I've got three rides on Sunday, but there's a little bit of value around.
Another disappointment this week with Arctic Fire being ruled out of the Cheltenham festival.
I felt sorry for the owners who had their dreams shattered just a few days after they thought they’d be going to Cheltenham with a live chance in the Champion Hurdle. Wicklow Bloodstock finished runner-up to Faugheen last year and would have been a leading fancy without the reigning champ.
With a little over two weeks to go to Cheltenham, I’m at Leopardstown on Sunday for three rides.
2.00 Maiden Hurdle 2m 4f
It’s an open looking contest and there wouldn’t be much between Space Cadet, Potters Point and Jett while Stowaway Shark was second at Down Royal earlier this month.
All of them seem to have better place record than win records and if one of them is going to get their head in front on Sunday, I hope it’s Potters Point.
Jett has carried a big reputation into some of the bumpers he raced in and the drying ground should help his chance – but it won’t inconvenience the others either.
2.30 Maiden Hurdle 2m 4f
For a horse that works so well at home Beau Mome has been very disappointing on his three runs so far. He gets in here off a rating of 117 and we always thought he was a better horse than that but hasn’t yet shown it on the track.
It’s a competitive race and it looks like he treads water about two furlongs out so far. Jarob has won his last three races but has been off since winning at Punchestown in October while Bishopslough ran better than his placing suggested in a competitive handicap hurdle at this venue the last time and could strip fitter this time.
Barry Geraghty rides dual bumper winner Anibale Fly for Tony Martin. He was under six lengths third to Bellshill over 2m 4f in a Grade One hurdle at Naas and that looks interesting form.
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3.00 Foxrock Cup 2m 2f
So Young returns from a long absence and has been working away fine at home and is ready to run. If he was to perform to his old mark off 157, he’d be thrown in here but it’s hard to believe that he’ll retain that level of ability after three years off the track.
Sandra Hughes’ Sheamus is also reappearing after a 482-day absence but again, could be better watched on this occasion. Home Farm is a decent performer on his day and was previously placed in an Irish Grand National but the 2m 2f trip could be sharp enough for him.
Willie Mullins’ other runner Great Fields is interesting. He comes over from France and is working well at home and as a five-year-old may be more open to improvement.
3.30 EBF Novices S’chase 2m 1f
The top-weight Alisier D’irlande needs to left-handed and looks open to improvement. He’s the one they all have to beat. Dysios won well at Leopardstown in bad ground and should run a respectable race as should Fine Article and I’m All You Need but the favourite sets the standard.