JESSICA HARRINGTON: Drier ground plays significant role as horses run out of skin

PROMISING:  Magical Steps (second right) finished fourth on her only outing. Picture: INPHO

Having been first and second with my tips last week, I’m only putting an each-way option up this time around as all four of my weekend runners are appearing for the first time this season and two of them are making their racecourse debuts.

Billboard is a nice Big Bad Bob colt. He’s having his first run and it’s probably going to be a very good juvenile maiden. Hopefully he’ll run a nice race.

Bob Le Beau has changed hands and is having his first run since Dubai. He’ll probably need the race and he’s got 10st. He’s actually waiting to go hurdling for the summer.

I have two in the three-year-old maiden. Magical Steps is a good filly that was fourth in her only run last year. I hope she’ll run a big race but I must caution that it being her first run, she might just need it. I would be delighted if she was placed. Whatever she’ll do she’ll come on from it.

The other is a nice Hurricane Run horse called Weather Watch.

He never ran last year as a two-year-old but I think he could turn into a nice mile-and-a-half horse. If he runs a nice race I’ll be very happy.

The horses are running out of their skin at the moment and the drier ground is playing a significant role in that.

From nine runners, we had two winners and three more in the first four. You’d take that sort of return any day.

Takeyourcapoff did everything we hoped for in Wexford. It’s great when you get it right and it happened exactly as we planned. She came back in early so we could get her going but the ground never came right.

Now that it has, we will see a good horse. The next port of call is a hurdle race at Punchestown and we’ll see after that. But if it’s good to firm, she will be racing!

We nearly pulled off our Irish Examiner double but Peggy’s Leg was just touched off at Navan on Sunday.

She didn’t get going quick enough, was just a bit slow coming down the hill but she ran on really well.

I was delighted with the two-year-old, Kheleyf Diamond. She did everything right. She’s not over-big but will be a nice filly.

Steps To Freedom pulled a bit hard again and that has been a problem, as it’s stopping him from just getting home.

We have him in a beginners’ chase at Ballinrobe on Tuesday but rain between now and then could scupper our plans to send him over a fence again.

Dane Street ran very well when third. She just got a bit tired in the last furlong and we have a handicap in mind for her in Leopardstown. There is another at Down Royal after that. She is a filly I’ve always liked and I’m happy with her at the moment. I’m hoping there might still be a Listed race in her.

One Fine Day ran in the same handicap but is just too high in the ratings at the moment and will find it difficult to make an impact until dropping down a bit.

I was very happy with Protestant at Roscommon. Unsurprisingly for a first-timer, he was very green but what I was very happy with was the fact that he battled back after being headed by The Plan Man, who was having his first run as well.

He goes next in a three-year-old handicap in the Curragh and we’ll step him up to a mile and a half, which I think he’ll appreciate.

Lilly Of The Moor ran a great race first time out in the two-and-a-half-mile bumper. Kate might have gone too soon but it was a good run and she will return to the same track for a 2m bumper.

Davanti hated it at Clonmel. She didn’t act on the track at all. Things haven’t gone right for her yet but I’d be patient. She is better than her recent runs suggest.


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