It was a slightly frustrating week after our recent run of winners, with three seconds and a couple that ran a bit below par out of six runners bit I think we have a couple of good chances over the weekend.
Kheleyf Diamond is having her third career run and I think she is continuing to improve. Her first effort was very pleasing, when fifth in a juvenile maiden at Navan in May. She returned to that track about three weeks later but was only 10th. I think the extended five furlongs might have been a bit too far for her on that occasion.
She returns to five furlongs this time and I am expecting a better effort at Bellewstown today.
This summer, Knightsone has shown the type of form I had initially expected of him. He was so disappointing when floundering in the heavy ground at Naas in January but was much better when fourth at Punchestown, beaten by less than four lengths.
He came out in Roscommon a fortnight later and justified favouritism comfortably. I’m really happy with him since then and he seems in great form. He is one of only two winners in tomorrow’s Bellewstown bumper but Kate’s claim will cover the penalty. He’s a horse I have always liked and I think he will run really, really well, particularly as he loves the current conditions.
I would also be very hopeful about Bob Le Beau at Limerick tomorrow. He has been second twice over hurdles. Last time, he raced a little too keenly and so we will send him out minus the cheek pieces on this occasion. We’re hoping that will help him relax a little more.
I think this is a very good opportunity for him and I think he’ll take a lot of beating as he’s in great form.
Liberating and Royal Blue Star both ran in the €50,000 fillies’ handicap on Derby Day at the Curragh. Royal Blue Star was on the wrong side of the draw and that’s confirmed by the fact that the first four were on the low side.
Liberating ran a cracker when finishing second behind Majestic Queen, giving her 10lbs. We’re not sure where we’ll go next with her now as she’s rated 96 after that. That’s tough for a three-year-old filly and she has just been found wanting at the next level. So we’ll have to look at that closely.
I had felt Takeyourcapoff might be our best chance of the weekend and I was delighted with her. Taking Charlie’s 10lbs off was definitely the right idea and she just found one too good in Domination. She is loving the current conditions and will continue racing on the level. The two-mile amateur handicap at Galway is the target.
Empress Of Tara was disappointing in the Ladies’ Derby. We don’t really know why she ran so poorly; nothing has come to light. She is better than that so we’ll just go again with her.
Magical Steps was a beaten favourite at Gowran on Tuesday but I was happy enough with her second-placed effort. It was only her third run and she ran a little green. But she seemed to get the hang of it at the end and came home very strongly. She will reappear at Leopardstown on Thursday as she is not far away from shedding that maiden status.
Persian Caliph ran below the level of his first appearance when last in Fairyhouse on Wednesday. He looked like he was going to run a great race but didn’t kick on. Maybe the ground was a bit quick for him.
It sounds funny saying that, given that I spent so much time giving out when it was heavy. But our fortunes have turned around with the improvement in weather so I won’t complain. There are a few horses though for which it’s getting a bit too quick. You’d love the ideal world of a middle ground but at least when it’s firm, they can water if needs be. When it’s heavy, there’s absolutely nothing you can do.
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