In her weekend review, the Betway ambassador picks out the stand-out performance from Cheltenham Trials Day and elsewhere.
Cheltenham Trials Day
Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham always throws up plenty of clues and, inevitably, some bubbles can also burst, and we saw that in the first race. Although you can’t take anything away from Burdett Road, who is clearly a very classy horse, the winner Sir Gino looks exceptional. I love the way he quickened away and then kept galloping through the line. He just wanted to keep going. It’ll take something very good to beat him. It’ll also be interesting to see the horse he beat on his debut in France, Salvator Mundi, who is now with Willie Mullins for the same owner.
It was a weekend – and a great start to 2024 – for Willie. Capodanno was a good winner for him in the Cotswolds Chase, and I thought he also ran well at Leopardstown at Christmas. That run was likely going to bring him on, and it clearly did. He’ll run in the Gold Cup now.
After Capodanno’s win, it wasn’t long before Willie was on the scoresheet again at Cheltenham. I, like everyone, was so impressed with Lossiemouth. She was different gravy and has improved plenty. She was slick over the hurdles and pulled away as she liked. In another year, she’d be running a Champion Hurdle and would have some chance, but this year it’s going to be tough for any horse against Constitution Hill.
I know he wasn’t beaten far but Jonbon getting edged out was disappointing. He didn’t jump with his usually fluency and just never really seemed to get going. I hope we still see him in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase and that connections don’t opt to run him in the Ryanair, even though it might look more winnable now.
Other horses who impressed me
Monkfish made a good comeback run last week and where he goes next is yet to be seen, but it was great to see him run as well as he did to win the Galmoy.
Glengouly was beaten into second in the Thyestes at Gowran on the same card, but there will definitely be a race of a similar stature that the lightly raced 8-year-old can win.
Embassy Gardens did what he had to do, which will leave connections with the options of the Brown Advisory or the National Hunt Chase. I think he’d have a much better chance in the National Hunt Chase, and I’d say Patrick [Mullins] would like that too!
I’d go as so far as saying that Jasmin De Vaux‘s win at Naas on Sunday was as good a bumper performance as I’ve seen all season. He looked very exciting.