Friday 15 December 2017

Majestic Oak can bear fruit at big price

David Casey

THEY say good things happen in threes and after yesterday's success with Polmar, I have two more excellent chances today.

In the big race of the day, the World Series Hurdle, I ride Mourad for Willie Mullins who also runs likely favourite Quevega.

My horse won well at Fairyhouse last time out and he's only a 5-year-old so there's scope for improvement. He missed Cheltenham so he's fresh and is in very good form so I'm hoping for a very big run from him. Of course, Quevega won at Cheltenham in impressive fashion and though she only has 4lb less than Mourad, it might just be enough.

Obviously it's not a two-horse race. Powerstation is always solid and the fact that Karabak is travelling over from the UK must be noted. However, I'm confident of a good run.

I also team up with Emmpat in the Ernst and Young Handicap Chase which has been in very good form, winning in Dundalk last time out. Admittedly this is his first handicap so he does lack experience in this company but, if his jumping holds up, the likely fast pace will suit him.

With 24 in the field it's another open race and Paul Townend's Clear Gold is carrying a nice weight while Arthur Moore's Kranji has been waiting for good ground and while I'm quite happy with my mount, I'll opt for Majestic Oak to offer a little bit of each-way value. Nina Carberry's charge will like the ground and is rarely far from the places and might go off at a decent price.

In the other Grade One event, the Ryanair Novice Chase, I'm going to opt for the Tony Martin-trained Psycho.

With Sports Line, Osana and Let Yourself Go all jostling to be out near the front, they'll go a hell of a gallop and that'll suit Davy Russell's charge. I ride Schelm which will like the ground but is likely to have it all to do in this company.

In the opening race of the day, the Aon Insurances Hurdle, Nicky Henderson's Ainama will attract a lot of attention but with the way Willie's horses have been running, I'll take him on with Cuchulains Son which ran well first time out at Naas after a break. With natural improvement from that and with the going in his favour, he has a big chance.

Take Colbert Station for Ted Walsh in the 6.05 in a competitive-looking race where I ride Checkpointcharlie, which will probably want the ground a little softer.

3.40 Cuchulains Son

4.15 Majestic Oak (e/w)

4.50 L'Ami

5.30 Quevega

6.05 Colbert Station

6.40 Psycho

7.15 Bishopsfurze

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