I was delighted that Never Seen Before got off the mark, on only his 4th run, when landing the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dundalk 3yo Handicap over 7 furlongs at Dundalk with a bit in hand.
Today's race was a first step into handicap company for this son of Epaulette. In his maidens he either over-raced or was behind the bit. Today you could see that he was still green but when the penny dropped for him in the closing stages he finished out strongly in the style of a horse from which there is much more to come. Chris Hayes gave him a fantastic ride and he was impressed with how strongly he hit the line.
I expect he'll improve significantly from today's run now that things are falling into place for him and will be a better horse again when he steps up to a mile. He's a very nice prospect going forward and we're looking forward to many more winnings days with him.
Matthew Creevy, who has been a life-long friend, has been a big part of this horse all along so it was particularly pleasing to see him win.
I am also delighted for our neighbour William Rowley who bred Never Seen Before and also bred his dam Clifton Miss. This was a terrific start for the mare since Never Seen Before is her first runner. His 2yo full brother is another very nice type who came into training with us recently. William and his family have a long tradition of breeding good horses and it looks like Clifton Miss could be a mare that will continue that for them in the coming years.
Many thanks to all our team for the top class work as always, both at home and at the races. Thanks also for all the kind messages we received since the win.