Working for Irish Breeders

The Distance Debate – Sprinters, Stayers & everything in between

Friday 30th June 2023, 2pm, The Curragh Racecourse
16-June-23
The Distance Debate – Sprinters, Stayers & everything in between

The Distance Debate – Sprinters, Stayers & everything in between

Friday 30th June 2023, 2pm, The Curragh Racecourse

Join ITBA and a Panel of Industry Experts at The Curragh Racecourse, Friday 30th June 2023 for our Flat Seminar ahead of Derby Weekend.

A stellar panel of Kevin Blake, Stuart Boman, Ado McGuinness, Jason Morris and John Oxx have been secured for what promises to be an afternoon of discussion and lively debate, hosted by Sally Ann Grassick.

The seminar titled ‘Sprinters, Stayers & everything in between’ will focus on all matters around breeding for different distances to suit market demands. The seminar will cover a variety of challenges and opportunities around the flat breeding and racing sector. The panel will discuss the current status of Irish Flat breeding and racing and look at the changes in trends over the past number of years, as well as the current race programme and sales markets.

In addition, the event will provide breeders and attendees with the opportunity to engage directly with industry stakeholders throughout the day. Doors will open at 2pm and the seminar will commence at 2:30pm sharp. We would encourage attendees to arrive early to avail of this networking opportunity.

Commenting on the seminar ITBA Chairman Cathy Grassick said:

A huge thanks to The Curragh Racecourse for their continued support to breeders and for facilitating this seminar. I am excited at the prospect of hearing from our expert panel on all issues relevant to our industry.”

Join us at The Curragh Racecourse for an afternoon of debate and stay for a fantastic card of racing after the seminar, with first race off at 5pm followed by live music. Entry to the seminar will include racecourse admission and a racecard. Following the seminar, refreshments will be available for all attendees.

Registration is essential, email hmarks@itba.ie or call ITBA on 045 877 543. The event is free to attend for ITBA, AIRO, and IRTA members, please quote your membership number or organisation when registering. For non-members who wish to attend there is a €15 entrance fee which includes raceday admission.

We look forward to seeing you at The Curragh on Friday 30th June.


Panel Bios

Kevin Blake.jpg

Kevin Blake

Kevin is a successful breeder, horse racing journalist and broadcaster based in Co Tipperary. He's been involved in racing all his working life as an Irish racing analyst with The Sportsman, as Timeform's Irish representative and as pupil assistant trainer/racing manager to British-based trainer Jeremy Gask. Kevin now works with ITV Racing, Sky Sports Racing and At The Races, as well as writing his regular Betting. Betfair column and is a contributor on the popular Racing only Bettor podcast. In 2019 he won the HWPA Specialist Writer of the Year Award. Kevin is also an active ITBA council member.

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Stuart Boman small.jpgStuart Boman

Stuart has been with Blandford Bloodstock for more than a decade, and became a partner in 2020. His many successes are headed by the brilliant, multiple Group 1 winner ZAAKI – who has earned over A$5.7 million since being bought for 150,000gns – and TOP RANKED, winner of the Epsom Handicap as well as EURO CHARLINE and CRACKERJACK KING. He deals in all aspects of the industry, but specialises in horses in training and all matters relating to Australia, Hong Kong and the USA. A graduate of the inaugural Darley Flying Start, he is a qualified solicitor in Australia and also worked for Arrowfield Stud.

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Ado McGuinness.jpgAdo McGuinness

Ado is one of Ireland’s leading racehorse trainers based at Skylark House Stables, in north County Dublin. He took out his training license in early 2000 after spending many years showjumping. Ado shows great skill in managing to keep his horses running consistently well and his ability to place his charges to great effect has been a feature of his training career.

Ado is a multiple Group 1 winning trainer with high-class winners in recent years including; A CASE OF YOU (Gr1 Prix de l’Abbaye winner), BOWERMAN (Gr2 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup winner), CURRENT OPTION (Listed Platinum Stakes winner), SALTONSALL (Dual Galway Mile Premier Handicap winner) and AUSSIE VALENTINE (Habitat Premier Handicap winner).

Ado is also Chairman of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association (IRTA).

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Jason Morris.jpgJason Morris

The Racing Department, lead by Jason Morris, Director of Racing, is responsible for the annual allocation of approximately 390 race fixtures to 26 Irish racecourses and the creation of all racing programmes.

As HRI’s Director of Racing, Jason has an extensive and varied range of responsibilities including: annual production of the Irish fixture list; creation of all race programmes; central allocation of prize money; evaluation of grants for all racecourse capital development projects; media rights negotiations on behalf of the industry; production of pictures to be broadcast for integrity and commercial purposes; control over the racecourse services provided by HRI (operation of the starting stalls and photo finish); and responsibility for the key areas of racing administration: acceptance of entries/declarations for races; registration of horses/owners; production and publication of the form book, racing calendar and race cards.

Jason is also Chair of the European Pattern Committee.

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John Oxx 2.jpgJohn Oxx

John Oxx retired from training in 2020and is currently a Director of Staffordstown Stud. The 1995 Champion Trainer sent out 33 Group 1 winners during his 41 year career, including the winners of 11 Classic races. He is best known as the trainer of Sea The Stars, who had a spectacular unbeaten three-year-old campaign winning the 2,000 Guineas, the Derby, the Eclipse, the Juddmonte International, the Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc in 2009. John also had a strong connection with the Aga Khan Studs, having trained Sinndar, his first Derby and Arc double winner in 2000, while Almashar won the Irish Derby and King George in 2003.

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Sally Ann Grassick.jpgSally Ann Grassick

Sally Ann Grassick comes from a strong Irish racing background. She has worked as a presenter for Equidia covering international racing and is currently on the presenting team for ITV Racing in Britain. She also writes as a freelance journalist and translator, for publications such as European Bloodstock News and Jour de Galop, takes care of the administrative side of Newtown Stud, and has her own management and marketing agency that specializes in the racing and breeding industry. Sally Ann is also an active ITBA council member.

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