Joseph O'Brien has six runners at Fairyhouse on Saturday including one with a chance of placing in the opener and another that could hit the heights later on. Read his views on them all...
"He loves a slog over a marathon trip and will be well-suited by the test this race presents. This is also the weakest race he has contested for quite a while, so hopefully he will benefit from the drop in class and run a big race."
Super filly has bounced back and is targeting first three
Scholastic has been a super filly for us, winning five races including one over hurdles earlier this season. The only day she blotted her copybook was when we thought we had found a great spot for her to get some black type in a Listed juvenile hurdle for fillies at Aintree last December only for her to pull up for a reason only known to herself. It was an odd one, but she has shown plenty of enthusiasm back on the Flat since then, winning her latest start at Dundalk. She has plenty of experience over hurdles which will stand to her in this contest. If she could finish in the first three that would be a great result.
Blinkers and favourable ground could mean improvement
Darasso was a little bit disappointing when third in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan last weekend, so we are backing him up quickly here and have applied first-time blinkers over this shorter trip. He will enjoy the testing ground and is well treated by these weights, so hopefully he'll run a better race.
Needs to move on from disappointments
New Ross shaped with some promise in his first two starts, but proved very disappointing on his latest outing at Limerick. Hopefully he can bounce back to form here, but will need to produce a career-best effort to go close in this race.
High Sparrow could run a big race
Choungaya deservedly got off the mark over fences in a maiden chase at this track earlier this month. The return to this longer trip should suit him and this looks like a race that he should be capable of going close in.
High Sparrow has a more exposed profile than most of these, but he loves a slog over a marathon trip and will be well-suited by the test this race presents. This is also the weakest race he has contested for quite a while, so hopefully he will benefit from the drop in class and run a big race.
One for the future
Gracchus De Balme won a point-to-point for Kieren Purcell back in November and we bought him at the sales a few days later for £80,000. We've liked what we've seen of him so far, but he's definitely more of a staying chaser in the making. We'll be happy if he relaxes and finishes off his race well. He's one for the future.