“I think he is a very good horse, and he has a huge chance”

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

We see Tullyhill as a horse with huge ability. He was one of our best bumper horses last year when we ran him in the Champion Bumper at the Punchestown Festival, and he ran very well. He started off this season disappointingly over a trip of 2m6f and his jumping wasn’t up to scratch, but I think it is improving hugely. I think he has a huge chance.

Mystical Power obviously has breeding on his side, by Galileo out of the great Annie Power, who has won a Champion Hurdle. He doesn’t show a whole lot at home, but he is a horse that saves his best for the racetrack and he’s always improving. Mistergif is another one of ours that has a squeak and Asian Master could well outrun his odds and get a place, but Tullyhill is one that we think will give us a good start.

It is a deep race with the likes of Slade Street and Firefox in there. Jeriko Du Reponet is a horse that the Henderson yard fancy a lot, but the yard has been running a little bit disappointing – we’ll get a better idea of how Nicky Henderson’s horses will run later in the week.

Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase

With Marine Nationale out, the Arkle is a wide open race. Gaelic Warrior has obviously switched from the Turners and is now running in a two mile race, but I don’t think the shorter trip will be an issue.  He does have the tendency to jump a little bit right and that is going to be a slight negative, but I think he is a very good horse, and he has a huge chance in what is an open contest. I think they’ll go a strong gallop, which will suit Gaelic Warrior dropping back in trip; he’d be the one for me.

I think Hunters Yarn still has to improve a bit on what he has shown so far. Il Etait Temps has won a Grade 1 Novices’ Hurdle and a Grade 1 Novices’ Chase and has run twice before at the Festival.

Quilixios is a horse of Henry de Bromhead’s that I actually fancy in this. He ran a huge race last time out and is a previous Festival winner. I think he has a squeak and there isn’t a lot of depth left in the race.

Ultima Handicap Chase

Our sole runner in the Ultima is Meetingofthewaters and he was a very good winner of the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown just after Christmas, although he only got as far as the first before unseating the last day.

This is a wide-open handicap chase and there are plenty of chances in the race. We actually have a poor record in handicap chases at the Festival, which is a negative for him, but he goes there with a chance. He might still be well handicapped, but in what is a competitive race, I think you’ll be looking more towards the each-way market.

Champion Hurdle

I very much hope that State Man will be a cut above the rest here. Constitution Hill being out of the race takes away from it hugely from the public’s perspective, but we’re happy enough to have a horse going there and it looks his race to lose. He goes racing and does his thing most days; he jumps, he gallops and a lot of the time he wins. Ground and trip will not be an issue and hopefully he’ll be good enough here.

Mares’ Hurdle

From what we’ve seen so far, I think we’ll have a similar story in the Mares’ Hurdle with Lossiemouth. She won the Triumph Hurdle last year. We deliberately left her off earlier in the season before she beat Love Envoi the last day when she was impressive. That was her first run of the season and she has improved since that. I would say she is probably my NAP of the week.

We’re strong throughout the race and Ashroe Diamond definitely has her chance. Echoes In Rain is a bigger price but she’s been fourth and fifth in this race the last twice and those races weren’t really run to suit her. I could see her outrunning her odds.

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

We’ve got three runners in the Boodles, and it looks to be a wide-open contest – a lot of people seem to think they have a horse lined up for this one. I don’t think any of our three are particularly well handicapped and they’ll need a lot of luck in running to go on and win. I think Batman Girac, Miss Manzor and Karia Des Blaises are all chances rather than strong facies in this race.

Maureen Mullins National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase

The fact that the race has been named after Maureen means we’ll definitely be wanting to win it, as will Emmett with Corbetts Cross. We think Embassy Gardens is a very good horse; he jumps really well, and the trip shouldn’t be an issue. My one concern would be that he got very free in the Albert Bartlett last year and he got very lit up. If that happened again, it would definitely be a negative, but he is wearing a hood this time around.

Corbetts Cross was running a huge race in the Albert Bartlett last year before he ran out and he is a formidable opponent. If Embassy Gardens puts things right then he will certainly be there or there abouts.

Best of luck,









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