Minella Indo and Rachael winning at Wexford
© Photo Healy Racing
BetVictor Brand Ambassador Rachael Blackmore looks set to have a very busy weekend with five rides at Naas on Saturday and another five rides on the BetVictor sponsored card at Navan on Sunday. The rider shares her thoughts on each mount here:
Saturday I kick off in the Maiden Hurdle with Battle Of Actium for Joseph O’Brien. He won his last point-to-point before going on to finish 3rd in a bumper behind Eskylane. This will be his first time in a maiden hurdle, so we’re hoping he can keep improving and put in a good run.
Then we’re on to the novice hurdle where I partner Indiana Jones for Mouse Morris and owners Robcour. He won his maiden hurdle the last day at Cork, making all to win in professional fashion. The horse is very big in stature and definitely looks like a chaser, but hopefully he can win a few over hurdles before moving on to the bigger obstacles. We’re confident that if he keeps improving we’ll be there at the business end.
Next up, I’m with Notebook in the Poplar Square Chase. I’m really looking forward to getting back on board Notebook. He’ll have to give weight away to Cash Back here. When they met last season at Leopardstown they ran off level weights with Notebook coming out on top. Since then neither ran any sort of race at Cheltenham, so we’re expecting to see improvement here. If Notebook can recapture his best form he should go well.
My fourth ride of the day is on Mary Francis in the handicap hurdle. This is a very open looking race. That said, her last two runs have been encouraging. She was second to Jetz in the BetVictor Hurdle in March at Thurles and before that won at Punchestown, so she has been consistent. As I mentioned, her last run was in March, but Martin Hassett has a good record of getting them ready first time, so we’re hoping she’s in the mix at the business end.
Rachael and Notebook
© Photo Healy Racing
My final ride of the day is on January Jets in the beginners’ chase. He was second to Envoi Allen the last day. The winner was very impressive, but we were very happy with January Jets’ run. His jumping seemed to get better as the race progressed so it certainly looks like he’s taken to fences with no issues. I’m looking forward to the ride and if he can put in a similar run or improve again, he should go close.
I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s racing at Navan. There are seven races on the card and I can’t wait to get back on Minella Indo in the BetVictor Make Your Best Bet Chase. It should be a great day and hopefully I’ll have a bit of success on a good card.
My first ride is on Champagne Gold in the BetVictor Casino "Monksfield" Novice Hurdle for Henry. He steps up to two and a half miles here after winning at Wexford the last day. I don’t think the step up in trip will be any problem for him. He’s also up in grade, but he’s doing things nicely at home, so we’re more than happy with him and looking forward to seeing how he gets on in a race like this.
Next, I’m on Trixie Mc in the BetVictor Gamble Responsibly Handicap Hurdle for Tom Gibney. She was a good second behind Klassy Kay who went up 13Ibs for that win the last day. We were only two and a half lengths behind the winner and come into this off only 9-12, so we should have a good chance if she can continue her upward curve.
Then we’re on to the beginners’ chase with Raya Time. He made a mistake at the second and fell the last day at Killarney. He just seemed to make a silly mistake. He’s been schooling well at home since so we have no concerns following that. With a nice round of jumping here he shouldn’t be too far away.
My next ride on Minella Indo will be one of the highlights of my weekend in the BetVictor Make Your Best Bet Chase. We were all delighted with him after his run at Wexford. We’ve been more than happy with him since then, so we’re all hoping he can put up another big performance. His record speaks for itself so it’s just about going out there and getting the job done.
My final ride of the weekend is in the BetVictor Run For Your Money Handicap Hurdle on Lord Erskine for Harry Rogers. His last couple of runs have been on the flat and he now reverts to hurdles here. We’re hoping they bring out the best in him, and if they do, I expect him to run well.
Read more from Rachael on her BetVictor blog