A small piece of racing history comes on Sunday when the first runners sent out by an officially licensed training partnership line up at Punchestown.
The father and son team of Eddie and Patrick Harty are the first to hold a co-trainer’s license in Ireland.
The implementation of new rules allowing such an arrangement by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) stems from the fact that joint licenses have been allowed in Britain since last year.
“This is the way to go. Over time, you will see a lot more. We will see this as a big step forward, ”said Eddie Harty, a Cheltenham Festival winner, who now partners with his son at their Curragh base.
“Patrick will be 30 in July and for a young boy going out alone, to be serious, unless you are lucky enough to have Lotto money behind you, if you want to buy a seat, arrange there, put gallop, you look at seven digits.
“I heard Michael O’Flynn [property developer] talk the other day and when the O’Flynns can’t get the money from the banks to build apartments that everyone’s looking for, what chance does a young man have of getting the capital to undertake a business like this.
“So it makes sense. This allows for continuity and a generation that speaks to its own generation in the same language.
“If you had two other entities in business, and barely break even, you would have economies of scale and cost reductions, which also makes a lot of sense,” added Harty who lobbied for the rules. have been changed in the last 10 years. .
“It’s been in Australia and New Zealand for a long time and at a high level too. It wasn’t two guys on the sticks. It was the likes of Gai Waterhouse and the Freedmans. If they did, it made sense, ”he added.
Concerns about possible liability issues under the new system had already been expressed, but were played down by Harty on Friday.
“If ‘A’ commits a fault, ‘B’ is also guilty,” he said. “It’s a license. In the event of an integrity problem, both people are equally responsible for the outcome.
“If you had two people and after a year they couldn’t see each other anymore, I guess that’s treated like any other partnership. If you are accountants and you fall out, you dissolve the partnership.
“I am delighted to be the pioneer in this area. As a family we train because God knows when, so it’s nice to be the first and I think that’s the way to go.
The first of Harty’s two runners on Sunday will be the Lily Light Foot, ridden by Rachael Blackmore, with a handicap.
This is part of a glut of National Hunt action spread over three consecutive days in Punchestown, starting on Saturday when the £ 430,000 (€ 500,000) purchase of Grangeclare West debuts on the racetrack in a par -shocks.
Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley will be pictured at Haydock on Saturday where Njord is expected to relish mellow terrain conditions in Group 3 John Of Gaunt Stakes.
The same team are involved in Ireland’s only Flat action of the weekend in Navan where Los Andes are their runner in a decent three-year-old handicap.
Fans of Derby outsider Sir Lamorak are hoping for a boost from Bear Story who chased Ballydoyle’s colt to Leopardstown last month.
The test ground conditions saw Must Be Dreaming have a better career at Cork in his last start and similar runs, and a visor for the first time could see him do better in the final.