I was delighted with Bostons Angel finishing second in the cross-country chase at Cheltenham yesterday.
He jumped brilliantly and was clearly enthused by the challenge.
Unfortunately, the ground was very heavy and he just began labouring on the last circuit.
He was brilliant, though, on his first trip around that unique course, making ground over the banks, hedges and fences. He clearly loves it and will be back in March, where he will stand a very good chance of winning at the festival for a second time. He’ll get an entry in the Aintree Grand National.
There is actually a points system for all those banks races, with a league being run for events in France, Belgium and Italy. We’re going to look at the dates for those and might go there with him.
We had a good weekend and I was pleased that our two tips came in, so hopefully we can keep that run up!
Oscars Well did everything we could have hoped for at Navan on Saturday. He tanked away and jumped brilliantly. Robbie gave him plenty of time coming home as he didn’t want to put him on the floor, which would have been the last thing we needed after the bad fall in the Craddockstown. He came away from them easily after the last and had plenty in hand. It’s all systems go for Leopardstown at Christmas.
We were very happy with Jenari too. He travelled much better and went chasing Oscars before getting a bit tired.
We were thrilled with Jetson on his return to hurdles on ground that was probably a bit soft for him. The Pertemps at Cheltenham is the long-term target.
I was delighted with Madam Bovary on her first run for me. She jumped really well and closed up a bit turning in before blowing up.
The ground was heavier than Beachdale Lad would have liked in Cork but he jumped much better to finish third in the Grade 3 Novice Hurdle behind Road To Riches. If he could get some nice ground it would make a big difference to him.
I have four runners over the weekend, with three in Fairyhouse today. Annie Oakley (12.15) goes up another two furlongs in distance to 2½m, which will be to her benefit, while I would expect further improvement from her run the last day. I am very happy with her and I would be disappointed if she wasn’t placed.
We’re just looking to see if Kiltartan (1.15) will do better over fences, but Paradis De Thaix (3.00) should go very close in the 2m handicap hurdle. He’s dropping down in distance as well as grade, having finished third to Bog Warrior over 2½m at Fairyhouse a fortnight ago. He’ll go out there and try to make all. He’ll stay going, however heavy the ground is.
There are a number of horses in the Grade 2 Tara Hurdle at Navan tomorrow that are coming back from a problem or an off-race so it is hard to read. Maller Tree (12.55) is one of those, but I think we can draw a line through his last run, at Chelteham. Whatuthink likes to go out in front but Maller Tree will be handy and a repeat of his run when beating Texas Jack and Owega Star last October would make him competitive.
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