So many of my horses have been crying out for the type of ground we have now. Fairyhouse might be watering but I hope they don’t overdo it as there is rain due.
We have two fillies travelling to Cork today, including my first two-year-old runner of the season. That’s always rather scary because if that goes right, the rest of them should. The first one is the yardstick. Liberating is a lovely filly that has worked well at home. She has been very straightforward and should run well.
She is exciting and so is Absolute Crackers, who was second last year in the Tattersalls Sales race and a subsequent Listed contest. She seems to have trained on, is well in herself and on last year’s form should win.
I have 11 runners in Fairyhouse tomorrow. True Character is back after a long break since New Year’s Day. He will appreciate the ground and is in good form. The better ground will also suit Brave By Nature, who also runs in that maiden. He got a little lost in his first outing but will improve for that.
Burn And Turn runs in the Grade 2 mares’ novice hurdle and should go well. I probably ran her back too quickly at Leopardstown in February, after winning her maiden two weeks before that. She worked well during the week and I’m really looking forward to her.
Jenari and Maller Tree are probably a bit wrong in the ratings but I think they’re entitled to take their chances in the Coolmore Grade 2 novices’ hurdle. I’m particularly dying to see Jenari over two and a half miles and hope that he might have something in hand over that trip.
We’re two-handed again in the handicap hurdle. Kevin Sexton is taking six pounds off Jetson and hopefully he might get what would be a big win for him. Bullock Harbour is back for the first time since the beginning of October. He seems in good form, will relish the ground, and again, I’m looking forward to him.
We run three in the novice handicap hurdle. It’s a first handicap for Johnny’s Legacy, while Beir Bua is back from his break since October. The Quiet Hawk completes the representation and they all want good ground.
Saville Row ran very well when third at Gowran three weeks ago. He jumps well and once again, I would hope that the better ground would bring about further improvement.
On Monday, Oscars Well goes back to two and a half miles for a Grade 2 hurdle. I’m really looking forward to him as he is in very good form after what was a good run in the Champion Hurdle.
Steps To Freedom is in great form. He ran no race in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle but was coughing afterwards. He would have had some time off after Cheltenham anyway so he missed absolutely nothing in terms of work. The way the Supreme Novices’ worked out, he’d have been right there so this is a good opportunity.
Pontiac is in the novice handicap chase. He jumps very well and will appreciate the good ground. He seemed to enjoy being ridden so prominently when winning his beginners’ chase at Gowran last month, so it goes without saying that there’ll be no change to those tactics.
Of those that ran last week, Peggarty was a bit disappointing in Dundalk last Friday and we don’t know why. Unfortunately, Starling Lady injured herself at Navan and faces a long enough period on the sidelines.
On Sunday in Limerick, the maiden hurdle wasn’t run to suit Mystic Desir. He wants a real fast pace over two miles and they went steady. When they quickened up then, he couldn’t go with them. He’s just one of those horses that falls between two stools. He’ll run in a handicap at Punchestown now and that might be run to suit him more than a maiden would.
Play The Market ran okay. Funnily, I thought I had him fit enough but he does take a bit of work and I just mightn’t have. I have decided now to put him away for the season though. He’s won and been placed over hurdles, and been placed in a bumper before that, so he’s more than done enough because he’s going to make a lovely chaser.
Royal Blue Star simply doesn’t like the polytrack as she can’t quite kick off it so you’d say she was okay in Dundalk on Wednesday. We’ll run her in Listed races to try and get a bit of black type.
Bendzoldan just came up against a 25/1 outsider but you’d have to have been pleased that she came second as at least it represented a return to form for the filly, who was bred by Michael Kinane. She may run in Gowran next Thursday.
Green Chorus had her third run and now has her handicap rating. She needs a mile and a half though, as she gets a bit lost over ten furlongs.