A great start to the weekend for me at Gowran on Saturday with a double thanks to Saint Felicien and Indigo Breeze both for Gordon (Elliott). I was hopeful for both of their chances in Saturday’s blog so it was great to see it work out on the track. Indigo Breeze defied his long break and finished really strongly for me to take the maiden hurdle and in the next race I was really taken by the Irish debut of Saint Felicien who won nicely and can only improve on that.
I had an early finish as Cute Cherry was a non runner in the last but that gave me chance to watch the Betfair Chase at Haydock. I said yesterday about how keen Rachael was to ride A Plus Tard and I think we can see why now. It’s rare to see a horse dominate a Grade 1 like that fella did and it was a great result for Henry (De Bromhead) and team.
I’ve four nice rides to look forward to in Navan on Sunday including Run Wild Fred in the Troytown. Here are my thoughts on his chances and my other three rides.
AU FLEURON – 1.20pm
I’m really looking forward to getting Au Fleuron started over hurdles as he looks a lovely prospect. He won his bumper in Tipperary back in March and comes from a real good academy in Denis Murphy’s yard. This is his first day at school for us, but we like what we have seen so far, and he’ll go well. Bust Or Bray Dee made a nice start in Gowran last month and is entitled to build on that here.
HOLLOW GAMES – 1.50pm (Monksfield Novice Hurdle)
This will be a nice test for the unbeaten Hollow Games (pictured below) who steps into graded company for the first time. He won his point-to-point then his two bumpers and made a nice start over hurdles last month in Down Royal. He’s lazy at home and doesn’t show a great deal, opting to do it all on the track. He’s got a bright future and hopefully can take this step up in class in his stride. The same owners also have the likeable Ginto who was really good here when Jack rode him a couple of weeks back.
JIMMY JIMMY – 2.20pm
The ultra-consistent Jimmy Jimmy has to carry top weight in the competitive looking handicap hurdle. He’s not been seen since winning in Punchestown over a year ago and starts life in handicaps off a mark of 127. The pieces should help him too and I’m hopeful of a bold showing. Henry’s horse (Gaspard Du Seuil) looks our biggest danger.
RUN WILD FRED – 2.50pm (Troytown Handicap)
It’s remarkable to think that Run Wild Fred, my mount in the Troytown, is still a maiden over fences. He’s finished second in all of his last four starts including when runner-up in the Thyestes and the Irish Grand National. A reproduction of either of those runs should see him bang in the mix here although the handicapper keeps adding to his challenge. He’s one of seven for Gordon in the race and it would be hard to separate a few of them. Definite Plan was great in Cheltenham and seems in great form at home. Jack Foley takes 5lbs off Farclas which brings him into the mix too. I’m delighted to be riding my fella though and hopefully he can have his turn in the winners’ enclosure… he deserves it.