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Thursday 21 September 2017

Seabass catch of day

Seabass, with Katie Walsh. The veteran horse is due to run at Fairyhouse tomorrow. Pic: racingpost.com
Seabass, with Katie Walsh. The veteran horse is due to run at Fairyhouse tomorrow. Pic: racingpost.com

Another week and another huge name out of the Cheltenham Festival. Colin Tizzard has been a real highlight of this National Hunt season and as a trainer there is no worse feeling than checking a horse's leg and finding that all is not well. It's a nightmare.

There isn't a person who enjoys racing that wasn't looking forward to seeing Thistlecrack in the Gold Cup next month but that's the sport we are in. We've said it time and time again over the last couple of weeks alone: you've just got to appreciate these horses when they are running in front of you, be it in November in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown or at the Cheltenham Festival. Good horses are good horses, every day of the week, and whenever you can enjoy them you should because they won't be around forever.

With a lot of horses missing and plans being changed, I certainly wouldn't be shocked if we have a Cheltenham Festival full of surprises this year.

Right now, though, I'll be looking forward to getting back on Baie Des Iles for my husband Ross tomorrow at Fairyhouse.

She did have an entry in the Eider Chase at Newcastle tomorrow as well but has gone up in the handicap after winning the National Trial at Punchestown and would have been top weight over there. Lugging top weight around wouldn't have been the right thing by her, so we'll go to the Bobbyjo Chase instead.

The Bobbyjo is always a good race and there's plenty of highly-rated horses among the entries but Baie Des Iles will love the ground and the track should suit her so hopefully she can run a nice race again.

Also tomorrow I'll be back on Seabass in the Hunters' Chase. He's 14 now and has been off the track for over a year but I can assure you he doesn't look or act like a 14-year-old. It's hard to know how he'll fare but he just loves being a racehorse so we'll let him do what he enjoys for a while longer yet.

I absolutely adore the horse and he has given me some incredible days so it'd be great if he can give a good account of himself tomorrow.

Seabass was Ted's stable star a couple of years ago and he's still the apple of my eye but we are also excited about running Any Second Now at Naas on Sunday.

It's great for a yard like ours to have a horse like Any Second Now. He surprised us on his first run at Navan and then backed that up by stepping up in class to win at Punchestown but Sunday will be another step up in grade and he'll also be experiencing heavier ground than he has ever encountered before so we'll see how he gets on.

Mick Jazz, from the Gordon Elliott yard, sets the standard. He has bags of experience but this is a nice stepping stone for Any Second Now and you'd be hoping that being by Oscar he won't get bogged down by the ground.

There was a decent crowd at Punchestown on Wednesday where Limini was very good to beat Apple's Jade. I don't know where Willie will go with her at Cheltenham but I wouldn't like to be taking her on.

Punchestown are doing some renovations and allowed free entry to Wednesday's meeting and I think were rewarded by doing so and I just wonder would every racecourse not benefit from allowing people in for free during the week.

You also wonder if keeping the Curragh open while they carry out their major redevelopment is the right thing to do? There's going to be some carnage trying to find a ticket for Derby day if they're only allowing 6,000 people in.

We have tracks like Naas and Leopardstown that surely could have helped out if the race programme was changed around a bit to facilitate everyone. It will be exciting to see what the Curragh transforms into, but you just feel the right thing might have been to lock the gates until everything's finished.

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