In last week’s RacingFX blog, I mentioned that MONALEE could have been my best chance of the weekend and he didn’t disappoint. Viewers on the TV wouldn’t have seen how good he was due to the thick fog at Punchestown, but he felt great underneath me and was very impressive. He looks like a three mile chaser in the making and is going to be an exciting prospect next season. I had another win yesterday, with CATCHERAGAIN at Thurles. She has turned a corner now, is looking well and runs tomorrow. With Adam Short on top and a 7ib claim she should go close again.
Looking ahead, I have a busy weekend, riding at Gowran Park tomorrow and Navan on Sunday. I ride DAKOTA MOIRETTE in the first at Gowran, who I have schooled and jumps well, so I’m hoping for a very good run. SURF INSTRUCTOR is a lovely, big horse who I will ride in the Novice Hurdle at 1.35pm, although I think we could need a fence to bring the best out of him. CHAMPAGNE WEST runs in the 2m4f Chase at 2.45pm - he schooled well and he is jumping well. He’s had success in England and from what I have seen of him, a big run is expected tomorrow. I came fifth on BALCO DES FLOS at Cheltenham back in March in the Albert Bartlett and I ride him again tomorrow in the Beginners Chase at 3.15pm. I haven’t schooled him, but have ridden him in a bit of work and am confident enough to think that we should give BELLSHILL plenty to think about. My final ride tomorrow will be SHOW AND GO, who won a Beginners Chase the last time I rode him at Downpatrick. He was second to a well handicapped horse last time out at Galway, so another big run is expected again tomorrow.
Moving on to my rides at Navan on Sunday, and I ride MONCHENGLADBACH in the opener. He’s a four-year-old trained by Gordon Elliott and he seems fit and prepared for this one. It’s a big field with plenty of strong runners, so I will be hoping for a good performance and hopefully we can give it a good go. I’m on LION IN HIS HEART in the Novice Hurdle at 12.40, and he was impressive last time out at Tipperary in a Maiden Hurdle. This will be a step up in grade, but Henry De Bromhead’s horses have been running great so far this season, and so he should go close on Sunday, although he could be a bit free around Navan, which isn’t ideal. My final ride of the weekend is KILLER CROW who has been in every dog fight this year and last! I think he’s been a bit unlucky, so if he can safely get around, he’ll be as good as anything coming over the third last.
I’d have loved to have got a ride in tomorrow’s Hennessy Gold Cup, as it’s such a prestigious race with some great horses running, including SAPHIR DU RHUE and VYTA DU ROC, but I think a lot of Colin Tizzard’s two runners, NATIVE RIVER and THEATRE GUIDE, and I think one, if not both will be there in the places.