It’s been a great week for me so far – but it’s not over yet as we count down to Friday’s feature race, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
There’s not much between the three of Willie’s (Mullins). Petite Parisienne and Kalkir were first and second at Leopardstown on what is normally a good trial for this. Dicosimo goes into the unknown but did beat Prussian Eagle – that finished third to the two above at Leopardstown – by nearly seven lengths at Gowran Park.
The one fear I would have is that the English juveniles dominated the Fred Winter Hurdle and they may be better than the Irish raiders. Horses like Peace and Co and Hargam – who I do like – are flashy types and may be better suited to a speed test at Aintree in a couple of weeks rather than the grind of a Triumph Hurdle – now that the rain has arrived. If they don’t fancy it – Top Notch could take advantage.
There’s five runner here from the Mullins’ yard and it was hard enough to pick between them. I chose Max Dynamite because he has the least weight in a race where Paddy is paying the first 5 home.
Black Hercules hasn’t run since December but this has been his target. I struggled to pick my rides in the first two races but there was no wavering here.
I love Black Hercules and think he’s an outstanding chance. He’s my best ride on the card and No More Heroes could give him most to do.
I still think Silviniaco Conti is the class horse in the race and any rain should help. He’ll be very heard to beat. I ride Djakadam and he was a great each-way chance when he was 16/1 but he’s half that now. He’s similar to Many Clouds and plenty fancy him but if it goes to form we’ll all be chasing Conti home.
I can’t ride in this race but Willie’s stable has three runners in the conditional jockeys race. Killutagh Vic could be well handicapped on his Leopardstown run. He didn’t jump great that day but if he can get into a nice rhythm he can give stablemate Roi Des Francs and McKinley plenty to think about.
The finale is an open race and I think Blood Cotil has a chance. The race should suit him as he’s a good jumper, has plenty of pace and should stay up the hill.
Ned Buntline was just touched off in this last year will be AP McCoy’s last ride at the festival.
One things for sure though – he won’t be getting any favours from this quarter.