Today, I kick off aboard Tin Town Boy for Harry Rogers in a two and a half mile handicap hurdle and he ranks among my better chances.
That tells it’s own story, because Tin Town Boy will be thirteen on January 1 and his best days are well behind him.
I rode him to finish fifth at Thurles last time, on ground too quick and over a trip that was too short. In fairness to the horse he never gave up and kept plugging away.
Afterwards, I told Harry to give him another go. I’m happy to be in the plate again and he shouldn’t be far away.
The disappointing Cadspeed tries again in the beginners chase, but this looks a hot enough contest and he’s up against it.
If you saw Cadspeed working at home, he would have you in the poor house. He simply does not translate it onto the racecourse.
He didn’t exactly impress at Thurles last time, when a remote fourth to Trifolium, and will have to step up markedly on that to take a hand.
Cadspeed has one chance and that is if the surface turns into a quagmire. We live in hope.
My last ride is on Easy Vic for Tony Martin in a handicap chase. He’s not exactly reliable either, but does have a nice weight down at the bottom 10-5.
He finished second to Hold Em Cowboy over flights at Navan and, to my way of thinking, is better suited to jumping fences. This shapes like a very ordinary contest and you’d have to think Easy Vic will at least be competitive.
Besides Cadspeed, Willie Mullins has other runners, starting with Gigginstown’s Valseur Lido in the first, a novice hurdle.
He’s ex-French and bolted in first time out in this country at Cork. I’d say Valseur will go off at prohibitive odds and there will be long faces all round should he fail to deliver.
for Gigginstown in Don Poli in a maiden hurdle. I’m not saying he is in the same league as Briar Hill, but does remind me of him.
Last week I described Briar Hill as no Flash Harry and that’s exactly what I would call Don Poli at home. He comes up the gallops the same way, with the worst and the best horses.
Essentially, he is just idle, but possesses an engine. If you back him there will be stages of the race when you won’t be very happy but, I suspect, he will be in front at the line.
Killultagh Vic runs for Willie in the bumper. He is working quite nicely at home and certainly well enough to do himself justice.
Willie sends City Slicker to Ascot today for the valuable Ladbroke Hurdle and he has a real each-way shout. When you see last season’s juveniles topping the weights then you have go to think that an older horse such as City Slicker will go close.
He will love travelling right-handed, has a great man riding in AP and we have been very happy with him at home of late.
Willie takes the wraps of Un de Sceaux at Thurles tomorrow and has found a very suitable opportunity to get his campaign up and running.
The race has just three runners and when you consider that it is impossible to make a case for Our Ollie and that Rory O’Moore is rated 30lbs below our horse then anything less than an emphatic win for Un de Sceaux will be disappointing.
He is unbeaten in four outings, two French bumpers and twice over hurdles at Punchestown, and was especially impressive at the festival in April when scoring by 13 lengths.
Un de Sceux summered well and has got stronger. He is hard on himself, however, so Willie has got him fit slowly and has also been teaching the horse to relax.
We think that has been successful, but Rory O’Moore is a bit of a tearway, so there should be lots of pace on and it is going to be interesting.
I’m going to nap Urano in a two mile and six maiden hurdle. That, of course, goes against my better judgement, but it is that type of weekend.
Paul Townend and I have tried everything with this horse. We’ve dropped him out, forced the pace, gone left and right-handed, on all sorts of ground, and nothing has worked.
Urano is now taking a rather dramatic rise in trip and, hopefully, will finally bypass the number two berth and head for the winner’s enclosure.