Paul Townend passed on a good word about Cause Of Causes yesterday - read today's thoughts.
1.30 Triumph Hurdle
I’m struggling to get my head around the juvenile form in Ireland, they have all been beating each other and they’ve been doing so on bad ground. This is a whole different ball game in a bigger field on much quicker ground and anything is possible. I ride Let’s Dance
who has around three lengths to make up on Footpad on their running in the Grade One at Leopardstown last month, but who knows how both horses will take to these very different conditions. Like most of these, my fellow is open to any amount if improvement and I’m hoping we take well to the ground, in which case there is no reason why he couldn’t run a big race.
Let's Dance - 0.5pt e/w @ 14/1
2.10 County Hurdle
We have an outstanding candidate in this race because Great Field
looked a serious horse when winning at Leopardstown on his only start for us, and I see him running in graded races next season. His mark of 147 looks stiff enough on the face of it but this is a young horse going places and his two wins in France came on good to soft ground, so he clearly doesn’t need it deep. Dicosimo looks very badly handicapped in truth, so I would be surprised if he won, but my mount Ivan Grozny will appreciate the return to much better ground and he’s much better than he has showed in his last couple of starts. I’m hoping he gives me a good spin at a decent price.
Great Field - 1pt @ 9/1
2.50 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
I’m dead against Barters Hill who I don’t think jumps well enough to win a race like this, especially as his jumping is going to be put under serious pressure on this ground and against the deepest field he has faced. He looks vulnerable to me and I’m quite keen on my mount Up For Review
who is miles better than he showed at Doncaster last time. I said in this column earlier in the week that Willie’s horses weren’t right that day, all three that went to Doncaster ran badly, and the fact that Shaneshill came out and ran so well on Wednesday confirms that you can put a line through the Doncaster form. Up For Review had looked a potential star at Punchestown in December and we think this horse still has a huge future. He’s got to prove he can do it on quicker ground but don’t be at all surprised if we run a huge race.
Up For Review - 1pt @ 20/1
3.30 Gold Cup Chase
I’m under no illusions about my mount Irish Cavalier who has a mountain to climb in the Gold Cup, but he’s a Cheltenham Festival winner so we know he’ll handle the occasion. The big players are Don Cossack
and Djackadam, and conditions just sway my verdict in favour of Bryan Cooper’s mount. The ground must have been the main reason why Bryan chose Cossack over Don Poli, who might not have the speed to keep tabs on some of these. Don Poli has a huge amount of potential but he’s got to go and prove it on the big occasion.
Don Cossack - 1pt @ 3/1
4.50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle
I wasn’t eligible to ride in this but I can pass on a good word for Gordon Elliot’s charge Squouateur
who is strongly fancied to continue his progression. He gets the valuable assistance of Jack Kennedy who is worth his weight in gold in the saddle in a race like this. Squouateur is a fast improving young horse and connections apparently think he could be a good bit better than his mark of 141.
Squouateur - 1pt @ 4/1