GAVIN CROMWELL BLOG: Grade-1 Winning Trainer and BETDAQ Brand Ambassador Gavin Cromwell previews his weekend runners, before giving the latest update on his pair of horses heading over to Cheltenham for the biggest week in National Hunt Racing.
There’s not long to go until Cheltenham now and it’s obviously a very exciting time of the year for everyone associated with racing. We haven’t got many going over there, but I think the two we do send both have a good chance, and to have runners with genuine chances at the biggest meetings is a real thrill.
More on those shortly, but we’ve got a busy weekend beforehand with runners at Gowran Park and Naas.
Bronson In Blue runs in the maiden hurdle (1.55pm) at Gowran on Saturday. He’s still just starting out in his career and we won’t see the best of him until he’s running in handicaps.
Later on the card in the handicap hurdle (3.05pm), we run Power Sail. He’s had just one run in a handicap where he finished eighth, but he ran better than the result suggests and he wasn’t beaten all that far.
We’re hoping for a better performance and if he can put it all together, he could go well at a big price.
Over at Naas on Sunday, Spades Are Trumps runs for the first time in just under a year in the handicap hurdle (4.20pm). Being off such a long lay-off it’s quite hard to know where we are with him, but he’s shown plenty of ability in the past.
If he can put up a good performance, we’ll be happy and we can then start to plan what we do with him.
In the same race, Ilikedwayurthinkin takes his chance too. He’s off quite a nice mark and ran pretty well the last day. He stayed on well there, so we’re going up in trip with him which should bring about a bit more improvement. I’d like to think he’s got a decent chance of getting his head in front.
At this stage, it’s looking like we’ll take two horses over to Cheltenham. I’m really happy with both Espoir D’Allen and Quatamental and we’re really looking forward to heading over there.
It would obviously mean an awful lot to train a winner at Cheltenham. It’s the Olympics of our sport and it’s the four days in the racing calendar we all look forward to most. You just have to look at the quality of runner in each race to know how much it means, so to have a winner there would be fantastic for myself as well as all of the yard.
Espoir D’Allen (Champion Hurdle Tuesday)
Espoir D’Allen is in great form, he’s bouncing at home and I really couldn’t be much happier with him ahead of Tuesday’s Champion Hurdle. It’s a very good race with the current top-three in the market all clearly very good horses, but we’re hopeful of a good performance.
I’m not saying he’s going to be good enough to win it, but I’m confident he’s going to be in the mix. He’s three from three this year and has done nothing but improve. If he can continue his upward curve, then who knows how good he could be. Mark [Walsh] will be on board and he’s won both times he’s sat on him, so fingers crossed he can make it a hat-trick!
Whatever happens, we’re very lucky to have a horse of his quality running in a race like this. He’s only a five-year-old and we’ve got so many days to look forward to.
Quantamental (Fred Winter Wednesday)
As things stand, it’s looking 50/50 as to whether he’ll get in to the Fred Winter. I’ll have everything crossed he does as I think he’s got a solid each-way chance.
He won well at Fairyhouse the last day and he’s come out of that well. It’s a race I think will suit him, so with any luck he gets to take his chance. If he does get in, it’s looking like James Bowen will ride him.