Noel Fehily Blog | 21st April 2018

How’s it going? I’m penning this blog from the airport as I’m just about to fly up to Ayr for the Scottish Grand National meeting. There’s always a great atmosphere at the Scottish course and I’m looking forward to it.

 

Black Op my highlight

The highlight of the Aintree festival for me was the win on Black Op on Saturday. I was delighted with the way he performed and it was a great way to end his season. I’m really looking forward to riding him next season as I think he’s a chaser in the making.

 

Gutted to miss the big race

The lowlight of Aintree was not getting a ride in the Grand National. The ground was seriously heavy and it just didn’t suit my intended mount Minella Rocco. It’s a race you want to be a part of it but these things can’t be helped.

 

Mullins/Elliott dominance cyclical

I noticed a lot of people bemoaning the continued dominance of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott after the latter picked up the Grand National with Tiger Roll. These things are cyclical, 10 years ago it was all about Paul Nicholls, things will turn again.

 

Cheltenham were right to abandon

I was at Cheltenham on Thursday and was involved in the discussions over the eventual abandonment of the long distance chase on the card. It was a difficult situation for the course but I believe they made the right call. Cheltenham is our flagship course and is under great scrutiny, if something had gone wrong it would have been a disaster. Some horses still had their winter coats and the heat really affected them.

 

Our Duke death

I was very sad to see that Our Duke had died earlier this week. He ran a brilliant race in the Irish Grand National and I’m sure could have been a big player in the chasing division over the next few seasons.

 

I have two rides at Ayr on Saturday

 

2:20 – Barney Dwan

He ran well in the Close Brothers at Cheltenham but he will relish the better ground he’ll encounter here. I’m really looking forward to riding him and I think he’ll run well.

 

4:05 – Doing Fine

He’s needed better ground for a while and he’s going to get it here. My concern is how he’ll handle the track, he’s never ran at Ayr before.