Dundalk Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for OTI over the years. This stadium, found an hour north of Dublin, was the location of Tom Melbourne’s race debut – a four and a half-length win that saw him purchased by OTI, set on a path to Australia and into the hearts of many within the racing industry.
It was the scene of Ottoman Emperor’s first trial – a close-up second that caught the eye and saw him purchased for Johnny Murtagh to train. He would go on to win at Group 3 level this season before becoming the first OTI horse to contest an English Classic in the Doncaster St Leger.
It was also at Dundalk Stadium where we first laid eyes on Vina Sena when finishing 3rd in a jump out in August. The 2yo son of Vadamos was quickly secured with further 3yo Classics in mind, with Group 1 winning trainer Henry de Bromhead retaining the horse for his immediate future.
The stock by Vadamos (by Monsun) were expected to need time and be at their best over middle-distance to staying journeys. However, his progeny has already claimed black-type performance in both hemispheres over sprint journeys. In Australasia, it is Art de Triomphe and Grace’s Secret showcasing the bloodlines in New Zealand, with Rhinoceros displaying his talent over the spring in Australia. Vadamos is a stallion with considerable upside.
Tonight, our eyes will again return to Dundalk, with Vina Sena ready to make his race debut for de Bromhead and connections, in the hands of Billy Lee. Over the mile journey and on the infamous polytrack we know so well, Vina Sena’s racing experience begins in what will be the last 2yo race of the season.
Whatever Vina Sena does tonight, we know that he will be better for the experience, and we have much to look forward to in his 3yo year in Ireland. Whether we have found another Tom Melbourne or the next Ottoman Emperor, time will tell.