Monday, we start at Dundalk. There was a double for Joseph O'Brien with Charmed and Isle Of Sark, who was particularly impressive. Saltonstall continued his upward trajectory by taking the scalp of odds-on favourite Romanised in the mile race. Trainer Ado McGuinness said: “I can't fight with the handicapper anymore anyway, that's for sure.“We put him in this race by chance as he was going so well. People probably thought I was mad running him here after running in the mud but he'd been here a couple of times and he just floats on the surface.“Sam (Ewing) was excellent on him and it's great for everyone involved. That's his fourth win of the year and he'd just a superstar of a horse to have. I'm just thrilled to have him.
It was another day of glory for the John McConnell team as they enjoyed another double. Jack Berry House was beaten by the minimum margin when last seen in Dundalk but the 5/2 favourite made no mistake over the same mile trip today. Dame Rapide sealed a Dundalk double for John McConnell when taking the concluding mile and a half handicap. "That was good. Things didn't go according to plan the last day, they went very slowly over a mile-and-two and it turned into a sprint which didn't suit her. As you can see she stays very well,” said McConnell.“She's just a filly that is going the right way and Siobhan gets on very well with her.“It's brilliant for the owner/breeder, he had a nice horse there. I don't know where we'll go after that but we'll probably be going up in grade now.“She's a lovely filly and very straightforward. The horses are going well and long may it last.”This was Dame Rapide's third Dundalk success from her last four runs at the track.
At Plumpton, Le Coeur Net bolted up for Anthony Honeyball. At Leicester, Alan King completed an across the card double with Isolate. King was on target with Midnight Glance at Plumpton. At Wolverhampton, Big Team was on target for Godolphin. At Kempton, Sargasso Sea was an impressive winner for William Haggas.
Tuesday, we start at Limerick. Eoin McCarthy and Gearoid Brouder recorded a quick gambled on double at Limerick this afternoon when Moonlight Glory claimed the mares handicap hurdle. The Fame And Glory mare got in as the first reserve in the two-mile contest and was well punted from 16/1 this morning into 9/2 at the off. Blanketontheground justified good support when claiming the rated novice hurdle at Limerick for Eoin McCarthy.The Flemensfirth mare was backed from 14/1 this morning and went off a 7/2 shot for the two-mile contest. A well-executed plan by the look of it.
At Fakenham, there was a double for Alan King with Midnights Gift and Midnight Ginger. There was a winner for Paul Nicholls with Getaway Trump a topical winner. At Southwell, Sammy Sunshine for Ralph Beckett. At Newcastle, there was a winner for Julie Commacho for I Know How.
Wednesday, we start at Dundalk. There was an impressive winner for Andrew Slattery with Ola Bonita. At Warwick, Alan King was on target for The Glancing Queen. At Ffos Las, Hill Sixteen won by 46 lengths for Nigel Twiston-Davies. At Hexham, Hart Of Steel was on target for Donald McCain. At Kempton, Johnny Drama was on target for Andrew Balding. It was good news for our members Johnny Drama was advised 2pts win at 7/4.
Thursday, we start at Thurles. Presenting Percy got back to winning ways in fine style putting away Kemboy and Monalee in the process. This was good from Presenting Percy however he had a fitness edge over Kemboy and Monalee. I still think Presenting Percy is more likely to win an Aintree Grand National than a Gold cup. I could see Monalee really enjoying the king George and winging along from the front. I have never really been into Kemnboy he ran very free here and guessed at a few fences. I would say the next start at Leopardstown will tell us a lot about Kemboy. El Barra looked a very smart prospect when returning from a long absence to run out a facile winner of the concluding bumper at Thurles this afternoon. He had cost £280,000 at the sales subsequently and was making his first outing today for Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci. Patrick Mullins bounced out in front on the 4/7 shot and he was only briefly headed at halfway. The six-year-old had his rivals at work early in the straight and didn't come off the bridle to record a five-and-a-half length success over Fourneux D'isanka.
At Wincanton, there was a treble for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden with Tamaroc Du Mathon, Zyon and Jeremy Pass. At Market Rasen, there was a double for Sean Quinlan with Catchmeifyoucan and Teescomponents lad. The latter won the Pertemps qualifier, it was interesting to see the Joseph O'Brien Tower Bridge finish fourth and qualify. A grade one winning novice hurdler and placed at the Cheltenham festival over fences. Tower Bridge has a UK mark of 145 over hurdles. This horse is worth watching for the final in March at Cheltenham. At Newcastle, there was a double for Jack Mitchell with Majestic Teejan and Teona. At Chelmsford, Aberama Gold took the feature for Keith Dalgleish.
Friday, we start at Dundalk. It was back into action for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate at 730 Dundalk with Stanhope. As we know Stanhope was our last winner back in July. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since that July Friday night. We have had a tough run by our own standards. However, during our tough run, we have lost two photo finishes for first at the Listowel Festival and at Galway. We have also had horses placed at Leopardstown and Navan. Stanhope since his arrival has been a star for ourselves. He won on his debut. Stanhope had significant surgery last winter and of course, came back to win at Navan in July. It was ultimately a disappointment for The Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate as Stanhope ran below par. Stanhope got a belt early on from another horse. To be fair he was never going he seemed unable to get competitive from stall 11. John has a few ideas we will work on it. We have two horses to run on Wednesday so we have to look forward. The two will be Double Kodiac and Casa Comigo who will make his debut for ourselves. As we venture into the world of the staying division for the first time.
The rest of Dundalk saw Ronan Whelan finish the night with a flourish at Dundalk this evening to ride the closing couple of winners on the card, topped off by Too Hard To Hold. Whelan also landed the penultimate contest on Noirvento for Tracey Collins. At Gowran, Willie Mullins and Paul Townend shared in a four-timer. The Winners were Youmdor (McNeill Family), Ferny Hollow (Cheveley Park Stud) and Annamix (Susannah and Rich Ricci) and Energumene (Tony Bloom). At Ascot, Harry Fry will explore big-race options with Metier following his stylish victory in the Play The Coral ‘Racing Super Series’ Introductory Hurdle. Chantry House made his debut over fences a triumphant one in the Ascot Racecourse Supports Safer Gambling Week Novices’ Chase. At Chepstow, there was a double for Dan Skelton with Antunes and Eclair D'ainay.
Saturday, we start at Haydock. Main Fact finished with an admirable flourish to extend his remarkable winning run to nine and lift a thoroughly lucrative prize in the Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle for David Pipe. Bristol De Mai lifted a third Betfair Chase with a gutsy performance in testing conditions. I thought Clan Des Obeaux ran a belter in second place he should be spot on for the King George now. Imperial Aura advertised his claims for further Cheltenham Festival glory with a decisive victory in the Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase. It was a double on the day for Kim Bailey as First Fow followed up the victory of Imperial Aura.
At Naas, Notebook bounced back to winning form in the Grade Two Poplar Square Chase. The lack of a crowd and a small field seemed to play into the hands of Notebook. It stopped some of his quirky traits. Notebook went off 5/2 for last seasons Arkle, however, he went off 7/2 here remarkable. Last season's smart novice hurdler Janidil made a winning fences debut at Naas today as the Willie Mullins-trained, J.P. McManus-owned gelding landed the concluding Mongey Communications Beginners Chase under jockey Mark Walsh.
Sunday, we start at Navan. Rachael Blackmore doubled up at Navan on board Lord Erskine in the two-mile six handicap hurdle. Blackmore had earlier won on Minella Indo. In fairness, Minella Indo probably further enhanced his Cheltenham Gold Cup credentials with a near-faultless display. I like that he is getting more jumping experience. In truth, his win here and at Wexford have just told us he is fit and well. The acid test will come at Christmas at Leopardstown but even if he got beat he still would be my idea of the Gold Cup winner.
Champion Trainer Willie Mullins and Champion Jockey Paul Townend combined for trebles at Cork today. Yukon Lil made a winning fences debut, in the colours of John Magnier. Ganapathi, who won on the Flat in his native France, made a winning start to his jumping career in Ireland. Cheltenham Festival Bumper runner-up Appreciate It won on hurdles debut at Cork today as the Willie Mullins trained, Paul Townend partnered 1/12 favourite. Willie Mullins was also on target at Navan as Blackbow made the perfect start over fences with a fine front-running performance in the beginners chase at Navan. I liked this performance. This horse could be an outside Arkle contender if he learns to settle a little better in his races.