A star-studded card on Sunday at Fairyhouse.
We’ve no runner in the opening Juvenile Hurdle 12.35pm, but Gordon Elliott’s Coeur Sublime was very good when winning at Down Royal. That experience should stand to him now.
It’s a small, but select field and I’d a difficult choice to make.
I’ve sided with Quick Grabim who was fourth to Aramon at Navan last time up, but made a bad mistake two hurdles out. He was giving Aramon 7lbs then, but they re-oppose on level terms on Sunday.
Both seem in really good form but Gordon Elliot’s runner and the likely favourite, Commander of Fleet, has a huge reputation.
I’m happy with the decision I’ve made and think Quick Grabim has a great chance.
There’s no hiding place in a quality field for the Drinmore Novices Chase and Paul Townend rides Cadmium. It’s his last chance as a novice and his rating is high enough to get him involved, but there’s a lot of quality in the opposition like Le Richebourg, Delta Work, Jetz and Discorama.
They were fair novices over hurdles and have been good so far over fences.
Le Richebourg in particular has taken my eye this season in both his wins and he’ll be hard to beat here.
Paul Townend rides Undressed who didn’t get into the Troytown Chase at Navan and looks to have a lovely racing weight in this. He’s a staying handicap chaser and wouldn’t be the quickest at home, but he’s fit and well and hopefully can run his race.
He’s getting a lot of weight off some of the principals, Even off top weight I could see Cork Grand National winner Out Sam running a big race.
We’ve four entries in the Hattons Grace Hurdle and I’ve sided with Limini. She’s rated 1lb lower than stablemate Bapaume but is getting 7lbs off him here.
Bapauame improved markedly in the backend of last year and is still open to improvement. He was second in the French Champion Hurdle over 3m 1f and then won a Grade 2 hurdle at Auteuil in June over 2m 3f.
Limini’s fitness advantage and the 7lbs she gets here just swayed me in her favour.
Of our others, Shaneshill is best caught fresh while Wicklow Brave might find the step up to 2m 4f a help after running a little disappointingly at Punchestown in the Morgiana Hurdle.
Jessica Harrinton’s Supasundae is a dual Grade One winner making his seasonal debut, but did benefit from the run in this race last year.
However, the star of the show is undoubtedly Apple’s Jade who has won the last two renewals.
Limini is a really good mare, but Apple’s Jade is one of the stars of the jumping game.
This is a really competitive handicap, but it’s worth €100k so that’s what you can expect! We’ve a former Champion Hurdle winner Jezki carrying top-weight under Barry Geraghty, while Mark Walsh has gone for Hearts are Trumps from JP McManus’s seven declared runners.
Charles Byrnes runs two in Wonderlaish and Off You Go and there’s bound to be a couple of others who are fancied also.
Willie has declared six and I ride Saglawy who is rated 143, but his age allowance as a four-year-old brings him in just under Stratum in the weights. He’s in good form and we hope he’s improved from last year and runs well.
Blazer ran a blinder in the Galway Hurdle when second to Sharjah and that looks good form now! Stratum won well in Newbury and has been running all summer on the Flat, but has very little experience over hurdles. He could be very unexposed off his mark of 142 though.
Causey Arch is only a novice, seems in really good form and has been running on the Flat without winning. He’d have his chance.
Sapphire Lady won over 2m 4f at Wexford on her last start but did win here maiden over this trip. She’s a nice weight on her back.
Cut the Mustard seems in good form, but we’ve yet to get a real handle on him.
Stones and Roses makes his debut in the bumper and should be very fit as he’s been in training a while.
There’s been plenty of chat about Envoi Allen of Gordon Elliott’s though – like there was about Malone Road. If the talk was right about Malone Road it could be the same about the Cheverly Park runner.