Danny Mullins looks back on Cheltenham Festival and gives us his thoughts on Fairyhouse this Saturday.
Flooring Porter was a nice little surprise. I only found out I had the ride about an hour before the race and it worked out lovely. He’s one I thought might be a difficult ride, but in fairness he was really good. He had a little kink at the back of the last where he went to the right and I was expecting him to go left, so he can do it both ways and he gave me a great spin.
Gavin Cromwell didn’t really give me too many instructions. He told me he’s well able to gallop along in front or if I’m happy enough following something, do that. I actually thought Lil Rockerfeller was going to take the lead off me at one stage, but it didn’t bother me if I was going to be sitting in behind, I just wanted to go my own speed.
My performance of the week was Allaho. He went a proper gallop from flag fall and just topped it up very well. His Thurles run suggested that he might be able to go and do something like that but to go and back it up at Cheltenham was unbelievable.
Concertista and Chacun Pour Soi were the two who I thought were a little unlucky. I thought both were going to win and they just seemed to flatten out a little bit. I wonder if the jump at the last just cost Concertista and I think Politologue coming out of the Champion Chase definitely changed the way the race was run. They didn’t go a Champion Chase gallop for me, which might have allowed Chacun Pour Soi to settle better. I’m taking nothing away from Put The Kettle On though, she got the job done on the day and that’s what it’s about but I think there might be more to come from Chacun Pour Soi. I wouldn’t give up on him at Punchestown.
Fairyhouse on Saturday
13:15 - Boomerang.ie Maiden Hurdle
The first race is probably a nothing maiden hurdle. I’m not sure my ride is much good in it and Banks Boy will probably win the race for Denise Foster. Maiden hurdles at this time of year aren’t that exciting really.
13:45 - Frank & Teresa O'Reilly Memorial Hunters Chase
This looks like a good race. Jury Duty won in Thurles before the Festival, but didn’t go to Cheltenham for whatever reason. Stand Up And Fight was disappointing at Cheltenham. I don’t think he jumped as well as he can, making a few silly mistakes on the way round and dropped right out of it, but he’s right there with Jury Duty on his Thurles run and you couldn’t rule him out.
14:20 - Download The BoyleSports App Mares Chase (Listed)
Elimay takes on Mount Ida and at the weights and ratings, Mount Ida is probably a few pounds ahead but I think Elimay’s bit of class at this trip should see her beat Mount Ida. She had a very good run behind Colreevy in Cheltenham and had won over 2m before that in Naas. Mount Ida won over 3m2f in Cheltenham and just never really travelled through the race. I don’t think she’ll have the same speed as Elimay and although she comes out better at the weights, Elimay will still take all the beating.
14:55 - McCauley Pharmacy Ladies National Handicap Chase
This is a tricky enough handicap. Jody Townend rides Young Dev for Denis Hogan, the horse that Hugh Morgan lost his irons on and won the race round Navan on. It would be great to see Jody getting another winner. She’s neck-and-neck with Aine O’Connor for the amateur ladies championship in Ireland and Jody could get another winner here and go one up.
15:30 - I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle Series Final (Grade B)
The top horse here, On Eagles Wings, is trained by Timmy Hyde and his grandson Harry Swan takes the ride after winning on him in Naas the Sunday before Cheltenham. He steps up to 3m here but he’s a point-to-point winner and has form over 2m4f on heavy ground. He’s probably the one they’ve all got to beat here.
I ride Lady Breffni who was little bit disappointing at Limerick just before Cheltenham. She just ran a little bit flat after winning her maiden hurdle at Punchestown and then ran well in the mares’ handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival. She’s probably an each-way bet here.
My mother, Margaret Mullins, runs Julies Stowaway here. He was fourth at the Dublin Festival in a 3m handicap. Richie Deegan takes a valuable 5lb off him. Getting in there near the bottom of the weights, he could be a lot of each-way value.
16:05 - RYBO Handicap Hurdle (Grade A)
Eclair Du Beaufeu is probably going to start favourite and he was only beaten 2l in Cheltenham. That form reads fairly strong going into this race.
A case could be made for Uradel who’s one of Willie’s, owned by Luke McMahon. Luke’s son takes the ride on him and claims 7lb. He probably needed his comeback run a couple of weeks ago. He’s definitely going to benefit from that and if he can get back to his form of coming second in the English Cesarewitch, he won’t be too far out of it.
I ride Hyberry for Willie in the race. He’s been disappointing through the winter months but if he can get back to his run in Fairyhouse last November he’d have a chance. He finished fourth but he was only half-a-length behind Drop The Anchor who finished third. He went on to win at the Dublin Festival and ran a decent race in the County Hurdle too. On drying ground, Hyberry is not out of it at a big price.
16:40 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Total Enjoyment Mares Flat Race (Listed)
Brooklynn Glory had a good run at the Dublin Festival where she finished fourth behind Grangee who ran with credit in the Champion Bumper. You’d have to imagine she’s probably the one they’re going to have to beat, but you couldn’t rule out the pair of Gavin Cromwell’s 4yo fillies, Derrylinda and Limerick Lace.
I’d probably side more with Limerick Lace. She won a point-to-point bumper at Punchestown and, the way she did it, she was quite impressive. She beat one of Colin Bowe’s on the day and she looked like a mare who might be going places. She gets the best part of a stone from Brooklynn Glory and she could give her loads to think about.
17:15 - Jetaway.ie At Arctic Tack Stud (Pro/Am) Flat Race
Letsbeclearaboutit has won twice and he's been beaten twice by Sir Gerhard and Kilcruit. That form just speaks for itself and while there’s other bumper winners in the race I think they’ll have to improve an awful lot to beat him.