Sunday at Leopardstown
I was convinced that Youmdor was going to win last time out. He just met the last wrong and ended up sprawling, but he bounced up quickly which was good to see.
He won very easily on his only other start over hurdles and I think he’ll give the favourite a proper race.
You can’t look past Appreciate It can you? He’s just a very good horse who seems to have it all.
I wasn’t sure he’d have the speed for 2m at Christmas, but he proved me so wrong that day. He brings graded form to the table and it’s hard to argue that he’s not the best novice hurdler we’ve seen this season.
I loved the way Dad’s Pure Genius did it last time. He hacked up and won as easy as he liked on his first try at 3m.
Obviously, this is much tougher in a wide-open handicap, but he’s at the right end of the weights and I’m looking forward to seeing him run again.
I don’t think the drop in trip will be a problem for Monkfish, who looks like a future Gold Cup horse. I think he’s simply the best horse here and his record shows that.
I was a big Latest Exhibition fan, but he couldn’t live with Monkfish last time and I think it’ll be the same story again.
I did think there would be more than five running for the Irish Gold Cup, but I’m not surprised that Minella Indo is lining up. He took an uncharacteristic fall in the Savills last time, but horses do that, so I’m not at all phased.
He’s a unit of a horse who has done little wrong in his career and I think this could be his big day. It would be great for Rachel Blackmore if she could win this cracking race.
Crossed My Mind is two from two this season and I think he’ll rack up the hat-trick here. It’s a good, competitive race as you’d expect it to be, but this horse seems to have come of age this season.
He was good at Thurles in November and then was even better over 2m 4f at Navan in December. He goes up in trip again and I think that’ll suit him.
I won this race aboard Relegate a few years ago, giving me one of my best days in the saddle. It looks like Willie [Mullins] will win it again, but perhaps not with the one everyone thinks.
Brandy Love was very good on her only start for Willie, but so was Take Tea, who has since been bought by JP McManus.
Take Tea tore apart a field at Naas on her debut and I think she could be out of the top drawer.
My 4 To Win selections
13:40 Leopardstown: Youmdor
14:40 Leopardstown: Pure Genius
15:40 Leopardstown: Minella Indo
16:10 Leopardstown: Crossed My Mind