BALKO DES FLOS (Henry de Bromhead) His excellent run against Road To Respect and track specialist Outlander in the Christmas Chase (formerly the Lexus) at Leopardstown was a real gauge to his rate of improvement and his slamming of Un De Sceaux – who had every chance – in the Ryanair confirmed it in dramatic fashion. The Gold Cup will be a temptation next year, but as the sponsors had waited so long to win the Ryanair they will most likely opt for a repeat. Has had a light enough season so Fairyhouse or Punchestown could be next on the schedule.
BARRINGTON COURT (Jessica Harrington) Plenty of word for this first timer before her close second in a hot looking mares bumper at Cork on Thursday. Bred for the flat, she was a bit keen and possibly hit the front too soon. Not to be missed next time particularly if the ground dries out.
BLEU BERRY (Willie Mullins) A nice 25/1 touch for our Irish Racing Service when landing the Coral Cup. With the late changing of jockeys and a helter skelter race at times this might have looked a bit hap hazard but Mullins doesn’t depend on circumstance. “This was the plan, a big handicap, if we could get him right” said the Closutton maestro.
CALTEX (Gordon Elliott) Finally got off the mark in a maiden hurdle, will be going chasing during the summer and should win his share away from the main tracks.
GLENLOE (Gordon Elliott) A last hurdle error proved very costly against stablemate Delta Work in the Pertemps. Harsh TV criticism of Barry Geraghty afterwards was made with the unerring wisdom of hindsight. Trust me, Geraghty makes precious few mistakes. Compensation awaits at Punchestown.
LACKANEEN LEADER (Gordon Elliott) A highly progressive mare, plenty of pace and stays. Particularly noteworthy win on heavy ground at Limerick as she would prefer a better surface. Big enough to go chasing next season, but should continue to prosper over the minor obstacles in the meantime.
MAX DYNAMITE (Willie Mullins) Many punters seem to leave logic at home when they go to Cheltenham. How they steamed into this one on ground that was never going to remotely suit – and backed Foxrock at a track he clearly hates – is a mystery. Max never jumped well and looked like a fish out of water. Back to the flat for him though whether the Melbourne Cup will be on the agenda this time remains to be seen.
MENDELSSOHN (Aidan O’Brien) Breeders Cup hero and a recent Dundalk winner, will go to Dubai for the UAE Derby but the Kentucky Derby is the main target. Incidentally, Aidan brought American starting stalls (fitted with the customary bell) to Dundalk to give six runners, including Lancaster Bomber, a spin together around the Polytrack. While – with the obvious exception of the Breeders Cup – Ballydoyle have been lukewarm at times about racing Stateside until now, expect big changes in that regard this season.
MONALEE (Henry de Bromhead) Met something special in Presenting Percy who looks a sharp Gold Cup prospect for next season. Still ran a cracker and remains a horse of vast potential.
MOYHENNA (Denis Hogan) Ran a cracker when second to Lackaneen Leader, the pair way clear of the rest. Possibly best at two and a half miles. The trainer too is very much one to keep an eye on, both on the flat and over sticks.
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