That was just what we wanted from Un de Sceaux today. To get the job done.
He jumped like a buck – bar over-jumping the first but he learned from it. He was more or less foot perfect after that. He’s learning all the time and I was very pleased with him as the ground was testing.
I’ll leave the hard job of where he’s going to go next to his trainer Willie Mullins. I’d imagine he’ll try to get one more run into him at least before a tilt at the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham next March.
I’ll be hoping for more of the same from Faugheen and Champagne Fever on December 26th because we’ve decided that I’ll be at Kempton to ride them.
It’s a killer to miss out on Vautour in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on the same day but as I said before, I can’t be in two places at once.
They’re three very good horses so basically it’s come down to where two of the three are running. I’m very lucky to have the choice of such top-class mounts – but sometimes, something’s got to give.
At least Faugheen (below) won’t have to face the New One in the Christmas Hurdle and that makes it a little easier.
But I won’t be under-estimating Irving. A flat track like Kempton will play to his strengths even though I can call on a few strenghts in Faugheen’s game to combat him.
It looks like Champagne Fever (below) will face a maximum 10 runners in the King George VI Chase.
He faces a stiff task but he jumps really well and has plenty of pace having won the Champion Bumper and Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham before just getting touched off in the Arkle.
There is no dead wood in the King George. Everyone will go there thinking they’ve got a chance and it might come down to who handles conditions best on the day.
Neither Faugheen or Champagne Fever wants extreme going. Deep ground would make the King George in particular a real stamina test and that could suit last year’s winner Silviniaco Conti best.
Lyrical Theatre (1.50pm)
She’s won her last two bumpers very easily but how good those contests were is hard to gauge. If she can translate that form to hurdles now under Patrick Mullins you’d hope she’ll be too strong on Sunday also.
Bosman Rule (2.20pm)
Ran okay the lat time in the fog over course and distance when third to Drumacoo. The drop in grade here could be the key to his chance.
Buck Dancing (2.50pm)
In the same ownership as Bosman Rule and Eddie Harty says to ignore his last run at Naas.
Won a point-to-point in May but that’s about all I know about him. He passed me in the yard the other day and one of the lads said he could run this weekend so hopefully Paddy might be on for a double.