Friday 20 April 2018

Left in dark at preview nights

Cheltenham preview nights. There are more of them than runners at next week's four-day festival. And there's no point in following who said what, since just about every horse will have been tipped up by one panellist or another by the time they run their course.

This conclusion is inevitable after a straw poll that I felt might unearth the winner of the Champion Bumper. Given Ireland's outstanding record, it seemed prudent to note which horses were nominated by the spate of trainers, jockeys and form wizards that have pronounced in Ireland over the last two weeks. The tale of the tape is as follows.

Elegant Concorde attracted 12 tips, followed by Drumbaloo (8), Tavern Times (7), Hidden Universe (6), Day Of A Lifetime (5), Shot From The Hip (5), Bishopsfurze (3), Up Ou That (2), Frawley (1) and Lios A Choill (1).

Oh, and another thing. Dermot Weld, who trains both Elegant Concorde and Hidden Universe, said he couldn't separate them, while Willie Mullins, whose has Day Of A Lifetime, Bishopsfurze, Up Ou That and Lios A Choill in contention, said in an interview that they were all good horses, and that most of them would be at least as good -- if not better -- than his previous winners of the Bumper.

Preview nights can be great fun, but is anyone any the wiser?

Irish Independent

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