Jessica Harrington Stable Tour

Jessica Harrington
Jessica Harrington
Podcast Quizz

by Justin O’Hanlon

There may be more quantity in Jessica Harrington’s Flat artillery, but don’t underestimate the quality that rests in her jumping battalion.

The 2020-21 campaign promises to be a fruitful one for the Commonstown team as they go to war with a squad of roughly 50 National Hunt performers, boasting a mix of proven Graded operators and up-and-coming youngsters.

The prolific Magic Of Light is back and apparently better than ever as she builds towards her bid to go one better than her second in the 2019 Randox Health Grand National.

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Three-time Grade 1 winner Supasundae also returns to the fray and will aim to collect another top-level hurdling prize this term, while the fellow Potts-owned Sizing Pottsie and promising hurdler Jungle Junction have the potential to make their presence felt in high-quality events.

Jessica Harrington enjoyed an excellent season on the Flat in 2020
Jessica Harrington enjoyed an excellent season on the Flat in 2020, Photo: Patrick McCann

The impressive victories for Crosshill and Ever Present, who provided Harrington with a Punchestown double last Wednesday, could be a sign of things to come with the younger brigade of potential stars coming through.

Stable facts

Yard Commonstown Stud
Where Moone, County Kildare
Started training 1989
National Hunt horses in yard 50
Assistant trainer/head groom Eamonn Leigh
Assistant trainer Kate Harrington
Travelling head groom Niall Amond
Assistant travelling head Esme Cooke
Yard managers Nigel Byrne, Matt Crosse, Adrien Bolger, Martina Kearns, Rory Nolan
Jockeys Robbie Power, Paddy Kennedy, Sean O’Keeffe, Finny Maguire, Cian Cullinan, Mikey McGuane
Secretaries Sue Wilson, Sean Crowe, Ally Couchman
Office managers Emma Galway, Richie Galway
Twitter @Jessica_Racing

Winners over jumps in Ireland

2019-20 25
2018-19 47
2017-18 38
2016-17 48

Profit/loss to €1 stake

2019-20 -€131.08
2018-19 -€24.39
2017-18 -€211.75
2016-17 -€121.84

Total prize-money 2019-20


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Ashdale Bob
Five-year-old gelding
Shantou (sire) – Ceol Rua (dam)
Owner: Diarmuid Horgan
Form figures: 435-
Racing Post Rating: 129 (hurdles); Official rating –

He’s a lovely horse who had a couple of very good runs on his first two starts before things went against him. I think he’s got a lot stronger this year.

5g Sholokhov – Rathvawn Belle
R A Bartlett
RPR 133h

He won really nicely at Punchestown on his first start over hurdles, which was great to see. I know it was a very strong bumper that he ran in on his debut at Fairyhouse but I was disappointed because I thought he’d win that day. Hopefully he’ll end up in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham come the end of the season.

Crosshill impressed when winning at Punchestown last week
Crosshill impressed when winning at Punchestown last week, Photo: Patrick McCann

Star quality

6g Salutino – Collinstown Queen
The Oddfellows Partnership
RPR 146c OR 142c

He went up 10lb for winning at Galway the other day and his aim is the Irish Grand National. The softer the ground the better for him – he’s a brilliant jumper and keeps galloping. We’ll look towards races like the Troytown and the Paddy Power.

Emily Moon
6m Beneficial – Wood Lily
Mrs P Myerscough
RPR 134h 134c OR 129h

It was great for her to some black type over hurdles last time, having got some over fences at Thurles last season. The plan is for her to go to Bangor for a Listed mares‘ chase [on November 11] and Robbie [Power] will be able to ride her.

Ever Present
4g Elusive Pimpernel – Persian Memories
Anamoine Limited
RPR 107b

I was delighted with how he won at Punchestown last week. He’s bred by Mrs Patino and could have run on the Flat last year but we can look towards a winners‘ bumper for him. He’s an exciting horse who we’ve always loved.

Ever Present created an excellent impression when winning a Punchestown bumper on his debut, Photo: Patrick McCann

Exit Poll
6g Elusive Pimpernel – Carolobrian
Sean & Bernardine Mulryan
RPR 134h 136c OR 132h

I was thrilled with his run at Wexford behind Andy Dufresne. He stayed galloping well and I think he’ll stay two and a half miles, although I’d love to run him over two and a quarter next time. Hopefully he can get his head in front over fences before long.

5g Motivator – Guardia
John P McManus
RPR 107h

He’s had a couple of runs for us in maiden hurdles and I think he’s got a lot stronger since last year. He ran a lovely race over the weekend at Down Royal and jumped very well. The more experience the better and hopefully he’ll be winning races soon.

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3g Galileo – Acoma
Geoffrey Ruddock
21 (Flat)
RPR 83f

We were delighted with him winning on the Flat at Navan and he’s one we’re looking forward to seeing over hurdles this season. He’s schooled very well and is a nice horse who will run in about a month. He wants soft ground.

Ilmig had Tiger Roll behind when winning on the Flat at Navan last month
Ilmig had Tiger Roll behind when winning on the Flat at Navan last month, Photo: Patrick McCann

Impact Factor
8g Flemensfirth – Hello Kitty
RPR 144c OR 143c

He’s a very exciting chaser. He didn’t run at all last year but he’s got some smart form. Running over two miles on soft ground, or two and a half on better ground, suits him well.

Instant Return
4g Elzaam – Instant Memories
Brian Miller
RPR 122h OR 126h

He’s hardy and will be back on soft ground in handicap company this season. He’s by Elzaam but I think he’ll be able to step up to two and a half miles, maybe even three.

9g Flemensfirth – La Noire
Robert Waley-Cohen
RPR 163 OR 154

I was really happy with his comeback at Punchestown in the race he won last year. He was giving away plenty of weight and got passed but he came again, to his credit. He’ll go for the Becher Chase next and Sam Waley-Cohen will ride him.

Jungle Junction
5g Elusive Pimpernel – Consignia
Mrs A Frost
RPR 135h OR 133h

His form from last season looks strong and he’s only a five-year-old so we’ll stay over hurdles this season. He’s done very well over the summer and I’d imagine his aim could be the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse. He’s a very nice horse.

Jungle Junction talented hurdler set for fruitful campaign
Jungle Junction talented hurdler set for fruitful campaign, Photo: Patrick McCann

Dark horse

Lifetime Ambition
5g Kapgarde – Jeanquiri
Linda Mulcahy & Mary Wolridge
RPR 103b

I think this is a lovely horse. He goes hurdling and jumps very well. I’m very happy with how he’s done over the summer.

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Lynwood Gold
5g Mastercraftsman – Witch Of Fife
C Acheson
RPR 134h

We’re going to look towards a Pertemps qualifier with him in England in January. He stays well and the Pertemps Final or Coral Cup will be his aim. He had a very good run in the Cesarewitch last time and has gone well over hurdles already.

Magic Of Light
9m Flemensfirth – Quest Of Passion
Ann & Alan Potts Limited
RPR 162c 150h OR 158c 149h

She seems to be better than ever at the moment. We’ll probably go for her usual routine of the Lismullen Hurdle, then over to Newbury for the Listed mares‘ chase in December and on to Ascot again for the Grade 2 hurdle in January, with her aim being the Grand National. Naturally, it was disappointing not to be able to go to Aintree with her last year but she’s come back in great form.

Jessica Harrington on Magic Of Light: "She seems to be better than ever at the moment"
Jessica Harrington on Magic Of Light: „She seems to be better than ever at the moment“, Photo: Edward Whitaker

5g Martaline – Iris Du Berlais
John P McManus
RPR 144h OR 137h

He’s a grand horse who ran over fences last time at Punchestown but may stay over hurdles. I think he’ll go over two and a half miles and this year he looks stronger and better than before – he could even go three miles. He enjoys soft ground.

Mr Hendricks
6g Milan – Coming Home
Exors of the Late David Reid Scott
RPR 127h

We’re looking forward to seeing him over fences. I think he’ll enjoy going a trip. He won his maiden hurdle nicely last season and is a very nice horse.

9g Echo Of Light – Lily Beth
Exors of the Late David Reid Scott
RPR 146c OR 138c

He’ll go for all the banks races again after having a great time of things last year. I think he could run a very big race in the Cross Country at Cheltenham if it came up good – he needs good ground.

Not Many Left
7g Oscar – Lasado
RPR 153h OR 148h

He missed the whole of last season. We’re going to keep him over hurdles. He’s a very smart horse and stays three miles so hopefully he can have a good season.

Not Many Left has some strong form from the 2018-19 season and is set to return from a layoff this term
Not Many Left has some strong form from the 2018-19 season and is set to return from a layoff this term, Photo: Patrick McCann

7g Invincible Spirit – Liscune
Michael Cooke
RPR 123h

He’s on a break at the moment after running on the Flat during the summer. He’ll be back in the spring and will go hurdling.

Polished Steel
6g Jeremy – Chaperoned
J P O’Flaherty
RPR 145c OR 137c

He’s been brilliant for us this season and has really improved for going over fences. The ground was too soft for him on Sunday at Cork and we’ll give him a mini-break with a view to running him at Leopardstown over Christmas. Hopefully the ground won’t be too soft for him then. 

Port Stanley
6g Papal Bull – Prairie Moonlight
Linda Mulcahy & Mary Wolridge
RPR 127h OR 125h

He’s got some good form over hurdles and I can’t wait for him to go chasing. He schooled really well at the Curragh the other day.

Port Stanley (right) got the better of stablemate Lynwood Gold (left) in a maiden hurdle at Naas when last seen in February
Port Stanley (right) got the better of stablemate Lynwood Gold (left) in a maiden hurdle at Naas when last seen in February, Photo: Patrick McCann

Rapid Response
6m Network – La Grande Villez
Ann & Alan Potts Limited
RPR 136c OR 133c

She’s a lovely mare who’s been very consistent. I think she’s improving all the time and could make into a lovely staying chaser. She ran a nice race on Sunday at Cork but the ground was a little too testing for her. We’ll give her a bit of a mini-break now and hopefully pick up some black type later in the season.

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Silver Sheen
6g Sulamani – Silver Gypsy
J Turner
RPR 138h OR 133h

He has the option of either going for the Pertemps or heading over fences. We were really disappointed he picked up a setback that meant he missed Cheltenham last season because he looked to have a real chance but we’re happy with him now.

Sizing Pottsie
6g Kapgarde – Line Salsa
Ann & Alan Potts Limited
RPR 154c OR 149c

We stepped him up to 2m3½f at the weekend but he didn’t quite see it out. Robert [Power] says he’s an out and out two-miler on soft ground. He’ll go for the Poplar Square Chase at Naas at the end of the month. He’s an exciting horse.

Sizing Pottsie winner of the Grade 3 Flyingbolt Novice Chase last season
Sizing Pottsie winner of the Grade 3 Flyingbolt Novice Chase last season, Photo: Patrick McCann

Still Standing
5g Mastercraftsman – Il Palazzo
The Three D Partnership
RPR 116h

He had a good run back over hurdles at Gowran the other day when he was just touched off before running too keen at Down Royal when he didn’t see out the trip. It was the wrong way to ride him and we’ll look for a handicap with him now. He doesn’t want extremes in terms of ground and two miles is fine for him. 

10g Galileo – Distinctive Look
Ann & Alan Potts Limited
RPR 165h OR 154h

He’s in great form and we’re looking at the Lismullen Hurdle for him. He’s also entered in the Morgiana Hurdle and will probably run in all those good Graded hurdles this season. If he’s no good I’ll threaten him with going chasing to do a Faugheen!

Wingin A Prayer
5g Winged Love – Toubliss
Rainbow Gems Syndicate
RPR 127h OR 122h

It was disappointing that he fell last time at Punchestown because I was expecting a very big run from him, but he just picked up too far away due to a shadow. He’s a nice horse going forward and will jump a fence in time but there’s no hurry.

Young talent

We’ve got some lovely young horses to look forward to over the coming months. Autumn Evening (3g Tamayuz – Martagon Lily) had a good run on the Flat at Navan and will go hurdling, having schooled well. Boola Boola (3g Invincible Spirit – We Can Say It Now) is an enormous horse who’ll wait for a four-year-old bumper. There’s also a lovely Martaline three-year-old out of Beau Bridget bred by the Potts family who will run in a bumper next year. We have a nice homebred filly by Shantou out of Madam Des Champs.

Supasundae admirable ten-year-old back for more in 2020-21
Supasundae admirable ten-year-old back for more in 2020-21, Photo: Edward Whitaker

Fame And Joy (4f Fame And Glory – Coonagh Cross) has been running well in bumpers and hopefully she should be up to winning one this season. She’s been a bit green, as was What Next (5m Scorpion – Espresso Lady), who’s a half-sister to Sensulano and made her debut at Galway recently. Daisy Dufresne (4f Doyen – Daytona Lily), a sister to Andy Dufresne, is very nice too. She isn’t overly big and will go for a bumper. 

Mighty Meggsie (4f Arakan – Angel Lopez) was second on her first two bumper starts before getting bogged down on soft ground at Galway and she could go hurdling. California Breeze (4f Shirocco – Taraval) is a lovely big filly who looks like a three-mile chaser. Edison Kent (4g Leading Light – Kentish Town) hasn’t run yet but is a nice unraced four-year-old we’re looking forward to and Annie Kate (5m Califet – Spartan Girl) is also looking much stronger this year.

Two for the tracker

Daisy Dufresne is a filly we’re looking forward to running in a bumper and I think Ilmig is a smart horse who hopefully can do well over hurdles.

Expert view

Almost every top prize in jump racing has been won by Jessica Harrington over the years, with the Grand National being one of the few races missing from her CV.

I get the feeling that no stone will be left unturned in a bid to enable Magic Of Light to go one better this time after her narrow defeat by Tiger Roll in 2019. The early vibes are good.

Multiple Grade 1-winning veteran Supasundae returns for another Grade 1 campaign which looks likely to start off in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan.

Discordantly is certainly one to watch. Impressive at Galway last month, he looks likely to be a factor in the good staying handicap chases, beginning with the Troytown at Navan.

The trainer has never been shy in her opinion of Sizing Pottsie. He was too free and possibly needed the run at Down Royal on Saturday and there should be much better to come.

Among the younger brigade, there are high hopes that impressive Punchestown maiden hurdle winner Crosshill could make the grade as a staying novice hurdler, with the Albert Bartlett as a long-term target.

Potentially, no horse in the yard is more exciting than Ever Present, who delivered nicely for an inexperienced young rider in a Punchestown bumper.

Flat racing may be king at Commonstown at the moment and the string of jumpers may be smaller than in recent years, but they will hold their own.

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Jessica Harrington Stable Tour
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