GAVIN CROMWELL: Seven runners for Brand Ambassador Gavin Cromwell this weekend across Down Royal, Cork and Naas, each of which he previews below, along with an update his plans for Darver Star.
Down Royal Saturday
We’re looking forward to running Wolf Prince in the WKD Handicap Hurdle (1.50pm) at Down Royal on Saturday. It’s his first run in a handicap and although it’s hard to weigh up exactly how good the juveniles were last year, he was second in a Grade 1, so you’d like to think he’d have a big chance coming here off a mark of 136. He blew the cobwebs away with a solid run on the Flat at Gowran Park a couple of weeks ago and that will leave him spot on for this. He’ll have no issues with the ground and with the four-year-old allowance, we’re hoping he can run a big race.
Aasleagh Dawn is scheduled to run in the three-mile handicap chase (3.35pm), but I’m not entirely sure she’ll run as she wouldn’t want the ground too soft. She’s been a little disappointing this season, but we feel she might have turned the corner, so if the rain doesn’t come, then hopefully she’d have an each-way chance.
Our final runner is Vintage Prosseco in the bumper (4.10pm). We’ve booked Patrick Mullins to ride him and we’re hoping for more of the same after he rode Letsbeclearaboutit to victory a couple of weeks ago at Tipperary. It’s going to be tough to beat Gordon Elliott’s highly regarded Sir Gerhard, but we think an awful lot of this horse and based on what we’ve seen so far at home, he’s going to be a pretty smart sort. His work has been very promising and we’re hoping he can put in a bold showing on his first start for us. He’s one we’re very much looking forward to for the future.
We run both Prospectus and Tokyo Getaway in the Cork National (3.20pm) on Sunday. The more rain the better for Prospectus and while the trip is a slight question mark, he’s in good form at home and we’re hoping he can run a nice race.
Tokyo Getaway is in good form and she was a good third when staying on at Limerick on her return to action. This race has always been in the back of our minds, particularly with the lovely low weight she has on her back. We’d be quite hopeful she can run a pretty big race here.
Over at Naas, we’ve got Come September in the Group 3 Athasi Stakes (2.00pm). She went to France the last day and was a tad disappointing and we’re bringing her right back to seven furlongs here. On the testing ground, this trip will be no bother to her and although it’s a competitive race, she’s more than worth her place in the line-up.
Our final runner of the weekend is White Pepper in the nursery handicap (2.35pm). She went up nine pounds for finishing second the last day at Gowran with the pair finishing miles clear of the third. She’s in great nick, but the big hike in the weights obviously makes her life much tougher here. It’s a stronger race than the last day too, but she’ll love conditions and is entitled to take her chance.
We’re still to firm up plans for Darver Star but as things stand it’s looking as if we’ll head to the Craddockstown Chase at Punchestown. He’s come out of his first run of the season in really good form and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season with him.