Today is all about Willie and Gord are going head to head here as Mullins tries to pull the £360,000 decifit back to regain his crown. The big guns are well and truly out!
3.05 – Gordon Elliot’s looks to of found a very good opportunity again here for A Toi Phil in this Grade 3 event. He shouldn’t have any problems staying the 3m trip and won extremely impressively last time out. He trades at a general 4/5 at the top of the market for Gigginstown. The Paparrazi Kid didn’t run his race last time out when pulled up at short odds for Willie Mullins so he’ll be looking to bounce back with Danny Mullins in the saddle. Val De Ferbet ran a decent race on the flat last week at Tipperary before winning a conditions race at Clonmel last month. Realt Mor might be a decent eacy way shout at 16/1 for Gord, he seemed to struggle last time out in conditions he didn’t like and in a hot race so he may just bounce back here if things suit him more. A Toi Phil is certainly the one to beat though and I think they’ll find it hard to peg him back
4.10 A very competitive Grade B Handicap Hurdle headed by Willie Mullins Pique Sons who hasn’t run over hurdles for 3 years. That won’t be an issue though coming from the Mullins yard and they clearly think he’s got this in him or else we wouldn’t be talking about him. He trades at a general 10/3 with Danny Mullins riding. Pairofbrowneyes looks to be well handicapped over hurdles and looks to be a cracking each way bet at 9/1 for Barry John Murphy and Robbie Power. Carrig Cathal and Bravissimo also have each way chances for Gordon Elliot and Willie Mullins.
1.45 – Maiden Hurdle here and is headed by Tony Martins Tudor City who trades at a general 10/11. He has some top drawer handicap form to his name which is why he is at the top of the market here. Broken Soul for GordonElliot has proved to be very expensive to follow, he did chase Melon home earlier in the season. Runforbob looks the best alternative to the favourite here for Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan, he showed ability in bumpers and could get in the frame here at 7/1. Tudor City hard to beat though, Davy Russell rides.
2.20 – This 2 mile Novice Handicap Hurdle is a competitive one and is headed by another Tony Martin horse in Artful Artist at 11/4. He was just denied at Leopardstown around Christmas and should be there or thereabouts again here, Ruby Walsh also takes up the ride. Gigginstown hold a strong hand in this with Dakota Moirette (15/2) who found the hill a bit too testing in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham last month and Clara Sorrrento (20/1) who could be an each way bet of the day as he acts on good ground and has some decent form to his name winning just a couple of starts ago. I will be siding with the favourite though as I think he’ll build on that narrow defeat at Leopardstown with Noel Meade’s Clara Sorrento each way.
2.50 – Grade 1 action in this Mares contest and it’s headed by another Willie Mullins star in the form of Let’s Dance. She has had an absolutely outstanding campaign taking all that’s been put in front of her and she’ll certainly be hard to stop here again. Willie also runs Airlie Beach (8/1), Augusta Kate (8/1) and Good Tyne Tara (25/1). Airlie Beach and Augusta Kate were ultimately disappointing at the Cheltenham Festival finishing down the field in their respective races. Fergal O’Brien sends Colin’s Sister over who is unbeaten in four hurdle starts and could give the favourite something to think about. Let’s Dance for me though. Brilliant mare. Should win again.
3.25 – Grade B Novice Handicap Chase contest headed by Jessica Harringtons Don’t Touch It. This horse is another class act and was highly fancied for the Grand Annual at the festival before not being entered, he carries top weight here however but should still give a good showing at 7/4. Third Opinion for Gordon Elliot will probably be the main threat to the favourite, he won by a mammoth 22 lengths on his repearance from an absence and a repeat of that would certainly give Don’t Touch It something to think about, he trades at a general 9/2. I do think Don’t Touch It is a classy sort though and will be hard to beat here.
4.00 – The big one of the day now in the Ryanair Gold Cup andit’s headed by the very impressive Yorkhill for Willie Mullins trading at around 8/15. He’s a class act and is unbeaten over fences so far for Willie after winning the JLT in good style at the festival. He does have a tendency to jump out to his left and can make the odd mistake over the fences but he’ll take the world of beating here. Road To Respect won the Brown Advisory Plate at the festival and is probably the main danger to the favourite for Gigginstown and Noel Meade but I can’t see Yorkhill getting beat here if he stays on his feet.