Cork trainer Kevin Coleman looking to replenish stock to keep up momentum

Cork trainer Kevin Coleman looking to replenish stock to keep up momentum

Jockey Ben Kennedy with his mount Swiss Army Officer alongside trainer Kevin Coleman. Picture: Healy Racing

CORK’S Kevin Coleman has had his team of horses in fine fettle this season.

He is now hoping to reinvest in some young stock, in a bid to keep his training operation moving forward.

The Innishannon native landed his third winner of the campaign, earlier this month, when saddling Swiss Army Officer to score, at Mallow racecourse.

Red Vermillion handed the trainer his first success on Irish soil, over the summer.

The Excelebration filly built on that Fairyhouse win by landing another race at Tramore. Despite the challenges heaped on the industry this year, Coleman has enjoyed a solid campaign.

However, he is already looking to the future.

‘‘It’s been a great season. They have all run well. But next year is a different story because the likes of Swiss and Red Vermillion are climbing up in the handicap and they are getting on in age.

“So, you won’t have them to back you up. You’re looking to the next generation. And it’s quite possible that they mightn’t be up to much. Then, you’re back to square one.

“It’s all about restocking and restocking well — or else you get forgotten about straightaway. One good year won’t make any difference if you’re not training [winners] the next year.

“That’s the way it goes. I’m a pessimist — I’m always worrying. I’m trying to stock up on yearlings and they are very expensive. I need three-year-olds coming through next year and I don’t have them.

“If I could get a couple of nice yearlings now, I’d be alright,’’ said Coleman.

Training out of his yard in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, the former Galway Plate-winning jockey aims to sell on horses after they have shown some promise.

This method of racing to sell, and then reinvesting in younger horses, is what keeps the operation going.

Recently, he sold on a Mehmas filly called Quattroelle, after she finished a good third on debut. She has since won in America, for trainer Jeff Mullins.

‘‘She won a $60,000 race first time out over there. She won it well. Basically, what we are trying to do here is buy young horses and, even though we’d like to keep them if they are good, it’s not financially viable to keep them, when you own them yourself,’’ he said.

Coleman looks set to send his dual winner, Red Vermillion, over hurdles soon.

He will also be eager to plunder some prize money with the rest of his string, when they race on the all-weather at Dundalk, during the winter.

‘‘Red Vermillion has schooled well. So, she’ll go down that route. She is probably at her limit on the Flat. There are a couple there for Dundalk.

“But only two or three will be going there. That’s if they are good enough. We won’t be going for the sake of it either. Unfortunately, there are a few there that won’t cut it and you have to move them on. The Swiss could do anything!’’

Swiss Army Officer finally got his head in front, after some near misses, when landing a breakthrough success under apprentice Ben Kennedy, who is part of the team at Coleman’s yard.

‘‘He’s been beaten a short head twice and he has gone up in the handicap. You’re penalised for running well. That makes it harder for you to win next time.

“[The win] is much appreciated. We’d be lost without Ben. He didn’t do anything wrong when he was beaten on him in Leopardstown in the summer.’’

Coleman holds an entry for this weekend’s meeting at Doncaster. However, it is unlikely that his well-regarded Queen’s Carriage will take her chance.

She finished fourth to the classy Frenetic, in a Dundalk listed event last time out, following on from her fourth-place berth at the same level, at Fairyhouse.

‘‘It’s not looking likely with the week of weather we had as she’s a real good-ground filly. She was unlucky in Fairyhouse.

“She was in front a furlong down and she clipped heels mid-race. If she got a bit of black-type, she’d have been sold and we could have bought a nice few yearlings with what we would have got.

“But, at the moment, she’s still ours.’’

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