In some ways it has played into my hands because now I am definitely aiming Gimli’s Rock at the Red Mills due to having that extra week. That extra week also means that Roberto Goldback will go for the Red Mills Chase. It might have just come a bit early after the Kinloch Brae otherwise.
As for today, it’s only a six-day difference and that’s not really that much difference at all. I gave all mine, bar Chaperoned, a breeze up at The Curragh during the week and they all schooled as well.
Yesterday morning, I went through the usual scary routine of getting the vet in to get them scoped but they are all grand and so there should be no excuses for today.
And so then, it’s dejá vu really because all the same races have turned up again. Chaperoned had an easy week because she’s only just turned four and while she’s being thrown in at the deep end a bit in the juvenile hurdle, it would be great if she could run into a place.
The Bull Hayes and Oscars Well both have their chances in the Deloitte Hurdle although it’s a very hot race, as is the Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase in which Bostons Angel runs. But like Oscars Well, Bostons Angel has already won a Grade 1 so I would expect him to give a good account of himself.
The ground is heavy and that shouldn’t be a problem for Bostons Angel, especially as the trip might be a little shorter than ideal but it might be a bit too soft for The Bull Hayes. I’m hoping he acts on it but I don’t know for sure. It’s just one of those things. When we made the declarations last week the ground was yielding to soft but then we had the deluge and it’s been more of the same since. So we’ll just have to see.
Kate rides Saluting in the bumper. As I said last week, he’s a lovely big Presenting horse who is definitely more of a chaser than a bumper horse. Anything he does here will be a bonus and it’s all about the future for him.
The Hennessy Gold Cup will be a good race even though Cooldine is gone now but with the ground the way it is and presuming that he will improve for his last run, I would see Joncol winning. He stands out for me.
There’s supposed to be more very heavy rain tonight so hopefully Navan will survive. It’s a track that can take a lot of rain though so I would be confident enough.
Saludos is back out in the Flyingbolt Novice Chase and it’s a bit of a retrieval mission after his disappointing run the last day. He bled a bit though and scoped wrong so we gave him a week off in the field.
After that we cantered him, schooled him and we are very happy with him. He jumped very well and we scoped him and he’s clear. I’m looking forward to seeing the real Saludos.
We only had one runner during the week and things just didn’t go Espresso Lady’s way in the bumper on Wednesday.
Kate provided us with plenty of excitement when having her first ride in a hurdle race in Thurles on Thursday on board Owennacurra Milan and she had a great time finishing fifth. She really enjoyed it but I can’t say that I did.
It’s fine when she’s riding in flat races but hurdles are different. I was a bit anxious as I tend to be when she’s riding in the cross-country eventing. I know I competed myself but there’s a big difference when you’re doing it yourself. It’s much harder to watch.
There is some excellent racing across the water as well including the Schweppes Hurdle, which I won in 2003 when Norman Williamson rode Spirit Leader. It’s the Totesport Trophy now of course and it will throw up some interesting nuggets of information.
You have the Game Spirit Chase and the Aon Chase as well, in which Riverside Theatre runs. He ran very well in the King George to finish second to Long Run and you’d expect a very good run. Of course Nicky and Barry are flying at the moment so they seem to be the ones to follow.