Dec 16, 2021

Punchestown bumper winner has a big future

It was hard not to be impressed by Sandor Clegane’s bumper victory at Punchestown a couple of weeks ago. It was great for his connections, who have clearly found a very nice horse. It’s almost the same group who tragically lost Latest Exhibition, and for them to have a nice one going forward is fantastic. The Nolans have been big supporters of mine over the years and their yard was where I began riding, so it’s great to be involved with a top-class horse with them.

I’m not sure how strong the race was, but you had to be taken by the way he hit the line. We thought he would run well beforehand and after seeing what he did, it was no surprise he was well-fancied.

It was only his first time on a racecourse and although he was very impressive, I’m sure there is heaps more to come. He’s still very raw and he’ll certainly improve both physically and mentally for the experience.

I’ll leave it up to the lads, but I’d imagine Cheltenham will be on the agenda. A winners’ bumper might be the next port of call before those bigger meetings in the spring.  

Not giving up on Monty’s Star

We were a little disappointed with Monty’s Star at Lingstown but he did have excuses and if you look back at the race closely, he did very well to finish where he did. A horse jumped into him and he lost his footing at the back of the first fence which knocked him right back to last. It was just one of those days when not much went right, but there are plenty more to come and I’m sure you’ll see a much improved horse next time.

The winner looks a good one, though, and I expect you’ll be hearing a bit more about him as time goes on.

Croi Corcra a nice filly going forward

Croi Corcra might only be a four-year-old, but she’s already notched up three wins which I’ve been lucky enough to be in the saddle for. She might be a young mare, but she’s really tough and just keeps finding which is a really admirable trait in any racehorse.

I was delighted for her connections and for the man who owned her. He actually passed away a couple of months ago and really sadly he never got to see her run because of the COVID restrictions. The family have kept involved with her, though, and I’d imagine she’ll head to the racecourse now for her first start under Rules.

Pointers to look out for

Pointing takes a couple of weeks off now, but when it does get going again there’s a nice type called Ideal Vert, who looks quite smart. He’s shown all the right signs so far and if he keeps going the way he is, he should be out in the first couple of weeks of the New Year. He looks very, very exciting.

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