Minella Beau is in good form.
He won a maiden hurdle on the Wednesday at this meeting last year, but probably didn’t hit the heights we might have expected after that. He stepped up in trip a couple of times and was a little disappointing. Now, he’s in really good order and the owner has already had a winner at the Races with St Stephens Green on Tuesday evening.
Minella Beau will hopefully get the trip and has schooled well. We’re hopeful of a good run.
I’m hoping that Cadmium has the best chance from among Willie Mullins’ runners in this one, as he’s the one I’ve picked to ride. On ratings he should have.
You’d be thinking that two miles will be on the short side for Miss Sapphire and Screaming Rose, while Ornua, Balbir Du Mathan, The Last Marju and Le Martalin all like to get on with things.
Cadmium has a lot of experience and is in good form. We think he might have a big run.
We have four runners in this one, and they’re all unexposed, so it’s hard to know which of them is the best.
Causey Arch has a double penalty and has to give away 6lbs to Exchange Rate, which is partly why I’ve gone for the latter.
Calie du Mesnil and Sapphire Lady, both of whom will appreciate the trip, were impressive when they won recently. It was a very hard call to decide between them all, but I have unfinished business with Exchange Rate so I went for him.
You could make a strong case for any of Willie’s runners in this one. I had to try to rule out a couple in order to make a decision.
Sharjah is not particularly well-handicapped and is lumped with 11-7 so I put a line through him. Paul Townend really fancies Good Thyne Tara, having been really impressed with here the last time out in Cork. Whiskey Sour’s course record is incredible, but is 3lbs higher than when he placed in the County Hurdle – he’s a Grade 1 winner but is a very small horse and 11-4 will be a lot of weight for him. Katie O’Farrell takes 5lbs off Voix Du Reve, whose last two wins were impressive, but came in much weaker races. This is a very competitive contest. I really fancied Blazer in the Galway Plate and he’ll want all the rain that has fallen in order to bring stamina into play in the Galway Hurdle.
But I went for Max Dynamite, who was the only one under 11 stone – and that’s really what swung me. Carrying over 11 stone is difficult in this race, even if Clondaw Warrior may have won on 11-4.
Still, it’s a shot in the dark. Any one of Willie’s could win.
For the third time this week we’ve drawn Stall 18 of 18 – Riven Light, Bronagh’s Belle and now Townshend.
Townshend will have improved for his last run in Killarney – he’s a round, gross, burly sort of horse who takes plenty of racing. He’s in good order and if he can overcome the draw he won’t be too far away.
Golden Spread, by Duke Of Marmalade, is not the flashiest individual in the world, but that’s not a bad thing.
He’s a relaxed, laid-back horse at home, and they sometimes get more graft and stronger rides at home than the flashier ones.
He’ll keep going – I just hope he’s quick enough.