GAVIN CROMWELL BLOG: After a quiet week, things are picking up this weekend with plenty of runners. We’re entering a very busy period of the year with the big spring festivals just around the corner.
Of my runners from the past week or so, I thought Political Policy ran an absolute cracker at Dundalk last Friday. He’s been running well for quite a while now and he’s come out of the race really well, so we are going to send him over hurdles on Sunday. More on that shortly.
Busy weekend ahead
We kick things off over the weekend with Lever Du Soleil in the Grade 3 juvenile hurdle (2.15pm) at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
He was disappointing the last day, having won his maiden and then coming third in a Grade 3. I’m not quite sure he’ll be up to beating the two fancied runners of Gordon [Elliott] and Willie [Mullins], but there is good prize money on offer so we’ll take our chance and see how he gets on.
Over at Newcastle, we’re looking forward to running Raz De Maree in the Eider Chase (2.40pm).
He ran a great race at Chepstow last time on his favoured soft ground, but with the ground looking much quicker on Saturday, I have to be concerned that conditions won’t be to his liking. It’s looking like it’ll be good to soft, soft in places which unfortunately I don’t think will be soft enough.
It’s incredibly frustrating because the trip will really suit him and if the ground was soft I’d really fancy him. I’ll be doing a rain dance throughout the evening and morning that’s for sure!
He’s been such an amazing horse for the yard, as long as he comes back safe we’ll be happy.
As I mentioned earlier, Political Policy runs in the Grade 2 novice hurdle (3.00pm).
The race has broken up quite a lot in recent days meaning it’s become very winnable and based on his run on Friday, you’ve got to think my horse has a good chance. His last run over hurdles was very encouraging and the form of his close second there has been franked recently so it all points to him running a big race.
Let’s hope he continues the form from Friday and puts up another good display.
On Sunday, we have quite a few horses running in handicaps, starting with Tashman (2.00pm) at Naas.
We hope he can progress after a decent run in his first go in a handicap. We’re confident he’s improved since then and he should have an each-way chance.
Livingstones Quest goes in the same race. He should enjoy the better ground and he’s another I’d like to think has an each-way shot.
Ejayteekay, Mutadaffeq and Ming Dynasty all run in the 2m handicap hurdle (4.05pm) at Naas.
Ejayteekay is back after having a winter break and we’re really happy with her. She’s been in good order and she runs well fresh so we’re hopeful she’ll run a big race.
Mutadaffeq runs in his first handicap. He’s got an outside chance of getting amongst the placings, but will need to improve.
Ming Dynasty isn’t the most straightforward horse, but he’s been running very well. He isn’t quite seeing out his races, but he’s got plenty of ability and if he can reproduce what he shows at home, he’ll have a chance.
Out of the three, I’d probably say Ejayteekay has the best chance.
I’ve been training Espoir D’Allen for the Champion Hurdle and we think that’s the route we’ll take, unless there’s a last minute change of mind.
It’s very exciting to have a live Champion Hurdle contender in the yard and while it’s shaping up to be a very good edition, he’s more than worth his place in the line-up.
Buveur D’Air, Apple’s Jade and Laurina are all very good horses and are rightfully the favourites. Hopefully they’ll take each other on and we’ll spoil the party!