We have always thought he would be better over better ground and while it’s difficult to know how much improvement it might bring, it is a prospect to look forward to. The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in Cheltenham is now the definite long-term target, but we hope to go to Leopardstown at Christmas next. Then we might have one more run before the festival.
Lady Temptress (12.15) wasn’t anywhere near as willing in the bumper, which is why she is making a quick resumption over hurdles at Navan today. We’re hoping the obstacles will sort her out.
Jetson (1.50) returns to hurdles as the ground is too heavy for him to jump fences at the moment. With the likelihood that he might go over the smaller obstacles at Christmas if the ground is as it is at the moment, we felt it was important that he become re-acclimatised to them, even though he will shoulder a lot of weight.
Jenari (2.25) and Oscars Well (2.25) return to the racecourse for the first time after the disaster of the Craddockstown three weeks ago. Oscars was sore after his bad fall, while Jenari got a fright as he was next to him and ran no race after.
We were never going to go for the Drinmore after that, and this is ideal as it gives them an extra week. They are in good form, have worked well, and importantly, schooled well. There is very little between them to be honest. If a gun was put to my head, I’d plump for Oscars but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jenari came out on top.
Kiltartan (12.30) and Hundred Stars (12.30) run in the opening maiden hurdle at Punchestown tomorrow but they both have very different profiles. Kiltartan is a seven-year-old that won a point-to-point 33 months ago but has had a couple of very bad races on the track. This is his first run for me, even though I’ve had him for about nine months. I’m happier now and think I’ve got him right. Tomorrow is about having a look and seeing how he goes. He is destined for fences, ultimately.
Hundred Stars is making her racecourse debut and we wanted it to be a local track so that she wouldn’t have far to go.
Madam Bovary (2.30) is having her first run for me in the beginners’ chase and she has big each-way claims. Mikael D’Haguenet is obviously a classy horse but Madam Bovary has plenty of ability, having won a point-to-point, bumper and maiden hurdle. She jumps fences well and I would hope she will run a very solid race.
I thought the Grade 3 novice hurdle in Cork would be a hotter contest. Road To Riches and Rogue Angel are obvious contenders but if the ground doesn’t turn too bad, Beachdale Lad (1.15) should challenge. You can draw a line through the last run because of the ground and we’ve taken him out of his last two intended engagements for that reason. If it’s soft I don’t mind, it’s just if it gets heavy or sticky. I think it will really depend on that.