May 31, 2023
O'Dwyer Returns to Florida from Big Win with Sibelius

Three years in the past coach Jerry O’Dwyer traveled to Dubai. Shotsky He got here dwelling with no probability to run, because of the first-place winner and COVID-19 canceling the race.

Works at Palm Meadows Gulfstream ParkO’Dwyer, the satellite tv for pc coaching facility in Palm Seaside County, Florida, returned to South Florida on March 28 below very completely different circumstances.

Present steady stars Jun Park and Delia Nash’s Sibelius -On December 31, Gulfstream’s Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) winner – had an thrilling upset to defend the champion Switzerland At Meydan Racecourse on March 25 on the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1).

This was the third consecutive victory for Sibelius and a bunch 1 or group 1 for each the 5-year-old castrated horse and his 41-year-old coach, who admits he nonetheless understands the enormity of his achievements.

“I assume it nonetheless looks like a day job. It is simply one thing you do. We ready for it and it turned out. Once in a while you concentrate on it and you are like, ‘Wow, that is superb. group 1) is on the opposite facet of the world.’ That is not actual,” stated O’Dwyer. “We acquired a whole lot of texts and calls. It was nice. A number of good needs.”


O’Dwyer traveled to Dubai ‘quietly trusting’ Sibelius, who received his first betting victory at Lite the Fuse in September. Pimlico Racetrack. From there, he completed fourth within the Phoenix Stakes (G2). Keeneland and runner-up on the Sunshine Stakes Churchill Downs Earlier than kicking off the successful streak at Mr. Prospector.

Sibelius punched the Golden Shaheen ticket in a record-breaking victory within the Pelican Stakes on February 11. Tampa Bay Downs. He traveled to Dubai through Miami on March 12 with assistant coach and stamina rider Chelsea Raabe. Six days later, O’Dwyer joined them.

“I used to be feeling good going into the race. It has been slowly bettering and getting higher for the reason that second half of final 12 months. He is been in a position to sustain,” O’Dwyer stated. “Lots of people stated I used to be offended with me saying that we hadn’t gotten to the core of him but and that he had turned 5. hadn’t seen the perfect of him but.

“Flighted to Dubai and every thing went completely. He flew nice, settled nicely, fed nicely and appeared vibrant,” he added. “He actually loved it right here and that gave me a whole lot of confidence that he was going to do his finest race. Regardless that his finest was adequate to win the race, I would not danger my life to say that.” It was. However I used to be quietly assured that he would run in an enormous race and get an excellent share of it.”

Even earlier than the race, Sibelius was a well-liked subject throughout her time in Dubai, showing on varied social media platforms and worldwide tv broadcasts.

Photograph: Erika Rasmussen {Photograph}

Sibelius wins at Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse

“He is a good-looking horse, has an awesome persona, likes to get out on the observe and stand out. He is very curious when he sees individuals,” O’Dwyer stated. “He sort of goes to them to see what they’re doing. He has an enormous following on the market, which was good. He actually loved the eye.”

Within the race, a slower-than-normal begin brought about Sibelius to unusually decelerate and keep indoors within the Golden Shaheen, however acquired a tough drive from European champion Ryan Moore, who boarded for the primary time.

“To start with I did not really feel very nicely when the very flat gun broke and he could not arise in a ahead place like he usually does. It wasn’t an excellent feeling, however then you would see him holding his hand.” “He is in fifth or sixth in line,” O’Dwyer stated. “I might have appreciated to see him get on his reins in some unspecified time in the future and take just a few steps, however he did not even try this.

“Ryan saved laughing at him and the horse saved discovering him. If you get dwelling you suppose perhaps he’ll be fourth or third, however he simply saved coming and grinding,” she added. “I knew he was going to be courageous in that sense. He is toughened up now. I used to be somewhat nervous early within the race after I was somewhat behind than I used to be used to seeing him.”

O’Dwyer, anxiously awaiting the top of the photograph, stated he felt Sibelius had received when he crossed the wire.

“We had been standing proper on the observe, taking a look at him,” he stated. “I assumed we had received, however then they acquired into images and also you begin questioning your self. ‘Was I seeing one thing? Was I simply seeing it the way in which I wished to see it?’ However fortunately they took photos in our favor.”

O’Dwyer says Sibelius is scheduled to take a while off, after which he’ll begin making ready for the subsequent step with the coach rope in Kentucky. One chance could possibly be the seven lengthy Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) on the Kentucky Derby (G1) backside card on Might 6.

“She’s going to depart Dubai and go to Chicago for just a few days in quarantine, after which she’ll go by ship to Kentucky. We’ll give her just a few straightforward weeks on the farm there and we’ll get freshened up. You will most likely hold her in Kentucky and determine the place to take her from there,” he stated. “We have not made any plans but. There is a race for him on Derby day, however that is not finalized. We’ll let him speak.”

In accordance with O’Dwyer, spending the winter at Palm Meadows was instrumental in Sibelius’s growth usually and its success in Dubai particularly.

“Florida climate is similar to Dubai climate, so I feel it is good for him to be right here for some time and get used to the circumstances,” he stated. “Dubai was very related, cool within the morning and heat within the afternoon. Florida handled us very nicely.”

He rapidly went again to work for O’Dwyer, a local of Tipperary, Eire, the place he grew up driving ponies and collaborating in horse gross sales along with his father. He ultimately graduated from the Irish Racing Academy with designs to turn out to be a jockey regardless of his 5-foot-10 body. After serving as an apprentice to coach David Hanley, now the managing director of WinStar Farm, O’Dwyer has ridden over 100 winners in Eire and England earlier than coming to the US with the encouragement of coach John Ennis.

Sibelius, Ryan Moore, Golden Shaheen, Meydan Racecourse, Dubai United Arab Emirates, 25 March 2023, Mathea Kelley
Photograph: Mathea Kelley

Sibelius after his victory at Dubai Golden Shahen

In O’Dwyer, Kentucky, coach Al Stall Jr. Saratoga Racewayand ready 2-year-olds in Florida earlier than deciding on an training profession. The primary of 159 winners so far has come courtesy of the Aleutian Queen. Belterra Park September 27, 2014.

Along with Sibelius and 2019 Remsen Stakes (G2) winner Shotski, different prime horses skilled by O’Dwyer embrace stakers Surveillance Required , rookie salsa , Cooke Creek , Cruising and Danze And VIP Ticket .

“I will return to the barn, verify on just a few of the 2-year-olds, and see if we will discover the subsequent Sibelius,” O’Dwyer stated. “Hello to the entire crew. Everybody did an awesome job caring for him and getting him prepared.

“It isn’t simply my horse or your horse, it is everybody’s horse in that steady, and we’re very happy with it.”

This press launch has been edited by the BloodHorse Group by way of content material and magnificence.

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