Jamie’s weekly blog
Storm Dennis threatened to wreak havoc with the racing last weekend, but Gowran Park got the green light to hold their Red Mills fixture.
The Red Mills Hurdle was won by an interesting runner from Willie Mullins stable in Cilaos emery, last seen falling in a chase at the Dublin Racing Festival. Despite not winning over hurdles since April 2017 at Punchestown festival, Cialaos Emery was very slick at the obstaclesand cruised to a 9.5 length victory with Paul Townend on board, this race was the plan ofowner Luke McMahon, the former bookmaker from Maynooth, who is now considering supplementing the horse for the Champion Hurdle. which is now only 3 weeks away.
The Red Mills chase saw the duo of Rachael Blackmore and Henry De Bromhead team up for yet another big race win this season, Chris’s Dream is a horse that seems to go well when fresh and likes testing ground, last seen on the track at Navan at the end of November winning the Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap by 9.5 lengths, he was sent of 3-1 on Saturday and beat shattered loveby 2.25 lenghts, I think he might take up his Ryanair chase entry at Cheltenham.
On Sunday all eyes were on Navan where the small horse with the heart of a lion made his belated season debut, Tiger Roll returned in the Boyne Hurdle which he sprung a 25-1 surprise in last year. He ran a very good race and looked like he was coming with a good challenge on the outside, before getting a bit tired between the last two flights. Connections will be delighted with that and it should set him up perfectly for the XC race at the Cheltenham Festival.
Stablemate Cracking smart showed his rivals a clean pair of heels to win by 4 lengths under Davy Russell. . It was great to see so many people braving the elements in both Navan and Gowran Park. Tiger roll is great for racing and kids were lining up to get their faces painted as tigers.
Blog readers where hopefully in the money at 4pm where a horse I advised to put in the tracker was running, Captain CJ ridden by Connor Maxwell showed turn off foot in the testing conditions to take this race by 6 lengths, his jockey said after the race that he got stuck in the ground when jumping the fences, but he was able to make up the ground in between fences on the flat. It was a great local success in a grade 2 for Dermot Mcloughlin and Conor Maxwell. He now has the Irish Grand National over the Easter period at Fairyhouse as his next target. I’ll be keeping an eye out for antepost betting for that race.
Punchestown finally managed to hold their re-arranged meeting, the banks course was in use in race one which saw the Jessica Harrington trained Neverushacon take victory, he will head to Cheltenham to try better his 5th place finish in December over their cross country course you can get 16-1 for that race , I might be on a slightly bigger odds as I did fancy him to win today.
The Irish grand national trial saw ifyoucatchmenow 14-1 ridden by talented young jockey Conor McNamara take victory, he grabbed Augusta Gold close to the winning line to win by a head, having his first run in a handicap he is sure to improve for it and may have a squeak in the real version at Fairyhouse in April. It was a second big handicap Chase for young Mcnamara in recent times, having taken the Dan Moore Chase at Fairyhouse earlier in the season. He’s light, tactically aware and beginning to attract the support of Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and His boss, Gavin Cromwell.