Yesterday I had a good beginning and end to the card but a trailer load of frustration in between. LONGHOUSE POET ran a fine race in the opener, and looked like he could benefit from a step up in trip. Elsewhere, LIEUTENANT COMMAND ran a fine race in the closing bumper, coming in third in what was a much hotter contest than the one which he claimed easily at Limerick over Christmas.
Of those that didn’t click, Min showed there’s still plenty of fire in his belly and just ran into a very talented rival in stablemate Chacun Pour Soi and is worth retaining faith in. Similar sentiments can be applied to Cash Back as Henry De Bromhead’s NOTEBOOK is a transformed steed over the bigger obstacles.
The Co Waterford trainer looks certain to be in the headlines again today as the youngster who may be the stable star in waiting ASPIRE TOWER bids to solidify his position at the forefront of the Triumph Hurdle market. He has improved with each run so far at it surely speaks volumes that, while he continues to shorten in the betting this morning, everything else is drifting like a barge.
Unfortunately, apprehension regarding handicaps proved to be correct yesterday. However, The Mouse Doctor had absolutely no look in running and is definitely worth another chance in a similar contest. Today’s fare gets under way with a similarly trappy affair, and I like the look of the Willie Mullins trained CONCERTISTA The Closutton maestro saw fit to give the French-bred a first run for him at last year’s Cheltenham Festival where an admirable effort ensued and we may yet be to see the best from that one.
12.55: CONCERTISTA – EW – (DANNY MULLINS/WILLIE MULLINS)
1.25: ASPIRE TOWER (RACHAEL BLACKMORE/HENRY DE BROMHEAD)
1.55: BLUE SARI (MARK WALSH/WILLIE MULLINS)
2.30: GARDENS OF BABYLON – EW – (BARRY GERAGHTY/JOSEPH O’BRIEN)
3.00: FAUGHEEN (PAUL TOWNEND/WILLIE MULLINS)
3.30: KEMBOY (PAUL TOWNEND/WILLIE MULLINS)
4.00: FITZHENRY – EW – (BARRY GERAGHTY/PAUL NOLAN)
4.35: POLITESSE – EW – (FINNY MAGUIRE/LORNA FOWLER)