It’s been a really frustrating week with the weather and especially losing Punchestown twice where I had some good looking rides but what can you do! I’m hopeful though that the action will go ahead this weekend. It’s not looking too bad as I write this blog and no inspections are planned currently for either Gowran on Saturday or Navan on Sunday so fingers crossed it stays that way. Both courses will be heavy but they are tracks that can handle plenty of rain without it becoming a problem
There are big races at both this weekend and I’ll be back on Saturday after racing with an update on my rides at Navan on Sunday, but firstly Saturday’s action.
SAINT D’OROUX (1.10pm)
I’ve no problems on the ground front with this fella who should enjoy conditions. He’s been knocking on the door so far and wasn’t beaten far in Leopardstown the last day over Christmas in a huge field. He’s got a little bit of experience now over his rivals here and can hopefully give a good account in a race where there doesn’t look to be a standout on the form shown so far.
1.44pm (Red Mills Trial Hurdle)
No ride for me here but there should be a few more Cheltenham clues after it. Cilaos Emery is back over hurdles after his first fence fall in the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase and is well clear on official ratings. Mengli Khan for Gordon (Elliott) ran well in third when dropped back to this trip in the Limestone Lad Hurdle and is a versatile horse with chase, hurdle, all-weather and flat wins to his name on all kinds of ground.
GUN MERCHANT (2.19pm)
This looks ultra competitive and hopefully Gun Merchant has enough experience now to fit into this level of race. He’s a solid horse who shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the trip or the ground and he starts a new chapter of his career in handicap company today. As always in these big fields you need a bit of luck on the way round as he has some battle hardened rivals up against him.
DEATH DUTY (2.54pm Red Mills Chase)
He was top class as a novice chaser as he proved when winning the Drinmore for me at Fairyhouse in 2017 (pictured) but later that season was out of action for two years with a shoulder injury. In the circumstances I thought he did well enough on his comeback over hurdles in the Galmoy (won by Bene Des Vieux) here in January and it’ll all be down to how much he can improve for the benefit of that run. We’ve got a little to find on the figures but I’d be delighted to see him run well and hopefully start making up for lost time.
MILAN NATIVE (3.29pm)
This one also holds an entry for Navan on Sunday. He hasn’t managed a win since his maiden hurdle but has knocked on the door plenty of times. We were no match for Allaho at Fairyhouse the last day but he still ran well in second, although some of his jumping was sketchy. If that improves hopefully he can go close again in what looks a very competitive beginners chase.
If you have a question for Davy drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try and include in the next blog…