It was great to see Douvan get back to winning ways at Clonmel on Thursday. It’s only when these horses come back after long lay-offs that you realise how much they are loved by the public. His reception on social media was amazing.

I did, however, think that his jumping wasn’t great, and the race fell apart with Monalee being a big disappointment. He’ll be able to win at that level, but I think he’ll find it tough at Championship level again.

The performance of the week for me was by the four-year-old, Fakir D’oudairies. He looked superb. I couldn’t believe how good he pinged his fences on his debut. He’s obviously got a big engine and has a great future ahead of him.



The big race this side of the Irish Sea is the Morgiana Hurdle (14:00), where Willie [Mullins] is mob-handed.

While Klassical Dream is the talking horse following his impressive season, I think Saldier can get the better of him tomorrow.

He’s a very classy horse and was in the process of running a great race – which he would have won – against the eventual Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D’Allen before coming down. He’s improved and is ready to go and I think, at the prices, he’s the value bet.

The Champion Bumper runner-up Blue Sari makes his hurdles debut at Punchestown in the 2m4f Maiden (14:35), and he’ll take some stopping granted a clear round. I’d like to think he’ll be good enough to run in one of the top novices’ races at Cheltenham next year, so this is day one on the journey.



On Sunday, Ross [O’Sullivan] runs Call It Magic in the opening race at Punchestown, which is run on the banks course. He was unlucky in the Topham at Aintree when unshipping his rider, but he has bags of pace and generally jumps very well. We’re hopeful of a big run.

I think it would be wise to follow Patrick [Mullins] on Sunday.

He’s off to Cork to ride in the first two for Willie and has two exceptional chances in Jon Snow and Colreevy. They should both take all the beating and I’d say he’d be very upset were they both not to win.

He then gets in the car and travels up to Punchestown to ride Dewcup in the bumper for Dad [Ted Walsh] and I’d say he’s not doing the journey just to clock the miles in his car.

He was a good fourth in the Aintree bumper and has plenty of ability.

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