Today we have our final runner in Cheltenham in the shape of INDIGO BREEZE in the mallardjewllers.com Novices’ chase over 3m1/2f. This horse is a very classy jumper so the big fences on offer here should suit him well. He ran a nice race in behind Banbridge the last day to come home second at Gowran Park. He looks like a horse who could appreciate a step up in trip so that’s what we’ve done. Sean Bowen has been booked to ride.
It is another block buster day of racing in Ireland as we have some very nice young horses coming out today. in the opening race, a maiden hurdle over 2m4f we have a trio of Bective Stud owned horses going into battle. NEIGH BOTHA was third on stable debut back in last September and has done well over the summer. He has matured into a nice horse and will wear the first colours with Davy Russell booked to ride. FIREFOX is up next, he is a very good looking son of Walk In The Park who is a half brother to The Bosses Oscar. He is the pick of Jack Kennedy. Rounding off the trio is IDEAL VERT who was 2nd on his only point to point start and has his first start under rules here with Denis O’Regan in the saddle.
MAXXUM is our only starter in the Tynan’s bridge house handicap over 2m6f. He ran well to come 2nd the last day in a tight finish. He has gone up 4lbs for that effort and this looks like a competitive field where hopefully we may have something in hand with Davy Russell in the saddle.
Over in the beginners chase we have HOLLOW GAMES who looks made for this. He is the picture of a chaser and looks in good shape going here. Jack Kennedy has been booked to ride.
For the Gibney’s Auction Novice Hurdle a Grade 3 we have IMAGINE and THREE CARD BRAG. It was great to see Imagine win first time over hurdles and he comes here to try defend his unbeaten record. This will be a big step forward for him and he looks exciting with Jack Kennedy in the saddle. Three Card Brag has a very similar profile and was very impressive when winning his maiden hurdle. He handled the stiff track well and looks like he might have more up his sleeve. Adrian Heskin has been booked to ride as he is retained by the owners.
The Lismullen Hurdle looks to be prime billing with a whole host of Grade 1 winning hurdlers starting off. SIRE DU BERLAIS, ZANAHIYR and COMMANDER OF FLEET take on Flooring Porter, Bob Olinger, Home by the Lee, Ashdale Bob and others. Sire Du Berlais is as solid as they come and it was great to see him win a Grade 1 in Aintree last season and he starts off here as the granddad of the field. He is going great at home and Mark Walsh takes the ride. Zanahiyr experienced many occasions of being the bridesmaid last season but is very reliable and has big races on his plate for 22/23, Jack Kennedy has been booked to ride. Finally we have Commander Of Fleet who was triumphant at Cheltenham at a huge price last season and has been off on holiday since then. This will probably be a bit on the hot side for him today but he has ace Sam Ewing in the saddle.
The Grade 2 Fortria Chase looks another stand out race with ANDY DUFRESNE and RIVIERE D’ETEL taking on Ferny Hollow and Captain Guinness. Both our horses are making their return to the track since the summer and both have done well. Ferny Hollow has a big penalty which will help both of our horses with Riviere receiving the all important mares allowance. Andy Dufresne will be ridden by Mark Walsh and Jack Kennedy gets the leg up on Riviere with the hood fitted again.
For the handicap hurdle we have IRISH BLAZE and FORTUNEDEFORTUNATA. Irish Blaze returned to the track to come 4th in a novices hurdle the last day where he ran well. This will be his first time in handicaps and Jack Kennedy is booked to ride. Fortunedefortunata has been put up pretty much a stone for his win in Galway latest. It is a big rise but he looks a nice horse, Davy Russell has been booked to ride.
Finally in the bumper we have BLINDWELL DREAM and FOUND A FIFTY. It will be great for connections to see Blindwell Dream as it is their first horse with us. He looks a nice horse who can hopefully progress through his career, Harry Swan has been booked to ride and claims 7lbs. Found A Fifty looks a very smart horse. He won his point to point very impressively and hopefully has what it takes, he will be ridden by Jamie Codd.