Check out our star columnist on his weekend runners including two in action in a fascinating Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novices' Hurdle at Punchestown.
It looks a very competitive renewal of the Sky Bet Moscow Flyer – as it always is. This fellow was very impressive when winning on hurdles debut at Cork and isn’t afraid to make his own running. The form of the race is working out and he could possibly be another high-class son of Westerner and a horse that should make a really good chaser in time with his size and scope. This is going to be a big step up in class but I think he could have the ability to do it.
He put in a really good performance at Naas. He showed a lot of class on the day and was very green – that run should have educated him a lot.
He might be second string on paper but on what he showed me at Naas it wouldn’t surprise me if he upset the odds here. He appears to have a bit of class.
He started off at the top-end of the maiden hurdle class, meeting Sir Gerhard at Leopardstown. The winner was impressive that day and Goven was very green – I’m sure he’ll improve for that run. He’s by Poliglote, one of the best sires in France, and I’m sure there’s a lot of improvement in this fellow. This would look an easier contest than last time and, with a bit of luck, he should be in the first three.
It looks a really hot contest with Bob Olinger starting favourite. I think my horse will love the trip and we know he loves the ground. I really think he has the ability to give the market leader a good run for his money, he jumps and gallops. He made up a lot of ground after an uncharacteristic mistake at the second last to win at Naas on his chasing debut and, with a clear round of jumping here, he’s going to be very competitive.
He was third behind Capodanno at Naas and with a lack of beginners’ chasers available we have to run here. He benefited from his first run last season and has the class to be competitive here but will need to leave the last run behind him. Timing wise this gives us an opportunity to get a run here and maybe another before he goes to Cheltenham.
She has some nice form in England and I think she could be well handicapped in Ireland. She has lots of experience and the conditions of this race suit her. It might be a little soon coming back from her run at Limerick on 28th December, but we’ll see.
Reflecting on last weekend’s action at Fairyhouse and Saint Sam won the beginners’ chase very nicely, we were very pleased with him. He was very slick with his fencing and he looks a complete natural over fences.
He’s a horse who could take in the top events. He doesn’t have much chance to get more experience in before Cheltenham, but if you were looking at one who you could get away with having a little less experience, he could be one.
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Blackbow ran very well, just going down to course specialist Dunvegan in the Dan & Joan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase. He was just outstayed by his rival on his first run of the season and there’s arguably a top-class handicap – if not a top class race – in store for him at some stage in the spring.