Name: Pat Flynn
Address: Ballingara, Carrick-On-Suir, Co. Waterford
Principal Jockey: Danny Grant
Notable Wins: Give Thanks Stakes (She’s Our Mark 2010), Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle (Bahrain Storm 2010), Alleged Stakes (She’s Our Mark 2010), Galway Hurdle (Bahrain Storm 2009), Meld Stakes (She’s Our Mark 2009), Kilboy Estate Stakes (She’s Our Mark 2009), Victor McCalmont Stakes (She’s Our Mark 2009), Hurry Harriet Stakes (Baby Blue Eyes 2007), Challenge Stakes (Galistic 2007), Desmond Stakes (She’s Our Mark 2007), Stillorgan Premier Handicap (Baby Blue Eyes 2007), Supreme Novices Hurdle (French Ballerina 1998, Montelado 1993), Naas November Handicap (By Charlie Allen 1996, Lightning Bug 1989), Irish Cesarewitch (Montelado 1995), Champion Bumper at Punchestown (Aries Girl 1994), Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Aries Girl 1994), G.P.T. Galway Amateur Handicap (Onomatopoeia 1994), McDonogh Handicap (Salmon Eile 1992), Champion Bumper at Cheltenham (Montelado 1992), Scurry Handicap (Cheviot Amble 1991), Giolla Mear Stakes (Maiden Fair 1988), Curragh Stakes (Virginia Deer 1982)
Pat Flynn has long been established as one of the shrewdest trainers in Ireland under either code. He has enjoyed success at the highest level over jumps and has also sent out winners of many stakes races on the Flat. A 30-year veteran of his profession, Flynn has been as successful as ever in recent seasons and looks set to continue to be a prominent member of his trade for many years to come.
Pat began training in 1981 with just one horse in his stable, but that horse, a two-year-old named Virginia Deer, proved to be a very smart performer, winning four races that season that included the Group 3 Curragh Stakes at the Curragh on Irish Oaks Day and the Listed Goffs Stakes, again at the Curragh.
After the exploits of Virginia Deer in that first year, it took a little while longer for Pat to get established among the training ranks, but towards the latter part of the decade, horses like Maiden Fair and Lightning Bug helped to raise his profile considerably. Indeed, when Maiden Fair won the Giolla Mear race at the Curragh in 1988 which rounded off a magnificent treble for the Flynn stable, while the following year the smart Lightning Bug took the Naas November Handicap. Flynn was earning a reputation for placing his charges to good effect, something which he still excels at over twenty years later. In total, Maiden Fair won eight races in her career while Lightning Bug chipped in with no less than five successes.
In the early 1990s, Pat came across a really exciting prospect in the shape of Montelado. Successful in his first two starts in bumpers, he was then ridden by Richard Dunwoody in the inaugural running of the Weatherby’s Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival in March 1992. Sent off at 8/1, the five-year-old promptly ran away from his rivals to win in great style by 12 lengths. Although defeated in the Champion Bumper at Punchestown the following month, Montelado showed great promise over hurdles in his novice days and with Charlie Swan on board, he landed the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 1993, breaking the track record in the process. Sadly, due to recurring bouts of leg trouble, Montelado never really realised his full potential although he proved good enough to win the Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh under Michael Kinane in 1995.
Aries Girl Comes To The Fore
Aries Girl was another high class bumper performer around this time and indeed she became the first ever mare to win four bumpers when taking the Champion Bumper at the Punchestown Festival in 1994 having earlier chased home Mucklemeg in the Cheltenham equivalent. She proved herself to be a high-class novice hurdler the following season, winning the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in December before chasing home the classy Fortune And Fame in the AIG Europe Champion Hurdle (held at Fairyhouse that year) in 1995. Unfortunately, Aries Girl was another Flynn star who suffered her fair share of injuries and could well have achieved more success if things had gone her way in that regard.
Cheviot Amble was a good sprinter for Flynn in the early 1990’s, winning races like the John Roarty Memorial Scurry Handicap at the Curragh, while Salmon Eile won the valuable McDonogh Handicap at Galway under Johnny Murtagh in 1992. Onomatopoeia landed the G.P.T. Amateur Handicap at the same meeting in 1994, while this was also the year that Flynn saddled Guided Tour to finish runner-up to Turtle Island in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh. By Charlie Allen was another useful sort in the mid-90’s, taking the Naas November Handicap in 1996, while Lady Oranswell won six races in her career, including the Irish Cambridgeshire at the Curragh in 1998.
French Ballerina was the stable star in the latter part of the 1990’s as this ultra smart dual-purpose performer won eight races in all, four at Listed level on the Flat including two Savel Beg Stakes at Leopardstown and the Garnet Stakes at Naas. Her greatest performance over hurdles came on just her third start over hurdles in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 1998, with her powering clear of her rivals under Graham Bradley to score by seven lengths. However, physical problems proved to be her undoing as she suffered a fatal injury in the Ascot Gold Cup just three months later.
Only Fools Buy Horses
In 2003, Pat received plenty of media coverage in the ‘Only Fools Buy Horses’ TV series. The show, fronted by well-known television presenter, Hector O’hEochagain was an insight into the thrills and spills of racehorse ownership and Pat had the task of training Traverse, the equine star of the show, who subsequently went on to win at Ballinrobe and Down Royal during that summer.
Fillies have played a particularly prominent role in Flynn’s success thus far this millennium. Baby Blue Eyes was the first to come to prominence, beginning life in handicaps off a mark of 45 in 2006, but improving all the way up to 105 by the end of the 2007 campaign, winning five races including the Listed Hurry Harriet Stakes at Leopardstown. During the same two seasons, Galistic was also strutting her stuff, winning four races including the Listed Challenge Stakes at Leopardstown in 2007. However, the most remarkable of all Flynn’s fantastic fillies was the admirable She’s Our Mark, with the daughter of Ishiguru winning a total of eight races that included three Group 3 contests and three Listed races.
While She’s Our Mark flew the flag for the yard in 2009, Bahrain Storm delivered a big-race success for the yard when grinding out a game win in the highly-valuable Galway Hurdle at the Galway Festival. With the likes of Final Flashback (four wins) and Worldly Wise (two wins) also enjoying excellent campaigns, it was a very successful season for Flynn.
To The Future
Flynn has continued to saddle a significant number of progressive handicappers since then, with the likes of Waydownsouth (four wins), Connyella (three wins) and Prince Chaparral (three wins) making handsome contributions to his tally.
With the yard now well and truly back in the big time, Pat Flynn is sure to be a regular visitor to the winner’s enclosure for the remainder of the season and will continue to be for a long time to come.
Info supplied by Horse Racing Ireland - December 2011