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GAVIN CROMWELL: A very good week for Brand Ambassador Gavin Cromwell has the yard in good spirits ahead of his runners this Saturday at Ballinrobe and Leopardstown.


Runners from the past week

The Cesarewitch is obviously one of the most competitive handicaps of the entire Flat calendar and we were happy with Whirling Dervish’s performance in it on Saturday. We went there not expecting too much from two of them, while we were hopeful the other two could be competitive. He ran with credit and we might run him in something like the November Handicap, which Jukebox Jive won last year, before we campaign him over hurdles.

On Tuesday we couldn’t have been much happier with Darver Star’s debut over fences at Punchestown. He’ll come on plenty for the run, but his jumping warmed up as he went round and it was pretty much the perfect start. In terms of where we might go next, we could head back to Punchestown for the Grade 2 Craddockstown Novice Chase in a month’s time. As things stand, the Arkle is the long-term goal, but time will tell if that’s where we eventually end up. We’ll stick to two miles for the time being and see how he goes, but we’re very excited for what the future holds.

We were also very pleased with Gabynako’s debut over hurdles at Punchestown on Wednesday. He was a good third in a bumper for us at the beginning of the year and he’s one we’ve always liked. He took a little bit of time to get to where we wanted him, but we were happy with him before the race and he ran a cracker to finish second to Champion Bumper fifth Eskylane. He’s another who will improve plenty for the outing and he’s one to be excited about in the novice ranks this year.


Ballinrobe Saturday

We start our Saturday runners with Presenting Meghan in the novice hurdle (2.40pm). She won well the last day at Down Royal, although I’m not sure how deep a race it was as the form hasn’t worked out all that well. She comes here in good form and this big step up in trip will definitely suit. There are only eight runners, so we’d be pretty hopeful of her picking up some prize money.

It’s then the turn of Oscar Academy and Brex Drago in the novice chase (3.15pm). The former has been a little bit disappointing in his last few appearances and we’re hoping for a bit more from him here. Brex Drago is having his last run before he heads to the sales, so hopefully he can get a bit of form in the book.


Leopardstown Saturday

Over at Leopardstown we run Call Me Dolly in the 1m4f handicap (5.15pm). She won nicely at Thurles on her last start and has been in good form since then. Nikita Kane takes the ride and hopefully she can go well in what looks a pretty competitive race on paper.