Tear yourself away from that turkey and put that plate of mince pies down for a second to check out Rachael Blackmore’s thoughts on her runners at Leopardstown on St. Stephen’s / Boxing Day!
Hurricane Cliff kicks us off in the first maiden hurdle. He was 2nd the last day in Cork when the ground was soft to heavy, and he’s going to get nicer ground up in Leopardstown. It’s yielding at the moment so I think he’ll enjoy that and he’ll also have benefitted from his first run over hurdles so we’re really looking forward to him here. He’s a nice horse, maiden hurdles at Leopardstown are very competitive but we’re looking forward to the run.
Then we’re on to Decimation in the second maiden hurdle. He’s run in two maiden hurdles so far and was 2nd in both, to stablemate Irascible the last day. He’s coming into it well, he has two runs under his belt so we’ll see what he can do but we’re hopeful of a nice run from him.
In the juvenile hurdle I ride Ha D’or for Willie Mullins. He won an AQPS in France over 1m3f on soft ground in the summer and he’s having his first run for Willie here. This is a lovely ride for me to pick up, it looks like a very competitive race and Gordon’s horses were very impressive the last day and Willie’s other one Saint Sam is also there.
On to Defan in the handicap hurdle. He won in Limerick the last day, he seems well at home and this is his first run in a handicap. If he puts his best foot forward he should be in the shake-up.
In the novice chase we have Benruben and this obviously looks quite a competitive race. The last day he was behind Felix Desjy on soft to heavy, but I think Benruben will enjoy the nicer ground here and put up a better performance. He won in the summer on good and yielding ground and I think he’ll enjoy going around Leopardstown. He’ll have to improve a bit in this race and we’re hopeful that he’ll put up a good run.
Henry has a good few of them running in the handicap chase and I’m on Popong. She ran well the last day in Punchestown where she finished behind Colreevy, who runs in today’s Grade 1 at Limerick. This is Popong’s first run in a handicap, she’s jumped a bit better in her last two runs and I’m hoping that she’s not going to finish too far away.