Very much the calm before the storm this weekend but there’s plenty of good racing to look forward to in Ireland with Gowran on Saturday and Naas on Sunday.
After the weekend I fly over to Cheltenham first thing on Monday and look forward to being at the course around lunchtime.
I doubt I will sit on anything at the track then, but I’ll be there each morning to sit on a few and let them stretch their legs.
There is now a real buzz of excitement and at last the talking can stop!
I have four booked rides at Naas on Sunday and will bring my thoughts on those in my Saturday evening blog and look out for my pre-Festival Cheltenham video chats with Alastair Down from the Racing Post which I enjoyed recording. Also, my race by race previews with the Star Sports panel are available CLICK HERE.
EDENE D’ARC (1.25pm)
The rains have arrived (at last) and so have the big fields. She’s a good filly who won a bumper here on heavy ground on debut and was then finished third in a Listed bumper in Limerick. She’s made a good start over hurdles and drops back in trip today having finished third the last day in Clonmel. There shouldn’t be any problem with the distance and the softer ground will negate this in part. It’s a competitive opener though, with dangers everywhere.
DOCTOR PHOENIX (3.40pm)
He’s largely been paying the price in the weights for such a good season last year but is continuing to put in good rounds – including second to Cadmium in a Grade 3 chase at Naas the last day. Any more rain will definitely help but it will be a tough ask to defy top weight in a competitive race. Ex Patriot is owned by the race sponsor and could be unexposed. He by-passes Cheltenham in favour of this – a decent enough prize in its own right.
The Imperial Cup is the big race of the day in the UK down at Sandown. It’s got the usual bonus for a horse going on to win at Cheltenham but for such a competitive handicap it’s got an unusual shape to it with Nicky Henderson’s Call Me Lord a full stone higher at the top of the card. It’ll be a big ask for him to defy top weight with the lighter weight improvers down at the bottom including Extra Mag and Monsieur Lecoq.
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…