Ahead of the Tote Ten to Follow, Tote spoke to top Irish handler Martin Brassil to get a word on his stable and the season ahead.
Longhouse Poet had a nice run around a Punchestown over fences. The ground probably wasn't soft enough for him but we're looking forward to seeing him out at Naas now later in the month. I hope he’ll improve a lot for that run. He’s probably been jumping better at home than he did at Punchestown, although it wasn’t a bad display. The race was a little bit up and down and he just missed the third last when it was important to stay in touch. He was still hand and heels humping the second-last so I was happy enough with him.
When we get into winter ground, that’s when you’ll see the best of him and you would think that if he progressed over fences the way he did over hurdles, he could turn into a proper grade novice chaser. We’re just going to have to find out where his level is.
He had a bit of a setback when he was out for his summer break. He’s back in work and we’re hoping to get him out around Christmas, or just after it, with a view to going back for the Stayers’ Hurdle.
It wouldn’t bother me to put him back over fences, but we’ve decided to stick to the timber for now. He’s in good shape and will probably be out soon after Christmas. He’s a spring or good ground horse and that’s when we’ll see the best of him. He seems to have retained all the ability that saw him win the Ballymore. He’s a lovely character. He’s enthusiastic and loves his works.
He's the sort of fella you’d take on holiday with you because he’s just steady and you never worry about him doing anything silly. He just does what he has to do.
And is Christmas time an objective for him with a view to the better races in the spring.
You Raised Me Up
We plan to keep him over hurdles and will probably enter him for the handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse at the end of the month. If not, we'll send wherever he gets a bit of nice ground, which you're bound to get at Leopardstown, with a view to maybe turning up in the County Hurdle.
I'd say he's probably a stronger horse this year than he's ever been, according to the weighing scales he is anyway and I'm really looking forward to him. He’s a real good, tough, hard-knocking horse
Abraham was a nice summer horse and even though he didn't really get summer ground this year he still happened to win two races.
I think he's gone to his level over hurdles now and needs to go chasing. Before I give him a break, I'm going to run him over fences while he’s fit and see how he gets on, but he'd probably be a spring-summer horse again to be seen at his best.
Buddy Rich had a nice run over hurdles in a good-ish maiden hurdle at Punchestown a few weeks ago. I'd say he’ll be a better horse when he goes chasing. He's a fine, big horse - over 17 hands - and whatever he wins over hurdles will be a bonus but I think he could be a much nicer horse over fences.
We’re doing a bit of cross-country schooling with him at the moment. Peter Maher is adding the magic to him and we’ll see what he makes of him. He hasn't given me any bad news yet, so we’re looking forward to see what he can do.
He’s a horse I always felt had a lot of hidden ability, that maybe we didn't see it every day. We’re hoping that maybe a whole change of scene, with banks and all sorts of jumps, might bring out the best in him.
He's one of a few nice stores we got last year and he'd be probably one of the first of them out. I am hoping to give him a run over hurdles this side of Christmas, maybe the end of this month. And, if he shows enough, then we might aim him for a bumper.
Outside of your yard, what’s the one horse you’re looking forward to this year?
Well, I'd say Envoi Allen. I get goosebumps every time I've watch him. When I was very small a horse called Arkle was around and he just gives me those vibes. If there was ever a horse to get anywhere close to achieve what he did, he could be the one and he's in good, safe hands.
It’s just his approach and his athleticism for such a big horse. When he goes down to those fences like it doesn't matter what way he's going to meet them, he's just going to adapt and be athletic and quick the far side of them. He’s very elastic over his fences and he's just a beautiful horse to watch.
I think. He could go right to the top and continue there for a long time. When it comes to horses of his ability, you can pick out your number of races, so he’ll be heading to all those good tracks and good races and hopefully he’ll justify all that faith that’s in him.