I think the step up in trip will suit Kesselring here. I think he did everything wrong last time out, despite schooling well at home. He was quite green, quite novicey and looked like he was going to fade out of the race but he kept at it well enough down the straight. I think the step up to two and half will really suit him.
Children’s List ran a blinder in Limerick on his comeback run. I just think he’s a horse that could improve to the bottom of the Irish National on better ground. I think Punchestown will be plenty of soft for him. He definitely improved as a hurdler when he got that bit of good ground and I think over fences he’ll be the same.
Isleofhopendreams lacked experience in the Thyestes and that ultimately told. He’s improved from that but he has to improve a long way from his Thyestes run to be involved here.
And it’s amazing what prize money does. When they upped this race this year to a really decent pot, they’ve gotten some race. You have last year’s winner Baie Des Isles, you’ve got Mal Dini, Folsom Blue, Without Limites and if you’re looking for a lightweight in the three and a half mile race, White Arm sneaks in right down the bottom. I mean, it just goes to show you what prize money can do because this race has been reinvented.
Betting wise, out of Willie’s horses, I’d have to go with Children’s List but for me Mal Dini or Folsom Blue look the ones to beat in this.
Castle North goes really well at home. He’s doing similar work to Clinton Hill who won the other day. He’s in good order. Our bumper horses are in great form, we seem to have a good team of them and hopefully this fella can click as well.