I have a really busy weekend with 12 rides over the two days at Fairyhouse. I start with Dolciano Dici in the 12.15 for Willie Mullins.
The step up in trip will suit him. He had a nice first run around Navan.
If he can improve as much as we think he can, then he should be there or thereabouts. He jumped very well that day and it should have brought him on plenty.
Any Second Now disappointed on his first run this year at Naas but I suppose he has the rating to be competitive.
Flawless Escape was a nice novice hurdler last year who could become an interesting novice chaser this year so it is a good race but I think Dolciano Dici can put in a big performance.
Next up I am on Routes Choice in the 12.50. She is probably better on softer ground. It is her first run back since April. She has bits of form but I think Timeforwest is the one to beat here.
I ride Stowaway Forever (1.25) and he had a very solid run at Naas last time out. He has a good each-way chance. He seems a solid and consistent horse.
All The Answers won well for JP McManus in Mallow beating Tisamystery so he should have him held based on that form.
I am on Defy De Mee (1.55) for Willie Mullins next. His first two runs for us haven’t shown a whole pile so he needs to improve a lot to be competitive here in what looks a decent maiden hurdle.
Room To Roam (2.30) is still a maiden but has run into a couple of decent horses in maidens and ran them close so I’m not worried that this is still a maiden.
I ride Humm Baby (3.05) for Michael Hourigan. He has gone up ten pounds since he won in Listowel but he ran very well in Cork the last day for Danny Mullins.
He looked like a winner going to the last and just got beat. I hope he will be in the frame again but the ten pounds is a little bit of a worry.
On Sunday I start on Humaniste (12.35). He impressed me winning first time out at Fairyhouse. He lit up on the racecourse, showing a lot more than he did at home.
He probably needs to jump a little better to win a race of this calibre but I think there’s a bit of improvement to come from the last day if he can brush up on his jumping. Chief Justice obviously has to give us a bit of weight.
Aramon (1.05) was a surprise winner the last day. He’s improving the whole time. He is seven pounds worse off here with Quick Grabim but hopefully he can improve again from Navan. He will give them all something to think about.
Cadmium (1.35) is stepping up to Grade 1 company which won’t be easy for him. He does bring a lot of experience to the table but could just be found wanting at this grade.
It looks a really competitive renewal this year. There are three or four novices that stand out for the season ahead.
Le Richebourg is very exciting. Discorama won in Naas and was a good novice hurdler as well. I was really taken by that run. I thought he’d improved again from last year and fences looked right up his alley.
Delta Work is also at Grade 1 level so it’s not going to be an easy task but hopefully the experience helps.
Undressed (2.10) has his first run for Willie Mullins. He will possibly want softer ground to be at his very best. The trip won’t be a worry. Mullins has a knack of improving these horses so I think he has as good a chance as any in the race.
Bapaume (2.40) is my ride in the Hatton’s Grace. He had bits of form during last season. It was an in and out season for him to be honest after being a very good juvenile the year before. He rounded off last year winning a Grade 2 in France very impressively.
It often takes them a season to adjust so maybe he has developed more and grown into himself. It will be hard to beat the two mares. I think Apple’s Jade looked back to her best in Navan the last day.
Limini is fit from running on the flat throughout the summer and she has beaten Apple’s Jade before so it will be an interesting contest between the two of them and the rest of us will have to improve to get to their level.
I finish off by riding Stratum (3.10) who was well fancied for a lot of big flat handicaps throughout the summer so he is fit from that. He has disappointed on a few days.
He’s only had three runs over hurdles. He wasn’t beaten far by Mengli Khan one day at Navan, who is Grade1 horse so there is room for improvement over hurdles.
If we can get him to settle and into a good rhythm, he should put in a good performance. Off You Go is a horse I am mad about for Charles Byrnes and will be hard to beat. He will be ridden by Liam Gilligan who takes seven off him.