Oscars Well spot on for crack at Leopardstown pot

The two-day Leopardstown meeting is one of the busiest and most important we have had for a while.

We travel to Foxrock with quite a few chances and I’m optimistic that we might come away with a winner or two.

Oscars Well is taking on reigning champion, Hurricane Fly in the Irish Champion Hurdle tomorrow. Preparations have been going very well and he seems to be coming to himself at this time of the year, as he did last year. He should be spot on for it.

People might be looking to pick holes in Hurricane Fly because it’s his first run for some time but he’s a very good horse.

There are only five runners, so it’s bound to be tactical but I’m hoping Thousand Stars will take up the running and set a decent clip. Oscars had to do much of the donkey work the last day and we’d prefer to wait longer. I think he’ll run a great race.

Maller Tree has his first run over hurdles at Leopardstown today. He has very good bumper form and ran brilliantly there when second to Mumbo Jumbo at Christmas. He has done a lot of schooling and jumps very well at home. I’m hoping for a very good run from him

Citizenship got into the Boylesports.com Hurdle off a lovely light weight. I never thought he would get in but it got even better when the weights went up two pounds, meaning that Robert could ride. It’s obviously very competitive and you’ve got to get luck in running with 30 horses. It’s a complete nightmare and there’ll be a lot of hard luck stories but if he gets the breaks, he’d have to be there with a shout.

I’m delighted with Spanish Auriga. He was left in front too soon at Navan and will be waited with as long as possible this time because he does absolutely nothing in front.

We have two in the bumper. Jezki is a full brother to Jenari. He’s a very nice horse and a lot will depend on how good the others are. Parramatta is a nice filly, who gets the seven pounds allowance but, being by Aussie Rules, I’m not sure she’ll stay. Noel Meade’s horse is supposed to be very highly rated. Dermot Weld has a runner as well, and he would have to be respected also.

Burn And Turn has come back well from suffering a hairline fracture in her tibia last November. She finished third in a Grade 3 novice hurdle behind Il Fenomeno and Dylan Ross.

That was a very good run in what was her first hurdle race and if she was to repeat that she should go close in tomorrow’s maiden. She has the seven pounds fillies’ allowance and I think she’s pretty close to spot on fitness-wise.

Jetson is back up to graded company after winning a handicap very well at the track over Christmas. Boston Bob is obviously the one to beat and whether it’s just far enough for him is a question mark, but on this ground he might go very close.

Gimli’s Return didn’t run badly last time and I think he’s fairly well handicapped. He’s got a shout but it is his first handicap and they just go that much quicker in handicaps than in maidens. So, if his jumping holds up, he could go well although it is very competitive.

Rear View is another not without a chance in the bumper. He ran well when sixth in a very good bumper on Stephen’s Day and should have been a lot closer. I’m hoping he’ll put up a good show as he’s in good order.

Reporting on last week’s runners, Johnnys Legacy was just nabbed on the line at Dundalk yesterday week which was unlucky but he ran a great race and will run in a similar contest over the coming weeks. Peggarty was only beaten four and a half lengths and is now handicapped.

Feabhra produced a much improved effort to finish under ten lengths behind Marasonnien in a very good maiden hurdle at Naas. She still didn’t jump as well as I’d have liked, but she was good nonetheless. She ran a proper race, was running on at the end and will come on for that.

Espresso Lady did exactly what we hoped at Fairyhouse. I didn’t think she would win but she arrived there, was competitive and got her black type for finishing third which will be important when she becomes a brood mare.

She will most likely come back to maiden company now and will hopefully go very close. She loves the heavy ground that’s prevailing right now so it will be sooner rather than later when you see her again.

Saludos didn’t run his race at all for some reason. We’re just drawing a line through that and hoping he is a different horse next time out.

Robert was very happy with Imperial Cascade. He got stuck in the mud, as all that family do. It was a solid run and we’ll wait three or four weeks before we run him again. He came back sound, which was the main thing. You always tend to worry more about the ones that have been off the track a long time before.

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