Ross O’Sullivan: We’re really excited about An Fraoch Mor
In his exclusive blog, the Betway ambassador talks us through his weekend runners at Dundalk on Friday, Fairyhouse on Saturday and Naas on Sunday.
It’s been a fairly quiet time for the yard over the past couple of weeks, so Katie and I managed to squeeze in a short skiing holiday last week, which was fantastic. Fortunately we both came back in one piece!
Things are going to get busier this weekend and hopefully we manage to get a winner.
Dundalk on Friday
We run Baratheon in the 1m 2½f handicap (17:30) at Dundalk on Friday night and we think he’s off a low enough mark to be competitive at this level.
He ran well to be fifth in a handicap two starts back and was a little free last time. The trip should be fine for him and, if he switches off, he should run well.
It’s nice to be able to run a few on the Flat. We’ve got around 35 horses in the yard at the moment and 20 per cent are Flat horses.
We have some regulars like Doonard Prince, who has won five races for us, and we’ve got a couple of two-year-olds coming along, too.
Fairyhouse on Saturday
D'bru Na Boinne goes for the 2m 1f handicap chase (12:30) at Fairyhouse. He was really unlucky when beaten by a nose at Tramore on New Year’s Day.
He appreciates nice ground, and it was probably a little soft last time. I think he’s still on a reasonable mark and there aren’t too many runners, so we hope he can be competitive.
We’ve decided to go for the 2m 4f maiden hurdle (15:20) with State Of Cognac on his first start for the yard.
This is a conditions race for horses that haven’t finished in the first three so far. He’s been with us for the past three or four months and he jumps very well.
He’s schooled nicely at home, we’re happy with him and I do like him. A race like this with these conditions should really suit him.
The ground should be fine for him and Sean McDermott rides. For those that don’t know him, he’s an Irish jockey who is predominantly based in the US these days, riding jumpers out there, but he’s back here for the winter.
He’s a good guy and we always like to give him rides when he’s available.
Naas on Sunday
I hope we have two live chances at Naas on Sunday.
We’re really looking forward to Western Sea in the 2m handicap hurdle (15:20).
He hated the ground at Limerick over Christmas and conditions should be much more suitable for him on Sunday. He has a nice weight and hopefully he’ll run a big race.
An Fraoch Mor runs in the bumper (16:20) and we’re really excited about him for the future.
He’s a very big horse, a three-mile chaser in the making, and will be a lovely horse when he goes jumping.
He ran a nice race on his debut at Fairyhouse on New Year’s Day and he’ll appreciate this step up to 2m 3f. There’s plenty of stamina in his pedigree.
Stable stars out in a few weeks
We’re all crying out for some more rain and let’s hope it comes before 10 February because Baie Des Iles will be entered in the Punchestown Grand National Trial.
She won it two years ago and was third last year, so it’s a race that suits her. We just need the rain to start falling.
Call It Magic will go to Fairyhouse on 13 February for a conditions chase. His next big target after that will be the Topham Chase at Aintree.
Delighted for Ruby and Willie
Myself and Katie watched the Thyestes Chase in the living room on Thursday and we were roaring Ruby and Invitation Only on from the couch.
We were delighted for Ruby and Willie [Mullins], it was a very good performance by the horse.
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