Noel Meade Stable Tour

    Top Irish trainer Noel Meade gives us the lowdown on his talented team, including those lining up at the Winter Festival at Fairyhouse this weekend.
  • Thursday 30 November 2017
  • Stable Tours

Noel Meade has long been established as one of Ireland’s best and most popular trainers.

Meade began his training career back in 1971 with just one dual-purpose horse to his name that he rode out himself.

From that modest beginning, he grew into the most powerful National Hunt trainer in the country, being crowned Champion Trainer in Ireland on eight occasions between 1998/99 and 2006/07.

While he has since had to give up that crown to Willie Mullins, the County Meath trainer continues to be a factor on the big-race scene.

With Noel’s string being in particularly good form in the build-up to this weekend's Winter Festival at Fairyhouse, attheraces.com’s Kevin Blake picked the perfect time to speak to the master of Tu Va Stables.

All Horses

A Genie In Abottle

Form Profile:

A 150-rated chaser, he was placed in Grade 1 company as a novice chaser and has won both his starts this season.

Trainer Says:

He runs in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on Saturday and that has been the plan with him for a while. He’s a horse that stays very well and races lazily, so hopefully he get a good position and get into a good rhythm early on. He’s in great shape and what he does at Newbury will guide us as where to go next with him.

Video Form
30 Oct 2017:
10 Oct 2017:
25 Apr 2017:
28 Jan 2017:
17 Dec 2016:

Apache Stronghold

Form Profile:

A 147-rated chaser, he progressed into a high-class novice chaser in 2014/15, with the highlights being his win in the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase and his second-place finish to Vautour in the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He missed two full seasons prior to returning at Thurles in November.

Trainer Says:

He just got tired on his comeback at Thurles last time. It was going well for him until he over-jumped and stumbled at the bottom of the hill, that seemed to knock the stuffing out of him and he might have finished a fair bit closer but for that. We haven’t been able to get him any fitter than he was for that run in the last two years due to the setbacks he has had, so he should improve nicely from the run and improve again from his next one. We want to give him a bit of time in between his runs and he’ll be entered for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Video Form
27 Dec 2017:
9 Dec 2017:
23 Nov 2017:
28 Apr 2015:
5 Apr 2015:

Calicojack

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Beneficial - Ballyoscar (Oscar)
  • Trained by: N Meade
  • Last Race: Navan, 9 Dec 2017 15:35
  • Result: 2/9, tracked leaders in 5th, ridden in 3rd 3f out, 3rd 1f out, kept on without threatening winner to go 2nd close home
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made an encouraging debut in a valuable sales bumper at Fairyhouse in March 2016 before finishing a length second in a Punchestown bumper on Wednesday.

Trainer Says:

He’s a nice horse that I’ve always liked and we expected him to run well at Punchestown on Wednesday. He got a stress fracture last season which is what has held him up, but the time off might not have been any harm for him. He likes soft ground and is likely to go hurdling soon.

Video Form
9 Dec 2017:
29 Nov 2017:
27 Mar 2016:

Daly Tiger (FR)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Tiger Groom - Reine Tresor (Saint Cyrien)
  • Trained by: N Meade
  • Last Race: Leopardstown, 29 Dec 2017 15:35
  • Result: 3/5, raced in 4th, closed up approaching halfway, soon 3rd, 2nd approaching straight, soon pushed along, 3rd again under 2f out and no impression, one pace
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Fell at the final fence in his only start in a point-to-point, but made a winning racecourse debut in a bumper at Thurles in November.

Trainer Says:

He will start off over hurdles at Thurles on Tursday. He looked very flashy when he won his bumper, but we hadn’t trialled him much at home. Hopefully he can get off the mark over hurdles and progress up the ranks in the novice division.

Video Form
29 Dec 2017:
30 Nov 2017:
9 Nov 2017:

Disko (FR)

Form Profile:

A 164-rated chaser, he won twice at Grade 1 level as a novice chaser last season and made a winning return to action in Grade 2 company at Down Royal in November.

Trainer Says:

We were delighted with him at Down Royal. He’s a high-profile horse, a two-time Grade 1 winning novice chaser, so you always hope that a horse like him can make the leap forward into competing in open company, but it’s still a fair leap to make. It was great to see him make such a good start. He’s on target for the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase and that’s the plan at the minute. He seems in great shape since he ran and if everything goes to plan next week, he’ll have an entry in the King George and the Lexus and we’ll see after that.

Video Form
4 Nov 2017:
25 Apr 2017:
12 Feb 2017:
29 Dec 2016:
20 Nov 2016:

First Approach (IRE)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Robin Des Champs - Manhattan Babe (Definite Article)
  • Trained by: N Meade
  • Last Race: Down Royal, 4 Nov 2017 16:10
  • Result: 3/12, tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, pushed along 2f out, ridden and no impression over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A winning point-to-pointer, he has run very well in both his starts in bumpers to date.

Trainer Says:

He hit the bar a couple of times in bumpers and in both those runs he looked like he wants a longer trip. He has only really been getting going late on. I want to try one more bumper with him, probably at a testing track like Navan or Leopardstown. He’ll go hurdling after that.

Video Form
4 Nov 2017:
10 Oct 2017:

Ice Cold Soul

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Stowaway - Western Whisper (Supreme Leader)
  • Trained by: N Meade
  • Last Race: Fairyhouse, 16 Dec 2017 12:05
  • Result: 4/7, led early, headed before 3rd, ridden in 4th after 3 out, soon no impression, slight mistake at last
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 129-rated hurdler, he made an encouraging chasing debut when fourth in a Grade 3 novice chase at Cork in November.

Trainer Says:

He ran quite well on his chasing debut at Cork. The ground was very heavy that day and he’s just not at his best on it, he prefers it better. He’ll run again in couple of weeks and we’ll see how he goes. He’s a reasonably good horse, but he’ll need to improve to compete in those better races.

Video Form
16 Dec 2017:
5 Nov 2017:
18 Apr 2017:
22 Jan 2017:
27 Dec 2016:

Joey Sasa (IRE)

  • 9-y-o; gelding
  • Breeding: Winged Love - Brescia (Monsun)
  • Trained by: N Meade
  • Last Race: Downpatrick, 13 Oct 2017 16:35
  • Result: Won/3, chased leader in 2nd, improved to lead after 4 out, went a few lengths clear before last and kept on well run-in, easily
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 138-rated hurdler, he returned to winning ways in a conditions hurdle at Downpatrick in November.

Trainer Says:

He’s on a bit a break for now, as he doesn’t like it very soft, so we’ll look to get him back later in the season.

Video Form
13 Oct 2017:
3 Aug 2017:
18 Apr 2017:
26 Feb 2017:
29 Jan 2017:

Le Martalin (FR)

  • 7-y-o; chestnut gelding
  • Breeding: Martaline - Hembra (Croco Rouge)
  • Trained by: N Meade
  • Last Race: Leopardstown, 27 Dec 2017 12:40
  • Result: 3/6, led, pressed when left clear 3rd, soon reduced lead and pushed along into straight, headed over 1f out, soon no impression and one pace, dropped to 3rd near line
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 134-rated hurdler, he made an encouraging chasing debut when second to Dinaria Des Obeaux at Wexford, but he ballooned the first fence and unseated his rider in his latest outing at Navan.

Trainer Says:

It was a real pity what happened him at Navan. He jumps really well and it just seemed so out of character for him to balloon a fence like that. I don’t know why he did it, but while he ran in a bridle and bit that he’s been working in, we put a tongue tie on him as well and that might just have thrown him off. Hopefully it is just a one-off. I would have been keen to run him again quickly, but he picked up quite a nasty cut on a hind leg, so that will take a few weeks to sort out. He’ll stay over fences and will probably stick to two miles.

Video Form
27 Dec 2017:
26 Nov 2017:
30 Oct 2017:
2 Apr 2017:
27 Dec 2016:

Minella Fair

Form Profile:

Placed in a point-to-point and two bumpers prior to winning a bumper at Limerick by a wide margin in December and then a maiden hurdle by half a length at Punchestown on Wednesday.

Trainer Says:

He’s a lovely big horse that is a full-brother to Time For Rupert. He picked up a stress fracture in his pelvis the day he won, so that’s why he wasn’t seen out again after that. He wants proper soft ground and is one that we are likely to give some time between his races. He’ll stay over hurdles this season, but will be a lovely staying chaser next season.

Video Form
29 Dec 2017:
29 Nov 2017:
29 Dec 2016:
10 Dec 2016:
13 Nov 2016:

Moulin A Vent (GB)

  • 6-y-o; gelding
  • Breeding: Sagamix - Bahia Blanca (Astarabad)
  • Trained by: N Meade
  • Last Race: Leopardstown, 29 Dec 2017 13:55
  • Result: 5/8, held up in touch, soon raced in 5th, bad mistake 7th fence jumped, soon last, slightly impeded 10th, soon no danger, not fluent final fence
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 137-rated hurdler, he disappointed on his chasing debut at Down Royal in November.

Trainer Says:

He is likely to run on Saturday. He’s a bit of a nightmare really, as we think he’s quite a good horse, but his jumping keeps letting him down. He ran no sort of race on his chasing debut at Down Royal and to be honest we don’t know why. He schooled this morning and seemed to be thinking about it a bit more, so hopefully he’ll put in a good round of jumping at that weekend and we can get back on track with him. He wants two-and-a-half miles and further.

Video Form
29 Dec 2017:
16 Dec 2017:
9 Dec 2017:
3 Nov 2017:
23 Sep 2017:

Moyross (GB)

Form Profile:

A winning point-to-pointer, he has won both his starts over hurdles in good style this season.

Trainer Says:

He’ll run in the Grade 3 novice hurdle over three miles at Cork on December 10th. He’ll stay over hurdles for this season and hopefully he’ll keep going the right way. I’m not so sure about how well he’ll handle really testing ground. He’s going to be a smashing chaser next season.

Video Form
7 Jan 2018:
15 Oct 2017:
18 Sep 2017:
28 Apr 2017:
15 Jan 2017:

Narcissistic

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Robin Des Champs - Night Therapy (Mandalus)
  • Trained by: N Meade
  • Last Race: Fairyhouse, 16 Dec 2017 13:45
  • Result: 4/16, disputed lead, led and slight mistake 3rd, slight mistake again next, joined 3 out, ridden and headed after 2 out, dropped to 3rd inside final furlong, 4th near line
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Has run well in all three starts in bumpers without winning.

Trainer Says:

He’s a huge horse, absolutely enormous, but he has a great constitution too. The biggest problem we have is keeping weight off him, so can take plenty of work. He’ll run in a bumper at Fairyhouse this Saturday and I’d expect him to be competitive. That is likely to be his last run in a bumper and he’ll go hurdling after that. He’s a real chaser in the making.

Video Form
16 Dec 2017:
2 Dec 2017:
17 May 2017:
18 Apr 2017:
27 Mar 2016:

Red Jack

Form Profile:

Unbeaten in two bumpers (including the valuable Tattersalls Ireland George Mernagh Memorial Sales Bumper at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival) and made a winning hurdling debut in a maiden at Naas in November.

Trainer Says:

He runs in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday. I know it’s a big ask of him, but no matter where you go with these novices in Ireland, you are bumping into high-class horses, so we’ll let him take his chance at this level. He’ll have to improve on what he did the last day and is likely to learn from whatever he does on Sunday, but I hope he can improve enough to compete.

Video Form
3 Dec 2017:
11 Nov 2017:
16 Apr 2017:
8 Jan 2017:

Road To Respect

Form Profile:

A 163-rated chaser, he won the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and the Ryanair Gold Cup at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival last season. He made a winning return to action in the Irish Daily Star Chase at Punchestown and produced a career-best effort to finish second to Outlander in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.

Trainer Says:

The plan is to run in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting. He’s also entered in the King George, but Leopardstown is the plan. Going left-handed will be a big help to him. Very heavy ground may not suit him all that well. He hasn’t missed a beat since his run at Down Royal and he isn’t a horse that needs a lot of work. Hopefully he can take another step forward at Leopardstown to put him in amongst the best of them.

Video Form
28 Dec 2017:
4 Nov 2017:
19 Oct 2017:
16 Apr 2017:
19 Feb 2017:

Road To Riches

Form Profile:

A 150-rated chaser, he has won two Grade 1 races over fences, but hasn’t been at his best in recent starts.

Trainer Says:

We’ve been trying a few different things with him and that’s why he hasn’t run for a while. We’ve struggled to get him back to himself since that really bad fall he took at the Punchestown Festival last year. We found out that he has displaced his spleen from one side of his stomach to the other, so we got that sorted in the spring, but he just hasn’t run up to himself in his two runs since. We’ve been doing a lot of flat work and schooling with him, so hopefully that will help. He’s likely to go for the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Video Form
27 Dec 2017:
13 Sep 2017:
2 Aug 2017:
12 Feb 2017:
28 Dec 2016:

Snow Falcon

Form Profile:

A 157-rated hurdler, he made a promising chasing debut at Naas in November.

Trainer Says:

I’m going to run him in the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday. Most of the time you need a Graded-class performance to win a maiden chase in this country at this time of the season, so I thought he would be as well to run there and see how we get on. I’d been happy with his schooling prior to his chasing debut and he jumped well there too, he just got a bit detached at an important stage. The main objective that day was just for him to get a clear round in, but with that experience under his belt, he will be ridden a bit more forward next time.

Video Form
28 Dec 2017:
3 Dec 2017:
11 Nov 2017:
8 Oct 2017:
9 Sep 2017:
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