It was disappointing to see Gauloise only finish third in the Grade 2 Solerina Mares' Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Monday. Unbeaten in her two previous starts over timber, including a Listed contest, Willie Mullins' Samum filly was beaten three and a half lengths but remains a promising sort nevertheless. Her stablemate Dolcita produced a similar performance in the same event twelve months ago before going on to finish second in the Dawn Run Mares' Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Drifting in the market beforehand, he appeared to be travelling strongly before the third last but her rider allowed the favourite Royal Kahala to get first run on her which meant Gauloise was forced to challenge wide on the hometurn. The winner Roseys Hollow saved ground on the inside and ran on strongly after the last to win by a couple of lengths.
There is every possibility that Hook Up, who ran so well against the geldings in Grade 1 company at Leopardstown on Sunday, will be the Mullins' number one in the aforementioned Grade 2 Dawn Run Mares' Novice Hurdle next month, but don't discount Gauloise, she is better than she showed on Monday.
The Top 40 Prospects in One Jump Ahead have been in good form of late and I am able to pass on news of the horse featured on page 18. Having disappointed at Cheltenham last time, he has reportedly undergone surgery on his back and, all being well, will be back in action within the next fortnight before hopefully taking up his entry at the Festival next month. He is much better than he showed last time.
We are set for a cold week which means the chances of having much jump racing over the next few days are slim. With that in mind, I am starting work on the forthcoming edition of Ahead On The Flat. I am planning to sort out some trainer interviews this week and will keep clients informed on here.
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