This was the first sustained bit of work we’ve been able to do in some time without having to worry about frost or snow. We could get over to The Curragh whenever we wanted and everybody has benefited from getting back into the routine.
We got a few of our flat horses in as well. Some of the two-year-olds have been hacking around the indoor school, while others have been in the outdoor arena and a few more on the gallops. They’re all on different stages depending on their development and I’m very happy with them.
Pathfork and Laughing Lashes are both in and cantering now too. They seem to be well. They’ve both grown and developed since last year. You have to give them time to do that so I’m not training them hard right now. They’re like kids in primary school so I’m just letting them canter every day.
We did some schooling as well during the week. We schooled Saludos after his fall the last day while Got Attitude didn’t jump well at all in Leopardstown. I was happy enough with how they went, while some of the younger ones jumped as well. Saludos seems to be fine. He was a bit cautious first time up but you’d expect that. People think horses are stupid but they’re not. He remembered that fall but he went well once he got into it again.
Punchestown had an inspection early this morning and I hope it survived. It was raining in Naas last evening but there was a concern that it might turn to sleet. Hopefully we will have racing though as we could do without any more delays or logjams.
If it does go ahead, Paradis de Thaix starts things off for me in the Beginners’ Chase. He was very good when second first time back in over a year behind Tharawaat at Down Royal. Hopefully he can avoid the bounce back factor, which sometimes happens the second time after a long lay-off. If so, he should run well.
No One Tells Me runs in a handicap chase over two and a half miles and should appreciate that, as well as the fact that Mark Bolger claims five pounds off her.
Chaperoned runs in the Grade 3 juvenile hurdle. That might look a bit ambitious but if she could be placed it would be great for her. She should come on for her last race when she finished third and reopposes the first and second. Quarton was sixth in that race and has won since so I think it might have been a good race and as I said, I think she has come on since then. She’s one of three I run for my most difficult owner, my husband Johnny, so I’m hoping they all go well!
I have a couple in the maiden hurdle, Seaway Prince and Starling Lady. It’s the latter’s first time out but she jumps very well. Falcoln Island is in the 2m 2f handicap and that should suit.
In the bumper, Galzig needed the run badly in Leopardstown. She worked this week and has come on a lot for that so I’m happy with her and would expect a much improved run.
In the same race, Espresso Lady is a half-sister to Saludos and has many of his traits, not least the desire to do things her own way. She is headstrong and wants to go off in front, just like her brother, so we’ll just see how that translates onto the race track.
At Leopardstown tomorrow, I have Alpine Eagle and Mosstown in the MCR Hurdle. Alpine Eagle hasn’t run in a while and has top weight but Mark will claim his five off her and it’s great for him that he’s had a couple of winners recently. He had been having a lean time of it and not getting too many rides but it’s turning around again for him.
Mosstown is much fitter than in Fairyhouse. The hold up in December didn’t suit as he needs a lot of work and suffice to say he did not get any Christmas treats and was kept to his Weight Watchers’ diet throughout the festivities.
Summit Meeting and Saville Row are in the three mile handicap hurdle while Got Attitude is on a retrieval mission after the last day. I don’t know why he didn’t jump well but I definitely didn’t want the rain for him. The same applies for The Bull Hayes who would prefer good ground.
Bostons Gift and Dundrum run in the Beginners’ Chase. Bostons Gift might need further but at least it’s not Tramore as he definitely showed that he didn’t like it there. Everything was happening just a little too quick for him. He is a bit of a character and only does what Bostons Gift wants to do so we’ll just have to see.
We were delighted with Wood Lily winning her maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse last week. She’s a beautifully-bred filly but she surprised me after disappointing a bit in bumpers. She had always worked well so I was beginning to wonder if I was imagining things.
I think the key was the better ground that you get in the first race rather than in the last. She doesn’t like it when the ground is chopped up and really jumped well too. There’s a mares’ listed novice hurdle at Fairyhouse tomorrow week which we will probably go for next with her. We were thrilled too with Burn and Turn in the bumper. She probably just ran into a good horse on the day in Bog Warrior and will be out in one more bumper fairly shortly again.