David Wachman delighted Winter has proven her class

Ex-trainer’s old charge favourite to complete a 1,000 Guineas double at the Curragh

Winter is odds-on favourite to complete the Newmarket-Curragh 1,000 Guineas double on Sunday.

But despite the filly's glittering progress this season her former trainer David Wachman insists he has no regrets about his decision to retire last year.

Wachman brought a hugely successful 20-year training career to an end despite suspecting Winter had Group One potential after a three-race juvenile career which wound up with a Dundalk maiden success in August.

Transferred to Aidan O'Brien, Winter has been a revelation this season. The grey was just beaten by Hydrangea at Leopardstown before getting the better of her unlucky stable companion Rhododendron in the Newmarket classic under Wachman's former No.1 jockey Wayne Lordan.


Now she’s a hot favourite to join Attraction and Finsceal Beo as the only fillies ever to complete the prestigious Guineas double.

Wachman won the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas in 2009 with Again, one of a long list of top fillies the 45-year-old son-in-law of Coolmore supremo John Magnier had through his hands.

The days of welcoming back to the Group One winner’s enclosure star names such as Legatissimo, Damson and Curvy are over but Wachman is adamant he is happy with his move away from the training limelight.

“I’m delighted everything has worked out so well for everyone. I was happy to make the change when I did and there are no regrets at all,” he said.

“I always believed Winter was a very high class filly and I’m delighted it’s come to fruition. Aidan has done a great job with her,” added the Co Kildare native who now describes his role as “jack of all trades”.

He said: “I’m involved in different things. I always had an interest in breeding horses. There are plenty things going on at Coolmore and I’ve alternative business interests too.”

Maiden winners

Another of Wachman’s promising juvenile maiden winners in 2016, Rekindling, is on course for Saturday week’s Epsom Derby after winning the Ballysax and finishing fourth in the Dante for Joseph O’Brien.

“He was always a good enough horse and he won his maiden well. But my horses were in and out last year and a bit under the weather. The Derby is open and he has some chance I’m sure. He ran okay in the Dante,” he said.

The immediate classic focus however is on this weekend’s Guineas action at a Curragh track which Winter will race on for the first time although neither that factor, of the likelihood of quick ground, is something Wachman is worried about for his former charge.

Ballydoyle's No.1 Ryan Moore is expected to take over from Lordan who has partnered Winter in all five of her career starts to date but Wachman says the classic winner is a straightforward ride.

Moore will also team up with the red-hot favourite Churchill in Saturday’s 2,000 and he is long odds on to become the ninth colt to land the Newmarket-Curragh Guineas double. Moore is again set to team up with Minding in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Watering has begun on the round course at the Curragh where ground conditions have turned good to firm. That isn’t good news for the mud-loving Success Day who is unlikely to take on Minding.

"He's working very well and as he missed out on the Mooresbridge as well it's frustrating. But it's black and white with him," said trainer Ken Condon.

“There’s a bit of rain around but they’re talking about watering so it’s very unlikely. It’s a shame because I’m struggling to see what else is there for him. But we’ve learned in the past he’s very much ground-dependent,” he added.

Both Ballydoyle runners at Tipperary on Thursday evening can prove hard to beat. The Scat Daddy two year old Murillo should relish fast conditions and Wisconsin can take a maiden winning step towards living up to his illustrious pedigree.

The in-foal Zamira can defy a penalty for her Roscommon victory earlier this month in the fillies handicap.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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