Sport of Kings


Brendan Duke Fenway House

Brendan Duke

CURRAGH TRAINER Brendan Duke has an ugly battle on his hands to remain in situ in his rented training yard (see p5). The High Court recently granted him a temporary injunction against Peter Keatley and Teresa Kearney, owners of the trainer’s rented premises, Fenway House, restraining them or their agents from encroaching or interfering with the property.

Having acquired the premises in April, the pair claim to be owed €90,000 in rent arrears and it looks like Duke has a fight on his hands to stay in the saddle.

He has struggled in recent times and trained just two winners in the last two years. Duke also had a stand-off with the previous owner of Fenway House over claims of unpaid rent.

Having begun his career in racing as an assistant trainer with Jim Bolger, the well-liked Duke branched out on his own around 20 years ago when launching his training career in England. He trained around 50 winners in England over a 10-year period but the going got pretty heavy in 2011, at which stage he was declared bankrupt and had his trainer’s licence revoked by the British Horseracing Authority.

Born and reared in Dublin city, Duke got back on the horse in Ireland and it was former boss Bolger who threw him a lifeline by sending over a number of horses to train.

Duke was training upwards of 20 horses for the master of Coolcullen at one stage and the two boys enjoyed a lucrative deal in 2017 when selling Warm The Voice to race in Hong Kong for a chunky six-figure sum.

Bolger’s own decline in horse numbers in recent seasons has had a natural knock-on effect to Duke’s fortunes and, with only a couple of runners this year for Bolger, that particular well looks to be running dry.

Related Articles: