GAVIN CROMWELL: Our brand ambassador Gavin Cromwell looks back on Vanillier’s first win over fences and offers his thoughts on his runners this weekend, including Peaches And Cream in the Troytown Chase at Navan.
Vanillier would have appreciated the ground a bit softer at Punchestown last Sunday. His jumping was quite good, he got a bit close to a couple of them, but on the whole we have to be happy with the performance.
We’ll play it by ear as far as targets are concerned, but at Cheltenham the 3-mile novice chase or the National Hunt Chase look the likely races we’ll go for. It’ll be one or the other, but I suppose the latter does really look tailor made for him.
Gowran – Saturday
Shes Some Doll would have an obvious chance in the 2m4f beginners chase (12:30pm). She’s already been second in two of these rated beginners chases this season and she’s reasonably well treated in here.
Pepper’n Salt also lines up in the same race and we’re hopeful of a nice run. He jumped well at Navan in his first run over fences and I’d love to see him run well for the owners, but he may struggle to win.
Ilikedwayurthinkin runs in the 2m4f handicap chase (1:03pm). We’re going back into handicap company with him and he will certainly need to jump a lot better than he did at Galway last time. It kind of went to pot the last day, but he still managed to win so I suppose it wasn’t a bad performance. The ground was quite soft there and we’re hoping that a bit of better ground may help to sharpen up his jumping.
Greenpanda goes for us in the mares’ handicap hurdle (3:23pm). She’s got a lot of weight in the handicap for only a small mare, but we’re going to claim five pounds off her to give her a hand. She’s been racing away on the Flat and is in good nick, so I’m looking forward to running her.
Navan – Sunday
Faith Du Val raced a bit too keenly at Wexford last time on quite testing ground and she just didn’t get home. She’s a proper 2 miler, who jumps well so hopefully there is plenty of pace in the race. The ground is good at Navan, so we’re hopeful of a nice run in the 2 mile handicap hurdle (12:50pm).
Peaches And Cream runs in the big race of the day, the Troytown Handicap Chase over 3 miles (2:50pm). His first run after a break was in a chase at Galway and he ran quite well. I then ran him in a 2m4f handicap hurdle last time and he just seemed to be completely outpaced. Hopefully now back over fences and up to 3 miles he can be competitive, but it’s the Troytown Chase, a premier handicap, so it is going to be tough.