The Irish in general have a very good record when they travel to Britain, whether that is Cheltenham or otherwise. Interestingly, five Irish horses will cross the Irish Sea on Friday to run in races at Doncaster and Huntingdon. Let’s take a look at their individual chances below.
Three Irish runners go to post here and the first we will talk about is Ross O’Sullivan’s Sea Sessions. This filly was excellent when seeing off the reopposing White Pepper (third) off level weights. She has to concede 5lb to that rival here now though and that last race was on heavy ground so it will be interesting to see how she copes with quicker ground.
Speaking of White Pepper, she is the current favourite for the race for trainer Gavin Cromwell. She was sent off a warm order for Aintree but it didn’t work out. However, she made amends at Fairyhouse earlier this month when scoring impressively and this Triumph Hurdle entrant has the potential to reverse the form with Sea Sessions receiving weight from her.
The horse that can’t be discounted at bigger odds is the Joseph O’Brien-trained Six Feet Apart, who enjoyed this ground when scoring in a Fairyhouse maiden hurdle in November. She finished in fourth in that Aintree race behind Sea Sessions and White Pepper and was out of her depth in the Frank Knight at Leopardstown when last seen. This ground brings her into things.
It’s hard to know how good Foxhollow will be on his racecourse debut. Picked up for €20,000 in 2017, he is a well bred son of Westerner and has a nice pedigree through the dam side as well. He might just be coming over to keep White Pepper company and to give him some experience but watch the market closely as it will tell a lot.
Arguably the most interesting of the five runners is Varna Gold as the Gilligan yard send one horse there on Friday. They have sent three horses to this track without success in the past, however. They are seeking to get a place in the Pertemps so the horse will have to run a good race to qualify. He has run well in big-field handicaps this year and was out of his depth in a Grade 2 when last seen. The British handicapper hasn’t taken much of a chance, he looks handicapped to the hilt really.
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