This should be a cracking day’s racing in Co. Meath on Sunday. They’re huge races in their own right but will also be really informative as to where the individual trainers’ novices stand in the pecking order domestically and where the Irish novices are in relation to their UK counterparts.
We’ve no entries in the opener, but A Wave of the Sea can confirm the promise he showed at Down Royal. He’s a strong galloping, good jumping, juvenile and I’ll take him to win. Noel Meade’s Dinard Rose was a good winner at Gowran Park and could run into the money, but A Wave of the Sea looks a class act.
There’s unbelievable quality in this contest for this time of year and there’s so many good horses who have huge potential. Willie runs Fast Buck and Foveros but for me, the unbeaten Envoi Allen has transferred his bumper form to timber and looks the outstanding novice of the season so far.
Gordon Elliott’s runner can confirm that today.
The Grade One action comes thick and fast and Willie’s Burrow Saint and Chef Des Obeaux will have to improve a bit to get involved with the two market leaders, Samcro and Fakir D’oudairies. It depends on which camp you’re in and if it’s Samcro – then go with him.
However, I thought the Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D’oudairies looked a bit special when beating Melon at Navan and I’m sticking with him.
This is a really competitive race, but Willie Mullins looks to have found an ideal opportunity for Ask Susan.
Danny Mullins rides her and she has a lovely racing weight.
I think she’ll stay the 3m 5f trip and she’s in really good form at home.
Apple’s Jade has won this three times, but is on a slight recovery mission now after the second part of last season didn’t work out for her and she was beaten by Bacardys on her seasonal debut at Navan.
Bacardys look good that day and sticking to hurdling should suit him better this season.
However, despite Henry de Bromhead’s Honeysuckle posting five wins on the bounce she could still be a little unexposed in that we don’t fully know how good she is yet.
Her novice form is rock solid, and we’ll find out today if she’s as good as I think she is.
A fleet of runners for Willie Mullins in this competitive handicap hurdle with Mister Blue Sky, Janidil, Ciel De Neige, Buildmeupbuttercup and La Sorelita set to line up.
If Buildmeupbuttercup stays, she looks well treated but for me the Mark Walsh-ridden Janidil looks the one who is still improving.
We round off the day with Ferny Hollow in the bumper. He’s a gorgeous horse who cost a lot of money at the sales. While Appreciated got beaten here yesterday, our four previous bumper horses had won.
Ferny Hollow can get Patrick Mullins back on a winning groove.
*Prices correct at time of publishing