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Posts Tagged ‘Willie Fleming’

I met Rory McIlroy today. My goodness, he’s a strapping handsome young guy!

When I met him he was putting around in the stalls, but he had been having some serious driving practice just moments before – when he qualified with a winning run in the pre-race meeting trials at Cambridge Raceway.

Yes, this Rory McIlroy is a super looking Grinfromeartoear 2yo colt, trained by Willie Fleming, who has brought his team up from Hawera for a while to find more opportunities to racing and train with other horses. The busy workouts and race day atmosphere is just what this young colt needs to experience and get used to. He’s a strong package with some talent, and Willie is tempted to at least give him a race as a 2yo.

Grinfromeartoear colt rory McIlroy with trainer Willie Fleming

Grinfromeartoear colt Rory McIlroy with trainer Willie Fleming

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy – one to watch on the leaderboard!

The colt comes from a really nice family, going back to Happy Hooker and therefore the “Wicklow” horses, and his grandam Isle of Inishfree produced some of those really nice “River” horses many will be familiar with – River Dance, River Waltz, River Polka and more recently the young Mrs Zippy who caught my eye at the 2015 yearling sales and is now in training with Adrienne Matthews.

Likewise the Fleming family has several branches involved in racing the various descendants of the Happy Hooker family. Phil Fleming and Jane Fleming are more closely associated with the River side of things, and are second cousins to Willie Fleming.

Another Grin to look out for is Missinmemate, a 3yo gelding who had his first race start at today’s races in Oamaru for trainer and part-owner Brendon Hill. Driver Ricky May had him slow out, tucked down at the back along the fence, and turing for home I confess my eyes were more on my other bet, the Real Desire Badentyre who had sat parked and was forging into the lead. As it turned out, Missinmemate was pulled out wide and stormed home from the back, along with eventual winner Pradas Ideal Dahling, to get a close second, with Badentyre holding on well for third.

Missinmemate comes from a family I have got to know through my own owning interest in Father Frank, a Real Desire out of Gold Return. Gold Return is a full sister (by Armbro Operative) to Missinmemate’s dam Return To Gold, and they are both grand-daughters of the group 1 winning mare Our Stretto.  As a side note, Father Frank didn’t really show enough for trainer Frank Cooney and Tait Hopkins, and is now leased to Kym Kearns as a late 3yo, so I get to see him regularly.

So keep your eyes out for those two very nice Grins over the next year or so – I imagine Missenmemate will be racing again before too long, but not sure when Rory McIlroy will tee off.

Note: I’m still following the Grinfromeartoear colt I sold called Destination Moon, now racing in USA – he continues to do a good job and now has a lifetime stakes earnings (in US dollars) of $113,092, and an additional 15 wins over there after his initial 5 here, and a 1.52 record.

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