12 Questions: Joey Cullen

Joey and Ella Cullen | Goffs

First job in the Thoroughbred industry?

We were lucky to have horses on the farm growing up, but my first paid job was spending summers riding out for Con Collins on the Curragh (and going too fast for his liking on a near daily basis!)


Biggest influence on your career?

Like many others, my parents have been a big influence. I've also worked for, and with, a lot of people who've shared great advice and been big influences on my career. My few seasons working in Ballyhane Stud probably did me no harm either!


Favourite racehorse of all time, and why?

I've fallen for a lot of horses over the years, but Arazi and Miesque were two of the early ones and remain two of my favourites.


Who will be champion first-season sire in 2023?

Soldiers Call. Lightning fast colt who should have won the Abbaye at two and found only Battaash too good in the Nunthorpe as a 3-year-old. In a very strong first crop of potential young sires, he's got as good a chance as any, given his support.


Greatest race in the world?

The Arc may be the greatest turf race in the world, but The Supreme Novices is the one that raises the hair on the back of my neck every time.


If you could be someone else in the industry for a day who would it be, and why?

Sadly he's no longer with us, but Pat Eddery was one of my favourite riders growing up. He had so many great days, and I'd love to have been aboard Zafonic at the two-furlong pole on 2000 Guineas day.


Emerging talent in the industry (human)?

Thankfully I'm in contact with a lot of talented young people here in Goffs, the ITBA, and annually through the Irish National Stud. The industry in Ireland is in safe hands with the next generation.


Name a horse TDN should have made a Rising Star, and didn't?

Plenty of credit is due to the 'TDN Rising Stars' selection team as most that make the list seem to end up stakes performers. Electric Eyes, Crypto Force and Impact Warrior impressed me more than most on their debuts last season.


Under-the-radar stallion?

He's far from under the radar, but I wonder if Sea The Stars gets the appreciation that he deserves as a superstar sire.


Friday night treat?

Thai and a movie with Papillon.


Guilty pleasure outside racing?

The curse of Golf, love it and hate it all at once, but Sunday night watching Golf/NFL is hard to beat.


Race I wish I'd been there for…

Arazi's '91 Breeders' Cup Juvenile would've been nice to witness in the flesh.

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