Joseph O'Brien at Cheltenham: Fred Winter 'hustle and bustle' will suit Star Max
The RSA Chase, the Fred Winter, and the Champion Bumper are Joseph O'Brien's three races of interest on day two of the Festival as he saddles six runners on the card...
"He looks like one that will stay well and he should be well suited by the hustle and bustle of the race. He has an each-way chance."
Jospeh O'Brien on Star Max
Getting back to Christmas form will give him a chance
RSA Chase 14:10 - Mortal
Mortal is a horse that has improved since going novice chasing. He was running a great race behind Delta Work at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting until he made a bad mistake at the last fence. I don't think he would have beaten the winner, but he was giving him a race at the time.
He was disappointing at the Dublin Racing Festival last time and there wasn't an obvious excuse for him there. Going back to this longer trip should help him and the rain shouldn't be a problem for him. If he can bounce back to the form he showed at Christmas, that would give him a chance of running a good race.
Hopeful of a good run but we have a few concerns
Fred Winter 16:50 - Band Of Outlaws
Band Of Outlaws has won his last two starts in good style, but this is a big step up in class for him and he has a lot of weight to carry. He is a horse that was best over a mile on the Flat and the two races he won over hurdles were both steadily run which played to his strengths. He's likely to face a much stronger test of stamina here and it would be hard to be bullish as to how well it will suit him.
While the rain itself isn't a worry in terms of how he'll handle softer ground, a more testing surface will put more emphasis on stamina which might not be ideal. He's been very well at home since his last run and we are hopeful he'll run well.
A big ask for Brunello
Fred Winter 16:50 - Fine Brunello
Fine Brunello ran a promising race behind Fakir D'Oudairies at Cheltenham last time, but the handicapper hasn't missed him and he looks to have plenty of weight for what he's done. Conditions should be fine for him, but this looks a big ask.
Max should stay well and the race will suit
Fred Winter 16:50 - Star Max
Star Max has steadily been improving with each start over hurdles and won a maiden hurdle at Gowran Park last time. He looks like one that will stay well and he should be well suited by the hustle and bustle of the race. He has an each-way chance.
Progressing nicely but any rain would be a negative
Champion Bumper 17:30 - Meticulous
Meticulous hasn't done much wrong in his career so far and looks to be progressing with every run. He ran a particularly good race behind Envoi Allen at the Dublin Racing Festival last time. He didn't get the clearest of runs there and finished off the race well. He should learn from that experience and hopefully will run a good race, but the rain would be a worry for him as he won't want the ground to get too soft.
Very impressive last time and should run a solid race
Champion Bumper 17:30 - Sempo
Sempo is a horse we have always liked a lot at home, but it was only on his most recent start at Thurles that he showed that sort of promise on the track. He was very impressive there and that performance booked him his place in this field. He's another that won't want too much more rain, but hopefully he can run a solid race.