The Deloitte Novice Hurdle is one I will be keeping a particularly close eye on given that so many of the protagonists have links with Jezki.
Speaking of which, I can report that he had his first breeze yesterday morning after a little break and everything went well. We were very happy to get that out of the way and now we’ll build him up steadily, with a view to being fresh for Cheltenham in five weeks and taking in Punchestown afterwards.
Bright New Dawn, Champagne Fever, Minsk, Waaheb and Wingtips have all finished behind Jezki so it will be really interesting to see how the Deloitte pans out. Champagne Fever can be expected to go off in front and I wouldn’t think Minsk will try to take him on this time.
Minsk and Waaheb will probably stalk Willie’s horse, hoping that their flat speed will count. Waaheb’s jumping would need to improve on the last day but if it does, he might be the one to follow.
The Hennessy might be a small field but there are plenty of talking points. Flemenstar or Sir Des Champs? Will Flemenstar stay? By all accounts they are going to let him run from the front and they’re right too. He has won all his races that way and I would say he burned up too much energy being held up in the Lexus. We’ll have a better idea about everything after this.
The same applies to the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, with all the top four-year-olds competing. Willie runs Blood Cotil and Diakali, Our Conor has won his two races very well for Dessie and John Ferguson sends over Ruacana.
I like Sabrina Harty’s Dalasiri though. He would like better ground but ran a really brave race when just touched off by Dogora the week before. If there were eight runners, he would be a great each-way bet and still represents value.
My bet of the day is Texas Jack in the Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase. Boston Bob will probably go off favourite and Lord Windermere is an improver who ran well behind Texas Jack at Leopardstown a couple of weeks ago, but I really liked the way Noel’s horse did it that day.
I think there might be more to come from him and waiting tactics will be employed once again. I think he will swoop to catch the rest of them.
I have just one runner with Smithfield (3.50) in the handicap hurdle. It’s no harm sending him here as if it doesn’t work out, he can always go back to maiden company.
I just think that because he’s off a feather weight and there’s plenty of improvement in him, he might just be a little bit ahead of the handicapper.
He improved quite a lot the last day, settling really well when third to Legal Exit and Urano. He clearly appreciated going left-handed so that was taken into account too when deciding it was worth taking a chance.
Bostons Angel was my only runner last week. He was running a big race in the cross-country chase until making a mistake when he slipped at the double bank. That gave him a bit of a fright.
It was very soft too but he came out of it well and will definitely go to Cheltenham. We’ll wait and see how he comes out of that then before deciding on the Aintree National.
Bob Le Beau ran a very good race when fourth in Dubai on Thursday night. He led for much of the way under Gary Carroll and was collared close home, beaten just half-a-length. He runs again next Thursday and after two runs, will be fully acclimatised now.