Punchestown Grand National Trial Day Preview With Noel Meade
We’re bringing you a Punchestown Grand National Trial Day preview from multiple-time Irish Champion Trainer trainer Noel Meade.
The big single-day meeting from County Kildare is fast approaching with horses set to compete this Sunday.
Here at BoyleSports we chatted to Noel Meade about his horses running in Punchestown this weekend and what he reckons there chances are of being first past the post. Meade also discussed the idea of a potential change to how Grand National horses are chosen, the infamous new whip rules in horse racing and the issue of prize money in British horse racing.
Punchestown Grand National Trial Day Preview – Noel Meade’s Horses
It looks like we will have three at Punchestown this weekend, two in the trial and one in the handicap hurdle.
The obvious one that has the best chance would be Diol Ker. He was just touched off in the Paddy Power, we decided not to run him in the Thyestes and waited for this instead because three and a half miles will be up his alley.
He is going to have top weight, but we are going to claim off him with the jockey. We are hopeful enough that he will run a big race.
Maybe Eurobot can spring a surprise but he will want to be doing it a lot better than he has been lately, for sure. He’s been disappointing to be honest, he’s a bit one-paced and his jumping has fallen to pieces the last couple of times he has run. Look, I’m hopeful but I wouldn’t put him forward to win it.
The horse that was just touched off in the Thyestes, Dunboyne, if he runs then he will have a big chance. Gordon [Elliott] has a few, obviously last year’s winner is in it, at joint top-weight. Maybe on very heavy ground it might be an advantage to have that run but we dodged it with our lad in the hopes we would have him fresher for this race.
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A Potential Change To How Grand National Horses Are Chosen?
Sometimes you can get carried away with these things, it could be different next year and there will be more English than Irish, but I do think there are more staying chasers in Ireland at the moment, with a higher rating. You need quite a high rating to get into the Grand National.
Iwilldoit, winning the Welsh National but not being able to run in the Grand National, is sad but I suppose if he was way out of the weights there is no point being in it.
Maybe there is a reason that races like the Welsh Grand National, or some other staying chases, should have a “win and you’re in” mentality. We do that for the Galway Hurdle in Ireland, as long as they’re in the handicap.
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New Whip Rules In Horse Racing
As far as I’m concerned, my opinion is the same as many others, to bring it in now is absolutely ridiculous.
I would have thought it should have been brought in on perhaps the first or second of May, not ahead of the biggest festival of the season where you are just going to draw attention to it.
Are we worried about it? Yes, of course we are worried about it, but I’d be hoping the jockeys can acquaint themselves with it.
I was talking to a jockey the other day, who was serving a day’s ban because he hit the horse in the wrong place. I think that is going to be a problem with the new rules, maybe that might be the downfall, where horses get hit in the wrong place by the jockeys because, well, they don’t all have the same length of arms!
I think it’ll change jockeys’ styles quite a bit. I always like a stylish jockey, riding with style but we will see a change in that, it’ll maybe be back to how they rode a while ago where they were a bit deeper and sat up a lot straighter. I suppose it’ll evolve as well, everybody else is doing it as well so we are going to have to roll with it.
Prize Money In British Horse Racing
I think the prize money issue is serious, there is no doubt about it.
We have a very good structure to our season. We go from one week to the next and we have Graded races every weekend, worth a lot of money, over here in Ireland.
We have a lot of the top owners, too. A lot of the top jumping owners are English but have horses in Ireland, which I suppose is very good for us but is pretty bad for the British.
It does appear, with the exception of a couple of the top yards in England – though we have a similar situation here – with Nicky [Henderson], Paul [Nicholls] and Dan [Skelton] now, they seem to have the top money to spend as well.
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