, she won a maiden at Dundalk last year and has won handicaps at Dundalk and Leopardstown this season.
“She’s going the right way and ran very well at Leopardstown last Thursday. She’s been running very well over six furlongs, but we are likely to step her back up to seven furlongs in the near future. It might be a bit ambitious to hope that we might get black type with her at some stage, but we’ll give her a chance to do so when the time is right.”