Minella Racing

Minella for Value - News Clippings

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CHELTENHAM: Family pet Minella all set for Foxhunters

With the Cheltenham Festival just two weeks away, it is all systems go in the Co. Waterford yard of Declan Queally for his stalwart Minella For Value’s second crack at the Foxhunters Chase.
Already a fabulous servant to the whole Queally family, who is ridden by Declan Queally junior and carries the colours of his mother Bernie, Minella for Value got his head in front five times last season.

Having finished just three lengths in arrears of Pacha Du Polder in last year’s renewal and fresh off the back of an impressive success at Kildorrery, Minella For Value is perhaps the forgotten horses in the race, and at 33/1, he is sure to have plenty of his supporters cheering him on from around the point-to-point circuit.

We caught up with Minella For Value’s regular partner Declan Queally to see how the preparations were progressing and the significance of riding a horse for the Cheltenham Festival.

“I am really looking forward to it now. I rode him a little safely last year, dropping him in to run well and in hindsight I was sorry.

“This year I will be a little more forceful with him and position him a bit handier. He has plenty of experience in them big handicaps when he was in England and he stays forever so I will definitely be a bit more forceful with him this year and he gallops forever. “

The 12-year-old is showing no signs of his ageing.

A win at Kildorrey two weeks ago, the second from three starts for this campaign, has left Queally with his hopes for Cheltenham.

“On P2P ratings that was his best performance, and I even felt riding him it was his best performance. We have kept him a little fresher this year and looked after him over the summer.

“He is in good shape and not showing his age. He came out of Kildorrey great and we will get another three or four bits of work in.”

The Old Vic gelding has thrived with the Queally family who are kept busy with fourteen riding out between their runners between the flags and on the track. Whilst in the saddle, Queally has been enjoying a triumphant time of late, recording a milestone 200th winner abroad Fenno’s Storm at Bandon last Sunday.

“All is going well. All flying at the moment. Fingers crossed we will try and keep going now, that’s the thing.

“Minella For Value likes it at home here, a smaller yard and gets out in his paddock every day and seems to enjoy it. That seems to make a big difference that he gets out for two hours every day to just chill out.

“He is a really quiet horse now. He is a weaver though. When John Nallen had him there was a story on Irish racing about how no one wanted to buy him as he was such a bad weaver. But John ploughed on with him.”


Not without his quirks, Minella for Value came to Queally through his brother, a leading flat jockey in England.

“He was owned by Tom’s sponsor Peter Clay of Maxilead Metal, running in handicaps in England. He had a bit of trouble in training and he was lame a lot. He had been out in the field for a year and Tom suggested to Peter that we try and give him a go down the point-to-point route and see if he’d stay sound. The rest is history.

“To be fair to him he has never had a lame step since, it’s been a total success.

“It was brilliant to get him by chance like we did and for him to be such a great horse. To come across him through a friend of ours and he is still involved and looking forward to seeing him at the festival. He is such a great horse to have.”

Queally has ridden six times at Cheltenham, a second-place finish in the 2010 Foxhunters when second on Kilty Storm for neighbour Roger McGrath being the best to date.

The possibility of going one better on his own horse is adding to the excitement.

“It’s a big thrill, you would be a little bit nervous but try and hold it together.

“He is so clever to jump and just pops away or wings them, whatever way. You just sit up on him, he is a joy to ride. I love riding him.

“He will go over Wednesday, and I will then fly over on Friday to ride him. My brother Louis looks after him and he will be travelling over with him. He is a big part of him so he will be looking forward to going over looking after him.

“All the family will be over. He is a real family pet. The main thing is that the horse comes back in one piece.

“Just to be going over there competing is a great thrill and having a live chance.”

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Minella For Value dominant in Killarney - Mon 14th May 2018, 20:39

Minella For Value sails over the last under Declan Queally

Only On The Fringe could live with the leader coming to the fourth last but he soon came under pressure.

The 12-year-old drew well clear by the third last and remorselessly strode away by 15 lengths at the finish.

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June/2017 Irish Racing

Freewheelin Dylan (Mark O'Hare) leads from Minella For Value (Declan Queally)
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13/1/17 theirishfield.ie - The Declan Queally-handled and ridden Minella For Value - beat former 160-rated chaser First Lieutenant into second
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The Irish Field By Eoghain Ward on 07 April 2017

Minella For Value winning in good style last Sunday. He will be aimed at the Champion Hunter Chase at Punchestown next. (Photo HEALY RACING)
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John Butler has given Minella For Value the green light to take his chance in next week's thetote.com Galway Plate. - Mon 21st Jul 2014

The eight-year-old has been allotted 11st in the initial weights for the 120,000 euro steeplechase and while Butler admits it would be a dream to win the race, he is under no illusions as to the size of the task.
Irish Racing - Minella For Value and Davy Russell at Ballinrobe
For value wins for Minella Hotel
Minella For Value and Davy Russell at Ballinrobe

Minella For Value landed plenty of bets when justifying 13/8 favouritism in the Ballinrobe Race Committee Chase (from 11/4 in the betting ring).

The seven-year-old gelding led after two out and showed a good attitude to press on under Davy Russell for a two and three quarter length success. Fantastic Gold worked her way through to second after the final fence, but that was as good as it got for the seven-year-old mare who was 12/1. Rockshandy, who cut out most of the pace, dropped to third after a mistake at the last. His price was 13/2.

Trainer John Nallan said: “He’s the horse that nobody wanted! He won his bumper in Cork and was due to go to the sales, but jumped a gate the day before he was due to go and he missed the sales engagement.

“When we did get him to Brightwells nobody wanted him. He’s an honest staying chaser and keeps galloping and he wants good ground.

“We’ll keep going until he says stop, but he appears better on better ground. A race like the Cork National might be next for him.”

Minella For Value and Davy Russell .

Minella for Value wins again.

Winner; 6-Y-O Geldings Maiden Race. - Liscarroll Point -to- Point. - 25th. March 2012

Minella For Value (IRE) - br g 2006 Old Vic Nightngale Express (IRE)
Minella for value racing

Butler plots England Plate raid with Minella For Value - Thomas Kelly July 22 2014 2:30 AM

There should be at least one English raider lining up in the tote.com Galway Plate after John Butler gave Minella For Value the green light for the Ballybrit feature.

Formerly in the care of J Nallen, the gelding is now trained in Newmarket by Kilkenny native Butler, who has had his eyes on the €120,000 Galway prize for some time as the son of Old Vic likes decent ground.

The eight-year-old – fives times a winner in this country before being sold – won a competitive handicap chase at Stratford at the end of May before running out when in contention in Uttoxeter's Summer Cup.

Were the going at Galway to soften considerably, Butler might have second thoughts as regards Minella For Value's participation, but with a mark of 11st in the initial weights for the €120,000 steeplechase, he feels his charge has earned his place in the line-up.

"It would be fantastic just to finish in the places, but it's the stuff of dreams to think he can go and win it," said Butler.