We can all Brag when Lossiemouth wins the Triumph
WE ALL know Willie Mullins has a lot of strength in depth at his Closutton base, but he might not have had a stronger crop of juvenile hurdlers for quite some time.
He saddles nine of the 15-strong field in the Triumph Hurdle (1.30pm), and given four of those occupy the top spots in the betting, it’s a race that looks at his mercy.
Much of the talk in the build-up to the Grade One contest has been who Paul Townend would ride and I think his decision to ride LOSSIEMOUTH over Blood Destiny will prove the correct one.
Since arriving from France, the former has barely put a foot wrong, having dotted up on her first two starts before she was incredibly unlucky in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival last time.
She found herself squeezed for room just as the race was starting to unfold and was knocked right to the back of the field, leaving her with a huge task.
To her credit, she showed a really good attitude to battle back and while she was beaten by the reopposing Gala Marceau, she still managed to pull a full 10 lengths clear of the third.
There’s a strong case she’ll reverse that form with Gala Marceau given a clear run and the main danger looks to be the aforementioned Blood Destiny.
He has been very impressive in winning his two starts over hurdles since joining Willie Mullins, though I would be a touch worried about his jumping in a better race like this one as he has looked a bit sticky on occasions so far.
Giving weight away to Lossiemouth will be no easy feat and I think his stablemate will take plenty of beating at around 13/8.
Later on the card, I’m keen on THREE CARD BRAG in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (2.50pm).
This will be his first try over three miles, but everything suggests it’s a trip that will be right up his street.
He’s a relentless galloper, who I can see really plugging on when his rivals have had enough, and I thought his bloodless win at Fairyhouse last time was a perfect warm-up for this.
His second to Inthepocket at Naas in December looks a solid run now with that horse finishing a good fourth in Tuesday’s Supreme, and he looks a very solid bet to give the Irish a fifth consecutive win in this race at 4/1 with William Hill.
Lossiemouth 1.30pm Cheltenham
Three Card Brag 2.50pm Cheltenham