Noel Meade Stable Tour 2019/20

‘It’s a drug, I could never do anything else’ – Noel Meade as excited as ever

Noel Meade is loving life right now and why wouldn’t he be?

On the back of his best Flat campaign since 1995, in which he sent out 21 winners and netted €402,535 in prize-money, the seven-time champion trainer snapped up the first Grade 1 of the jumps season with Road To Respect, who registered back-to-back wins in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal and, in the process, reminded us of his Cheltenham Gold Cup credentials.

There is also Tout Est Permis and Snow Falcon to contest the top staying chases, while Beacon Edge and Sixshooter have already won maiden hurdles and are expected to be contesting Grade 1s later in the campaign. A 29 per cent strike-rate in bumpers bodes well for the future too. These are exciting times.

“I just love what I do. It’s a drug. I could never do anything else,” Meade said.

The trainer added: “Things are going along nicely and we’re flying along. I have a very, very good team on the ground. It’s a massive team effort from everyone. We have a lovely bunch of horses too. The list below is just a selection of our team, but there are plenty of other nice horses who are not on the list.”

Stable profile

Yard Tu Va Stables, Castletown, County Meath
Head lad Paul Cullen
Assistant trainers Damien McGillick, Emma Connolly
Travelling head girl Emma Connolly
Public relations and client relations Ted Walsh
Assistant travelling head girl/lad Theresa Maguire, James Wilkinson
Operations manager Ben Meade
Secretary Katie Magnier
Jockeys Sean Flanagan, Jonathan Moore
Conditionals Eoin Walsh, Michael Stenson
Amateurs Mark O’Hare, Jay Archdeacon
Number of horses 80
Number of staff 30
Started training 1971

Winners in Ireland
2018-19 62
2017-18 57
2016-17 57
2015-16 29

Profit/loss to £1 stake
2018-19 -149.87
2017-18 -200.94
2016-17 -82.33
2015-16 -85.55

Total prize-money 2018-19

Battle Of Midway
Five-year-old gelding Mahler (sire) – Womanofthemountain (dam)
Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Form figures: 3315-12
Racing Post Rating: 124 (hurdles) Official rating: N/A
I ran him back too quickly at Cork after he won so well at Galway and the ground was too quick for him as well. He wants soft ground. 3m will be right up his ally. He is a strong stayer and a very nice horse. I have decided to lay off him after Cork and I am sure he will redeem himself. The softer the ground the better he will be.

Beacon Edge
5g Doyen – Laurel Gift
Gigginstown House Stud
RPR 126h
I have always liked this guy. He won over 2m at Punchestown but I think he will stay further, and I’d be pretty sure he will prove to be better than he was at Punchestown. We won’t rush him back. We’re going to give him a bit of time. He hasn’t done any fast work since Punchestown. I think he will be up there with our best novice hurdlers.

Brace Yourself
6g Mahler – Angelica Garnett
Mrs Patricia Hunt
RPR 129h
He injured his hind leg after he won his maiden hurdle at Down Royal this time last year. He is nearly ready to return now and will probably go over fences at some stage this season. He is a big horse who we have always liked. Time has done him the world of good and soft ground suits him best.

5m Winged Love – Onthebeach
E Duignan
RPR 126h OR 121h
She’s a nice mare who was progressing well before Naas last Saturday. She’s better than she showed there and we think she wants better ground.

Daly Tiger
6g Tiger Groom – Reine Tresor
Gigginstown House Stud
RPR 134h, 137c OR 132h
I’m not sure he quite got home over 2m4f at Cork on his last start. You will certainly see him back over 2m next time. He doesn’t really have many options apart from graded 2m novice chases. He has speed and class. It’s a pity what happened to him at Punchestown [saddle slipped] as we thought he had a great chance that day.

Davy’s Dilemma
5g Sixties Icon – Wansdyke Lass
Modebest Equine Limited
RPR 110h
Rated 88 on the Flat and won over 2m½f at York so I’d imagine he will want 2m4f ideally. We would have run him on the Flat but he got a bang on his joint. He disappointed us at Naas on Saturday in a maiden hurdle but I have no doubt he will turn out to be fairly decent. He wants better ground than he got at Naas.

Diol Ker
5g Martaline – Stiren Bleue
Gigginstown House Stud

RPR 138h
He is just the most gorgeous horse. A real chaser in the making, although he will be staying over hurdles this season. He was a bit unlucky not to win at Leopardstown last Christmas and he probably suffered from the fast ground that day afterwards. He has done really well of late, and I love the look of him. I was really impressed with his seasonal return when winning at Fairyhouse. 

Diol Ker and Sean Flanagan jump the last when winning the Fairyhouse Easter Saturday Maiden Hurdle.
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 12.11.2019

5g Malinas – L’Aventure
Gigginstown House Stud
RPR 126h OR 128h
Won a 3m maiden hurdle at Cork last January. He is an out-and-out stayer and we’re sending him over fences.

Dark horse

Farceur Du Large
4g Turgeon – Antagua
Gigginstown House Stud
RPR 111b
I can’t believe he hasn’t won yet and he definitely won’t run in another bumper. Anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. He wasn’t right at Galway. He will put that behind him and prove that he is a good horse, I’m sure of it.

First Approach
6g Robin Des Champs – Manhattan Babe
Mrs Patricia Hunt
RPR 145h OR 144h
He was just ready to run and did a stupid thing schooling. He got a knock which held him up. He has a high rating over hurdles, but I am convinced he will be a better chaser. He jumps very well.

Future Proof
4g Dream Ahead – Moraga
Lyreen Syndicate
RPR 122h OR 123h
I know he is still a maiden over hurdles and has been costly to follow but he will make into a nice novice hurdler, I’m sure of it.

4g Stowaway – Backandillo
Mrs Patricia Hunt
RPR 73b
He let us down badly at Galway and I don’t really know why. He had shown us plenty. We thought he was the business to be honest with you. We weren’t happy with him when he came home from Galway, he just wasn’t himself after it. We’ll have a go at another bumper next.

Henry Brown
4g Mahler – Blackeyedsue
Noel Meade Horse Trainer Ltd
RPR 114b
He surprised us a little the way he won at Fairyhouse. We thought he was backward, but he won well. He will go to Punchestown next weekend for a winners’ bumper. He jumps very well. He is a lovely, big, backward, leggy horse. He’s by Mahler, a sire who has been very lucky for me.

Joshua Webb
4g Flemensfirth – Lady Of Appeal
J Kernohan
RPR 112b
He won his bumper well at Navan on Sunday. He’s a nice horse going forward and will probably go jumping now.

Minella Fair
8g Flemensfirth – Bell Walks Run
Mrs Patricia Hunt
RPR 147h, 140c OR 138h
He will be entered in the Paddy Power at Christmas and the Troytown at Navan, races like that. I was happy with his run at Down Royal but, believe it or not, the ground was probably a bit quick for him there. He wants real soft ground and he definitely wants 3m. The Thyestes is a race which could suit him too.

Miss Cognac
4f Flemensfirth – Miss Brandywell
F J Carragher & Richard W Walsh & B O’Sullivan
RPR 102h
Won a Ballinrobe bumper and was due to run at Fairyhouse on Monday before it was called off.

8g Kayf Tara – Dancing Dasi
Mrs Patricia Hunt
RPR 140h OR 126h
He has been difficult to get right. It has been a case of one niggling problem after another. Staying trips up over fences will be his bread and butter.

Pat’s Pick
5g Shantou – Lady Lenson
Mrs P Sloan
RPR 121b
He won the big sales bumper at Fairyhouse the Easter before last. We just struggled with him last year, but I am hoping he will develop into a really nice novice hurdler this season. He likes soft ground.

4g Liaison – Belen
Philip J Reynolds
RPR 118h 
A lovely, big horse who got into trouble at Navan in a maiden hurdle in September. Everybody quickened when he got stopped. We’d be hoping he will pick up a maiden hurdle sooner rather than later.

Powerful Ted
4g Power – Haaf Ok
Mrs Patricia Hunt
RPR 117b
I ran him back too quickly after his last start at Down Royal. I was greedy and he ran flat. He’s not very big, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he won plenty of Flat races down the line.

Star quality

Road To Respect
8g Gamut – Lora Lady
Gigginstown House Stud
RPR 170c OR 169c
Obviously, we are very happy with the way he started the season at Down Royal and he has come out of the race very well. The Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas will be next. He will be entered in the King George, but I’d imagine Leopardstown will be where he will go. The ground at Leopardstown for the Irish Gold Cup was too quick for him. I am now convinced he wants softer ground. He is only eight and I think he is only going into his best years. He has not been over-raced either, so there is every reason to think he should mature again this season. The Irish Gold Cup is far enough away from Cheltenham now so I would have no problem going there again after Christmas if the ground was suitable.

5g Flemensfirth – Miss Brandywell
Mrs Patricia Hunt
RPR 91b
We think he is a very nice horse, so I was very disappointed with him at Down Royal. He didn’t travel at all. Maybe the ground was too quick for him there, believe it or not. He is absolutely enormous.

4g Mahler – Woodville Queen
Knockmore Syndicate
RPR 105b
The reason he was such a big price at Thurles was probably because Mark [O’Hare] rode another horse in the race but we knew there wasn’t much between them. This fella stays well.

School Boy Hours
6g Presenting – Trinity Alley
JP McManus
RPR 133h OR 135h
We have always liked this fella. Hopefully he will do well when he goes over fences. He looks like a chaser anyway and he is a half-brother to Finian’s Oscar.

4g Well Chosen – Dubai Petal
P Lanney & M Giggins & A Grenham & B Faulkner
RPR 112b
He won a bumper at Punchestown and was fifth in a winners’ event at Cork. They sprinted up the home straight there and he was the last to get going. He was flying at the line. We will find a maiden hurdle for him now.

4g Well Chosen – Lobinstown Girl
Gigginstown House Stud
RPR 121h
I like him a lot. He has won three from three and all of his form looks very good. Everything he has beaten has won since. He looks the business and we are hoping he will take us to all the big races. Rachael [Blackmore] rode him to win a maiden hurdle at Punchestown last month and she couldn’t believe he had won two bumpers as she said he was still very green. I would say he is a very good horse.

Snow Falcon
9g Presenting – Flocon De Neige
Mrs Patricia Hunt
RPR 160c OR 160c
On the face of it, people might think he wasn’t good enough for the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal, but I’m convinced he wasn’t himself. I don’t subscribe to the theory he didn’t stay either. Johnny [Moore] was very easy on him when he realised he wasn’t going to be involved. We are waiting on the results of a lung wash from him. I still think he can compete at that level. I think he is up to competing in the top races.

Snow Falcon and Jonathan Moore jumping the last fence when winning the 2018 Kerry National – Patrick McCann

The Caddy Rose
5m Presenting – Las Princess
J Kernohan
RPR 133c, 121h OR 115h
She loves fences and we will stick to those mares’ chases with her. She stays really well as she is from the same family as Harbour Pilot and I’m sure she has more races in her this season.

Tout Est Permis
6g Linda’s Lad – Kadalbleue
Gigginstown House Stud
RPR 155c OR 156c
I was initially disappointed with him at Punchestown, but he was trying to give weight to most of the field. He made a mistake at the third-last and that knocked the stuffing out of him. He was a little bit undercooked going there too. He is due to run in the Clonmel Oil on Thursday, but he has to give 5lb to Douvan or Footpad, which won’t be easy. I wouldn’t knock him yet, and I have to say he is in terrific shape at home.

Trappist Monk
6g Beneficial – Cush Jewel
Mrs Patricia Hunt
RPR 122h, 119c OR 118h
I thought he ran well behind Samcro, but he needs further than that. Given he had no experience in points, I thought he was very sure-footed over his fences. Three miles will be his cup of tea.

6g Diamond Boy – Vamuna
Gigginstown House Stud
RPR 125h OR 129c
This is a very good horse and a wind operation over the summer might improve him. Fences will be the making of him and you will see him very soon. I think two miles is far enough for him.

Juvenile hurdlers

I think we have some lovely three-year-olds, especially Red Gerry (3g Canford Cliffs – Hollow Talk) and Dinard Rose (3f Champs Elysees – Rose Of Petra). Red Gerry is rated 84 on the Flat and stays well. I want to give him a break after his run at Fairyhouse on Tuesday and he’ll come back in the spring. Dinard Rose is not very big but stays well. She won the Ulster Cesarewitch and jumps brilliantly. She was wiped out at the second-last at Galway so you can forget that run. Harvest Bow (3f Intikhab – Ghost Of A Girl) is very small but jumps well and has won over hurdles already. She was very unlucky not to win more races on the Flat and she should win plenty more over jumps. 

Race in focus
I would love to win the Magners Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Harbour Pilot was third in it twice, Road To Riches was third as well, while Road To Respect was fourth. Hopefully he can prove himself to be a genuine contender this season after his win at Down Royal.

Rival to watch
Obviously, Willie [Mullins] and Gordon [Elliott] have been dominating over the last few years, but I have to say it is quite amazing what Gavin Cromwell has done in such a short space of time.

Two for the tracker
Diol Ker is just the most gorgeous horse. He has done really well, I love the look of him and I was particularly taken by his Fairyhouse victory. Valdieu had a wind operation over the summer and it might improve him. Fences will be the making of him.

Expert analysis

There will be few more exciting horses in Tu Va Stables than Sixshooter this season. A high-class bumper performer last term, Sixshooter recorded wins at Leopardstown and at the Punchestown festival, with the form of those successes continuing to work out well.

The four-year-old may have shown plenty of pace in his bumpers, but he also demonstrated an attitude to die for when grinding out a debut success over flights at Punchestown back in October over 2m4f.

Despite the fact Sixshooter has proven himself over further, he should have no trouble dropping back to 2m for the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse next month, where he can be expected to run very well.

Long-term, it would be no surprise to see him develop into a genuine Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle contender. He looks very smart indeed.

Sixshooter is the horse for the future but Road To Respect is the here and now. Having secured back-to-back wins in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal earlier this month, Road To Respect threw his hat in the ring for top staying chase honours this season.

However, things didn’t exactly go to plan for Road To Respect after he recorded a similarly impressive success in the race 12 months ago, and we will get a better idea about his big-race credentials in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown.

Tout Est Permis is another high-class staying chaser worth getting excited about. The ground may well have been too lively for him on his return at Punchestown last month and, while he’ll get his ground in the Clonmel Oil on Thursday, the conditions of the race look far from ideal as he has to give weight to better-rated rivals.

He’s still only a six-year-old and on deep winter ground, he could win a nice pot or two this season. It’s a similar story with Minella Fair. A horse with a pretty big engine, he is likely to show his best over extreme trips on very heavy ground and could be an interesting contender for something like the Troytown Chase at Navan.

Beacon Edge may not have been impressive in winning his maiden hurdle at Punchestown last month but he remains a horse of definite promise, while recent Fairyhouse winner Diol Ker is another staying prospect worth keeping onside.

Noel Meade Stable Tour 2019/20
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