It’s a reasonably quiet weekend for us and I’m sitting this one out. In any case, I wouldn’t be riding Farid, who runs in the second race, the Grade 3 Juvenile Hurdle, today at Fairyhouse as he is Mark Walsh’s ride.
He has been disappointing as he hasn’t yet brought his home work to the track and the form of his second run hasn’t worked out that well. Both Andalusa and Fenta Des Obeaux, two of our runners who finished in front of him in that maiden hurdle won by Carlo Biraghi, have been well beaten since. He has to leave his form well behind and bring some of his early homework to the track if he’s to get involved.
In the third race Eight And Bob drops back in trip but steps a long way up in class after his win over three miles last time. He’s up to a rating of 113 now but he has just 10-1 on his back, which will suit. Dropping back to two and a half miles is an inconvenience for him but there weren’t a lot of races for him so we’re taking our chance. He’s in good order and has won around the track, and the better ground will suit him as he’s a son of Big Bad Bob. It’s just whether the trip might be too sharp for him.
Presenting Percy was entered in the Bobbyjo Chase but hasn’t been declared, which makes it a very different race. It might look a worse race for his absence but traditionally it’s more a race for Grand National types than Gold Cup horses. I know On His Own won it and was supplemented for the Gold Cup but in most other years it tends to be contested by horses that would be higher up in the National weights.
We run Rathvinden and Pleasant Company and on ratings Pleasant Company is well in. He is better off than Rathvinden and has the advantage of having two runs under his belt this season. But Rathvinden is in very good form at him and we’re really happy with him. I rode him the other morning and he jumped really well. He won the four-mile chase last year, which means he’s following a similar path to Tiger Roll, who won that race a year before winning the National.
We’d be happy if either of ours won, and hopefully both will run well but Alpha Des Obeaux’s run in the Thyestes would put him bang there and he’s probably the one to beat.
We run Fast Buck in the first race tomorrow at Naas and his form reads really well now. Fakir D’oudairies, who beat him in Cork, subsequently went to Cheltenham and bolted in. He’s way up in the betting for the Supreme and the Triumph Hurdle.
Fast Buck has improved for that run, two miles will suit him and he’s in good order. I think he has a good chance. He showed more on the track than he shows at home and hopefully he’ll do the same again tomorrow.
In the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase, Dad runs Kildorrery and Willie runs Orion D’Aubrelle. I think the step up in trip will suit Kildorrery. He’s a hold-up horse but last time out, at Leopardstown, he lacked a bit of speed in a very strongly run race. I think going two and a half will suit, and Michael Stenson, who rode a nice winner for Dad last weekend, take a handy 7lbs off his back.
Orion D’Aubrelle jumped off well and showed up prominently for a circuit and a half before fading in the National Trial last time out at Punchestown. He like the dry ground but he’s a hard horse to figure out.
Prince D’Aubrelle runs in the Grade 2 novice hurdle. He was very disappointing in a listed hurdle last time out at Punchestown. He’s a very light horse to look at but I’d say he needed the race and even though he looked fit he hadn’t run in a long time. Watching him during the week, I think he has improved a hell of a lot for his run at Punchestown and I think he’ll take a fair bit of beating.
Only four go to post for the Grade 3 chase over two miles and we run Cadmium. On ratings, Doctor Phoenix is a pound ahead of him and the other two have a bit to find. Our horse is in good form. He was a novice for the early part of the season, and this is his first run in open company. But we think he’s ready for it, and the race has cut up, which will suit him.
Coming back from the races on Thursday I was a bit taken aback when I heard Denis Egan on Radio One talking about cocaine in the weighroom.
The IHRB are putting on a new seminar that all riders under 25 must attend and older riders are encouraged to attend. We have had an increase in the number of cocaine positives in testing and I have no doubt that the IHRB is right in trying to get a handle on it, but I don’t know if making such a big deal about it is the right approach.
The way they are driving the publicity you would think there is an epidemic in the weighroom. To think we have almost 300 licenced professional riders, and only about six or seven have failed the test. That’s a tiny percentage.
The headlines were ‘Cocaine in the weighroom‘. That harnesses all of us, and that is very disappointing. It’s hardly an epidemic, and I don’t know if using a sledgehammer to crack a nut is the right way to go.