March 25, 2007 at 08:12 #1228newyorkMember
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George Washington is back in training at ballydoyle should be intresting to see what happens with him this seasonMarch 25, 2007 at 16:39 #48575cormack15Keymaster
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I’ll be interested to see him step up to 10 F. (or even back to 6F)March 25, 2007 at 22:13 #48576
Will he step up to 10f?March 25, 2007 at 22:38 #48578FlashMember
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I’m glad to see George back in training. It gives us a high 120’s / 130 four year old to compare the classic generation with. There will be no arguments to the merits of the form if a three year old proves a better horse than an at peak George Washington.
I can’t see him being brought back in trip, why? A top miler is a far better horse to have than a top sprinter, I can’t see any logic to dropping George back to sprint trips.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run in the Eclipse though over 1m2f.March 26, 2007 at 00:48 #48580AlderbrookMember
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I will be interested to hear Aidan’s comments about him as he is no longer of any use as a potential sire, particularly in relation to any other Ballydoyle inmates…March 26, 2007 at 09:58 #48581Black Sam BellamyMember
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On the basis that he didn’t really give his best running at the Breeders Cup over 10f (admitedly on sand)..I’d be happy to see him over a mile on fast ground personally.March 27, 2007 at 00:05 #48582
Okay so my sense of humourm is a little wierd but this is the funniest thing I have read this year.
AIDAN O’Brien acknowledged on Monday that he and his staff at Ballydoyle face a big task with mercurial Group 1 winner George Washington on his return to training after a less-than-successful start to his career as a stallion.
O’Brien, who handled George Washington with great skill to win four Group 1 races before his retirement, said: "We will have to work at once again getting George’s mind unravelled.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI’m told he has got six mares in foal and it is possible that things could go right for him at stud next year, but for now we’re planning to bring back to the track depending on how things go with him.
"Since he came back here from Coolmore he’s been like a horse with five legs and we have to get him thinking that he can’t cover everything he sees.
"He’s in an isolation yard here and I’d imagine we will start re-introducing him to other horses by degrees over the next week or two.
Looks like George, ahem, uses both changing rooms! Was having the time of its life and trying to indicate it wants to go back to stud :) :) :)March 27, 2007 at 07:20 #48584sberryMember
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hmmm…."trying to indicate it wants to go back to stud"
if you were a horse FSL, and had a choice between being pampered and kept fully fed, nourished, watered and warm with the only monotony in your life being the endless supply of free sex being delivered to your door by your owners, or, being got up early every day to run with some tubby on your back, only being fed enough to keep you at optimum athletic fitness, being kept away from any thoughts of sex and every now and then being forced into some metal stalls with some angry irishman sat on your back whipping the back legs off you trying to get you to run a mile faster than some other p**s
ed-off horses, what would you do ?
<br>March 27, 2007 at 14:27 #48586
Now that’s a good question….. hmmm
Fair point lol looks like gorgeous George has put its foot down lol.March 27, 2007 at 19:30 #48587AidanMember
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Interesting piece by James W in the RP today….
by James Willoughby
AS A picture of Tiger Woods came up on the television in McCarthy’s Hotel in Fethard, one bar-room veteran gestured at the screen, saying: "That man is the Aidan O’Brien of golf."
To this, a second wizened sage, redirecting his friend’s attention to a prized photo of the trainer’s namesake Vincent behind the bar, swiftly countered: "If that is the case, then there is Jack Nicklaus."
The following morning at Ballydoyle, the latest O’Brien to reopen the debate on whether training racehorses can trulyconstitute genius was busy holding court.
He answered the demands of the massed ranks of the press with well-established idiosyncratic method, except this time he interspersed odd sentences with dry humour over such trying matters as riding arrangements and George Washington’s fertility.
It is well documented that O’Brien is more relaxed on his home patch than the office of the racecourse. But a more rounded insight into this extraordinary individual is impossible without catching him further from the madding crowd still.
Inside an hour spent on a chance tour of Ballydoyle in the great man’s jeep, I found myself fascinated. Whatever it is that really qualifies a man for genius, O’Brien certainly has the personality to go with it.
Obsessive does not cover it. It is hard to do full justice to the impression he creates. His interaction with staff on horseback echoes some sort of elevated plane of communication, in which a few words carries an extraordinary amount of information.<br>When O’Brien leans out of the window and asks if all is well with a horse after a canter, each rider’s reply is usually affirmative. But the accompanying tone of their response has a gravity and directness which implies they accept full responsibility for the wellbeing, soundness and psychological condition of their mount. If not, they know to say so.
O’Brien says it takes a while for him to learn to interpret the significance of the manner of reply.<br>
One rider’s "fine" may be another one’s "out of this world" until the trainer knows how sanguine or phlegmatic is the personality from which it was issued.
Palpably, the feedback the staff present is codified by this disposition, and only by tapping into this can he access the information he so badly needs.
His tendency to call each member of staff by name is in no way a superficial gesture. Instead, it is vital that he recognises distinct individuals and not just homogenous employees, and namechecking them is part mnemonic for this.
O’Brien talks to each rider four times for each workout, all the while absorbed by the visual data each horse presents at walk, trot, canter and gallop.
One stage of the process involves him driving in extremely close proximity to the string, a deliberate practice which he says teaches them not to back off from physical contact during a race.
Amazingly, this causes neither them nor he the slightest stir. The colts sometimes even try to put their head through the open window, while the fillies tend tolook in the wing-mirror. As a close observer, your own fear that the thoroughbred is a dangerous and volatile animal seems to melt away.
The O’Brien you see being interviewed in the minutes before or after a race comes across as a man straining to say the right thing. I now understand a lot better why this seems the case. So much of his read on a horse is intuitive that he sometimes struggles to put this understanding into simple and coherent ideas.
Before I met O’Brien, I will admit to finding him confusing to behold in the wholly artificial chunks in which he was presented. I even felt sceptical about the received knowledge that he was a uniquely gifted horseman.
All I can say now is that I have never met anyone like him. No matter how hard you try – and believe me I tried very hard – it is impossible to turn back a swelling tide of profound amazement when in his presence.
If this man does not have the merest association with the concept of genius, he is anextremely good actor.
<br>March 28, 2007 at 09:44 #48589clivexMember
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Pass the sickbag ….March 28, 2007 at 11:59 #48590johnjdonoghueMember
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Why ever so Clive?March 28, 2007 at 12:26 #48591AidanMember
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If it had been about Paul N or Hobbs (as has been the case all winter) I am sure Clive would have been backing him all the way.March 28, 2007 at 12:47 #48593johnjdonoghueMember
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Or Marcus Tregonning. Amazed that he is giving out about Willoughby also….March 28, 2007 at 15:58 #48595SalMember
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Having seen AOB close up soothing a fractious horse, I don’t think JW’s article is over the top.
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