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Catching up with ... Sydney Paget

Catching up with ... Sydney Paget

Catching up with .. is our new series featuring leading pointers, past and present. We catch up with some of the favourites over the years and find out more about those currently leading in the pointing field.

This week in the spotlight is the current leading pointer of this season, Sydney Paget. The Pat Doyle-trained son of Fleminsfirth has clocked up a staggering seven wins in a row since January and will be hoping to add to his tally to secure the leading pointer title before the end of the season.
We spoke with Doyle to find out more about his stable star, who from 19 runs with the Co. Tipperary trainer has not finished out of the top 3 and is very much part of the family.
Bred in Dungarvan by Paddy Kiely, Sydney Paget was trained by Kielys brother, David, to be second at Dromahane in a four-year-old maiden in 2011 and following that run was offered at the horses in training sales at Doncaster, where he was not sold at £34,000.
At the sales Donald McCain approached his current owner Roddy O’Byrne and said he loved the horse, so he sent him to McCain's be trained, where at one point in his career he was favourite for a Welsh National.
"He lost his form in England and came back to Kilmacthomas for a summers grass. When he was back, I was asked if I wanted him to go point-to-pointing with."
The partnership between O'Byrne and Doyle goes back some way. O'Byrne, whose brothers are the well-known bloodstock agent John O'Byrne and veterinary surgeon Demi O'Byrne, is closely affiliated with The Lodge Stud in Kilmacthomas Co. Waterford.
"I had horses for Roddy many years ago. I actually sold the Aintree Grand National winner Miinnehoma, for Roddy at Doncaster to Eoin Brennan for Freddy Star back in the 80's.
O'Byrne is based in Kentucky in America, the heartland of racing in the US. He previously owned McCarthy's bar with Peter Kiely, and a picture of Sydney Paget hangs proudly at the bar in Lexington.
"Timmy (O' Byrne, nephew of Roddy and Johns' son) manages Roddy affairs here in Ireland and is very involved with this horse, he also breaks horses for J.P. McManus and runs a fantastic operation down in Kilmacthomas.” 

"In recent times, Indy Five was the first horse I trained for Roddy when he came back to me, he won at Glenbane in November of 2011 and since then we have had 22 winners together from about 40 runners."
However it has not been all plain sailing, the now 11-year-old sustained a career-threatening injury following his last run in the 2017 season, and subsequently was retired to Kilmacthomas to live out his remaining days there.
As faith would have it, he was not done yet.
"I went down to see him and some young horses down at Timmy's place and I was delighted with what I saw. Going down and seeing he was 100% sound and we could kick on again with him.
"To be honest, that has been the highlight with this horse for me.
"Syd, as he is affectionaly known, would train himself! He is a real family horse that is usually ridden by Mary (Pat's wife), or Susie and Shannie (Pat's daughters) when they are home. He knows where to jump off and pull up, and he does his own thing in between.
"He loves his racing and loves to win. As soon as it seems he doesn't want to do it anymore, he will be retired.
"Oh and you can say this on record, he is my favourite family member. I love them all but he won't talk back to me so he is number one," quipped Doyle.

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