I ride Minella Beau for Willie Mullins in the day’s feature race, the Troytown Handicap Chase (14:30).
I was going well enough when he fell at the third-last in the Paddy Power Cork Grand National. It’s hard to say whether I would have beaten Out Sam if we’d stayed up, but I was happy with where I was and how I was going. He’s only a novice but has a nice weight of 10st 6lb on his back.
It would be great if he could run into the money.
It’s as competitive as ever, though, and Gordon Elliott had 12 runners declared, which is almost half the field. Davy Russell has opted to keep up the winning partnership with Out Sam who won that Cork National.
He got a penalty for that but is improving, while Squouateur looks a well-handicapped horse for a while now, but hasn’t delivered on the track recently.
Of the others, Dounikos was a very good novice early last season and could be a class above these, although he’ll have to carry top weight. Liam McKenna is a good young jockey and claims 7lbs off him.
Young Turk, Joseph O’Brien’s horse, is very unexposed at the bottom of the weights and, if he has the experience for a race like this, he could get involved at the business end.
I start off the day on Easy Game in the Grade 3 Novice Hurdle at 1.00pm. We won at Galway but he was a little disappointing in Listowel before Quick Grabim was literally too quick for him over 2m at Tipperary.
The step back up to 2m 4f will suit Easy Game and he seems in good order at home.
Dinons sets the standard in this contest with his rating of 145. His stablemate Felix Desjy is on a bit of a recovery mission having finished last of seven here behind Aramon last time out, where the second horse Magnium, is also in opposition.
That wasn’t Felix Desjy’s true running and he should improve considerably from that run.
Willie Mullins runs two in the bumper at 3.30pm where Yukon Lil will be better suited than Queens Boulevard to the better ground as the latter is a proven heavy-ground horse.
In the Beginners Chase at 2pm, Paloma Blue makes his debut over fences. He was a good novice hurdler and finished fourth to Sumerville Boy in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham. He could be the one to take out of this race.