Last weekend in Fairyhouse was brilliant and it was great to ride five winners over the two days. The pick would have to be Delta Work (pictured) who did it really nice when recovering from a mistake at the last to rally back and beat Le Richebourg in the Drinmore. Gordon (Elliott) will have a plan mapped out for him now and he will get plenty further.
Looking at Saturday’s action and I’ll be heading to Navan for five rides. Who knows what the ground will be like as guessing the weather is impossible at the moment. There was plenty of rain overnight up in Dublin and the surrounding areas, but not here in Youghal!! It’s been like a Summer’s day here again!
ECLAIR DE BEAUFEU (12.00)
It’s fair to say we have been a little disappointed with him. He has been running well, but just hasn’t managed to get his head in front. He wasn’t beaten far at Thurles the last day and has got plenty of experience under his belt now. I hope he can get his head in front.
I’ve ridden this fella plenty of times. He was busy last season winning in Perth during the summer and is still going well at ten years of age. He has been chasing lately but reverts back to hurdles with a rating of 109. He is a consistent type but in a big competitive field like this, he is vulnerable. Swingbridge has paid for his consistency and runs off an all-time high mark here. There are dangers all around here including a filly at the bottom of the weights, Lady Quill. She finished in front of me last time and she should go well under her penalty for trainer Thomas Cleary.
He was beaten last time in a Grade Two at Punchestown, but he ran really well after a bad mistake cost him. I won on him in a Beginners chase in Fairyhouse back in October and he has made the transition from hurdles to jumps quite well. I hope he can show his well-being here and he should go well. Ben Dundee has taken really well to fences and looks a big danger here along with Us And Them who was very impressive around here last month for Joseph (O’Brien).
GUN DIGGER (2.10pm)
This fella made a good start to jumping fences last month in Gowran where he finished third but if he can make some natural progression here, he has to be in with a chance. These Beginners Chase’s are always hot with some of these runners having really good hurdle form like Chris’s Dream and Shady Operator. Gun Digger has done very little wrong and is entitled to step forward here however it does look like a stiff task against some of these top hurdlers.
BURREN LIFE (2.45pm)
He wears cheek pieces here for the first time and it’s his first run in a handicap chase. He has been running well in his last three starts over fences but hasn’t been good enough on the day. The switch to handicap company here might spark something and he has plenty of experience. As always there are dangers. This is a really good race with Eight Till Late, recent Troytown runner up Mr Diablo and Jett.
Looking at the action in the UK and the Tingle Creek at Sandown looks likely to be all about the unbeaten chaser Altior. He is a seriously good horse and it’s very hard to look past him here. However, if the rain was to continue over there, the testing conditions would be sure to suit Un De Sceaux who won this race back in 2016 and loves the mud.
Don Poli takes his chance in the Becher Chase at Aintree and I’m really looking forward to watching him over the big Aintree fences for the first time. He has been going well at home and is in great form. He thrives on heavy ground and I hope he goes well for Jack (Kennedy). Blaklion looks the danger however, he fell at the first fence in the Grand National this year. He goes really well at Aintree and looks a big player.
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