Custom Cut readied for Gladness success

Back-to-back wins for gelding would be racing first in Group Three renewal

Sunday’s Group 3 feature has a roll-of-honour that includes names such as Nijinsky, El Gran Senor and Giants Causeway but the five year old gelding Custom Cut could secure a little piece of Curragh history if he manages to win the Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes again.

Custom Cut sprang a 25-1 shock in the seven furlong event in 2013 when trained by Waterford based George Kent but is in line to run again in the Gladness this weekend for cross-channel based David O’Meara.

A total of just ten horses remain in the E62,500 event after yesterday’s forfeit stage with Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle powerhouse able to pick from Alfonso De Sousa and Cristoforo Colombo.

No horse has ever won the Gladness in back-to-back years, although Kevin Prendergast’s Mustameet did succeed in both 2005 and 2007. No three year old is in contention to run on Sunday although the race traditionally served as a stepping stone to the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas.


Custom Cut had his first run for O’Meara at Doncaster at the end of last month when third in a Listed event.

Paul Deegan has left the 111 rated Sruthan in the Gladness while Tommy Stack will be hoping Wannabe Better steps up on her seasonal debut at HQ in the Park Express Stakes when finishing behind Vote Often.

Ground conditions at the Curragh yesterday were “soft to heavy” on the straight course and “soft” on the round track which will host the Listed Irish Field Alleged Stakes which has ten entries left in it.

They include Dermot Weld’s Lincoln hero Stuccodor and the Stack trained Alive Alive Oh, a one-time classic candidate in 2013 who wound up last year’s campaign with a hugely disappointing effort in the Blandford Stakes in September.

Today's National Hunt card at Limerick sees the second career start of Noble Emperor after his pretty singular winning debut at Navan last month.

First-time out bumper winners for Tony Martin are rare enough, certainly ones that start at 16-1, but the impression Noble Emperor made was enough for him to be bought by JP McManus.

“A proper horse,” was Martin’s verdict at Navan where he also provided assurance the six year old jumps well. Today’s opposition look to have their hands full.

Tooren is on a hat-trick in the mares handicap hurdle and Ger Fox’s claim will negate a 4lb penalty she picked up for winning again at Clonmel last Thursday.

Fort Smith’s third to Value At Risk at Christmas looks the best piece of form available for the bumper.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column