Post- Dublin Racing Festival and pre-Cheltenham I thought it was a good time to sit down and go over the performance of my Ten To Follow stable and to start thinking about which horses I am likely to replace during the Transfer Window in March.
It’s three from three for Appreciate It, so, obviously I will be sticking with him. I really love how he performed in Leopardstown the last twice and he should be very hard to beat in the Supreme Novice. He’ll be ridden on the speed to win the race. He’s the biggest points scorer for me and so gets a big thumbs up!
Another three from three. He hasn’t delivered as many points as Appreciate It but he’s been consistent. He’s running well. It’s going to be a great race with Energumene in the Arkle but I think Shishkin has the Cheltenham form. I think Nicky Henderson will have to really take the opportunity and have the horse right as this seems to be his best chance of the Festival.
Envoi Allen is two from two and barring him getting an injury I think he will just go to Cheltenham and win. He’s been an exceptional horse. Unfortunately, Davy Russell won’t get to ride him but I’m sure Jack Kennedy will step up to the plate given the talent he has. Jack has ridden him all his starts this year so he knows the horse. Davy has that Cheltenham experience but Jack is one of our rising stars so I have 100% faith in him.
It took Allaho a while to get a win though I was happy with his performance when he did. I think they saw him as a Stayer but they’ve reigned that in and he looks to be going for the Ryanair. I think that’s the right race to have him in, so, I am going to stick with him. Whatever he goes for, he should be favourite or close to it.
Al Boum Photo
He was never going to score me a lot of points in the lead up to Cheltenham as we know he was only ever going to appear the once at Tramore! He made his appearance and he won. I think he will go to Cheltenham and win the Gold Cup and then to Punchestown and win the Gold Cup there too. I think he’ll win it as this guy has been there and done that, while there are too many question marks about the opposition. He’s as hard as nails and has the credentials to do the three in a row.
Willie Mullins knows exactly what to do with this horse and has campaigned him perfectly.
Clan Des Obeaux
Clan Des Obeaux hasn’t fired for me. I didn’t expect him to pick up any points for me at Cheltenham but I thought he would pick them up on the way. He’s been beaten twice and only returned some places. I think that’s it from him now. If I had more than two transfer options, I would probably drop him.
He just didn’t perform over fences like I thought he would. We haven’t really seen him at all, so, I think I am going to have to dump him! He’s entered in the Arkle, but it seems unlikely he’d run. Maybe he’ll turn up at Punchestown.
A bit disappointing as we haven’t seen a whole lot of him. There is talk of putting a set of blinkers on him for Cheltenham. Nicky Henderson is a master trainer at 2 miles, so, maybe blinkers will work and he will deliver some points. It’s going to be very hard for him to beat Chacun Pour Soi but if they improve him a length or two, he should give him a good hard run.
Hasn’t got on with it this year and I think he’s left Willie and JP scratching their heads. He’s not going to go to Cheltenham and will be kept at home to have a break and then maybe go to Punchestown. I’ll keep him in there with my fingers crossed that he can come back and win a hurdle race in Punchestown.
I thought he was a horse with a lot of speed and stamina, he pulled a bit too hard in his first race of the year and then after that he just didn’t seem to fire. Perhaps he has a few small niggles. He’s a good enough horse that I will leave him in and hope he rocks up at Punchestown.
Zero points from the horse I thought could be my Supreme Novice winner. I’m at a loss with this fellah! He just hasn’t shown up. I’ll have to drop him from my stable.
I doubt he’ll run at Cheltenham.
Transfer Window Potential
So, as of now it looks like I’ll be dropping Cedarwood Road and Flinteur Sacre in the Transfer Window. Right now, I’m looking at bringing in Zanahyir, Gordon Elliott’s horse for the Triumph Hurdle and Monkfish for the Novices’ Chase. I think Monkfish is probably Willie Mullins’ best chance of the week. And I think Zanahyir is carrying the best Irish form into the Triumph Hurdle and could be the stand-out horse in it.