Apologies for the delayed arrival of today’s entry – blame my employers and some women’s football tournament in Holland.
Anyway, Swamp Fox. I said in yesterday’s blog that he is probably my favourite horse in training, well let me change that – he is definitely my favourite horse in training. What an absolute cracker of a performance (again!) yesterday in the Galway Hurdle. I thought he had it, I really did, only to get done on the line (also again!). He really deserves to win one of these big pots and I hope his day will come. Swamp Fox – I bow down at your hooves.
Rathvinden did score for us however (tipped up at 8/1) and how too. If he can stay sound he could have a very interesting season ahead. Elsewhere, Lac Kivu was without doubt the major disappointment of the day and he’s got me really questioning the form of that race he won now as even though it reaped several subsequent winners all of them have bombed out this week (Cinema De Quartier & Immortal Bridge). Or maybe it’s just that they all need better ground and a track not as unique as Galway.
Onto today and it has to be said that it’s a bit of a step down after the high quality action of the last couple of days. I’m seeing it as a chance to come up for air before we dive back down for the weekend and thus i am abstaining from getting involved in every race. The opener I am interested in though and I’m in the camp of favourite, Golden Spear for Tony Martin. He won at last year’s festival and was second the year before, so it’s fair to say he likes it there. He’s amazingly only once won over hurdles (back in September 2015) but has consistently run well in some of the season’s big handicaps – fourth in the race formerly known as The Ladbroke at Ascot in December, for example. He can make it two wins today.
In the 6.15 I like the chances of Aranhill Chief, who won twice at the 2014 festival and was second in this race last year. He was beaten that time by the reopposing On Fiddlers Green, whom he meets on 7lb better terms today, yet Henry De Bromhead’s runner is more than half his price in the betting. The ground is softer than ideal but yielding should be fine and I’m looking forward to a good run for my money.
At 6.50, Tara Dylan gets my vote. Another one with a previous festival win on it’s resume, Thomas Mullins’ daughter of Dylan Thomas was running in listed company last time out and has good form with cut in the ground, with two of her three wins coming on a soft surface.
In the 7.55 I’m behind Delegating again, a horse we backed on Monday when finishing a three-length third. That was over seven furlongs, today he travels a furlong further and should go well again. The only doubt is the draw, out in gate 14.
Without doubt the best two races bookend the card today and the finale is a fascinating contest over 1m 6f. Renneti has been installed as favourite but I like the chances of Willie Mullins’ other runner, Digeanta. He ran well to finish fourth over two miles on Monday in what was only his second race back after a 21-month layoff, so you would imagine he would be getting fitter with every run. An Irish Cesarewitch winner before his injury, he’s well capable of winning a race like this and is nicely drawn in stall six, with the added bonus of Danny Sheehy taking off a handy seven pounds. Sheehy must still be on cloud nine too after his winning ride on Jet Streaming on Wednesday.
5.10 Golden Spear 4/1ew
6.15 Aranhill Chief 12/1ew
6.50 Tara Dylan 14/1ew
7.55 Delegating 5/1ew
8.25 Digeanta 6/1ew (NAP)