Thursday 18 January 2018

Katie Walsh

In the Herald's Punchestown magazine last week it was Wednesday's Champion Bumper that I earmarked as the one race that I would love to win this week and it's the brilliantly named Livelovelaugh that I'll have my chance on.

As I said last week, to win any Grade One race would be a dream come through, but the Champion Bumper is the real chance for amateur riders and if I'm in contention at all tomorrow I'll be doing everything I can to take that chance.

To be honest, when I sat down to look at the race in detail last night it's hard to know which way it will pan out.

It's certainly very wide open and I wouldn't like to be a punter putting too much hard-earned cash into this race.

You have to say that the horse Derek O'Connor rides, Modus, who was second in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham is the horse we all have to beat.

If all the horses turn up in their Cheltenham form, he'll win, end of story. But I do think that Willie's are all better going into this race.

You have to remember that this is a home game for the Irish horses and when it comes to the bumper that is probably most significant because they're the least experienced horses.

When you look at the result of the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham you'd have to question the depth of our bumper horses this year, but as I said, all the Irish had to do the travelling and settle in while the first four horses home just had to drive down the road. This time it will the Irish horses just making the short journey and if anything is going to be a factor in reversing the form with Modus that is going to be it.

I think Livelovelaugh is a good horse and I personally wouldn't swap him for anything else.

I rode him at Cheltenham and again at Fairyhouse and I suppose turning into the straight at Fairyhouse I thought I was going to put the icing on the cake after winning the National and win on him too but we just got collared late on by a horse of Tony Martin's.

I'd say there'll be plenty of pace in the race. Noel Meade, Tom Mullins Henry de Bromhead all sure have chances but my lad stays and keeps galloping and I'm really looking forward to it.

The Gold Cup looks a right race again. The staying chase division could have a very different complexion next season with all the high-class novices around this year but for now we have the two best staying chasers in Ireland going head-to-head in the best staying chase in Ireland and it's really a case of let the best horse win.

I think the horse that will come out on top is Djakadam. He was second behind Coneygree in the Gold Cup and he has always been held in such high regard in Willie's and hopefully for all concerned that will be rewarded with a big win tomorrow.

There's a few horses coming into the Gold Cup on the back of running at Aintree, and if you look at my horse in the bumper and Shaneshill in the novice hurdle, they are coming from Fairyhouse.

For me, if you asked any trainer they would tell you that they'd ideally like to have three weeks before going to war again so I'd have no problem with the Fairyhouse horses and I think Shaneshill will win the first of the Grade Ones tomorrow but I'd have to have concerns for the likes of Don Cossack and the Aintree horses.

Every horse is different and you'll surely see something from Aintree come out and run the race of his life this week and you'll see Cheltenham horses flop, but in an ideal world three weeks between runs in these type of races is the way you'd like it.

Shaneshill's run behind Douvan and then his win at Fairyhouse fairly speak for themselves and he should cap off his season with a Grade One in the three-miler.

In the last race I ride a mare called Rosetub for Toppie Corcoran. She hasn't ran since I was second on her in Killarney back in July but that was a good run and she's a filly with plenty of experience and she'll like the ground, so fingers crossed for a good run.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News