I start my day on our Cheltenham mares’ novices hurdle winner Eglantine Du Seuil who I didn’t think had enough work done going to the Festival, but she obviously did as she won! Noel Fehily gave her a very good ride, but she could still improve on that run. I’d be hopeful she can uphold the form with the mares that were behind her that day, but Elfile will appreciate the 2m 4f trip.
Paul Townend rides Salsaretta who drops down in trip from her run in the Albert Bartlett. The drying ground may be a concern for her, as she beat Felix Desjy on very testing ground at Limerick.
Buildmeupbuttercup shouldn’t have a problem on the ground but the trip could be an issue, as it could be with Sancta Simona who may find it a bit of a stretch. Robin De Carlow steps up in grade.
Whatever of ours comes out on top will need their ‘A’ game to beat Henry de Bromhead’s Honeysuckle, who on ratings has at least 4lbs in hand.
I ride Kildorrery for my dad, Ted, and he should appreciate the smaller field as he likes to be held up and come through horses at the end. Hopefully, his consistency can get some reward.
But this is a very competitive race. Snugsborough Hall has been impressive in his last couple of wins while Riders Onthe Storm was fancied at Cheltenham but fell at the sixth in the race won by A Plus Tard. He previously beat Kildorrery at Leopardstown and looks a player.
Only five runners go to post for the Grade One Ryanair Chase and I ride Voix du Reve who I think would have gotten into the money in the JLT Chase at Cheltenham but unseated me three fences out.
Winter Escape had previously beaten A Plus Tard at Punchestown in January, before Henry De Bromhead’s runner ran away with the Close Bros. Chase at the Festival.
It was reported that Winter Escape broke a blood vessel when fifth to La Bague Au Roi at the Dublin Racing Festival and that’s a concern.
Real Steel has a bit of ground to make up with Mengli Khan on Cheltenham form but going right-handed will definitely suit him better, while Cubomania has to improve a lot to win this contest.
Danny Mullins rides Mister Capitano in the opening maiden hurdle but would need to improve to get involved in this.
The conditions of the race really suit Killutagh Vic who is 13lbs well in with Ball D’arc and way ahead of the others on ratings. Running over hurdles didn’t suit him in the Coral Cup at the Festival.
The return to fences and the conditions of the race could make him hard to beat here.
Whiskey Sour ran a good race in the County Hurdle to finish fourth and probably ran a little fresh in my hands. With that run under his belt and Aubrey McMahon claiming 7lbs, he looks to have a very good chance of getting his head in front.
Lac Kivu looked very good when winning at Punchestown on debut but disappointed at Galway. The two-mile trip here could be tight enough for him. It’s hard to see him getting involved against some much higher-rated rivals like Campeador and Swamp Fox.
Patrick rides General Counsel who goes well at home and has plenty of work done. We’re hoping he could make a winning debut.