Things couldn’t have gone much better at the weekend with Woodland Opera a very good winner in the PWC Champions Chase at Gowran Park.
He jumped like a buck and the couple of runs over hurdles seem to have sweetened him up. He answered every call and threw in a spectacular leap at the last fence too. There may have been a couple of high profile non-runners in Ballyoisin and Balko des Flos but it would have been a great performance by any horse to beat Woodland Opera anyway.
He’s totally ground dependent so if this dry spell keeps up there’s a very strong possibility he goes for the JNwine Champions Chase at Down Royal, or if the ground got soft there he could go to Wetherby for the Charlie Hall on the same day. We just have to patient with the weather at the moment because we can’t run a winter horse on the hard ground, but the rain will come at some stage.
Prix de l’Arc
I watched the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Enable was a very good winner but I suppose there are two ways of looking at it. A few people were critical of the ride James Doyle gave the second filly Sea Of Class but I thought he gave her a great ride.
He had a bad draw to overcome and they worked with the card they were dealt.
They took their chance and it very nearly paid off. On the other hand Enable a furlong down looked like she was going to win by five or six lengths but she was very keen throughout the race.
Because Frankie Dettori decided to push her forward from a good draw to get a position, she was very green for the next four or five furlongs and she needed to be good to hold on.
Frankie however is unbelievable. I remember being with Michael Kinane years ago and he said he was the best jockey he’s ever ridden against, and he’s ridden against the best jockeys over the world. On the big day there’s nobody like him, he’s always in the right position and 9 times out of 10 his plan A is the one that works. The jumping off their backs when the horses come back in and all that show may not be to everyone’s liking, but if I was to get Frankie Dettori on my horse, I’d put up with all that.