What a day for young Jody McGarvey at Fairyhouse on Sunday. A Grade 1 double with Skyace who I fancied in the Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final (pictured below) and then later on he scored with Janidil in the novice chase. Elsewhere on the card it was no surprise to see Grand Paradis pulled out of the novice hurdle. I said yesterday the deeper the better for him and the rain just didn’t arrive. Willie (Mullins) looks to have a real smart one with Dark Raven who won the bumper and followed up on his debut success at Leopardstown.
The story of the day at Cork was definitely Josies Orders rolling back the years and popping up at 100/1 in the handicap hurdle. The 13-year-old looked a fresh horse as he went past the line. His last win over hurdles was back in 2014 and since then he’s been a real star over the cross country and bank courses. What a star.
Back to Fairyhouse on Easter Monday for the Irish Grand National, very much the highlight of a fantastic final day.
Earlier on the card Teahupoo (2.40) keeps on improving and won well here the last day. He takes another step up the ladder here on quicker ground and gives away weight but remains an exciting prospect.
The Grade 2 Devenish Chase at 4.20pm looks a cracking renewal with plenty of well known favourites. I have to stick with Fakir D’oudairies who surely deserves to win a decent pot after plenty of solid runs. He was no match for Allaho who looked a machine in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham but his overall form is rock solid and I think the ratings are right on this occasion.
5.00 BoyleSports Irish Grand National Chase (Extended Handicap Chase) (Grade A)
A cracking renewal and it just seems to get more competitive every year. The class horse without doubt this year is Latest Exhibition (pictured below, near side) who has been mixing it with Monkfish in Grade 1 company at Leopardstown and his chance is there for all to see. But I think the stable have a very solid chance with Run Wild Fred who missed Cheltenham and should come back a fresh horse. He ran a cracker in the Thyestes behind stable companion Coko Beach (runs again here). That effort proved he could cope with the rough and tumble of a big handicap chase so gets a big tick in that box. He’s coming into this a little under the radar and I’m hopeful of a big run. Jack (Kennedy) switches to Run Wild Fred and I think on better terms the form could be reversed over both the longer trip and quicker ground. The stable also run Escaria Ten who ran a belter for us at Cheltenham when third to Galvin but needs to follow that effort up in another big test. We were also set to run Roaring Bull but he misses the race because of the ground.