From Dundalk to California

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Michael Donohoe | Sarah Farnsworth

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Going Global (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) made an impressive U.S. debut for trainer Phil D'Amato by taking Sunday's GIII Sweet Life S. at Santa Anita. Formerly trained by Mick Halford in Ireland, the 3-year-old filly was purchased privately this winter in a deal structured by BBA Ireland's Michael Donohoe and Niall Dalton. Gary King caught up with Donohoe on Monday morning to chat about the win.

GK: What attracted you to Going Global?

MD: Her first run at Limerick really caught my eye and Niall's [Dalton]. We liked her action and when she won her maiden at Dundalk we liked the way she quickened to the line. It was a bit of a gamble buying her off a Dundalk handicap win but it paid off. It just goes to show how strong Irish race form is.

GK: Did she strike you as a California kind of horse?

MD: For sure. When I saw her in the flesh she looked the part, well made with a great hip like a lot of the Mehmas progeny. The Mehmases all seem to progress with racing which is a great trait and are sound horses. For racing in California soundness is so important.

GK: How have you found the horses-in-training market during the last few months?

MD: To be honest, it's been pretty good. Myself and Niall working together have had a lot of success these last few months and always have people looking for Irish horses.

GK: Mehmas obviously had a terrific year with his first juveniles. Do you expect them to progress as 3-year-olds?

MD: Absolutely. Even though they have proven to be precocious they are also seriously progressive. They seem to have that will to win and are very sound. He really could be a very important stallion in years to come and is in a very good hotel in Tally Ho. So popular he has become I have only been able to secure one nomination for my clients.

GK: Before I let you go, have you identified any under the radar stallions in Europe for the upcoming breeding season? 

MD: I have been hearing and seeing very good reports from Churchill (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (€30,000 at Coolmore)'s first crop of 2-year-olds. Also, I think Shalaa (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) (€15,000 at Haras de Bouquetot) will have a better 3-year-old crop after a promising start with his first runners last season.

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