MORE IMPROVEMENT TO COME FROM DELOITTE NOVICE HURDLE HERO BLUE ET ROUGE
It was a really good day’s racing at Leopardstown on Irish Gold Cup day on Saturday, and I was delighted to ride a couple of winners.
He didn’t have much to find with Tombstone on their running in the Grade 1 Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas, and he battled on well in the end.
The three of us had it between us on Saturday on the run around the home turn. We passed Bellshill on the run to the last, then Tombstone arrived up on my outside.
Tombstone actually headed me over the last, but as soon as we landed, my fellow pulled out more.
It was great to win it, it is always great to land a Grade 1 race. They are not easily won.
It was a good battling performance from Bleu Et Rouge on very testing ground. It was heavy ground and it was tiring ground.
And he is only five, that was just his third run over hurdles, so there should be more to come from Blue Et Rouge.
He handled conditions and he won well, and you can do no more than win, but the form may not be very strong.
Blazer is entered in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday, and that will obviously be a far more competitive race.
If he gets into the race and if he takes his chance, he will be carrying a 5lb penalty in a far more competitive race, so that will obviously be more difficult.
They went a stronger pace than they did on his hurdling debut when he was so impressive, and he was never really happy.
I’d love to think that Ivanovich Gorbatov will be better on better ground, but I would have liked if he had taken me into the race for longer even on that soft ground.
He is still entitled to go for the Triumph Hurdle of course, I just hope that he will be better on better ground. Saturday’s race was a good race though, I’d say the Irish juveniles this year are a good bunch.
I was delighted for the boss, JP McManus, that he won it with Carlingford Lough, for the second year in a row, and for John Kiely and for Mark Walsh.
Mark deserves to have good winners like that. Looking from behind on the run to the final fence, there was only going to be one winner, Carlingford Lough was so strong going to the last.
The trip to Mussselburgh on Sunday was well worthwhile, CUP FINAL ATR Tracker battled well to win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier). It was worth getting down to 10st 4lb again to ride him.
He came under pressure early in the home straight, and he was all out the get there. He struggled maybe on a couple of patches of soft ground.
Hopefully he will come out of the race well now, it was his first run in over a year. Cup Final should get into the Pertemps Network Final at the Cheltenham Festival with his new rating.
His jumping wasn’t up to scratch, but he should improve for this. It was Brain Power's first run since November, and it was just his second ever run over hurdles.
She is going to have to be better than that if she is going to be competitive in new Troll House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but she should be better on better ground, and hopefully she will improve for the experience.
Bloody Mary has plenty of racing experience in France, but that was mostly in bumpers.
This was her first run in Britain and her first run since last September, and it was just her second run over hurdles.