On the weekend before the Cheltenham Festival Joseph O'Brien has runners across three meetings in Ireland, and here he discusses the chances of them all...
"She is unlikely to ever get a chance at a more winnable Grade 2 than this, so hopefully she’ll run her race and go very close."
- Joseph O'Brien on Scarlet And Dove
Saturday - Looking for something to build on from Clair at Navan
Golfe Clair is a big, scopey horse that came to us from France. He has shown some promise in his work at home, but he won't have any great pressure on him in this. We'll just be looking for a solid run from him that shows promise for the future.
Sunday - Limerick
Much better winning chance in this grade
Scholastic has been a lovely filly for us, winning four times in the last year. She came up a bit short of what was required in Grade 3 juvenile hurdle company last time and this class of race will give her a much better winning chance. She looks likely to be competitive at these weights and can hopefully run a big race.
Recent form entitles her to be in the mix
Global Equity had the option of potentially waiting for the Mares' Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but we've decided to stay at home and run in this over the longer trip. Global Equity has been progressing nicely in recent starts and it was great to get her some more black type at Navan last time. That form entitles her to be in the mix again in this.
Should go very close if running her race
It has been great to see Scarlet And Dove start to fulfil her potential this season. She won a Grade 3 mares' novice chase at Navan in good style last weekend and with her having come out of the race really well, we've decided to declare her for this. The longer trip is an unknown, but we think she'll be fine over it. She is unlikely to ever get a chance at a more winnable Grade 2 than this, so hopefully she'll run her race and go very close.
Sunday - Naas
Two runners more with hope than confidence
Smoking Gun has been a frustrating horse, as we've long thought he'd be up to winning a good pot over fences, but he has largely been a frustration. We are trying him in blinkers in hope rather than confidence. Hopefully they will spark him up and get him back on track.
Speak Easy is another that has failed to spark in good handicaps in recent starts. The ability is in there, he just hasn't been firing in recent starts. It would be hard to be confident that he'll bounce back in this, but we'll hope for the best.
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