If you listen to the rumours then Willie’s Melon is an absolute jet and the rest needn’t bother turning up. But our Broken Soul has shown a decent level of form in bumpers and got off the mark at Down Royal on Boxing Day, and could be the one to benefit if Melon doesn’t deliver, though one or two of the others have shown ability, too.
This looks a red-hot race and the mare Let’s Dance could be the pick of Willie’s three and the one to beat in a race full of unexposed and promising sorts. But our Peace News could surprise some of these stepping up in trip after finishing fifth over 2m here over Christmas. He is a horse I like.
I was surprised to see Bleu Et Rouge in here considering he needed all of 2m3f to collar me on Gangster here last time – I thought he was the ideal type for the Moriarty over 2m5f in a fortnight’s time – but maybe Min not being declared after banging a knee made their minds up. Willie also has Thurles winner Royal Caviar in here but I think Some Plan is the one that Identity Thief has to beat. I made no secret of the fact that I thought he would give Min a race here over Christmas but he made a couple of bad mistakes and I pulled him up, and he returned lame. If none the worse for that experience then I would hope he would be going very close here. I rate him.
These are the races where it hurts being on the sidelines, and especially so after Faugheen’s withdrawal yesterday, which totally changes the complexion of the race. Petit Mouchoir really showed what he was made of in the Ryanair Hurdle last time when beating Nichols Canyon by 7 lengths. He travelled strongly in the lead, quickened coming around the bend to put the race to bed, and stayed on so strongly that I had a job pulling him up after the finish. Okay, maybe Nichols Canyon underperformed there but I wouldn’t be in a rush to underestimate our horse. He goes into the race on a big upward curve.
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