I am going to go for La Sorelita at a big price each-way. It’s a while since she’s won a race but was a little better than the bare form suggests on her last two starts. The run when fifth to Janidil at Fairyhouse was a fair effort and she could be a bit of value back in a mares’ race.
Mount Leinster was only a length and a half behind Easy Work in a Maiden Hurdle at Gowran Park but Mount Leinster jumped quite poorly that day. We’re hoping that he’s good enough to give Easy Work a race of it at the very least – if not turn the form around with him. I was taken with Asterion Forlonge’s win at Naas where he stayed on really well.
This race used to be over 2m 2f but is only run over 2m now and that might be a concern for Mount Leinster and Asterion Forlonge as they may be better over a longer trip.
Blue Sari was grand when winning his maiden hurdle at Punchestown but did bomb out at Christmas behind Abacadabras. He seems to be in good form at home if you’re willing to forgive him that run, he most certainly has the ability. He ran Envoi Allen close in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham last season.
He looks over-priced to me if he returns to his best form.
Column of Fire is very well handicapped on his best form and could be aimed at something like the Martin Pipe Hurdle at the Festival.
If you get a chance to look back at the handicap hurdles after this weekend, take note of horses that finish around the places in fourth to eighth. They’re bound to feature big time in the Cheltenham handicaps.
Faugheen is absolutely bombing away at home, whatever way you look at it.
He’s 12 years old now, but he’s only had 24 runs in his life. That’s an average of two runs a year. He’s very little racing done. He’s in very good form, was brilliant at Limerick and jumped as well as he did at Punchestown. He’s a good enough price too and he’s achieved way more in his career than Battleoverdoyen, Easy Game or Tornado Flyer .
You could put them all together and they haven’t achieved what Faugheen has.
He’s in very good form and I hope he wins.
The Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup is the feature race on Sunday where Gordon Elliott’s Delta Work and Willie Mullins’ Kemboy head the market.
Kemboy’s jumping has never been his strongest point. He’s his own way of doing it. He’s an ex-French horse. He doesn’t like you to interfere with him too much and he likes to jump himself. He gets quite low and he’s a tendency to go to his right which wouldn’t be ideal in Leopardstown. Even though he won the Savills Chase in 2018, It was a scrappy race and David Mullins took the initiative on him off a slow pace early on and they went on to win.
His biggest performance came in the Punchestown Gold Cup after winning at Aintree, but Paul Townend maintains that Al Boum Photo was a bit flat after his Cheltenham Gold Cup heroics. You’d have to wonder how good a performance it was so. He’s in great form at home though.
I rode his stable-mate Bellshill to win this race last year and he looks a ‘wrong’ price to me at double-digits on Friday. He has improved as much as Kemboy since Christmas and was not that far behind him and Presenting Percy in the Savills Chase. With nine runners declared, he looks the each-way value to me.
Robin Des Foret travels well in his races but seems always seems to find a couple to beat him. He needs to arrive when horses are emptying out. If he gets there and there’s a rival who still has bit of fight left – he rarely battles past it.
JP McManus could hold the key to the race as the step up to 2m 5f will suit Blazer and Minella Times, while Articulum shouldn’t be far away either on his best form. I’d take a chance on Blazer or Minella Times at double-digit prices.
Carrigeen Lotus could turn the form around with Castra Vetera and it won well in Cork the last day for Liz Lawlor. He has a super pedigree and could be a bit of value as they try to topple a likely short-priced favourite in Bigbadandbeautiful.