Ross O’Sullivan: Great for racing if jockey title goes the distance
The Betway ambassador previews all his Leopardstown runners, praises the battle between Paul Townend and Rachael Blackmore and looks ahead to Cheltenham.
Leopardstown on Sunday
We run Western Sea in the two mile handicap hurdle (15:10). He was a little unlucky the last day, he raced very keenly and just didn’t settle. He didn’t run too badly to be honest.
We’re putting a hood on him to try to help him relax. We’ll drop him in and hopefully get him to switch off.
This looks a competitive race and it’s a step up in grade for him. He’s got a nice low weight and Rachael Blackmore rides.
I’d say Gavin Cromwell’s Ming Dynasty, who won at Naas last week, would be the one we all have to beat.
If he settles, he’ll run a nice race. I definitely think there’s another handicap in him and he may be better in a better race like this.
The ground shouldn’t be a problem, he’s won on ground like this before at Thurles.
Leopardstown on Monday
D’bru Na Boinne will run in the novice chase (15:35) and the ground certainly won’t be a problem.
He was running a good race at Thurles the last day when unseating Paul Townend at the last. He came out of the race fine and has been doing plenty of schooling during the week.
When he gets in close he tends to give the fences a rub and he’s just been making the odd mistake at a crucial time. We’re hoping he will have learned from that and he is another who can definitely win again, especially on good ground.
There’s good prize money at Leopardstown and we’re hoping for a good run.
We haven’t made up our mind with Sioux Charley yet. He’s entered in a couple of places next week and we’ll make a call.
He wants some dig in the ground, though, so I’d say we’ll probably wait for Thurles on Thursday rather than Leopardstown.
Little Princess is another who will probably wait for Thurles.
Fantastic battle between Paul and Rachael
It’s really great for racing that we’ve got this jockeys’ title battle between Paul and Rachael.
She is doing some job at the minute.
Realistically, it’s going to be hard for her with Paul having the backing of Willie Mullins' team, especially when we get to the Fairyhouse and Punchestown festivals.
But she has some great support from Henry De Bromhead and Gigginstown. It would be great for racing if we get to Punchestown and they’re both still within touching distance, it would be a fantastic spectacle.
They’re two top class riders and both are riding unbelievably well at the moment.
The second episode of Jumps Girls was screened on Thursday night and it’s been getting great reviews.
It really shows the highs and lows of the racing game and how well women are doing racing. It’s been really well received and hopefully it will make its way on to the UK screens soon as well.
Looking ahead to Cheltenham
We’ve seen this week with the likes of Le Richebourg and Penhill how high the stakes are and how hard and delicate it is to get a horse to Cheltenham.
You have to get the finishing touches done and it’s a crucial stage these last two weeks before the Festival. No-one’s there until they’re stepping off the lorry and walking into the stables.
I’ll be over in Cheltenham from Wednesday and even though we don’t have any runners, I’m really looking forward to it.
Everyone can’t wait to see the battle between Apple’s Jade and Buveur D’Air, hopefully the real Apple’s Jade turns up at Cheltenham because she’s been brilliant this season.
If Faugheen and Samcro make it to the Stayers’ Hurdle it would make a hugely exciting race. Faugheen was travelling very well behind Apple’s Jade when falling at Leopardstown and it would be great to see the old Faugheen back.
Presenting Percy is really intriguing as this will be his first start over fences since last year’s RSA Chase. Pat Kelly is the shrewdest man you could ever meet and I’d say he’s done plenty of jumping.
I know no horse has won the Gold Cup without running over fences in the same season for 90 years, but records are there to be broken. If anyone can do it, Presenting Percy can.
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