Blood Cotil can jump to it

Well, I was all set to be off on my travels again today to ride three horses for Willie Mullins at Sandown, but the meeting was abandoned yesterday afternoon.

That was disappointing, because we were giving Glens Melody, Gitane Du Berlais and Upazo great chances in their respective contests.

But no one has died and it is a case of onwards and upwards with four cracking months of the season still remaining.

Willie has a strong hand at Cork today and three of his four runners have good chances, starting with Turban in the opening conditions hurdle.

Whether I will be at Cork, I’m not sure, because Willie was tied up all day yesterday and into the evening. If he wants me to head south then I’ll only be too delighted, so watch this space.

Anway, back to Turban. He won a beginners chase around here and forget about his last outing at Killarney in May, when the surface was too fast.

Turban is in really good form at home right now, will love the ground and is more than capable of going close.

Wicklow Brave has three bumper successes to his credit and has schooled well for his debut over jumps in a maiden hurdle.

The slight reservation you would have is his ability to handle the ground.

I know he won on soft ground at Listowel in September, but this will surely be much worse.

Willie has real prospects of a treble with Blood Cotil in the beginners chase.

A smart horse, he was a natural jumper of hurdles and has taken equally well to fences.

The other representing Willie is Connaught Manor in a maiden hurdle, but he’s moderate and it is hard to make a case for him.

I’m at Naas tomorrow for three rides and at least two of them, Mozoltov and Briar Hill, have outstanding claims.

Mozoltov, who is owned by the Gigginstown House Stud, runs in a novice chase.

Ordinarily, he would be Davy Russell’s ride, but we all know what happened during the week.

Davy rode the horse to win easily at Fairyhouse first time over fences and I’m hopeful he will now outstay Ned Buntline.

Briar Hill goes in the Grade 2 Slaney Hurdle and Willie has also left in Upazo.

The idea was for him to run at Sandown today, of course, so we will have to wait and see how that now pans out.

Anyway, as you are all aware, my admiration for Briar Hill has been well documented at this stage.

He is just a very good horse, who will do no more than the bare minimum required, and we’ll be inconsolable, for the want of a better word, if Briar Hill fails to deliver.

I end on Chiltern Hills in a beginners chase for mares. She has the size and scope to make a chaser, but enigmatic might be the best way to describe her.

She got her act together last season and then lost her way again. Perhaps, a watching brief might be best on this occasion.

Everyone else as impressed with Hurricane Fly at Leopardstown last Sunday as I was? He was terrific and is a pleasure to ride.

He has it all, speed, stamina and a great attitude. I very much agree with his trainer that there is improvement to come.

Don’t have the slightest doubt Willie has only one day in mind and the world and its mother knows when that is.

Annie Power was superb at Cheltenham on Wednesday. She won very well and jumped beautifully, but for hitting the last.

It will take some horse to give her 7lbs and, as long as she has a tail on her, will always be getting that in Grade 1 company.

Will she go the two-mile or the three-mile road at Cheltenham, who knows? Let’s just say that, right now, she is supplying me with more questions than answers.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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