A few days after Alan Potts' decision to send 15 horses to Colin Tizzard, it was announced this morning that Gigginstown House Stud have removed their 60 strong string from Willie Mullins. Increased training fees was reportedly the reason for the decision and it is a major blow to Ireland's champion trainer. While Don Poli may be hard pressed to ever win a Cheltenham Gold Cup, last season's leading juvenile hurdler Apple's Jade looks a realistic contender for this season's Champion Hurdle. Grade 1 winning bumper performer Blow By Blow will also be sorely missed at Closutton. The beneficiaries are Gordon Elliott, Henry de Bromhead, Joseph O'Brien, Noel Meade and Mouse Morris. It will be interesting to see how they are dispersed.
Not one to rest on their laurels, James Couldwell and ValueRacingClub.co.uk purchased another horse yesterday when claiming the Eric McNamara trained Bishop of Bling for €20,000 at Fairyhouse. A three year old gelding by Big Bad Bob and a full brother to a Listed winner, he has only raced twice and, indeed, didn't start his career until earlier this month. Seven lengths third on his debut over a mile at Listowel's Harvest Festival, he stepped up to twelve furlongs yesterday and was a running on third behind the Jessica Harrington trained Boom Box. Effective in testing conditions and almost certain to stay two miles plus over hurdles, he comes from a reliable source in Ireland. Dr Richard Newland, who will be training Bishop of Bling, has previously bought the likes of Bellflower Boy (won 8 races), Connectivity (5) and Dashing George (3) from McNamara. The fact he is lighly raced is most appealing and his new handler is sure to get the best out of him. A fine big scopey horse, who measures 16.1hh, he has been acquired to replace Listed Summer Hurdle winner Gran Maestro. There is already plenty of interest and shares in the gelding are in short supply - there are only 8 left, at the time of writing. Anyone interested should get in touch with James (racing manager) at email@example.com.
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