Easily the most interesting horse to turn up over the four days at Killarney this week was Dermot Weld’s Silver Concorde.
It has been a popular pastime for literally months, for a lot of us, to watch many of the Weld inmates in action with a view to Galway.
More about that nearer the time, but for now let’s concentrate on Silver Concorde, who won on the flat at Killarney on Tuesday night and is surely heading west for the annual jamboree that begins a week on Monday.
The son of Dansili will surely be aimed at a maiden hurdle, with Davy Russell doing the driving.
The seven-year-old has become a bit of a puzzle and it is hard enough to believe has yet to open his account over flights.
Basically, by now, he should really be a former top novice hurdler, heading out into open country come the autumn.
I mean he won the Weatherbys’ Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham festival last year, proving a length and a half too good for Shaneshill.
The pair then met again subsequently at the Punchestown festival and this time Shaneshill reversed the placings, beating his rival by two lengths.
In any case the two efforts on the part of Silver Concorde represent bumper form of the highest order.
The fact, however, that he remains without a win over jumps, some 15 months after Punchestown, is especially surprising.
In contrast Shaneshill got off the mark in a maiden hurdle at the first time of asking at Fairyhouse last November and certainly went on from there.
For instance, he was second to the brilliant Douvan in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and followed up by winning a Grade 2, by 13 lengths, at Fairyhouse at Easter.
Meanwhile, Silver Concorde has twice been beaten over hurdles, failing to justify odds of 1-3 when second to Blair Perrone at Leopardstown at Christmas.
Then he contested the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in February and performed with some promise in finishing fourth behind the imposing Nichols Canyon.
That was the last we saw of Silver Concorde, until he reappeared over a mile and six at Killarney on Tuesday.
Reportedly working well, he left the gate as a 4-9 shot to cope with six modest enough rivals.
He eventually beat Spacious Sky by half a length, but to say was less than impressive would be an understatement.
But win he did, after getting sympathetic handling from Finny Maguire in the closing stages.
The lack of pace in the race for much of the journey and his long absence from the track have to be mitigating factors when analysing the display.
So now it is onwards and upwards to Galway and an attempt, one assumes, to finally enjoy a somewhat belated success over jumps.
If the Silver Concorde we saw at Killarney turns up then chances are he wouldn’t even be capable of beating our old friend Cathy Barry!
And that Galway maiden hurdle could be a smart contest, should it be targeted by, say, Willie Mullins and Aidan O’Brien.
But, not for the first time, we will have to place our faith in Mr Weld ensuring the real Silver Concorde flies in on the day!
At Navan recently there was big word for a two-year-old newcomer of Ger Lyons’ called Glass House.
Owned by Qatar Racing and a daughter of Showcasing, she was a strong order in the market to win a five furlongs maiden.
But those in the know soon wished they didn’t know, as Glass House completely blew the start.
She was seriously slowly away and must have lost all of eight lengths, as the fast Dr Doro blazed the trail.
Glass House did make up much of the ground, before it became too much for her and she was eventually beaten six and a half lengths into third behind Lady Allegra.
Basically, we have no idea how good she really is, but Glass House is definitely one to note.
Glanmire, Co Cork, owner Eddie O’Connell, and his family, have had a thoroughly enjoyable time with the exciting Un De Sceaux and they were back in the winner’s enclosure at Sligo last Sunday with another French import, the four-year-old Bachasson.
Successful in two bumpers in his native country, he is, like Un De Sceaux, also in the care of Willie Mullins.
Bachasson was long odds-on to score at Sligo and duly did the business, hardly breaking sweat to win in a canter.
That was a very weak race and all it told us was that Bachasson clearly possesses a fair engine.
But there was a great spring to him at his obstacles and he shaped as one of those horses you would just like to see again.
Watching David Mullins give the rather enigmatic Enjoy Responsibly a magnificent front-running drive to win a valuable handicap chase at Killarney on Tuesday didn’t half emphasise the quality of rider coming through in this country.
The likes of Mullins, Luke Dempsey, Jonathan Burke, Ger Fox and Jack Kennedy are real talents. The future of National Hunt racing in Ireland is in safe hands.
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