Fozzy Stack is technically one of the newer names to the training ranks, but he is anything but a stranger to the racing scene. The prominent assistant trainer to his father Tommy Stack for over 15 years, he played a major role in the yard’s success having been thrust into that role at just 18 years of age when his father was struck down with meningitis.
The Stack yard has produced numerous performers of note over the decades with the Group 1 winners including Kostroma (Beverly D Stakes), Las Meninas (1000 Guineas), Tarascon (Moyglare Stud Stakes and Irish 1,000 Guineas), Myboycharlie (Prix Morny) and Alexander Tango (Garden City Stakes). Fozzy will be looking to carry on that fine tradition after the training license was passed into his name at the turn of this year.
With Fozzy having made a very fast start to the season, he took time out from his busy schedule to talk Kevin Blake through his team of horses for attheraces.com.
4 b f Fastnet Rock – Front House
Rated 77, she won a maiden at Navan last September and was well held on her seasonal reappearance at Cork in April.
“She was a bit disappointing at Cork the other day, but I’d say the ground was just too soft for her. She’ll run at Limerick next weekend in a mile handicap and should leave that run well behind.”
4 b f Fastnet Rock – Question Times
Rated 106, she ran very well in stakes company without winning last season, but got back to winning ways on her seasonal reappearance in the Gladness Stakes at Naas.
“It was great for her to win the Gladness and get that black-type win. I don’t want to draw too many conclusions from that run in terms of her trip preferences, as it turned into a three-furlong sprint, but I don’t think she quite got the nine-furlong trip in America last year and we’ll probably stick to shorter than that. She is versatile with regard to ground, though she wouldn’t want it very soft. She’ll probably run in the Athasi Stakes next and after that there will be a decision to be made whether it is the Ridgewood Pearl, Royal Ascot or a Grade 1 in New York in the beginning of June that is worth a lot of money.”
6 ch g Footstepsinthesand – Pivotalia
Rated 104, he has won the Irish Lincoln, two Group 3 contests and returned to winning ways in a conditions race at Tipperary in April.
“He’s been a great servant. He won a race at Tipperary the other day that couldn’t have suited him any better. He needs soft ground and we’ll look at races like the Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown and maybe the Concorde Stakes at Tipperary at the backend of the season. He won’t be running on summer ground. It would be hard to say that he’s as good as ever, but in fairness to him he hasn’t had his ideal ground so far this season.”
3 b c Choisir – Alexiade
Made a winning debut at the Curragh in June and followed it up with an excellent second to Churchill in the Group 3 Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown a month later.
“He had a serious setback just a week before his intended run in the National Stakes last year. He got a deep-seated infection in his suspensory ligament. They needed to split a branch of his suspensory to get in to deal with it and the team at Fethard Equine Hospital did a great job with it. We are taking it one day at a time with him, but he’s doing two canters every day and is moving well at the moment. If all keeps going well with him, we’ll be looking at starting him back in June or July.”
3 b f So You Think – Dombeya
Made a winning debut in a maiden at Cork in April.
“She’d been working solidly all spring and I thought she won well at Cork. The ground was heavy there, but I think she’ll be fine on good ground as long as it doesn’t get too much firmer than that. We’ll step her up in class now and the Salsabil Stakes at Navan looks the right race for her. I don’t think stepping up to a mile-and-a-quarter will be any problem. She was entered in the Oaks the other day, but she has a fair way to go to get there. Still, I’d be very surprised if she’s not a stakes filly and I’m looking forward to seeing how much she can progress.”
3 b f Sea The Stars – Kitty Matcham
A well-bred filly that realised 525,000gns as a yearling, she finished an encouraging fourth on her debut in a maiden at Dundalk in April.
“She finished fourth at Dundalk on debut and just got a bit tired. She should improve from that. I’d consider her a mile-and-a-quarter to a mile-and-a-half filly that probably wants nice ground. She should be up to winning a maiden and after that we’ll give her every opportunity to earn some black type.”
3 b f Choisir – Blue Dahlia
An unraced daughter of a smart sprinter.
“She’s likely to make her debut at Cork on Monday. She was meant to run at Naas last weekend, but she was in season. Her mother was quite a good sprinter and this filly might get seven furlongs, but she could well prove best at shorter and will start off at five furlongs. I don’t think she’ll want extremes of ground. Hopefully she’ll be as good as her mother!”
3 b c Power – Varmint Lady
Rated 80, he has shaped with promise in maidens and made a solid seasonal reappearance when a close third in a handicap at Dundalk in April.
“He ran OK at Dundalk the other day. He will probably come on from that run, as he’s a little bit hot at home and it’s easy to think that he’s fitter than he is because you’re trying to keep a lid on him. He’s a five-furlong horse and he’ll run away in similar races.”
3 b g Fastnet Rock – Green Castle
Rated 83, he got off the mark when making a winning return to action in the Madrid Handicap at Naas and was only just touched off on his next start at Leopardstown.
“He won the Madrid well and just got touched off at Leopardstown in his last start. Both of those were over seven furlongs and he is crying out to step up in trip. He has definitely improved a lot from last year, he has strengthened up and works a lot more consistently. Being gelded over the winter probably did no harm either. He might go to Navan next weekend for a €50,000 handicap over a mile. I’d hopeful that he’ll continue to improve as he steps up in trip. I don’t think better ground will be an issue for him.”
3 b f Royal Applause – Nasij
A €67,000 yearling purchase, she made an encouraging debut in a maiden at Leopardstown in May.
“She ran well on her debut last season, but she’s just had a few niggly problems since. She isn’t too far off making her comeback and it is likely to be over seven furlongs or a mile. She should be up to winning a maiden.”
3 b c Toreador – In The Mist
Formerly trained by Mike De Kock in South Africa to win two of his five starts last year, his most recent run saw him finish a close third in the Grade 1 Premiers Champion Stakes at Greyville in July.
“He was trained by Mike De Kock in South Africa and finished third in a Grade 1 over seven furlongs as a two-year-old last year. He was bought by an owner based in Hong Kong with a view to eventually running out there, but they would like to race him in Ireland first. He’s been here about six weeks and is probably at least that far off a run. We’re still learning about him, but he’ll probably start off in a stakes race when he’s ready.”
SON OF REST
3 b c Pivotal – Hightime Heroine
Rated 104, he made a promising debut to finish second at Tipperary in August prior to running very well when fourth in the National Stakes at the Curragh. He made a winning return in a maiden at Cork in April.
“He won well at Cork over five furlongs. It wasn’t much of a race, but it was good to get him off the mark. Five furlongs isn’t his trip, he’s probably more of a six or seven-furlong horse. I don’t think good ground will be a problem, but he may not want it firm. He’ll probably go for the Listed race at Navan next weekend over just short of six furlongs. Looking further ahead, we’d love if he turns out to be one for the Jersey Stakes or the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.”
3 b c Dylan Thomas – Insoumise
Won a seven-furlong maiden at Dundalk on his second start back in December.
“He won a maiden at Dundalk at the backend of last year. He should pay his way in handicaps going forward from seven furlongs to a mile. He’ll want goodish ground.”
2 ch c Choisir – Glowing Star
An unraced colt from the family of Devonshire, he realised £58,000 as a yearling.
“I thought he was going to be an early type, but he just started to grow there a bit, so we had to slow down with him. He’s nearly ready to kick on with again now and he seems to go OK. He’s likely to be one for five or six furlongs and he’ll out at the end of May or early-June.”
2 b f Canford Cliffs – Addictedtoprogress
An unraced filly from the family of Desert Style, she was bought back for €2,200 as a yearling.
“She seems to go nicely and will hopefully keep going that way. She runs in the next month or so and will probably start over six furlongs.”
2 ch c Choisir – Chantarella
An unraced full-brother to the useful sprinters Celerina and Another Express.
“We’ve had a bit of luck with the family so hopefully this lad will add to it. He seems to be typical of his family and looks to be a sprinter in the making. He should be running by mid-to-late May.”
2 ch f Choisir – Mironica
Built on her promising debut when winning a maiden at Dundalk in April.
“She just got touched off at Dundalk on her debut and went back there to win last week. She was still a little bit green, but she’s come out of it well and is tough. We’ll see how we are going, but I might bring her over to the Dante meeting at York to run in the Marygate Stakes. She seems very effective at five furlongs and while she might stay six furlongs, we’ll keep her to the minimum trip for the time being. Could she be a Queen Mary filly? I’d rather it was run next week rather than in mid-June!”
2 b c Footstepsinthesand – Headborough Lass
An unraced colt from the family of Gulland, he realised €43,000 as a yearling.
“He’s a sharpish horse. He’s quite a good-looking horse and a good mover. We haven’t done anything too serious with him yet and he’s probably six-to-eight weeks off getting to the track.”
DIAMOND FIELDS – Group 3 winner that should continue to compete at that level.
ONENIGHTIDREAMED – Rock-solid stakes performer that relishes soft ground.
SON OF REST – Promising three-year-old that should win at stakes level.
MISTY BIRNAM – Intriguing Group 1-placed import from South Africa.
ANGEL ISLAND – Maiden winner that should progress to stakes company.
GINO SEVERINI – Progressive handicapper that should win again soon.
SIRICI – Winning juvenile that will be targeted at stakes races.