Lawlor tragedy puts everything into perspective

MOST people probably think the last week has been all about the likes of Master Minded and Denman, but I disagree.

No, the most important thing which happened over the past few days has been the death of young Ronan Lawlor, who lost his life at Pat Fahy’s on Tuesday.

It certainly put everything into perspective and really was the most terrible tragedy. I knew Ronan since he was five or six years-of-age.

He was frequently around Willie Mullins’ yard, with both Patrick and Emmet Mullins. Ronan was a gorgeous kid, always happy and smiling.

His death once again emphasised the risks in our game. When you go out to ride a horse, whether at home or in a race, you never doubt you will be coming back.

But that’s not the case and Ronan lost his life doing his daily work. It is so sad for his family and for everyone who knew him.

I’ll be at Ascot today, if the meeting gets the green light in the morning, and my main job will be trying to win a Grade 1 chase aboard Herecomesthetruth.

This is only a Grade 1 in name, because these horses, with the exception of Albertas Run, are Grade 2 performers. Albertas Run loves Ascot, but is a bit like the weather - changeable.

Herecomesthetruth was beaten when Christian Williams and himself went their separate ways in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.

That was a bit disappointing, but Huntingdon is a flat track and was never going to suit him.

We have an extra furlong to travel now and this stiffer course will be much more his cup of tea. The plan will be quite simple, I will be making the best use of his solid jumping and it will be a case of catch me if you can!

I ride Priors Glen for Emma Lavelle in the opening novices’ hurdle, but he’d want to improve a lot to trouble Finians Rainbow. Barry Geraghty was always heading to Ascot to partner Finans Rainbow, instead of Punjabi at Wincanton, and that’s a pointer in itself.

Beshabar will only run in a handicap hurdle if Haydock is off. He’d have a good chance if lining up here, having won well at Sandown and going up just 7lbs.

I’ve come in for a ride for Nicky Henderson on Lush Life in a novice hurdle, but he’s clearly the second string, with Barry Geraghty on Osric. I suppose it’s too much to hope Barry has got this one wrong?

I’msingingtheblues has to hump 11-12 in a handicap chase and that’s a lot of weight for a small horse. He ran okay behind Kalahari King at Doncaster and this is much easier.

I’d rate Kalahari King a live danger to Master Minded at Cheltenham, but just wish I’msingingtheblues was built like Denman.

I finish on King Of The Night in the bumper. He was fourth for Adrian Maguire at Kilbeggan and then came to Paul Nicholls and won under Christian Williams at Stratford.

He’s obviously going the right way, but like all of Paul’s bumper horses this is just a stepping stone for next season.

I see there are no less than 24 in tomorrow’s first at Naas, a maiden hurdle, but you could hardly find a worst contest.

I’m on Golan Guy for Tony Martin and there is no encouragement to be had in either of his two runs. He was a long way adrift of Blackstairmountain at Punchestown last time and, I’d imagine, have far better chances for the weekend.

I’m delighted to be teaming up with Take It Easee for Prunella Dobbs in a handicap hurdle. She did look a bit unlucky when chinned late on at Gowran Park on Thyestes Day.

She’s very small, but appears to have a fair old engine, and I’ll be taking my time and attempting to arrive late on the scene.

I’m expecting a decent performance from Morning Supreme, in what looks to be a cracking Grade 2 novice hurdle. She’s won her two races over flights, at Limerick and Cork.

The mare didn’t jump well at Limerick, but improved dramatically in that department next time and here’s hoping for more of the same.

She is not an easy ride and can be very hard on herself. The plus to jumping hurdles, however, is that they give her a chance to slow down.

This is a good horse and she can gallop. Anyway, the pace I’ll be going in front, I think we can safely say there will be no hard-luck stories.

I believe Scotsirish is capable of beating Tranquil Sea in the Grade 2 chase, even if the form book says otherwise.

When Golden Silver won at Leopardstown at Christmas, Tranquil Sea was second and Scotsirish third. Scotsirish has three and half lengths and 3lbs to find on that running.

Scotsirish, though, has since won well at Fairyhouse, when I gave him a far more positive drive, compared to Leopardstown. I’ll be making plenty of use of Scotsirish on this occasion as well and that’s why I’m hopeful we can do the business.

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