I fly to Sandown on Saturday for the Tingle Creek. Un De Sceaux has been a brilliant horse for the yard. I had a brilliant day on him at the Punchestown Festival last year winning the Champion Chase.
It’s not going to be easy on his first run of the season to take on Defi Du Seuil, and Politologue, who have a run under their belts. However it is a race we always run well in, it is a track he likes, and we are going to Sandown full of hope.
He’s not getting any younger but he still shows a lot of enthusiasm at home and I am sure he will put up a big performance. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I just hope he is good enough.
It’s a deep race. Obviously Defi Du Seuil and Politilogue are my biggest threats.
Waiting Patiently has been a little disappointing, while Sceau Royal is a good horse in his own right. However I would be surprised if the winner wasn’t one of the first three in the betting.
On Sunday, I ride Min in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase. Again, it is his first run of the season.
His work at home has been good and we are happy with him. It looks an ideal opportunity to start him back. The trip doesn’t seem to be a problem for him.
It is interesting to see Presenting Percy returning after a poor run in the Gold Cup. Pat Kelly must be happy with him. The drop in trip may not be ideal for him though.
He is a horse I love, he is a people’s horse, and he has to be respected wherever he turns up but I just think the trip will suit us more than him. I am hoping Min is good enough to get his season off to the perfect start.
Duc Des Genievres is another one running from our yard. He was the Arkle winner last year. He disappointed on his first run of the season at Navan. This is a big step up for him and he will have to improve on everything he has done.
Real Steel won very well at Down Royal last month. He is a horse who is much better going right-handed so that is ideal for him and the trip should suit.
He wasn’t campaigned at the highest of levels last year but I think he has really come into himself now and I think he can be a force to be reckoned with this season. He is probably under the radar a little bit.
Voix Du Reve falls into the same bracket as Real Steel. They ran into each other a couple of times last year.
Of the rest of our horses, I think Real Steal is open to the most improvement. However, they all must improve to reach Min’s level.
My other ride at Punchestown on Sunday is on Breaken (2.20). He is a forward going sort. His schooling over fences has been good at home. It will be an exciting ride anyway.
He is a bit like Un De Sceaux. He was very good when winning at Limerick but disappointed at Punchestown then. He is just very free going. He seems to be a lot more settled at home this year which will be a help.
It is interesting to see him taking on fences. Hopefully we can keep the lid on him early in the race and save a bit for later on.
It’s not a bad Beginners race with Pat Fahy’s Dunvegan in there. I rode him to win a Maiden Hurdle and I thought he would make a better chaser than hurdler. He is one to keep an eye on for the season and on Sunday.