Sport of Kings


Mick O'Leary

Mick O'Leary

MICK O’LEARY has never been one to miss a marketing opportunity in his professional life and it looks like his racing arm will exploit an interesting angle in the build up to the Aintree Grand National.

Gigginstown House Stud will look to shift both Outlander and Don Poli in the Goffs UK Aintree Sale, held after racing at Aintree’s opening day of the Grand National Festival. Both horses will be offered with an entry in the big race on Saturday, and potential new connections will have time to change the silks and be represented by a runner in the sport’s most famous steeplechase.

Such an opportunity is bound to add a significant premium to each nag’s value. While they have won six Grade 1 races between them, neither horse is in the prime of its life and their recent form suggests they are regressing. O’Leary has, not surprisingly, copped a fair bit of flak over his decision to offload two old warriors, with some commentators believing such stalwarts deserve an honorable retirement in the Gigginstown paddocks.

Such is the size of O’Leary’s string, however, there may not be enough spare land in Westmeath to accommodate them all. Also, two schoolmasters like Don Poli and Outlander could enjoy a few more years in the more leisurely environment of the British point to point circuit as neither has been over-raced. The only risk O’Leary takes is one of them experiencing a new lease of life and getting the better of Tiger Roll in the Grand National.

Now that would be a sight many punters would pay a premium to witness. Book your seat now.

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