Surprises In Store For Mullins & More At Cheltenham

I’m nearly certain that we’re heading to St. Moritz in March with Dove Mountain and National Service to have a run on the ice out there.

St. Moritz
It will be great fun for everyone going over and also a brilliant experience and a chance for everyone to learn something new.

We’ve never shied away from travelling our horses when the right races become available, and I think you have a lot more to gain than lose when travelling to different racing jurisdictions.

Like I said, win, lose or draw it will be a lot of fun and we should learn a lot. Joanna Morgan actually won a race in St. Moritz last year so that should give us some encouragement to try and get a winner on the board out there.

I’ve never been there before and because it’s just a couple of weeks before Cheltenham, I’m not a hundred per cent sure that I’ll be going. Some of the lads will go over and we’re really looking forward to having a run over there.

International Jumps Racing
I found Willie Mullins’ thoughts about the internationalisation of jumps racing quite interesting yesterday. I think it’s a route that National Hunt racing could go down but it all depends on funding. We’re struggling with prize money as it is without that. I’m definitely all for it; it could prove to be very successful in time.

Getting back to Leopardstown last weekend, Tombstone ran a good race – no big excuses really, just got beaten by a better horse on the day. We’ll probably have to be looking at the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle now for Cheltenham but he came out of the race very well.

I was quite pleased with the performance, even though we got beat, and it is all systems go for the festival now.

On the day, there were a few surprises and for the next fortnight there’s going to be a lot of different results and we’ll see a lot of changes in the betting. I said a couple of weeks back that Cheltenham is one of the toughest places to get a winner and the media are making out that nobody but Willie Mullins will train a winner throughout the week.

Last weekend just proved that no matter what price a horse is in a race, a lot of things can happen from flag fall to finish,

…especially in those better races where competition is so tough. As for our own Cheltenham team, we’re nearly finished with all of ours in terms of running before the festival and it’s very exciting times.