Horse Racing Insights: High-Performing Irish Horses To Check Out For 2021

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the horse racing industry in Ireland as well. It’s enough to think about the canceled events, the empty grandstands, and of course, the financial consequences it caused.

However, it seems that the industry slowly starts to recover from the difficulties that this special situation has brought. This is why we believe that finally, the time has come to take a closer look at the best quality horses that play a leading role in horse racing.

Horse Racing Betting

Before we jump right to the list of the best Irish horses, let’s talk shortly about horse racing betting. In Ireland, horse racing betting is extremely popular. Many people enjoy betting on the various national and international races as they can place their bets on numerous great, quality Irish horses both in flat and jump racing.

Irish punters can choose from many reputable betting sites. If you are also interested in sports betting, you can read in-depth reviews about the best betting sites in Ireland on

Leading Irish Horses in 2021

In the following, we will show you some of the high-performing Irish horses in 2021 in flat and National Hunt racing.

Shady Operator (National Hunt)

According to the list of Horse Racing Ireland, Shady Operator is currently the number 1 racehorse regarding total prize-money (€30,800) in National Hunt racing.

Shady Operator is an 8 years old bay gelding (foaled on May 19th 2013) owned by John P. McManus. He is trained by Enda Bolger.

In Ireland, Shady Operator has had many notable wins over the years, including the GMHD Killarney National Handicap Steeplechase and the P.P. Hogan Memorial Cross Country Steeplechase in 2021. Thus, Shady Operator is considered a highly profitable horse for punters.

Concerning the 2021/2022 National Hunt season, Shady Operator had two runs, from which he finished in 1st place once.

Agent Boru (National Hunt)

The next high-performing thoroughbred horse on our list is Agent Boru, a 10 years old bay gelding (foaled on April 20th 2011). Agent Boru is owned by Roberto Syndicate and trained by Thomas Gibney. Although in the 2021/2022 National Hunt season Agent Boru had only one run, he won at the McHale Mayo National Handicap Steeplechase (Grade B) in Ballinrobe and took an enormous prize of €24,000.

In the previous years, Agent Boru had also other big winnings, such as at the W.B. Gavin & Co. Handicap Hurdle in Galway in 2020 and at the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle Series Final in Fairyhouse back in 2018.

Ultimately, it will be worth paying attention to Agent Boru during the upcoming races.

Jesse Evans (National Hunt)

Jesse Evans is a 5 years old Irish racehorse (foaled on April 26th 2016) trained by Noel Meade. This bay gelding is owned by Jack Singleton.

When it comes to Jesse Evans’s performance, it is quite similar to Agent Boru’s in this season. So far, he had only one run at the Kelly Farm Modernisation Ltd Handicap Hurdle (Grade B), but that race he managed to win. The prize for 1st place was worth €24,000.

Hurricane Lane (Flat)

Right now, Hurricane Lane is leading the list of the best-performing horses in flat racing in regards to total prize money. Foaled on March 11th 2018, Hurricane Lane is a 3 years old chestnut colt trained by Charlie Appleby and owned by Godolphin.

Racing for the first time in this Flat season, running at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1) on the 26th of June 2021 was definitely profitable for Hurricane Lane. As a winner, he gained a prize of €580,000. Hurricane Lane seems to have a promising future ahead of him, according to critics, he can achieve a lot in his upcoming horse racing career.

Mac Swiney (Flat)

Mac Swiney, similar to Hurricane Lane, is a chestnut colt. He is owned by Mrs. J. S. Bolger and trained by J. S. Bolger.

Without any doubt, Mac Swiney is one of the most successful Irish thoroughbred racehorses.

Despite his young age (foaled on February 23rd 2018), Mac Swiney has already achieved great results in horse racing. For example, in 2020 he won 3 races out of 6, including the Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes (Group 2) and the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C&G) Maiden in Curragh.

In the 2021 Flat season, Mac Swiney had 3 runs, bringing him a total of €255,500 prize money. From the three runs, he finished once in 1st place at the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1) in Curragh.


Ultimately, all the above-mentioned quality Irish horses are top-performing racehorses. Thus, based on their previous performance, chances are that they will win more races in the future.