Picking a winner has not been easy, particularly if you’re a Willie Mullins fan, but I think it would be dangerous to put a line through all his horses names on Thursday, writes Hayley O’Connor.
He has two today that I certainly won’t be deserting, the first being my beloved Un De Sceaux. I am MAD about this horse and, actually, this horse is apparently mad.
Willie says he almost watches him with his eyes closed on the gallops as he can be awfully spritely and, in fact, when I watched him in the parade ring here in January he was sweating and messing as he walked around.
It doesn’t stop him from performing though and this guy has the heart of a lion. He’ll give you everything he can to win and I believe that will be enough to fend off Gordon Elliot’s Empire Of Dirt.
The British will win the opening race I think, with my preference leaning slightly towards Top Notch over Noel Meade’s classy Disko. The reason I’m against Yorkhill is that I think he would have had a better chance taking on Altior and I’m not convinced this race will suit.
Presenting Percy is being widely talked about in the Pertemps Final at 2.10 for last year’s winning connections and I couldn’t put you off. He seems a well handicapped sort, progressive and in very safe hands in Davy Russell.
Squouateur could give Jamie Codd a third winner at the festival. His ride in the bumper was nothing short of genius and he got me out of jail with Cause Of Causes on Wednesday. He’s a great pilot and I’m banking that he’ll guide this Gordon Elliot charge to victory in the Kim Muir at 5.30.
I’m not sure if I’m talking with my heart or my head but I really think Jezki can win the Stayers Hurdle.
He won the Champion Hurdle in record time and did go on to score over three miles at Punchestown. He was beaten by Tombstone last time out, who ran a shocker in the Coral Cup, but the ground at Gowran that day wouldn’t have been to his favour so I’m willing to give him another chance. Jessica Harrington trained a winner yesterday so the yard are clearly in form.
Unowhatimeanharry is understandably the favourite based on recent form, but he wouldn’t be the first to be beaten this week.
Best of luck and enjoy Day 3!