SPADES ARE TRUMPS HAS THE FORM TO GO CLOSE
I probably would be at Ascot on Saturday to ride Crossed My Mind in the Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle if he had a little more weight to carry. The weights went up a little with the three top weights coming out, but he has been left on 10st 3lb, which is just lighter than I can do.
It is a competitive race, but he has a chance. He ran well the last day at Sandown to finish third in a similar race over two miles. He is 1lb higher now, but Arthur is happy with him and hopefully he can improve from his last run.
Jonjo O’Neill rides him, he takes off 7lb. Jonjo is a good young rider. I have been watching him and he’s very tidy, he rides a nice race. He’s a chip off the old block!
I am at Navan on Saturday where I ride SPADES ARE TRUMPS in the opening 2018 Navan Membership Rated Novice Hurdle. He battled on well last time to get the better of Paloma Blue and Athenian in a close finish, and that race is working out well. Those two horses both won next time out.
There may not be much between Spades Are Trumps and Gran Geste, who also battled well to win his maiden on his hurdling debut at Navan. The form of Spades Are Trumps’ race is working out well though, and that’s what swung me.
It’s an interesting race, five of the nine runners won last time, but I hope that my horse can go well.
I ride PLAY WITH THE WIND in the www.navanracecourse.ie Maiden Hurdle. I don’t know an awful lot about him, he has never run, but he is by Flemensfirth and he is out of a full-sister to Oscar Time, who won a Paddy Power Chase and a Becher Chase and finished second in the Grand National. Joseph is happy with him and it will be interesting to see how he goes.
My third ride is on MON LINO in the Navan Handicap Hurdle (Grade B). He didn’t turn up at Leopardstown, he ran no kind of race, which was disappointing. Paul is fitting checkpieces for the first time on Saturday, so hopefully that will sharpen him up.
He had good form going into Leopardstown. He won on his return at Galway in October, and he ran well to finish third in the Proudstown Hurdle at Navan on Troytown Chase day in November. Hopefully he can put his Leopardstown run behind him.