After the festivities of the last few days, we’re now set for one of the best weeks of the year in racing, writes Ruby Walsh.
I’m in Limerick today and Getabird is the reason for that. I hope he can make the trip worthwhile by taking the Grade One novice chase.
He has some smart opposition to contend with. Jetz was third in the Drinmore and Hardline was very good the last day, in Navan, but I was very impressed with Getabird at Punchestown.
I thought he jumped super, he travelled really well, and I loved the way he quickened up.
He lacks a bit of experience, relative to Jetz and Hardline, but I’m happy with him and looking forward to going to Limerick to ride him.
He’ll love the trip, he’ll love going right-handed and it’s a great pot. It looks an ideal race for him, so hopefully he can do the business for us.
The first of my three rides on the day is Miximoon in the juvenile hurdle which gets the day’s racing underway. She came from Guy Cherel’s yard in France, where she had one run on the flat.
She has schooled well and goes nicely at home but, as most of you will be aware, we fancied Farid last week and he was very disappointing.
Hopefully this filly will do better than he did.
I suppose Joseph O’Brien’s horse, Band Of Outlaws, is the one to beat. He didn’t jump great in Cork but if he got it together, he would be a big threat.
I’m on Salseretta in the “winners of one” hurdle. She’s a decent mare, who ran in some very good races last year, so she’s a second-season novice really. She’s going up in trip and will handle the ground. She’s been in training a long time so she’s good and fit, and she comes out best at the ratings and looks to have a great chance.
We run Eileen O in the bumper. She was runner-up on her debut, at Listowel, and has improved since. We have been waiting for soft ground for her, and she’s fit and well and will give a good account of herself.
We have plenty of runners in Leopardstown, starting with Klassical Dream in the opening maiden hurdle.
He came from France, where he had plenty of runs over hurdles, and was placed in a Grade Three as a three-year-old.
He came with a big reputation but wasn’t showing us a huge amount initially. But there has been plenty of improvement in his home work in the last month and we’re very happy with where he is now.
As you would expect at this meeting, it’s a hot maiden. Joseph’s horse that finished second in Gowran, Entoucas, could have improved but we’re very happy with our horse, he has a lot of experience, and I think he’ll take beating.
We run Defy De Mee in the second maiden. His last run was a huge improvement on his two runs last season, and he seems to have come on for that run.
But I think Martin Brassil’s horse, City Island, will be a tough nut to crack. He won in Galway, beating Getareason. He subsequently lost the race but, with the zero-tolerance rule, whatever he had in him was so minute I really don’t think it improved his performance. I think the form of that run is good enough to win this race.
We run two in the Grade Two juvenile hurdle, but Gordon Elliott looks to hold the key, with the two horses that ran in Fairyhouse — Chief Justice and Coeur Sublime. Maybe the latter will reverse the form on this stiffer track.
La Sorelita is making her debut for us, and she was very good on her first start before disappointing on her second start. But she’s in really good form and Paul has gone for her over Maze Runner.
The latter didn’t jump great in the straight at Cork. I schooled him myself this week and fell off him. We had a bit of a disagreement, but he jumped much better thereafter, and I think you’ll see a much-improved jumping performance this time.
He is probably each-way value, but La Sorelita is unexposed and we’re happy with what we’ve seen of her so far.
Voix Du Reve runs in the Grade One novice chase and he has been very good on both his starts over fences. He beat Mind’s Eye very well at Galway and bolted in at Punchestown the last day.
He’s fit and well, has experience, jumps well, and he stays — basically the ticks all the boxes.
And he likes to gallop along and attack his fences, which is a huge advantage.
Mengli Khan will be a short price and is a big danger, but this will be a much stiffer test for him than the one he had at Punchestown.
Allaho, who runs in the bumper, goes really well. Gordon Elliott’s Fury Road is the next one off the conveyor belt that the world seems to be talking about, but we like our horse. He does things nicely at home and Patrick thinks he has an outstanding chance.
I spoke about the King George at the weekend, and I hope Waiting Patiently can win the race for Ruth Jefferson.
There’s a terrific card in Kempton and for anybody who likes to wade in at a short price, Buveur D’Air is the Christmas banker.
Santini was good on his chasing debut and has his chance in the Kauto Star Novice Chase but, of the favourites in the novice chases at Kempton, Limerick and Leopardstown today, I think he is the most vulnerable as there’s great depth to that race.