Fury setting out on the Road to the Stayers’ Hurdle

*Best Chance: Fury Road (13:40)

Each-way chance for out and out stayer

12:05 – Cuneo

He is a horse that we picked up quite cheaply at the sales in the early part of the autumn and I was pleased with his second run for us at Down Royal a couple of weeks ago when he was fourth in a handicap chase over three miles. He is an out and out stayer and I’m hoping he could pick up a nice prize at some stage but I would prefer if this race was run over a bit longer. He has an each-way chance.

Two promising chasers but this is a step up in class

12:35 – Pencilfulloflead & Run Wild Fred

Pencilfulloflead is a horse we have always liked. He was a useful sort over hurdles last season but didn’t jump great which held him back a little bit. Since we started schooling him over fences he has been much better and I was pleased with his debut over fences at Galway where he won a decent beginner’s chase. He should have improved from that run and I’m hoping he will be able to get closely involved but he is taking a fair step up in class.

Run Wild Fred has been beaten on both his starts over fences so far but I haven’t lost any faith in him as I think he will improve with racing throughout the season and he should still win a good race or two over the coming months. We don’t have too many options for him in beginners chases over further than two and a half miles which is why he is running here. I’d expect him to give a good account of himself.

Tears should give a good account but both will be better later in season

13:05 – Daylight Katie & Black Tears

Daylight Katie is a very good mare. She picked up a minor enough injury when she won at Down Royal over a year ago but it meant that she just missed time at the wrong part of the season and she would have been back after Cheltenham but by then the season was over. She is in good shape and going nicely at home but she will need this run and I’m expecting her to improve a good deal from it.

Black Tears had a good time of things last season when she won a big handicap at Leopardstown before then running very well in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham. The hope is that she will be able to compete in all the good mares races throughout the season but she is a mare who tends to come to herself in the spring so it wouldn’t surprise if she takes a couple of runs to reach her best. I’m still hoping she will give a good account of herself here.

Sticking to hurdles with high class horse and he has a good chance

13:40 – Fury Road

He is a horse we’ve always thought the world of and I was really pleased with how he progressed last season when he developed into a high class staying novice and was just touched off in a great finish to the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham. We are keeping him over hurdles this season to see can he develop into a Stayers Hurdle type. He is in good order but will need this run so whatever he does here he will improve on. Having said that he looks to have a decent chance and the trip will suit him while the rain that has fallen throughout the week won’t do him any harm.

Has improved for seasonal debut but he still faces a top class rival

14:10 – Abacadabras

Abacadabras was beaten on his comeback at Down Royal and I know plenty of people will have been disappointed with his run there but I wasn’t. As I’ve said all along a lot of our horses are going to need their first runs of the season and he was no different. He travelled well through the race and got upsides the winner at the second last but Jack just felt he blew up between the last two hurdles. He has improved for that run but he will need to have as he now has to take on a top class horse in Saint Roi. The hope is that he could progress into a Champion Hurdle type but if he is to reach that level he will need to be closely involved here.

Coqolino should go close following fine debut over hurdles

14:50 – Coqolino & Foxhole

Coqolino ran a nice race on his debut over hurdles when he was second to a decent horse of Noel Meade’s at Galway last month. I think he is a horse with plenty of potential and he looks to have come forward from his first run so hopefully he will go close. He should progress well throughout the season.

Foxhole got very tired on his hurdling debut at Galway. He looked like he was going to run a respectable race at one point but he weakened quite badly and I’m hoping it was just his long absence from the track catching up with him. Hopefully he will do better here but he will need to if he is to get involved.

Should go close if putting best foot forward

15:25 – Gold Des Bois

Gold Des Bois produced a nice effort to win on his debut for us at Clonmel early last month. I then thought that he would go close in a good handicap hurdle at Down Royal last time but could just never get involved and he finished in midfield. I’m happy enough to draw a line through that run as the race just didn’t work out in his favour and I think he should go close here if he puts his best foot forward.

Hollow probably the pick of my three in the bumper

16:00 – Gordon’s Jet, Hollow Games & Perfect Attitude

Gordon’s Jet won nicely on his debut here a couple of months ago but then had to settle for fourth back here next time in what was quite a tactical and messy race. He is better than he showed there so hopefully he will do better but the testing ground is a potential concern for him.

Hollow Games looked a very nice horse when he won his point last spring and we were lucky enough to be able to buy him at the sales a week later. He shapes like a nice horse and home and gives the impression he is good enough to win a bumper so I’m hoping for a good run from him.

Perfect Attitude is a nice horse who has been showing enough at home to suggest that he is ready to start out on the track. He will probably be a bit green and raw for this and whatever he does here he will improve on but I’m still hoping for a nice run.

Very promising bumper runner at Cheltenham

16:05 – Weseekhimhere

He is a very promising bumper horse and it will be interesting to see how he gets on here. I thought that he was quite impressive at Galway and then he won a winner’s race in good style at Listowel a couple of months ago. I’d like to think that he is up to competing in bumpers of this nature and his run here should tell us what direction to take with him over the coming months. He would look to have a good chance.