There is no racing in Ireland this Sunday but I head to Thurles Saturday for a couple of rides. The ground remains good at Thurles even though there has been plenty of rain and more due possibly. It’s a track that takes it well so it will need plenty more if the ground is to change.
There is some good racing at Ascot on Saturday featuring the Grade One JLT Hurdle. UNOWHATIMEANHARRY (2.25pm) has a couple of runs under his belt and I have a soft spot for him. He ran at Aintree last month after his wind operation and then won well in Newbury last time where he rolled back the years. He has a good attitude, likes the soft ground and doesn’t know how old he is! He is in good form and looks to be the one that can serve it up to some of these younger rivals.
I was very impressed with JOLLY’S CRACKED IT (3.35pm) on his return at Ascot last time out after such a long lay-off, that was just his second run in three years. All eyes will be on him to see if he can win the race he won three years ago, but keep an eye out for Irish raider Tornado Watch for Emmett Mullins who caught the eye behind me on Wonder Laish the last day at Fairyhouse. Even at the age of nine, he looks to have a race like this well within his reach.
I’m looking forward to a few days off at Christmas to spend with my family and I’m sure my wife Edelle will have plenty of chores for me around the house! I will be back on Christmas Eve with news about my rides on Stephen’s Day from Leopardstown.
I’m onboard this fella for the Mangans and he has had a string of seconds and thirds to his name after his point to point win. He has always run well, but has been slightly disappointing in a way, struggling to get his head in front. The positive is that he won his point to point over 3 miles and then finished a good third over hurdles over the same trip at this track back in February. The step back up in trip here is sure to suit so it shouldn’t inconvenience him. The ground should be OK for him, they are calling it good ground but it’s ‘rained on’ ground so should be fine for him, however the more rain for him the better. I’m looking forward to getting onboard him, there are dangers left, right and centre here with the likes of Moonshine Bay who is also owned by the same owners as my fella for Jessie (Harrington).
WESTERN HONOUR (3.10pm)
Looking forward to riding Western Honour who is stepping up in trip which looks what he has been crying out for. I finished second on him a couple of times but Jamie Codd won on him last time out in Clonmel. He handles all types of conditions so the ground will be OK, the good ground didn’t seem to inconvenience him the last few times I was onboard him. The opposition looks good with Stay Humble for Willie (Mullins) looking like the obvious one and Madison To Monroe for Jessie Harrington who has her horses in great form but one that could sneak under the radar is Stacks Mountain for Henry (De Bromhead).
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