Sandymount Duke Can Fulfil My Kerry National Dream

Listowel Festival is a fantastic week, it’s very special indeed.

Lovely Listowel
For me it’s kind of the start of the National Hunt season. You get a lot of proper national hunt horses that will start off in Listowel in a maiden hurdle or a novice chase.

Sandymount Duke
I’ve some great rides at the festival next week. I’m looking forward to riding Sandymount Duke in the feature race, the Guinness Kerry National. I think he ran a great race in the Galway Plate.

The extra bit of distance will definitely suit him.

Three miles is bang up his street. I have always thought that he’s a better horse going left-handed also, so there are a lot of things going for him in Listowel. He just wouldn’t want the ground to get too soft though. It’s soft down there at the moment so I’ll be hoping for a dry weekend and the start of next week too.

For the Kerry National you need a horse with plenty of pace and I know it’s a three mile race but it’s a sharp track and horses need to be able to hold a handy position, especially this year with Coneygree likely to come over for it. He will lead all the runners a merry dance.

There’ll be plenty of pace so you need a horse that can lie into Coneygree if that’s possible. The fences come thick and sharp around it so the horse needs to jump very well too.

It’s a great boost for Listowel and for Irish racing in general having a horse like Coneygree coming over for the Kerry National. He’s a Gold Cup winner; he ran a cracker at Punchestown back in April where he only finished a length and a half behind Sizing John.

If he repeats that form, even though he’s gone top weight, I think he will set a very high standard and be a very difficult horse to beat.

Mr Fiftyone
Mr Fiftyone will probably run in the second half of the week in a Handicap Chase over two and a half miles. He’s a much better horse over fences and again, I’ll be hoping that the ground doesn’t get too soft.

There’s also a possibility he might have a run on the flat at Down Royal on Friday. He’s run around Punchestown a few times and he’s a great horse on good ground so hopefully he’ll run a nice race later on in the week.

Alletrix will run on the Monday more than likely in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle and there’s also an auction race that she qualifies for on the same day so she has a couple of options.

Obviously Jessie will decide which race she will run in. She was third in her only run in a bumper in Cork in the back end of last year and her form has worked out well so she’s going to go straight to hurdling and hopefully she’ll go well next week.

Make It Hurrah
Make It Hurrah runs in the opening race of the festival in the 3-year-old hurdle which will be his first run over hurdles. He’s a decent horse on the flat.

He won a maiden in Cork on very heavy ground on the flat so hopefully the ground, which will probably be soft at the start of the week, won’t be too much of an inconvenience for him. Touch wood, his schooling at home has been very good. I’m hoping he can get the week off to a good start.

Best Chance
Regarding my best chance of a winner during the week, I’d be hoping Sandymount Duke will deliver in the Kerry National.

It’s a race I’ve been second in a couple of times so I want to go one better in it.

Make it Hurrah on the opening day won’t mind soft ground and will have a great chance of winning but I really would love to win a Kerry National!

BoyleSports Irish National Winner
Our Duke is cantering away and Kate Harrington rides him out every morning. He’s in fantastic form and he looks a million dollars also. We’ll continue with the steady cantering building up his muscles for another month or so and then hopefully in October we’ll start stepping up his work a bit.

His first target is the Betfair Chase in Haydock at the end of November so hopefully we’ll have plenty of time with him before then anyway.