Wille runs four in the feature. Haymount and Saturnas both ran in the Galway Plate, Blazer ran in the Galway Hurdle and Townshend ran on the flat the Galway festival. They’re all entitled to take their chance, but the obvious standout one is Blazer, the one question mark about his chance being the trip: will he get three miles or wont he?
All his wins for us have been over shorter trips but we always thought he wanted a trip, so I’d be fairly hopeful that he will get home. He’s in off a nice weight, with just 10-10 on his back and a mark of 139, and if he gets the three miles I think he’ll be very hard to beat.
Townshend has become difficult to win with, but I think he is crying out for the trip and well worth taking his chance here. His best run over fences for a while was at this track over two and a half miles, when David Mullins rode him, and he stayed on strongly.
I think the slower ground will suit Saturnas.
I think it was too quick for him at Galway and he was always going faster than he wanted to be going. The slower conditions and extra couple of furlongs here should suit.
Haymount is somewhat frustrating. He ran well on the second day in Galway, but I think three miles stretches his stamina. Of the others, Snow Falcon must be of interest coming off the back of a good run in the Galway Plate. He made a bad mistake at the early but ran a blinder to finish fourth.
The English raiders, Bishops Road, Shantou Village and Dell’ Arca are of interest, and I think Call It Magic could run a good race around here. On Peregrine Run’s effort in Killarney he would be interesting, but I think the rain that has fallen won’t help, and you’d have to be disappointed with his run over hurdles at Down Royal.
Bay Of Freedom was placed in similar conditions last year and should go well.
Looking to the rest of the card, I thought Quick Grabim would win the maiden hurdle. He had a great run in the winter when he was second in a Fairyhouse maiden hurdle. He’s in good form and I think he can overturn Debuchet, who is becoming expensive to follow.
The novice hurdle is interesting. Air Supremacy looked good on his only start, but we run Easy Game and Getareason and it’s a hard one to call. Getareason improved from Galway to win his maiden at Tramore. He couldn’t help but win in Tramore, but maybe he lacks a bit of consistency as he has been disappointing once or twice.
Easy Game’s two starts for us have been rock-solid, and he may be good enough to complete his hat-trick.
We run two in the bumper and I don’t think Patrick had too difficult a decision to make as I would be surprised if Eileen O wasn’t better than Suave Des Champs. That said, Richie Deegan rides one for Charles Byrnes, whose bumper horses have been in really good form, and Listowel is not that far from where Charles Byrnes lives.
Last weekend, I was in Korea to watch Riven Light and, even though he ran poorly in the Keeneland Korea Cup, I witnessed as good a performance from a racehorse as I ever saw live. He, London Town, was something else.
He ran the first six furlongs in sprinter fractions, the fourth fifth and sixth furlongs were all sub-12 second furlongs: 11.6, 11.4 and 11.4. To see that live, the speed he was going down the back was incredible, and nothing could live with him. An amazing performance.