TDN – February 23rd 2016, Gerry Duffy “A Look Ahead”

1) Horse you are most looking forward to seeing this season?

GD: The horse I am most looking forward to seeing this year is Moonlight Magic (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}). We would rate him as one of our more exciting 3-year-olds in Ireland this year and are expecting big things. He broke his maiden late in the season and followed it up a week later by winning the Listed Eyrefield S. Being by Cape Cross (Ire) and from the family of Galileo (Ire) he’s got stallion prospect written all over him, so let’s hope he lives up to expectations.

2) A stallion who could feature prominently (doesn’t have to be first season)?

GD: A horse I believe we’ll be hearing plenty from is Teofilo (Ire). He had four stakes-winning 2-year-olds–the second and third-placed horses in the Dewhurst, Massaat (Ire) and Sanus Per Aquam (Ire) and, of course, Pleascach (Ire), who won two Group 1 races last year and stays in training. He’s a horse who has already achieved plenty in his career but it could be a very big year for him. On the first crop 2-year-old sires I have to stick with Casamento (Ire). He’s a son of Shamardal who was himself a Group 1-winning 2-year-old and who had close on 150 foals in his first crop. He has a huge chance of being one of the leading first-crop stallions.

3) Positive change you would like to see for the industry in 2016?

GD: A positive change I would like to see would be a focused effort by racetracks to heighten the owners’ experience. Owners are the backbone of racing and are the end users that ultimately drive the commercial market so they need to be taken care of. It’s wonderful to see investment in infrastructure at many Irish racetracks but I think we need to remember to remain focused on the finer details. Steel and glass on their own don’t make for a positive experience, it’s the service that goes with it that differentiates good from bad.