Hoping for a Magic Topham

Call It Magic  is in great form at home, his preparation has been good and he worked well on the Curragh last week.

He’ll work there again this weekend and we’ll also school him at some point.

The plan is go over to England on the boat on Wednesday week, travelling in the afternoon.

When he went there for the Becher Chase in December he seemed to light up and really come alive.

He takes his travelling well, we’re not worried about that, and the change of scenery seems to do him good.

We were very happy with him in the Becher, he really took to the fences, attacking every one of them.

It’s a shame the other horse took him on a bit. He has to be ridden prominently, but we may try to hang on and save a little more.

He seems in a great frame of mind and his weight is good. A drop of rain certainly wouldn’t go amiss.

He ran well to be seventh in the Irish National and it was pretty soft that day. He’ll definitely run, but he would prefer a dig in the ground.

Although he has been a bit of a fragile horse in the past, with a couple of issues like sore shins, he seems to be OK now. 

Thankfully we’ve had a clear run with him. He didn’t run until he was five and has just taken a while to mature.

He isn’t a slow horse. He’s always had plenty of pace to get his position, which is helpful in a race like the Topham.

He jumped a little to the left at Fairyhouse the last day. He was a bit deliberate with his jumping, so he will probably be suited to going back left-handed.

Snugsborough Benny, who beat him that day, is a good horse, and we were pleased with the run. The Topham has been the plan all season.

We’re going there with a fighting chance. His owner, Zorka Wentworth, is very excited and Katie and myself are really looking forward to it.

We love Aintree and it’s something all the lads in the yard are waiting for. We’re counting down the days, so we just have to hope we have luck on our side.

Baie Des Iles


It was really frustrating what happened with Baie Des Iles at Down Royal the other day. Paul Townend came back in saying she was hacking and he hadn’t asked her a question yet.

It would have been a lovely race for her, but she was maybe going a little bit too well and just lost her concentration. She had only fallen once before in her career.

She has come out of it absolutely fine, there’s nothing wrong with her.

She is entered in both the English and Irish Nationals, but it’s hard to go to Aintree on the back of a fall, and I’d say we’ll now head straight for the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris at Auteuil on 19th May.

She has run well there before, winning the Prix des Drags last June.

She deserves to line up with a chance and it’s fantastic prize money. She also had an eight-week break after Aintree last year and it will be a similar gap this time.

Pleased with An Fraoch Mor

It was good to see An Fraoch Mor win at Wexford the other day. He is a chaser in the making and may have one more run over hurdles before we put him away for the summer.

We’ve also had a couple of point-to-pointers run nice races recently, so we’re pleased with the form of the horses.

Looking back at Cheltenham

Any Second Now was obviously a highlight for myself and Katie in the Kim Muir. I was delighted for Ted, he had waited a long time for another winner there and it was very special for everyone involved.

Derek O’Connor gave him a great ride.

It was also lovely to see Rachael Blackmore have such a great week. She’s ridden for me a few times and Katie knows her well from the weighing room. To announce herself the way she did was brilliant.

Tiger Roll was seriously impressive in the Cross Country Chase. Barring a mishap he is going to be very hard to beat in the Grand National.

Envoi Allen looked like a star of the future when winning the Champion Bumper with my brother-in-law Jamie Codd riding him.

He looks the real deal and to do what he has done in bumpers is seriously impressive.

It was nice that the meeting wasn’t dominated by one particular yard or one particular owner. The winners were shared around.

Martin Brassil’s City Island only cost around, €30,000 which shows that you don’t always have to pay the massive prices at the sales or in France.

It’s nice when a horse like that can come and win at Cheltenham, it gives everyone hope. Martin has a relatively small string on the Curragh.

It was also great to see Gavin Cromwell get a winner with Espoir D’Allen in the Champion Hurdle.

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