Willie Mullins saddles Youmdor in the 2m Maiden Hurdle and while he has form in France on the all-weather, I just hope he can handle the really heavy ground he’s likely to get at Gowran Park on Friday. He goes well at home, but the concern is the ground.
Crassus of Noel Meade’s has a chance as does Matthew Smith’s Bigz Belief.
Another 2m maiden hurdle and it looks a match between Bob Olinger who Patrick Mullins rode to win at bumper for Henry de Bromhead at this venue last season and Gordon Elliott’s Cheltenham Champion bumper winner, Ferny Hollow.
I’m a Ferny Hollow fan but don’t like that put you off if you fancy Bob Olinger. They’re the two best horses in the race on all known form.
A rated novice hurdle for four-year-olds which was won in the past by Douvan. I’m not saying Willie Mullins’ runner Galopin Des Champs is another Douvan, but he will love heavy ground as he’s a high-actioned horse, who hits the ground quite hard. Mouse Morris’ Get My Drift and Arthur Moore’s Sea Ducor are the obvious dangers but I’m hoping Galopin Des Champs can gallop them into the ground.
A 2m 4f Chase for horses that have only won one chase and it gives Annamix the chance to add to his tally having comfortably beaten Voix Des Thiep at Faiyhouse last January. He has yet to live up to the hype that surrounded him as a novice hurdler but he’s in good form at home, is a good jumper and should be too fast for Spyglass Hill who looks the obvious danger.
This is a tricky contest and looks wide open. Willie Mullins saddles two runners with Paul Townend opting for Energumene and David Mullins aboard Antey. Energumene won a bumper and was one win from one run over hurdles and is a fine, big horse who will love the ground and stay forever.
He’s a hopeful more than confident selection in against some smart performers like Joseph O’Brien’s Speakeasy, Jessica Harrington’s Port Stanley and Coko Beach of Gordon Elliott.
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