Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup
I’m very happy with this horse. We made the decision in our own heads after Aintree that we would wait for the Gold Cup.
I don’t have any personal doubt about the trip in the Gold Cup but you can never be 100% certain until you have been there and done it.
He loves to run and jump. He stays all day and I hope he can give us a right chance in a Gold Cup. I don’t see any negatives. It is an open Gold Cup but he has never run against the Minella Indos and A Plus Tards so we don’t know. All you can take is what you saw at Aintree and I don’t think that was a fluke.
Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
He is an outstanding looking horse. His work at home is always very good but you would expect that from a two miler. He went to Warwick last week and we didn’t ask him for anything more than a day out.
The most important thing about this horse is that you have him super fresh. If you have him off the back of a run within a month it is too close. He puts so much into his runs.
I think we have got a very fast horse that handles the track. Shishkin is very good, Energumene is very good and if you listen to Willie (Mullins) then Chacun Pour Soi is better than Energumene.
The only thing about a two mile race is they jump off and they go. You have got to have a clear round of jumping.
He would have won the Charlie Hall with a clear round. He hurt his neck in that fall. I spoke to Colm (Donlon, owner) in great depth and we decided then and there we would give him the time until the spring and let him get as well as he could. He will have no excuses on the day. He went to Warwick (racecourse gallop) the other day and went very nicely.
I think he is only getting better and is at an age that is allowing him to get better. The thing is Allaho put up such a good performance, was that the peak of his life? He might underperform by 5lb from that day and still be good enough.
Last year we had Envoi Allen in our heads. We just joined in the hype and thought, ‘how are we going to beat him? We are going to try and out-jump him’. It was stupid, it was my fault and I wish we hadn’t done it.
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
He is a 90-rated flat horse so he has got absolutely chunks of ability. He has run in some good hurdles this autumn. His last run was at Doncaster where he wasn’t too far behind Knight Salute who is one of the leading English hopes for the Triumph Hurdle. We have given him a wind operation, all things being equal he should be there going to the last.
He won nicely at Ascot on his last he has got a mark off 142 for the Coral Cup. I’ve got him entered for the Ballymore but I’m pretty certain he will go for the Coral Cup.
In my opinion you need a graded horse in a handicap to win and hopefully he is that class.
He will handle the track no problem. He got beat there back in November through lack of experience but he has improved and improved.
Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
She loves to jump and the twice she won she never came off the bridle, nothing could get near her. I think it is a very open race and I don’t think there is anything that has been winning at amazing distances in Ireland at a high level that is particularly frightening.
JCB Triumph Hurdle
He is a really strong experienced horse. It hasn’t taken me by surprise that he is this good. He was good at Ascot then he has then gone to Taunton, where I ran him over 2m 3f deliberately as you can’t be frightened off stamina if you are going to run in a Triumph Hurdle. He doesn’t do anything flashy - he is just a grafter.
I don’t know if he is good enough to win a Triumph Hurdle but his two racecourse performances have been very good. On form Vauban, Fil Dor and Pied Piper - what they have done it looks visually impossible to win, but it doesn’t work out like that with juveniles and the Triumph Hurdle is a tough race.
McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle
I still believe that this horse is a graded horse. His mark of 141 ensures he gets into the race without being top weight.
I think he is as good a chance as we’ve taken there before. He will love the track and he has got loads of pace. I could run Faivoir in the County Hurdle as well. Lucky One is going to run in the Imperial Cup and if he got a penalty he would have a go as well.
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
Because he is a three miler and has run in a heap of point-to-points he never sparkles at home but those horses don’t. His ability to relax early but then to really see out the race is a real advantage.
This race doesn’t turn into a classy affair but a slugging match. I think he is well able to get involved in that type of scenario.
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
He is the smallest of our team but what he lacks in height he makes up for in determination.
He had a small little setback in the autumn. The way he has come out of Taunton gives him a real chance.
His mark is acceptable and it gets him in the race. He stays the trip well and Lorcan Williams will ride him again. I’m chuffed to bits with him.