Fayonagh huge loss to Gordon
Everybody in racing realises the risks but yesterday we saw how fragile horses can be with the news that Fayonagh suffered a fatal injury doing a routine piece of work and your heart would go out to Gordon Elliott, his team and her owners.
It is a big blow to lose a mare of that quality with so much still ahead of her, not to mention as a broodmare so she'll be hard to replace but they had some unforgettable days with her.
After a week with no jump racing in Ireland we are back in Thurles today and I'm looking forward to a few nice rides.
The first race is a beginners chase for mares who were rated 116 or less over hurdles so given the conditions of the race it would look like MAGIC OF LIGHT would have her chance.
She's in good form at home, her schooling has gone well and the ground won't be an issue but she is a mare that would probably want further than the 2m2f of this race but hopefully her jumping will make up for that and she can run well.
My other best chance of the day is probably MISTHEATRE in the penultimate race on the card. She ran well over the course and distance here a fortnight ago and I'd be hopeful she can be very competitive today.
That run was her first since she had a wind operation and I would expect her to come on for that run so that would give her a good chance.
Oscar Sam makes his seasonal reappearance in the feature race, he's a full brother to Our Duke, and he's been a great servant. MONKSLAND might be hard to beat after he had a nice pipe opener with Paul Carberry in the Legends Race at Punchestown last week but hopefully Oscar Sam can pay his way again this year.
Juliespaddockwalk is a nicely bred filly who is first reserve in the mares maiden hurdle and hopefully she'll get the call up. She's a nice prospect and we are looking forward to starting her but GLENS HARMONY would be hard to beat I'd say.
Jessie has another well bred runner in the bumper called Boot Camp. He'd have an each-way chance after having a run in the spring. I was in Exeter for Colin Tizzard on Tuesday and could be back to Cheltenham for him tomorrow.
SLATE HOUSE is a horse he rates highly so if he runs tomorrow I'll be going over for him.
I had a good chat with Colin and he is aware that Jessie has first call on me but I'm happy to go over for him whenever it suits. Kilbricken Storm impressed me on Tuesday and he could be one for the notebooks.
H 2.20 Magic Of Light
H 3.25 Glens Harmony
H 4.30 Monksland
H 5.00 Mistheatre
H 5.30 Boot Camp (e/w)