I suppose the obvious place to start is last Sunday as it was some day with Run Wild Fred and Hollow Games taking out the two feature races. Run Wild Fred arrived with the best form, but still had to go and get the job done. He jumped great and we know he stays well. As for Hollow Games (pictured below), there are plenty describing him as slow, but I can promise you he isn’t that. He quickened up well when the others came to him and remains some prospect. As for this weekend and there is some decent action both sides of the Irish Sea. I’m in Fairyhouse for their cracking two day meeting (will be back with Sunday’s thoughts in a new blog on Saturday evening), while it’s the Ladbrokes Trophy in Newbury. Here are my thoughts on Saturday’s action…
TORYGRAPH – 11.30am Jim Ryan Racecourse Services Beginners Chase (4yo+) 2m 5f
We were delighted with the start Torygraph made over fences in Punchestown the last day and hopefully he can build on that here. I’d say the slight step up in trip will help him a fair bit too and he should give a nice account of himself. Obviously we’ve a bit of ground to make up on Dewcup who finished in front of us in Punchestown but my lad will have learnt plenty that day.
BUDDY RICH – 12.30pm EasyFix Equine Handicap Chase (Grade B) (4yo+) 2m 1/2f
A real competitive looking handicap chase where I ride the ultra consistent Buddy Rich (pictured below) on his first start in handicap company. He certainly arrives here in great form, but he’s not exactly chucked in off a mark of 138 and will need to improve again.
GRINGO D’AUBRELLE – 1.01pm St. Peter’s Dunboyne GAA Maiden Hurdle (Div I) (4yo+) 2m
This lad was beaten over hurdles by the useful Blazing Khal in Galway last month and made no mistake when switching back to a bumper in Navan a few weeks back. That will have done his confidence the world of good and reverting back to hurdles again will be no problems for Gringo D’Aubrelle.
ENKI FLACKE – 1.36pm St. Peter’s Dunboyne GAA Maiden Hurdle (Div II) (4yo+) 2m
Next up I ride Enki Flacke on his first start for Gordon (Elliott) in a maiden hurdle. He won his bumper in Perth nicely for previous connections and I’d say he’ll improve for the hurdles. That said, he’ll need to on what he’s done so far in a race like this with the likes of Grangee up against us.
COUNT SIMON – 2.11pm Wear Your Christmas Jumper To Fairyhouse Handicap Hurdle (4yo+ 80-130) 2m 4f
If you went back a couple of years you’d see that Count Simon was operating well at a much higher level. He’s lost his way a bit since and would be a danger to all if rediscovering that form off his current mark. The problem is he hasn’t showed much for some time and has become a little disappointing.
RODANICHE 2.46pm Christmas Party Race Day December 11th Rated Novice Hurdle (4yo+) 2m 4f
My final ride of the afternoon is Rodaniche who won his maiden hurdle in Wexford the last day. That experience should stand him in good stead here as he attempts to take another step up the ladder.
3pm Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+) 3m 2f
Finally, a word on the Ladbrokes Trophy in Newbury where the Irish look to hold a strong hand. Ontheropes was impressive when landing the Munster National the last day and I know only too well how dangerous Willie’s (Mullins) horses can be in this race. However, if there is a genuine Cheltenham Gold Cup contender in amongst the field, it is likely to be Eklat De Rire. He unseated when still bang in contention in Cheltenham last season and looked good on his reappearance. I’d say he’d be the one I’d be keenest to ride. As for the others, it may just not be as one-sided in favour of the Irish as people think. The likes of Enrilo and Fiddlerontheroof are real smart chasers and that Kitty’s Light is so consistent. It promises to be a cracker.