I Would Have Needed Garda Escort If I Had Beaten Faugheen

The Dublin Racing Festival provided some excellent racing, great finishes, top battles and plenty of clues for Cheltenham.

There were a few bubbles burst but a few horses really enhanced their chances also.

Champion Hurdle
I think Honeysuckle has given herself a great chance now for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham after her win at Leopardstown on Saturday. It was a good performance and she jumped a lot better than I thought she would.

She has a very high cruising speed and quickens up well so she ticks a lot of boxes.

I was also delighted with my own horse in that race, Supasundae, on his first run of the season. He definitely enhanced his chance for the Champion Hurdle and I think he is extremely overpriced at 25/1.

His first run of the season is never his best but he ran well on that inside track at Leopardstown which is plenty sharp. He stayed on all the way to the line. There’s a lot more emphasis on stamina in the Champion Hurdle which should definitely suit him.


Champion Chase
Chacun Pour Soi laid down a huge marker for the Champion Chase. It was a very good performance to beat Min. His jumping was unbelievable and he has improved a lot since Christmas. I think he is the one to take the Champion Chase.

Ryanair Chase
It’s a bit disappointing that we didn’t get to see A Plus Tard at Leopardstown ahead of the Ryanair Chase. He was taken out because of the ground.

I think Defi Du Seuil will definitely go to the Champion Chase. Min ran a very good trial and will go too. He just didn’t have the pace off the home bend that Chacun Pour Soi had but he stayed good all the way to the line. It is a wide-open race but I think Min has his chances for a good crack at this one.

Benie Des Dieux
I read in the papers that Benie Des Dieux may run in the Champion Hurdle but I would be very surprised if that happened. I think her performance over three miles at Gowran Park had the Stayers’ Hurdle written all over it.

It will either be that or the Mares’ Hurdle for her.

Faugheen The Machine
Faugheen is an incredible horse and a credit to Willie Mullins and everyone that looks after him. It’s incredible to have a 12-year-old win a Grade 1 Novice Chase.

I came very close to spoiling the party on Easy Game on Sunday.

I think I would have had to get a Garda escort home if I had beaten him!

To win two Grade 1 races as a 12-year-old is a serious achievement. I think the RSA Chase would be his most likely target. He won over three miles before and I certainly wouldn’t write him off for it.

Gold Cup
Regarding the Gold Cup, Lostintranslation is in good form. He is cantering away and the Tizzards are very happy with him. I finished fourth in the Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday and from what I saw, I wouldn’t be swapping Lostintranslation for any of the three that finished in front of me.

It was a very good performance from Delta Work in a race that was ran at a good gallop with Kemboy in second and Presenting Percy in third.

Delta Work is probably the the best Irish horse in the Gold Cup. I have reservations whether Kemboy will see out 3&¼ miles in the race and presenting Percy needs to take a big step forward to be properly involved.

Get Well Soon Jack
Let’s spare a thought for Jack Kennedy also. He was on cloud 9 after winning the Gold Cup on Delta Work on Sunday and half an hour later he ran out in the Handicap Chase on Dallas De Pictons and had a horrible fall resulting in him breaking his leg.

These are the ups and downs of a jumps jockey. He has had a disappointing run of things latterly and has had no clear run of it. Now he will miss Cheltenham after undergoing surgery.

It was definitely the lowest point of the weekend and everyone is extremely disappointed for him.

*Prices correct at time of publication