Saturday 17 August 2019

Fast Buck is built like a tank and we hope he can blow rivals off track

Expert view

Innisfree (left) under Donnacha O’Brien on the way to victory ahead of Shekhem and Chris Hayes. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Innisfree (left) under Donnacha O’Brien on the way to victory ahead of Shekhem and Chris Hayes. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Patrick Mullins

The turn-out for the €50,000 Listed Novice Hurdle is very disappointing. With such a fantastic prize-money, it is more than a shame that only five runners turn out. It is usually a competitive affair and we have won it with subsequent Grade One winners Long Dog and Penhill in the past.

Penhill went off 8/1, would you believe, and looked 100/1 coming down the hill before Ruby amazingly conjured a winning run from him.

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This is the first Galway in my memory without Ruby sitting at the top of the weigh room, under the TV, and it will be strange without him. He is still in our yard on work mornings, however, and seems very content with his decision.

I did see him eating biscuits at the break the other morning, for the first time, but he looks like he still fits into his breeches… for the moment at least!

This year we send Fast Buck for the race. While perhaps not of the same quality of the two mentioned above, he is a Sherman tank of a horse, strong and wide, which had two good runs in defeat over the winter before blowing the field apart in Listowel. He has a huge stride, covers a lot of ground and likes to get on with things.

He only ran to 120 or less even on paper in Listowel, the second was rated 102, but the manner in which he did it was mightily impressive. We expect him to collect and will be disappointed if he doesn't. But we have been disappointed here before!

The Beginners' Chase has a field of 18 which could provide some entertainment.

We have nothing for it but my cousin Emmet takes the wraps off his stable star, Zero Ten.

This horse won his third point to point by 15l before being sold privately, which allowed him to qualify for the Red Mills Auction Novice Hurdles last winter.

He won two, including the valuable finale in Punchestown. While the quality of these races is obviously restricted by the conditions, this horse has shown ability elsewhere too.

He won a bumper here last year so obviously handles the track.

The fact he has won a point-to-point is another major plus on this his chasing debut under rules and I expect him to collect this prize, which Emmet won last year with St Stephens Green and also provide his owners, the Mees, with a hat-trick after Three Wise Men won it the year before St Stephens Green.

The Holy One is the danger but he is returning from a crashing fall which is far from ideal, as well as being rated around 10lb or so less than Zero Ten over hurdles.

It was a fabulous result for Jody Townend to scratch her name into the roll of honour for the Connaught Hotel Handicap. Jody could fit into a Ryanair carry-on bag, but she is tougher than a badger, despite her smiles and infectious laugh.

She broke vertebrae in her back schooling in our yard last autumn and missed the best part of nine months from it.

She took the now famous "Aubrey route" to victory, taking her time and coming wide free of trouble. Legal Spin and I got no run from our good break down the inside and he is worth keeping an eye on if he turns up here later in the week.

Patrick's Picks

5.20 Fast Buck

5.55 Zero Ten

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