With Tramore postponed there’s only racing at Fairyhouse in Ireland on Sunday and Willie Mullins runs both Mozoltov and Tennis Cap in the 2:20pm
Mozoltov has to overcome a very poor run in Cheltenham with me when he didn’t travel or jump well so he has to overcome that.
Tennis Cap should improve from his first run at Gowran Park and has a really nice racing weight with just 10 stone 11lbs on his back. He’ll handle the testing ground and the 2m 1f trip should suit him. I’d prefer his chances to Mozoltov.
Barry Geraghty rides Nearly Nama’d for JP McManus. He was a very good winner last time and only carries 10 stone 5lbs.
If the top weight Clarcam was to bounce back to his top form he’d have a chance. I won a Grade One at Aintree on him over 2m 4f. He’s plenty of weight but drops back to handicap company from Graded class for this big prize. Gordon Elliott also has Bright New Dawn in the line up who has been highly tried in Grade 2 company on his last two starts finishing second to Felix Yonger and Road to Riches.
In the 2m 1f Beginners Chase at 2.50pm, McKinley looks to make up for a disappointing run on his debut over fences. He should have improved for it and this doesn’t look a better race. He seems to be working well at home, he could be the one to beat. He won the Grade 1 Hurdle at Naas this time last year, so don’t write him off just yet.
JP McManus has three entries and Barry Geraghty rides Never Enough Time so he’s a likely danger.
There’s been plenty of racing over Christmas and a couple caught my eye both here and the UK and look the type to keep on the right side.
It mightn’t be the most original but No More Heroes looked very good at Leopardstown over Christmas when stepped up to three miles. The RSA Chase at Cheltenham is shaping into some race and if No More Heroes and More of That both turn up, whatever Willie decides to send over for it will need to be on his A game to land a blow on the evidence we’ve seen so far.
Nicky Henderson’s Altior looked very good when winning at Kempton. I’ll be keeping a close watch on how he progresses because he’s due to pitch up in the Supreme Novice Hurdle on the opening race of the first day of the Cheltenham Festival.
He cantered away from our Open Eagle and did us by 13 lengths at the finish. Although I’m sure they’ll be looking at Min’s performance on Saturday at Punchestown and thinking the same.
Gordon Elliott’s Ucello Conti took a major step forward when second in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown and could improve again.
The Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park at the end of this month could be on his radar if connections wanted to strike while the iron was hot. Another one to keep on the right side is Mag Mullins’ Ballychorus who tipped up in the Troytown at Navan and was making really nice progress when suffering the same fate at Leopardstown in the Paddy Power Chase.
He could land one of these big handicap prizes when he returns to action as he was ultra-consistent until the last two mishaps.