“If his jumping holds up then I think he will outrun his odds”

“If his jumping holds up then I think he will outrun his odds”

Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle

It is obviously a strong race and the ‘will he, won’t he?’ with Ballyburn is finally over and he’s going to run here. From what I have seen, I think he is the best novice hurdler in Great Britain and Ireland. He would have won either the Supreme or the Gallagher, so I expect him to win here. He’s already a good horse and he’ll continue to be when he goes jumping fences next year.

“We have a couple other contenders here and Ile Atlantique certainly has ability, but he’s been beaten three times in three real battles which is a slight negative for me. Predators Gold is dropping back down in trip after being beaten by Dancing City the last day and that will help him.

“One I would give a chance to at a bigger price is Jimmy Du Seuil. He lacks a bit of experience but if his jumping holds up then I think he will outrun his odds.”

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase

Fact To File is a horse that we love. He is a big imposing character, and he has course form at Cheltenham having been second in the Champion Bumper last year. He’s gone straight to chasing this year like the great Florida Pearl did. I’m very hopeful that he’ll have too much class for the rest of them in this race.

He’s done very little wrong in his three runs so far and he was hugely impressive the last day at Leopardstown – albeit Gaelic Warrior blowing up that day. We think the world of him, and the race has been really cut up with Broadway Boy not running and Grey Dawning switching to the Turners. That takes away from it a bit but Stay Away Fay and Monty’s Star are two really strong stayers who will try to make it a test.”

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle

The Coral Cup is probably the most competitive handicap of the week. Sa Majeste is a tough one to judge and I think he goes here as the favourite largely based off reputation. He was really disappointing on his first run for us last year at the Punchestown Festival but since then he’s beaten Noble Yeats and gone on to win a Grade 1, but the third horse on that day was only rated 107.

It is hard to put a proper rating on him but we’re happy enough with his mark of 140 and I think he’s improved from his last couple of runs. It is a really competitive handicap and I actually think Lombron could outrun his odds at a bigger price. He won a maiden at Thurles but was then disappointing on his next two runs. The step up in trip to 2m5f will definitely suit him and I think he could run well.”

Queen Mother Champion Chase

In beating Jonbon in the Arkle last year I think El Fabiolo proved that he is probably the best two-miler around and I haven’t seen anything so far to make me change my mind on that. He was very good in the Hilly Way at Cork and improved plenty to beat Dinoblue at Leopardstown last time – since then he’s been in really good form at home.

He beat Jonbon last year but of course Jonbon is not out of it. It is a championship race, and anything could go wrong and Jonbon was probably unlucky last time out. He made a bad mistake and even after that he could’ve won the race so he’s a formidable opponent.

Edwardsone won last time out, and I think the fact that he won making the running at Newbury means that he could go forward again here with Elixir De Nutz, which would suit El Fabiolo. The faster they go the more the race will suit him, and I think he is the best horse in the race. With any little bit of luck I think he’ll go on and win.”

Cross Country Chase

The Cross Country Chase is a deep enough race with the likes of an ex-Gold Cup winner in Minella Indo, as well as Delta Work and Coko Beach – they’re all high-class horses. Stattler is a previous Festival winner himself, but he didn’t cover himself in glory the first day in Punchestown. His jumping will have to improve, and we’ve done a lot of schooling with him since then, so I’d hope it has come on. He’s one that I’d say could run well at a big price, rather than one you could be confident about.”

Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase

Saint Roi won a Grade 1 Novice Chase a couple of seasons ago and he’s probably suffered a bit because of it, having to run in Grade 1 open company for the last couple of years which probably took its toll.

He’s back in handicap company here where he’ll find it a lot easier and he is a previous winner of the County Hurdle. This race has changed back to the old course, which is probably not going to suit him, but I do think dropping back into handicap company will definitely improve his chances.

Champion Bumper

The fact that Jasmin De Vaux is the favourite at around 6/1 shows you just how open the Champion Bumper is this year. A lot of the bumpers run in Ireland at the moment are somewhat uncompetitive and if Gordon Elliott or Willie Mullins doesn’t have the favourite then they still get picked up by the likes of Gavin Cromwell.

A lot of horses have been winning and winning impressively in the maiden bumpers, but we just don’t know quite how good they are – it is hard to judge. You Oughta Know finished second in what was probably the strongest bumper run in Ireland so far this year. He came from a long way back there to finish second and I think he could run very well.

Cantico is another in with a good chance, but I think Argento Boy, who is a half-brother to Briar Hill, could go well here. He doesn’t show a lot at home but neither did Briar Hill and he went on to win the Champion Bumper as a 25/1 shot – I think Argento Boy could do the same. He ran very well in what was probably a weak race at Fairyhouse and I could see him galloping up the hill and passing Cantico coming home.

Best of luck,




Author: Eugene Edwards