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Thursday 26 April 2018

Ground didn't suit Our Duke - we'll be back for Punchestown

Mary Frances and Sean Flanagan winning at Thurles earlier this month
Mary Frances and Sean Flanagan winning at Thurles earlier this month

Firstly, I am pleased to report that Our Duke has come out of Cheltenham well. He has been chomping at the bit for the last few mornings after his run in the Gold Cup.

Unfortunately, that does leave us with a bit of a head scratcher because he felt fantastic going over there and he looked super in the ring before the race. So I'd say it was just the ground was too much for him and he hated it.

Obviously, there was no hanging around in the Gold Cup and I'd say just at that pace he wasn't comfortable in the ground. We'll get him freshened up and have a good crack at the Punchestown Gold Cup with him now and I wouldn't be losing any faith in him anyway.

Nicer ground

There hasn't been a loss on Supasundae since Cheltenham and he'll go to Aintree now once he is okay in the next few days and we'll have a go at the dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D'Air. Hopefully we'll get nicer ground at Aintree and that should be a fair race.

Closer to home, I go to Cork this afternoon for one ride in the first race and Little Princess wouldn't be without her chance.

She's a filly that has got better with every run and seems to have got stronger over the winter so I'm looking forward to seeing what improvement there is still to come from her.

However, the ground at the moment is quite testing everywhere as I'm sure everyone can imagine so that probably does give the advantage to horses that have had a recent run so Cristal Icon will probably be hard to beat for the in form Tom Mullins.

Mary Frances is a filly I know well and I thought she'd have a chance of winning again in the second last race for Martin Hassett.

She has gone up a fair bit in the ratings for winning at Thurles a couple of weeks ago but I thought Martin did the right thing by sticking Adam Shortt up on her to claim off 5lbs and that should help her win again.

She'll love the ground.

Jessie runs Barrington Court in the bumper and she's a really nice mare. She's being doing things very right at home and we like her a lot.

She's ready to run and Jessie would have preferred to start her off on nicer ground but there's a race for her at Punchestown and if she is going to go for that she'll need the run for the experience. If she doesn't run today it would be getting a bit close to get a run in. I think if she handles the ground today she'll take a bit of beating.

Tomorrow we go to Navan again after they lost their weekend meeting due to the snow and I'll be looking forward to riding Another Barney there. The stiff two-miles will be a help to him and he's a horse that I think should be competitive without seeing the final runners until later today.

We also run Madison To Monroe in the last race there at Navan and he's certainly worth keeping an eye on and I think he'll put up a bolder show tomorrow than he did last time out.

2.00 Little Princess (e/w)

4.50 Mary Frances

5.20 Barrington Court

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