Despite the small field, today’s Red Mills Chase at Gowran is a fascinating contest and I’m hopeful Killultagh Vic will run a big race.
He ran well at this track when third behind Presenting Percy in the Galmoy Hurdle and not having that rival in today’s race is obviously a help to our chance. But, like everything in this race, he probably would prefer a bit further.
Monalee was a very good novice last year, when he was placed in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, and he’s a very good jumper. Anibale Fly was third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Edwulf won the Irish Gold Cup so, while there are only four runners, they are quality horses.
I schooled Killultagh Vic yesterday morning and he jumped brilliantly. He seemed to be in great form, we’re very happy with him and I’m looking forward to riding him. On ratings Anibale Fly comes out as the one to beat as he’s the highest rated and, like my horse, is receiving weight from the other two.
Willie runs four in the beginners chase over two and a half miles, and I ride C’est Jersey. He’s a bit of an in-and-out horse but he has plenty of experience, and he ran well on his return to action when third behind Ballyward at Punchestown.
Duc Des Genievres might be the one that’s hardest to beat. Two miles at Gowran on his last start was just too sharp for him when he finished third behind Cilaos Emery, but he’ll appreciate this step up to two and a half.
Allblak Des Places slipped into the first when making his chasing debut last month at Fairyhouse and completely lost his confidence, so I’d put a line through that run. Burrows Saint is having his first run in a long time. He’s a fine big horse and, long term, he may turn out to be the best of the four, but he probably wants further than two and a half miles.
There’s great racing in Britain today, and, for my money, Yanworth is the star attraction in Haydock. Aidan Coleman rides him in the Rendlesham Hurdle. He’ll be hoping to put his hat in the ring for the Stayers’ Hurdle and is worth keeping an eye on.
There are some good races, including some rearranged races, in Ascot. Obviously, with the new flu vaccination criteria in the UK there are a couple of horses missing from races. But they are the rules and you have to play by them. It’s suiting some people this week but, in a fortnight, everybody will be back on an even keel.
Clan Des Obeaux seems to have a fairly straightforward task in the rearranged Denman Chase. The Betfair Hurdle has probably suffered the most, with only 14 runners for what is a valuable handicap. Didtheyleaveuoutto, for Nick Gifford, looks the most interesting to me.
The Ascot Chase is a cracking race, with Cyrname, Politologue, Waiting Patiently and Fox Norton all holding claims.
Cyrname will bowl along in front. He was very impressive in Ascot on his last start, but this is a different race and his style of running will really suit good horses. I’m a big fan of Waiting Patiently, who won this race last year. He had no luck in the King George on his return, and I think he can get back on track today.
Sceau Royal reverts to hurdles in Wincanton. He was fourth in the Tingle Creek last time and should take a bit of beating in the Kingwell at a track which should suit him.
We have just three runners tomorrow at Navan and two of them run in the Boyne Hurdle. I’ve gone for Bachasson ahead of Coquin Mans even though he is wrong at the weights.
I was impressed with Bachasson at Punchestown when he quickened up nicely to win, and I think he has improved for that run. Even though he is wrong at the weights with Coquin Mans, I think he’ll run a huge race.
Charles Byrnes’ horse, Off You Go, comes out best at the weights and was an impressive winner of a competitive handicap at Leopardstown last time. He is stepping up in trip but should stay and is probably the one to beat.
Willie runs Billaway in the hunter chase and Billy Gleeson rides him. It’s probably a tall order against some seasoned performers and I think he could struggle.
Dad has a couple of interesting runners tomorrow as well. Any Second Now has a good chance in the Ten Up Novice Chase, and in the Opportunity Handicap Hurdle I think going left-handed will suit Oscars Den. He ran well for me at Fairyhouse and going back this way around will really suit him.