Cheltenham Is Still On The Cards For Edwulf

We had another good Friday at Dundalk last week with a treble, including another winner for my brother Donnacha.

Sibling Rivalry
He’s had a great winter, he’s riding well and he now tops the All-Weather apprentice jockey standings. He is possibly smaller than me but obviously he’s still taller than the majority of flat jockeys. But he is handling his weight very well at the moment.

My sister Ana is also riding well with another winner last Friday, so she’s fourth, two winners behind Donnacha. It’s been good for all of us at Dundalk this season and long may their form last. It’s exciting to see.

No Joy At Navan
Edwulf was our best runner this weekend so it was frustrating when he fell in the Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan on Sunday.

He fell at the second last first time around, so he didn’t even get halfway. It was disappointing and we’re going back to the drawing board with him.

Obviously, if he’s to go to Cheltenham he will have to run again and there’s a handicap chase next week for him that might work.

That’s the first opportunity I can see to get him out again, so we will look to that and go from there regarding Cheltenham. It’s not completely off the cards yet.


His race was won by Acapella Bourgeois, who got an uncontested lead and went on to win by 32 lengths. I didn’t see any of the race live after Edwulf fell, but from what I have seen the horse got away in front and they never looked like catching him. Nor did they ever get any closer to him, so it’s hard to say that, when they didn’t make up any ground early on, it made any difference. I think he has proven himself on the day and time will tell if that form stands up.

We weren’t the only ones frustrated on Sunday as the favourite Ballyoisin took an incredibly unlucky fall when leading the 2m1f novice chase. He just pecked at the back of it and lost his balance. You couldn’t say he definitely would have won, but he couldn’t have been going any better than he was at the time of that fall.

I suppose he would have put it up to the winner Ball d’Arc for sure and it looks like his connections are now looking forward to an exciting season with him.

Staying Hurdlers
I was impressed again by Sutton Place in the Boyne Hurdle on Sunday.

He’s been very good all year and looks a very classy horse, with a big engine. He won the hard way in the Boyne, but there’s no doubt he was (and is!) very good.

It was his first try at a trip further than two miles and he will stay further, I’m sure. I know Gordon Elliott and everyone connected are really looking forward to going chasing with him.

Jezki Floored
All involved with Jezki should also be looking forward to the future even though he was beaten by Tombstone in the Red Mills Hurdle at Gowran on Saturday.

If he was going to get beaten, he was entitled to get beaten there.

The ground was very testing and it was only his second run back after a break. Tombstone is a good horse in his own right too, so I’m sure on reflection connections won’t be as disheartened as they were initially.

Champion Hurdle, Stayers Hurdle, it’s still all open to him and there’s no rush for anyone to make the call.