Steps should go very close

It has been nice having a few winners in recent weeks but we have also been talking quite a bit about hitting the bar and it’s pretty incredible the number of seconds and thirds I have had.

So it was great this week that any of mine that were in contention won and that culminated in four winners from nine runners before last night.

I have just two runners over the weekend, both in Dundalk tomorrow and Steps To Freedom should go very close. He has been ultra-consistent over fences and hurdles throughout the summer without getting his nose in front and now we’re going the Flat route.

He has a tremendous record at the track, winning on both his appearances there. I wouldn’t be unhappy with his mark as though he has top weight, it is the same rating he had when winning here last year. He is in very good form and he must stand an excellent chance of ending his run of three consecutive seconds over obstacles.

Komitoe is a very nice two-year-old filly we have for Mrs Patino, who of course owns the recently-retired Snow Fairy. Like many of those taking part in this race it is her first public appearance so it’s hard to know what the standard might be, but I’m very happy with Komitoe and envisage a good showing.

We will have quite a few more runners during the week and amongst those worth keeping an eye on are Tri Na Ceile, Gimli’s Rock, Maller Tree, Princess Aloof, Peggy’s Leg and Bob Le Beau.

Cailin Annamh was very impressive on Saturday, winning a mares’ novice hurdle by 10 lengths at Kilbeggan. She was probably a little keen but she jumped well and I think the cheekpieces were of benefit. She has always liked the ground better than good but, as she gets stronger, she will handle a bit more of an ease and should be okay on good National Hunt ground. That means she should be able to take in some of the better races as the season progresses.

It was too quick for both Banker Burke and Hurricane Ridge at Ballinrobe on Monday. Passagere was very disappointing at Gowran two days later but Princess Aloof followed up her third in Galway with a win the Nursery. She is up 9lbs for that but I don’t think that should be a problem at Tipperary next Thursday, as she did it very easily.

At Leopardstown last Thursday, Liberating looked like coming with a run but just didn’t see it through, while Royal Blue Star lost seven or eight lengths coming out of the stalls in the Group 3 – which was won by a Group 1 winner in Gordon Lord Byron – but finished very strongly. It was a pity as she’s in such good form but that might be it for her now as she is in foal. We may go to Killarney but that decision has to be made yet.

We did finish the night with an across the card double with Polished Rock making the expected progress from his unlucky third the previous week to win the apprentices’ handicap for Charlie. I am waiting to see what the handicapper does with him before deciding where too next.

I have been using Why But Why as a lead horse at home as he goes any distance and jumps hurdles and fences well. He was in great form and jumped very well when winning the beginners’ chase at Tramore. It looked a good race too and we’ll see what he does now in novice events.

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Saturday, July 31, 2021

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