Hayley O’Connor: My RSA Chase winner set to star at Fairyhouse
Gordon Elliot has won the Drinmore Novice Chase twice in the last five years, firstly with Jessies Dream and then with Don Cossack, and I think his representative here could be very special indeed.
The weather in Ireland has been horrendous with torrential rain streaming down, and it might put people off coming to racing, but if they opt out, they could just miss catching a glimpse of the 2016 RSA Chase winner.
No More Heroes has it all. Bryan Cooper made a comment after winning on chasing debut that four or five strides before every fence the horse had picked his moment to take off.
He attacked his fences and looks a natural whose jumping you can trust without a moments worry.
The gelding knows his job, and gets it done without coming across as some hard-pulling lunatic, and is definitely one to watch for the rest of the season.
He could take our breath away in the Drinmore, I just cannot wait.
He has however got good company in the race, particularly in the shape of Monksland.
I really like Noel Meade’s charge, but did perhaps think that he should be kept over hurdles, rather than embarking on a chase career.
What he did at Gowran Park was very good when making his debut over fences and really proved me wrong.
He’s a very decent horse and will be one that will make it a truly run contest as he likes to press on from the front.
Further down the betting there is Shantou Flyer for Colin Bowe who simply cannot stop winning, getting his head in front in four of his last five races.
We might not have seen the best of the five-year-old just yet, so he could be another to make a real test.
Ultimately though, it’s one I expect No More Heroes to pass with flying colours before going on to even more success in the months to come.
The Royal Bond Novices’ Hurdle is a contest that is in real jeopardy of losing its Grade 1 status, and I’m really disappointed about that.
Some really smart horses likes Jezki and Nichols Canyon have won the race in the past before going on to take bigger prizes.
But because the average ratings of the runners have been below the parameters required for Grade One status, the patterns committee could be forced to demote it from their top-flight races, even though its recent winners have gone on to great things.
This year we haven’t attracted the ‘current’ top novice hurdlers, but that doesn’t mean they won’t go on to be.
It could be that we are geared up far too much towards Cheltenham, and that top-class grade 1 contests are being used as mere stepping stones.
As far as this year’s renewal goes it looks as if Willie Mullins has it covered.
He is likely to have Long Dog and Bacchasson at the top of the market and I’d probably side with the latter as the value option in the betting.
His win at Tipperary is certainly working out very well. The horse in second that day Three Stars went on to take a Grade 3 contest at Navan, while Cardinal Palace who was 19 lengths back in third was second in a Grade 2 at Chepstow.
Long Dog has obliged at long odds on in his last couple of races, with the penultimate outing providing a fitting send off for the retiring David Casey.
Ruby Walsh has sided with him this time round, in what I can’t believe was an easy decision to make, but with Bachasson rated 3lbs higher and receiving weight from his stable-mate, he might be the best bet for the race.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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