There’s been a bit of chat that Willie Mullins’ horses are out of form – but I don’t think that’s true.
Maybe there’s more focus on us because of the strength in depth of the stable, but a horses’ price isn’t always reflective of its chance and no bookmakers will overprice a horse from Willie Mullins’ yard or any of the bigger stables.
A lot of ours are winning, a lot have run well, a few have been beaten and some have run badly.
That’s just the nature of horse racing.
Sure, you could say some were disappointing, but that’s more reflective of what we’re running at the moment due to the unseasonably quick ground.
If you looked at it realistically, how many of them should have been beaten? Blazer ran a blinder in the Dan Moore (at Fairyhouse) while Harrie ran well (in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle), but he obviously needs further than two miles.
You could say Buildmeupbuttercup was disappointing in that race, but she’d only just won her maiden hurdle before that. We’ve had winners like Elfile and Ifyoucatchmenow and they were probably entitled to win, but a couple have run bad like Undressed and Tornado Flyer. The ground is still quite good so we expect them all to improve.
There’s been a few maiden winners who have stepped up in class and haven’t proved quite good enough just yet. Even if you take La Sorelita who started favourite but was third at Fairyhouse on Saturday to Surin and Gardens of Babylon, she reversed her Leopardstown form with Got Trumped to finish third.
The form of that Leopardstown contest just wasn’t good enough against the other pair who pulled well clear.
So I’m not overly concerned, as things should improve as the season goes on.
We’ve plenty of entries for both but it could be the first good ground running of the Thyestes in a very long time. The going will dictate who we send in the end, but it’s not just about the feature race.
There’ll be a lot of trainers trying to get a run into their Festival horses on the undercard too, so it should be a great occasion.
The Dublin Racing Festival follows hot on his heels in the first week of February and with eight Grade One races over the two days we should all be a lot wiser about the relative form of our novice hurdlers, chasers and some of the superstars after that.
We’re all still on a learning curve at the moment.