It also looks like the weather is going to break just ahead of Galway, which is a pity, and there is likely to be a bit more ease in the ground. We can’t complain too much, though, as we had a good run of it and the horses have run well as a result.
Of course it would be nice to go to the festival next week with the horses running on their optimum surface and there will probably be a few that won’t make the trip at all if the expected rain comes.
With the doubt about the ground, it’s very difficult to be definitive about what the prospects might be, but if all was as you’d want it, I would be looking forward to Bob Le Beau, Hurricane Ridge in whatever he runs and Weather Watch in one of the handicaps.
Beyond Berlin in the QR maiden is one I would be really looking forward to as he is coming off a fantastic effort when beaten just a neck by Absolutlyfantastic in Killarney nine days ago.
I have both Liberating and Royal Blue Star in the fillies’ listed stakes on Thursday. Liberating will like a bit of a dig in the ground but Royal Blue Star won’t. Princess Aloof should go well in the weekend Nursery.
Passagere is our only weekend runner at Wexford today. She is running with blinkers over an extended mile. Being completely honest, I just don’t know what to expect. She’s in the last-chance saloon.
Looking back at the past week’s representatives, Billboard made his second racecourse appearance in a 2yo maiden at the Curragh last Saturday and ran okay to be sixth. He has been castrated since and so is destined for a longer racing career, all being well. He’s now a gelding and I think he’ll be alright.
Magical Steps ran the best race of her career when fourth in a 3yo maiden as she was beaten by three colts. I was very happy with her, as it was by far the strongest race she’d run in.
Butterfly Dancer ran alright in her first race. She was very green but will want seven furlongs as she came home very strongly. It was better than her finishing place of seventh would indicate.
Steps To Freedom just found one too good for him for the third consecutive time. Those three seconds have been for an accumulated distance of three and a half lengths. I’m delighted that he ran well again.
He looked like he was going to win but was just edged out. He continues to be in very good form but probably won’t go to Galway as it is likely to be too soft for him.
I was happy enough with Bible Belt. She looked enthusiastic. It would have been nice if she had run better but it was her first run in 11 months so she probably needed it a little bit.
New tactics did the business as Bob Le Beau finally shed his maiden status at Ballinrobe on Tuesday.
It’s funny because he often ran from the front on the flat but it hasn’t seemed to have suited him over hurdles.
He actually idled a good bit after he hit the front again during the week so it really was even more comfortable than it looked. He should run well in Galway.
Poor jumping was the reason Cailin Annamh was beaten at Limerick two days later. If she had jumped the last two well she would have won. Willie’s mare got over those two better. If the ground doesn’t go soft she will run in a novice hurdle in Galway, which will be a step up in class that might actually help the jumping.
The clouds opened at Leopardstown on Thursday and that did for both Dane Street and Gimli’s Rock. Dane Street absolutely hated it and couldn’t go at all in the straight. At least Fran reported Gimli’s Rock to be enthusiastic. It isn’t every day you’d hear that so hopefully he’ll retain that frame of mind.
More Of The Same ran really well to be second. I had really gotten the distance wrong with her, starting at seven furlongs, then eight, then ten furlongs and now for her best run, over a mile and a half, where she is so much happier. So that will be the formula we’ll stick to now.