Promising Blood Cotil looks ready to be a major player for Mullins
RACING:Leopardstown’s St Stephen’s Day meeting may be an Irish tradition but Blood Cotil and Urano can add a successful French flavour to proceedings.
Willie Mullins’s ability to mine the cream of France’s young talent has yielded huge success over the years. But Blood Cotil has already made an impression on the champion trainer after just one start in Ireland.
Following his easy Fairyhouse victory last month Mullins labelled him “as hardy a horse as I’ve had in some time,” – no mean compliment considering the strength in depth at his Closutton yard.
Hardiness in a four-year-old is always a major plus and Blood Cotil looks sure to be a big player in the Grade Two Q8 Oils Juvenile Hurdle where he faces six other winners and promising newcomer One Fine Day.
A Grade Three victory earlier in the month means Our Conor concedes weight all round but that won’t stop Dessie Hughes’s runner from probably topping the betting. Our Conor has clearly thrived since being put over hurdles and ground conditions don’t look like improving enough by Wednesday to allow optimism about Stocktons Wing reversing Fairyhouse form with him.
Blood Cotil looks a different proposition though and can continue to encourage comparisons from Mullins with his former Triumph Hurdle winner Scolardy.
Urano has also run just the once in Ireland but won three bumpers in France.
His sole start here was over flights at Thurles when finding only Ally Cascade half a length too good. Ned Buntline looks like being his big rival in the very first race of the festival but that one’s huge reputation took a serious knock when beaten on his hurdling debut.
Rough Justice is a Mullins hope in the bumper. But he will do well to cope with Blackmail while Majestic Oak looks an interesting contender in the handicap hurdle judged on an encouraging recent return to the smaller obstacles behind Misca Musca at Navan.
Jacksonslady appeared on the all-weather at Dundalk on her last start but will be more at home over fences in what will be a first handicap start. Katie Walsh takes the ride.
Expanding Universe is part of Dermot Weld’s St Stephen’s Day challenge and it will be interesting to see how the well-bred bumper winner jumps in the other maiden hurdle.
Mags Mullins runs both Anonis and King Of Firth but although Operating was well beaten by Rory O’Moore at Naas, his jumping experience can play a role here.