Un to watch out for this weekend
16 December 2014
Fairyhouse likely for Un Des Sceaux
Un Des Sceaux is entered at Haydock and Fairyhouse on Saturday and I imagine he will take up one of those engagements. With Fairyhouse being an hour down the road, that looks the easier target. As for where I’ll be, it depends what else Willie (Mullins) has at Fairyhouse.
Un Des Sceaux schooled over eight fences last week and worked this morning – he’s in really good form. He was unlucky to fall last time. It was a novicey fall and he jumped super up to that point. His jumping wouldn’t concern me.
Shaneshill can bounce back
Shaneshill was a little disappointing at Navan on Sunday but the winner, No More Heroes, is a very good horse.
I would probably have made more use of him if I could ride that race again. We missed the third last and I had to get after him sooner than I wanted. Another day on better ground will suit. I don’t like getting beat, but they are two very exciting horses and I wouldn’t mind another crack at the winner.
One to beat
I thought The New One was very, very good on Saturday. He travelled and jumped super. Simply taking a line through Zamdy Man, he has improved from each of his runs this season.
He was very unlucky in last year’s Champion Hurdle and is the main danger for me.
I won’t be thinking about how to ride my horse to beat him. You have to concentrate on your horse and try to ride him way he needs to be ridden, rather than worrying about the opposition.
Faugheen worked well this morning. He’s improved from his run at Ascot and goes to Kempton where he should run a good, solid race (in the Christmas Hurdle).
Fever pitched in at Kempton
Kempton seems to be the plan for Champagne Fever. He has to step up on what he’s done over fences. We think he’s very good. He’ll stay three miles. I have huge respect for Silviniaco Conti. It was a very good win at Haydock and Paul Nicholls has a super record in the King George.
Champagne Fever likes a truly-run race and a good gallop but doesn’t have to lead. Cue Card and Silviniaco Conti both race close to the pace so I can’t imagine it won't be slowly-run.
If both Faugheen and Champagne Fever run at Kempton on Boxing Day, then I imagine that’s where I’ll be heading.
Douvan has Ascot option
Douvan is in really good form. He holds a couple of entries at Ascot on Friday and Leopardstown over Christmas. He won a novice race last month but has to improve to be a top-class novice. He’s going the right way though.
Another novice, Vautour, is in great form. He looks very well and schooled last week. He is in good nick and should be lining up at Leopardstown (for one of the Grade 1 novice chases).
I won’t be doing a Jamie Spencer
I won’t be announcing my retirement – or lack of – anytime soon. When that day comes it will be a difficult decision but I don’t see it happening for quite a while.