I was absolutely thrilled with No One Tells Me’s run in the Galway Hurdle on Thursday. She really ran an absolute cracker to be fifth in what I think was a great race.
She was outpaced on that ground and was 10th or 12th going down the hill. After that though the further they went the better she went. She ran her heart out but will be hammered now by the handicapper so she’ll go chasing.
I’d say Overturn was a class winner. He has made rapid improvement. The six-year-old went off at 15/8 in its first hurdle race at Aintree last November but only finished fourth and was a beaten favourite on its next three runs.
Since then though, it’s five wins from six. He finished second in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock, when he gave 13lbs to Eradicate. He’s won the Scottish Champion Hurdle, which is a handicap, and the Northumberland Plate which is a serious achievement.
As recently as March, he had a rating of 100 but was running off 145 in Galway. Yet he did it very easily and had all the form horses behind him. In second was Bahrain Storm, who won it last year. The favourite Dirar was third and Slievardagh, who had won a good handicap in Killarney in May that Alpine Eagle ran in, was back in fourth.
I had the three reserves but none of them got in even though the top weight Luska Lad pulled out. He was taken out after the first race which left us with no chance to do anything.
We don’t have to declare our runners at the races. We declare them the day before so unless you want to take them out you do nothing. Any horse that’s taken out, that has to be done before the first race in the interests of fairness to backers of placepots and jackpots.
In the case of a reserve, that has to be declared with the clerk of the course by fax or by filling in a form, also before the first race, although there is a leeway of 15 minutes.
But when Luska Lad was withdrawn after the first race, I could not do anything and even if I had been allowed to run one of the reserves, I wouldn’t have gotten them up from Kildare.
People might say that I could have had them up in case but I didn’t want to do that because Dreamy Gent runs in Leopardstown on Thursday while Gimli’s Rock was entered for the Guinness Handicap yesterday.
If you do send them and they don’t race, it’s actually the same as if they’ve had a race. It’s three hours up and three hours down and it’s a day away from the stables. They lose weight, they get uptight, they feel like they’ve had a run.
If it were some place closer like Punchestown, you could do it, but you have to think of the horse’s long term future rather than just one race, even if it is the Galway Hurdle.
The horses that I had definitely running left the yard at quarter past nine in the morning. If I had gotten a telephone call to tell me that something had pulled out, I had a little truck on standby ready to bring one, or if I was lucky enough, two of them up.
I didn’t get that call and Luska Lad was withdrawn after the first race. I was cross about it at the time but you get over it. You have to, because you can’t do anything about it.
Of my other runners on Thursday, Tarsille suffered in a rough race while Blaze Brightly didn’t come down the hill at all which was disappointing.
You can draw a line through the form of Castle Cove in the bumper. He got upset in the saddling enclosure with a helicopter flying over, and the crowds upset him too. It took two people to get him around the parade ring and it was almost as if he had three races before he started. He’ll go hurdling now and I’ll be sticking by him.
Over the weekend, Gimli’s Lieder runs in the maiden hurdle today but it is probably a little short for him. Somethingdifferent is in the bumper. He was fourth in a bumper in Killarney and I hope he’ll run very well. He’s a nice horse.
Tomorrow, At Present goes in the fillies’ maiden. She’s very consistent and been knocking on the door a while so it would be nice to get a bracket with her.
Greenbelt Star is in the winners’ bumper which is fiercely competitive. There are only eight horses but they’ve all won and they’ve all won good bumpers. It will be nice to see how we go in that sort of company.
Galway has been a phenomenal success with the increase in attendances at odds with everything that’s going on around the country.
Without question, the new M6 motorway into Galway has had a positive impact. The journey home to Moone is only around two hours and that makes things so much easier.
Getting into Ballybrit has always been very difficult in the past but it has been very well organised this year and the traffic is moving well so full marks to the Gardaí and stewards and everyone else involved in drawing up a sensible traffic management plan that worked.
Cork has a very good card tomorrow and Maybe Grace runs in the listed Platinum Stakes over a mile. We’re maybe being a bit adventurous but her form has worked out well. She beat Ask Jack in Fairyhouse and that won the big handicap in Galway in Tuesday. She would have to run above herself to be placed though.
Bobskier runs in the six furlong nursery and it all depends on which trainer has their horse best handicapped. I think she will appreciate Cork more than Sligo, where she won so I’d hope she’d run well.
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