Katie Walsh: 'My dad has good grounds to be hopeful of tasting success with Kildorrery'
This will be a very different Christmas as I won't be race riding, but I will be doing a bit for RTÉ's Leopardstown coverage and I'm very much looking forward to that.
It's an exciting time of year and every jockey wants to have a chance of a Christmas winner and every trainer wants a horse good enough to run at this time of year, so I'll be hoping that Dad and Ross can get among the winners.
Baie Des Iles went over to Chepstow on Sunday morning and will run in the Welsh National tomorrow and Dad will have a couple of runners over the week, beginning with KILDORRERY (2.55 Leopardstown) today.
The racing at this time of year is very competitive, but Kildorrery, hopefully, has a good each-way chance. The ground is likely to play an important part and it'll be interesting to see how it is riding, but it could be in Kildorrery's favour.
When we have a very wet winter, Leopardstown at Christmas is where you go for a bit of nice ground, so after such a dry spell it could be a shade quicker than we are used to at this time of year.
Michael Stenson works in the yard and works hard and knows Kildorrery well. Michael has won a maiden hurdle and a beginners' chase on him, but he's not a straightforward horse.
There are just 12 runners and if things fall right for him, hopefully, he'll give a good account of himself for Dad and Michael.
I don't envisage the ground being an issue for MENGLI KHAN (2.20 Leopardstown) in the Racing Post Novice Chase. Gordon has a lot of nice horses and his team are flying at the moment. I think it's hard to pick holes in Mengli Khan.
He was fairly foot perfect on his chasing debut at Punchestown and he was the best of these over hurdles, so I don't see many issues for him today.
Gordon has a strong hand in the juvenile hurdle but COEUR SUBLIME (1.10 Leopardstown) should reverse the form with Chief Justice. There was nothing between them at Fairyhouse, but I didn't think the best horse won that day.
Willie Mullins will introduce a few newcomers today and he has been very patient with his novices and bumper horses.
Klassical Dream came from France and runs in the first but DANCING ON MY OWN (12.10 Leopardstown) caught my eye at Navan the last day. This lad looked beaten up the straight but really picked up again after the last and flew home as if the penny was just after dropping. Henry's horses are flying and it would be great if Rachael Blackmore could keep her momentum going this week.
I'd say we could see a good bumper but we all know the power of Willie and Patrick in these races so I wouldn't be looking beyond ALLAHO (3.30 Leopardstown) who has already had a run in France.
Ruby is off to Limerick and I think he's definitely going to the right place. GETABIRD (2.00 Limerick) loves going right-handed and he'll love the ground.
He has three rides down there and I'm sure he'll be hoping to pick up a couple of winners. I'd be lying if I said I knew anything about Mixmoon in the juvenile hurdle, but SALSARETTA (12.50 Limerick) must have a chance.
She always had a big reputation and it says a lot that her first run last season was in the Cheltenham Festival. She had a couple of runs in good company before winning at Sligo and I'd say she'll be the one to beat today.
Everyone will be glued to the King George later I can't see beyond NATIVE RIVER (3.05 Kempton).
He's a Gold Cup winner who ran a brilliant race at Haydock on his first run of the season and I think he'll blow them away today.