GAVIN CROMWELL: In this week’s blog, Gavin reflects on an impressive victory for Benie Des Dieux on Thursday and previews his weekend runners at Fairyhouse and Naas.
Benie Des Dieux was superb at Gowran Park on Thursday.
Obviously it was a bit disappointing how Apple’s Jade faded out of the race but you can’t take anything away from Benie Des Dieux’s performance, it was the best we’ve seen from a mare in Ireland all season.
As for where she goes next you’d have to think the Mares’ Hurdle as it looks an easier race to win.
We’ve got five entered at the moment for next weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival, including the likes of Jeremy’s Flame, Wolf Prince and Darver Star, but final plans are still to be made with all of them and they could end up going straight to Cheltenham.
Every year we’re trying to get that better quality of horse into the yard and with hopefully at least five or six runners at the Cheltenham Festival, and fingers crossed another winner, things are looking good.
Saturday at Fairyhouse
We kick things off with Jimmil in the beginners chase (12:25pm).
He ran okay up to a point on his first start for us but realistically he may need to be running in handicaps before getting overly competitive.
This looks another fairly strong race and we’re just hoping for a good, clear round.
We’ve then got no less than four horses lining up in the maiden hurdle (2:45pm).
Bold Peral would be the pick of those based on her run the last day when fourth in a big field at the track.
Again, the opposition looks quite strong and it’s hard to see the other three: Greenpanda, Walk Me Home or Galaxy Girl troubling the judge.
It’s a little unusual that we have four runners in the same race, but there’s not too many options next week and we needed to get them out.
Sunday at Naas
Pepper’n Salt in the maiden hurdle (1:10pm) is our only runner on Sunday.
He jumped nicely the first day at Thurles and did well to finish second.
With some natural progression he should go close again, though it’s still a big ask for him to go and win given there are 17 runners and some of the bigger yards involved.