Like everyone, I’m really looking forward to Cheltenham and I’ll be heading over later today. I always take in a couple of days over there and meet up with Mouse Morris every year, and we’ll catch up tomorrow.
It’s a great place and when I had more jumpers, I went close to winning a Stayers Hurdle in 2006 with Golden Cross who was second, beaten a neck by My Way De Solzen. Johnny (Murtagh) rode him that day and he has said since, that that was one that got away. Golden Cross won the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle for us in 2003 and I’d love to train a few jumping horses.
Before I head over, we have three runners in Dundalk today and Port Lions will hopefully get his head in front in the mile maiden. I thought he was a shade unfortunate the last day to lose the race in the Stewards Room and he has been placed in seven of his eight starts.
The mile trip should suit him and he has every chance again and he comes out best on official ratings. I’ve been pleased with him on the lead up to today’s race.
We also run Liberatio in the older horses maiden. He has a mark of 68 and is the second highest rated horse in the line-up. He has been off the track since last August, but he was placed in a maiden at Dundalk in 2016 and he appears to be in good form, but in saying that, I would imagine that he will come on a fair bit for today’s outing.
Pat Smullen rides both horses for us and we’ve had plenty of success over the last few months and he is the first man that I call when we have runners.
Rummaging has been a great horse for us and he takes his chance in the mile apprentice handicap, but he has been drawn out wide in 10 which won’t help him.
He has won five times at Dundalk and he has been dropped to an attractive mark and while he is ten now, he retains plenty of enthusiasm. He will be having his 58th start today and he is a pleasure to have about the place.
He has won eight races for us and the Newell family, who also bred him, have been great supporters of ours. I’d love to win another race with him and while he disappointed us a small bit the last day, he is best forgiven that run as he missed the kick, which is unlike him.
If he can break on terms today, he’d have his chance and he has been in very good form this week and Ross Coakley who rides out regularly for us here, takes the ride.
Blackgold Fairy ran a fine race in what was a very strong listed race last Friday and I was delighted with her. I thought for a few strides that she was going to finish second or third, but she finished an honourable fourth behind three smart horses of Aidan’s.
That was her second quick run, so we’ll ease off her a bit now and give her a little break. She is a filly that we’ll be chasing black type with on nice ground on the turf.