Irish Eyes: Vic be Quick
Our Irish Eyes column previews the card at Naas and has some friendly advice ahead of the Leinster National.
- Related Content
Tony Martin has his team in fine fettle as Cheltenham approaches with a winner, three seconds and a third from his last six runners.
He saddles two horses on Sunday and while both hold chances, Quickpick Vic stands out just that little bit more. His Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle entry may appear fanciful after his disappointing run behind Vautour and The Tullow Tank last time out.
However, that was his first hurdle run outside of maiden company and there was no shame in being beaten by a pair of Grade One winners and the dual Grade-One placed King Of The Picts in third.
He takes a step down into Listed company and whilst this is quite a strong race for its class, it remains a significant drop nonetheless.
He was impressive at Leopardstown on his penultimate start when he got his own way out in front, something he was unsurprisingly unable to do in Grade One company last time. However with master tactician Paul Carberry on board today and not Vautour to contend with, he might just get his way and score.
Los Amigos gets the nap vote in the feature race, the €50,000 Leinster National. Given the nature of this race, it is no surprise to hear that he does not face an easy task and his biggest danger is likely to come from Conor O'Dwyer's novice Folsom Blue.
It took Los Amigos a little time to get the hang of the racing game and indeed he failed to win in his first ten starts over hurdles and in bumpers. However he was always destined to be a chaser and he has improved out of all recognition since he has taken to the larger obstacles.
An impressive winner on his debut he then ran a decent second in his first handicap chase. That was followed by a return to hurdles when he won a Novice event at Thurles, prior to a fantastic performance in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran where he finished second to dual winner On His Own, who has since franked the form by winning the Grade Two Bobbyjo Chase.
He stays all day, jumps for fun and his trainer is a master with these types of animals. He should cope with the four pounds he was given for his Thyestes second and looks like he will take all the beating.
Lockstockandbarrel is the obvious choice in the bumper but he is likely to be very short in the betting. Having seen him in the flesh at Leopardstown on his debut, there was little doubt he was going to improve from that effort, but he still ran well to finish second behind Dermot Weld's Cheltenham Bumper hope Vigil, who was very strongly fancied on the day. Willie Mullins charge has reportedly been in sparkling form at home since and it will be very disappointing if he can't take this even with plenty to spare.