Friday 20 April 2018

Patrick Mullins: Vroum Vroum has gears to score in Champion Hurdle

Ruby Walsh riding Vroum Vroum Mag
Ruby Walsh riding Vroum Vroum Mag

Patrick Mullins

Good horses are versatile in terms of trip, so I'm hoping that Vroum Vroum Mag will adapt in the Betdaq Champion Hurdle.

Before Cheltenham, her work was Champion Hurdle standard. She works with our two-milers at home, so I'd be surprised if she didn't cope with the drop in trip.

Vroum Vroum Mag has plenty of form over two miles but obviously not in this sort of grade. I'd like to think that she will be up to it.

Identity Thief is the one that I'd be worried about. My Tent Or Yours was second to Annie Power at Cheltenham and Aintree, but he was off for two years before that.

It is going to be very hard for him to run to such a high standard again in such a short space of time. Identity Thief found things happening a bit quick for him at Cheltenham, but he will probably be better for that experience.

He was a good second to Nichols Canyon at Leopardstown over Christmas, so he might push Vroum Vroum Mag hardest.

We also run Sempre Medici. His run at Cheltenham was not his true form and, while he might not be good enough to win, hopefully he will run his race this time.

There is no stand-out candidate in the Tattersalls Champion Novices' Hurdle, but it is a competitive race. Disko was second to Bellshill here in last year's Champion Bumper, so he is one that I would take very seriously.

A Toi Phil disappointed at Cheltenham, but I think the track and the ground counted against him. His Leopardstown form before that has worked out well, including his maiden hurdle, when he beat Dont Touch It.

The ground is soft at Punchestown now, but they did a superb job with it ahead of the event. They watered last week and they invariably get it right here, so they deserve a lot of credit, because not every track gets it right.

I thought it was very quick at Cheltenham the first couple of days this year, which isn't what you want for National Hunt horses. Ruby Walsh is on Thomas Hobson in this, but his jumping technique needs to keep improving. While Jer's Girl receives lots of weight, she does so for a reason. She is a four-year-old filly, so this will be very tough.

Bello Conti drops to two miles in the other novice hurdle. More importantly, he is dropping in class, and I think that will compensate for the shorter trip. He ran really well behind Yorkhill at Cheltenham and Aintree. If those outings haven't left a mark, he should win.

Koshari's work is very good, but he might be one for the future.

The step up in trip should suit Some Neck in the bumper. In each of his three runs, I have led around two furlongs out on him and been caught, so I will try something different this time. I could make it on him, but I will more than likely drop him in and delay my run as late as possible. He is well up to winning a bumper, so hopefully this will be his day.

Noel Meade's Red Giant was fourth in last year's Land Rover bumper. That was a cracking run, so he may be the danger.

Meade's Bonny Kate has a nice racing weight in the mares' chase, and she may be able to dominate back down in grade. On The Fringe might be worth taking on in the hunter chase. If he completes a second festival hat-trick, they should erect a statue to Enda Bolger. Marito didn't get the clearest run at Cheltenham. If he settles, he might deny the favourite.

Patrick's Picks

3.40 Grangeclare Rosa 4.20 Avant Tout 4.55 Bonny Kate 5.30 Vroum Vroum Mag (nap) 6.05 A Toi Phil 6.40 Bello Conti 7.10 Some Neck 7.45 Marito

Irish Independent

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