FERGAL O’BRIEN is at the top of his game – he’s moving into new digs, has a Twitter account run by a comic genius and is about to field a squad capable of special stuff at the Cheltenham Festival.
With just over a week to go, he gave the lowdown on his Prestbury Park raiders.
He is going to go to the Albert Bartlett hopefully, if he gets good/good to soft ground.
He has done very well for us and was fifth in a Listed bumper. All his form stacks up really well, he won a good race at Ascot and two or three winners have come out of that.
That day it was soft ground, it was hard work but he toughed it out and was really good.
We really like Dillon but he is a chaser in the making so everything he has done has been a bonus so far.
latest in horse racing
He’s in the Kim Muir, he has dropped from a mark of 155 to 143, so he gets into the Kim Muir.
He is entered in a couple of races beforehand but he likes Cheltenham so that is probably the best bet for him.
Barney has been placed in the last two festivals for us and is also in the Kim Muir.
He was very good in the Pertemps two years ago when bumping into Presenting Percy, who is now favourite for the Gold Cup, where he gave him a good run for his money.
Last year he was fourth in the Close Brothers, trip probably caught him out a little bit but he ran his heart out. Noel Fehily gave him a lovely ride and he’ll possibly go back for the Kim Muir.
Jarvey’s ran very well at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day but was a little bit disappointing the last day, when he finished third – but we don’t think that was his true running.
His sectional times when he won there on New Year’s Day were very good and he is a lovely horse. He is very straightforward, very easy to train, and will go for the Ballymore as that will be the race for him.
He travels and he jumps, he has run well over two miles at Cheltenham and has won over two and a half so fingers crossed he will go and give a good account of himself.
Aye Aye Charlie
Charles is Chase The Spud’s half-brother and is as mad as a box of frogs.
He ran an absolutely cracking race in the Cleeve Hurdle against some very good handicappers, finished sixth – but he ran on very well. The Albert Bartlett will be the race for him.
He has got the experience, he is a tough horse, he likes to drop in and come past horses so hopefully something like the Albert Bartlett will suit him really well.
He is very straightforward, very easy to train, and a pleasure to have around. He is a little bit mad so the boys and girls that ride him have had to get to know him a little bit but he is very good.
De Name Evades Me
He was an absolute fantastic buy as we didn’t pay fortunes for him. He has been a great servant to his owners.
He won at Warwick, he was placed at Kempton twice, then he was placed at Cheltenham twice, and then he went and won at Warwick again.
He was placed at Newbury in a good handicap and could be another who goes to the Albert Bartlett – we will just have to see what the ground is like and where he is. He is a lovely horse.
PLANS SCRAPPED Midnight Shadow to sidestep Cheltenham in favour of Aintree
She finished second to Laurina last year (in the Mares’ Novice Hurdle).
She was beaten so far, she thought she had won! It was a great ride by Paddy last year in very testing conditions, where everyone went off really quick.
She has been a fantastic filly for us and for her owner. She has won Listed races – Listed bumpers, Listed hurdles and as I say, second to Laurina at the festival last year in the mares’ race.
latest in horse racing
She hasn’t raced since then because she has had little niggles and little tweaks but in the last month she has been really well so we are looking forward to getting her back on the track.
It’s a big ask to go to Cheltenham for your first run but she loves it there – she has won a bumper and was second last year at the festival.
She is a lovely mare.