Best Chance – Pencilfulloflead (15:15)
Showbusiness is capable of performing well here
12:45 – Saeer, Showbusiness & Raamez (Reserve)
Saeer has finished in front of Raamez on his first two runs over jumps and I’d say that he has run to a similar level on both occasions. He was fifth on his debut for us on New Year’s Eve and, although he was only tenth next time, he actually finished a good bit closer to the winner. He has to improve to win a maiden but I’m hoping he can run another solid race.
Showbusiness is the pick of our runners here. We bought him in France last summer after two runs on the flat and he showed plenty of promise on both of those occasions. He is a horse who looked as though he would benefit from being given a little time so we have brought him along steadily and he has been showing me for the last few weeks that he is ready to start out for the season. He will be a bit green and raw for this first run over hurdles but I’d be hoping for a nice effort from him.
Raamez is a lovely horse to look at and he gives the impression that he should have no problem adapting to jumping but he has struggled on his first two runs in maiden hurdles at Punchestown and has been beaten by big margins on both occasions. I’m going to give him another try to see if he can show more with regard to the spring or if we are best served by leaving him off until the summer.
Best is yet to come
13:15 – Grand Roi
He looked a very promising type in England last season and I was delighted with how he progressed from his first run for us at Galway to when he won at Limerick over Christmas. The Limerick race was an easier one than Galway and he was dropping into four-year-old only company but I was delighted with how he jumped and coped with the testing ground and he won quite nicely. He has a bit to do on ratings here and possibly he will come into his own over longer trips but I think we have yet to see the best of this horse and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season with him. I’m hoping for a decent showing here.
Grand Garde will gain valuable experience
13:45 – Old Town Garde
He’s a grand horse who has been coming together over the last few weeks and his last few pieces of work have shown me that he is ready to start out on the track. He did win a point-to-point in Britain earlier in the season and has settled in well since coming to us. He looks a grand, honest type. I’d expect him to improve plenty from this race but I’d still be hoping for a solid showing.
Should improve from the run
14:15 – Robinstown
He is another ex point-to-pointer and seems a grand type. He didn’t win a point but on his last start he showed up well behind a horse called Dunboyne who has since joined us and been placed in a couple of maiden hurdles. He shows me that he should be competitive in a maiden hurdle and hopefully he will give a good account of himself. But he is another that will improve from this run.
Talented pair can both run big races
15:15 – Pencilfulloflead and Escaria Ten
This won’t be easy for Pencilfulloflead as he has an eight pounds penalty to carry for his Grade 2 win over Latest Exhibition earlier in the season. However, he will love the testing ground and the step up to three miles will be right up his street. He comes here off a fine run at Limerick over Christmas where he was touched off by Colreevy in a Grade 1 and the two and a half mile trip would have been sharp enough for him that day. So he should be a lot more at home over this distance. His penalty makes this a stiff enough test but I’d expect him to mount a strong challenge.
Escaria Ten is another nice staying type and I think there is a good prize to be won with him at this trip. His first run over fences behind Monkfish was quite encouraging and I was delighted with his performance at Thurles just before Christmas when he won his beginner’s chase by 20 lengths. He is now taking a sharp rise in class but this race has been his target since then and the best is yet to come from this horse so I could see him running a big race.