BetVictor Brand Ambassador Rachael Blackmore goes into the weekend still with spirits high after last week’s win on Minella Indo. It was a lovely jumping performance and it looks like the next stop could be the Savills Chase over Christmas before a tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Check out the latest BetVictor Podcast where you can hear Rachael’s thoughts on this Sunday’s Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse where she once again teams up with the magnificent Honeysuckle. As ever, the leading jockey is here to give you some insight into her book of rides over this weekend.
So, we start on Saturday with Diol Ker (11.30) for Noel Meade in the Beginners’ Chase. This is an interesting race with the likes of Monkfish and Sams Profile in there. The latter finished ahead of Diol Ker in his point-to-point. Since then, Diol Ker went on to beat Monkfish in his Maiden Hurdle – so this trio have all crossed paths before. Diol Ker has had two runs over fences. His jumping has been okay, but there’s room for improvement. He has a lot of ability, so I’m confident that if his jumping improves here, he could run a big race.
Next, I partner Paloma Blue (12.30) in the Handicap Chase for Henry. Paloma Blue will be carrying top weight here, however, he has been very consistent recently and is very well at home. He ran a good race when 3rd at Gowran the last day, so we couldn’t be happier with him going into this one.
My third ride on Saturday afternoon is aboard Minella Melody (1.01) in the Mares’ Hurdle, again for Henry. She was 2nd the last day at Galway and she’ll improve a lot from that run. She’s quite a big mare and you can see by looking at her that she needed that. Looking back at Cheltenham, she ran a bit keen there and just didn’t run her race. If we put a line through that run, her form speaks for itself. So, with the benefit of having a run under her belt, we’re really looking forward to seeing what she can do here.
Gigolo Dai Dai
In the first of the two Maiden Hurdles, I am with Gigolo Dai Dai (1.36) for Henry. He’s doing everything right at home, so we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do on the track.
The same can be said for Innovated (2.11). Both have been schooling well, and we should know a lot more about them after their respective races here.
My last one of the day is on Jiving Jerry (2.26) for Jimmy Barcoe. He’s been very consistent of late and I’m hoping they will set a good gallop here. That would definitely suit him in a bigger field. I think he’s still got a few big days in him, and if he can continue his recent form, I don’t think he’ll be far away.
Onto Sunday where I have 6 rides. I start with Ellie Mac (12.00) in the Mares’ Handicap Chase. She won’t want the ground too soft. Her better runs have been on nicer going but she’s been a good mare for us and is very well at home, so we’re hopeful of another good run.
Then I’m with Stacks Mountain (2.05) in the Handicap Chase for Henry. He goes into this with only 10-1 on his back.
He never travelled with me at Galway. I just couldn’t get him into the race there, however, since then he’s been well at home and doing everything right. If he can recapture his Beginner’s Chase winning form, he could go well, especially with such a light weight.
In the Drinmore Novice Chase I’m with Assemble (1.35) for Joseph O’Brien. Envoi Allen is the big name here that everyone will be talking about. However, we couldn’t be happier with Assemble. He travelled beautifully the last day and jumped very well. I was impressed by the way he galloped to the line after the last, so I’m really looking forward to riding him again. He’s an extremely nice horse and this is a fascinating race, so I can’t wait to get out there.
In the big race of the day, the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, I’m am back aboard Honeysuckle (2.35). Personally, I am really looking forward to this. I absolutely love riding her – what jockey wouldn’t! This is her first run of the season and she’s back looking to make it a second Hatton’s Grace Hurdle. Everyone at home couldn’t be happier with her, so it just a case of going out there and getting the job done. We all can’t wait to see her back on the track, and like I said, for me it just great to be the one on her back.
Finally, I am on Due Reward (3.05) for Henry in the Handicap Hurdle. I know he’s a lot better than what he’s been showing us recently.
Back to 2 miles, he’s not one to be discounted. Although he wouldn’t want the ground to be too soft, if he can recapture his best form here, he could run a big race. We’re happy with him at home, so let’s hope he puts his best foot forward in this one.