BY KIERAN McCARTHY
IF you were wondering why Billy O’Brien and Bertie Hourihane wore smiles all this week, here’s the answer: their improving three-year-old Laws of Spin won the €59,000 winners’ prize by coming home first in the Tote Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh last Sunday.
It was the biggest win ever for the Hourihane-O’Brien Partnership, with Lisheen’s Billy (a neighbour of Olympic silver medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan) and Skibbereen’s Bertie (uncle to Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane) deservedly in the headlines this week.
Trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Chris Hayes, Laws of Spin finished strongly to claim his biggest win, and complete a hat-trick of wins, having been victorious in Ballinrobe (July 18th) and Leopardstown (August 4th) in recent weeks.
‘It was a big win, alright,’ Billy beamed.
‘He’s been in good form the last few weeks, winning three races in six weeks so we’re delighted with him.
‘That was the big race of the festival, the feature one, worth €100,000 – but we didn’t get all of that!
‘We’ve been involved in horses for 15, 20 years and that’s our biggest win yet.
‘He won convincing in the end, by a length and a half. He was available at 20/1 on Saturday morning with Paddy Power but came in to 7/1 so people were obviously having a gamble on him – and it paid off.’
Bertie added: ‘It was an extraordinary run, he was the youngest horse in the race, there was only one more three-year-old running and he beat all comers.
‘He’s developing, he needs good ground to run and he’s got that in spades this year. He might race again in November, we’ll see, it depends on the ground.’