Noel Fehily’s Blog | 3rd February 2018

Noel Fehily’s Blog | 3rd February 2018

I’ve got a busy weekend coming up with Sandown tomorrow and then off to Leopardstown on Sunday. It’s a great weekend for racing and my rides are detailed below.


Awesome American

We were over the moon last Saturday with the performance of American in the Cotswold Chase. We just didn’t know what to expect as he can be such a fragile horse but the way he jumped and galloped was very satisfying for Harry Fry and all of us. He looks to have got his old spark back and it looks like Kelso will be next for him next month where he will run in a Listed Chase. Beyond that he has an entry in the Grand National. As for Cheltenham, I’m not sure.


Dublin Festival controversy

This weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival is a fantastic new venture with some outstanding prize money on display. There have been rumblings of discontent regarding the lack of British entries and while it’s disappointing you would have to say there isn’t a lot of top-class horses from the UK desperate for a run at the moment. True, you could say Buveur D’Air but why would Nicky Henderson travel over to Ireland just over a month before Cheltenham and create all sorts of potential risks for his horse? Travelling takes a lot out of horses and they can get sick, running at Sandown instead is a no-brainer.


Onto some of my key weekend rides. It’s Sandown on Saturday and Leopardstown on Sunday:

Sandown 12:40 Desiremoi D’Authie

He had a nice run at Huntingdon in October on what was his first run over hurdles although he ran free. He did the same again at Ascot next time out and he struggled at Taunton for me before Christmas. I don’t think he’s good enough here and the key thing for him is to gain experience.


Sandown 2:25 Kalondra

This doesn’t look the best Grade 1 I’ve seen in my life and Kalondra’s win at Cheltenham in December puts him very much in the running here. He’s in good form, the track will suit as should the pace and I’d be hopeful of a strong performance.


Sandown 3:00 Melrose Boy

He didn’t run his race at Newbury before Christmas and we were all disappointed but that form has taken a shot in the arm since with the winner Mr Whipped winning a Grade 2 at Warwick last month. He made all when we won at Fontwell last month despite that not suiting him and he comes here in good form. The trip and ground will suit and I can see him surpassing his current rating of 135. I’m convinced he’s still improving.


Sandown 3:35 Wicked Willy

He won at Taunton last time out but I’m not sure of the quality of that race. Saturday will be the first time I’ve ridden this horse and I don’t really know him that well. This looks a competitive race.


Leopardstown 3:00 Monalee

I’m really looking forward to getting over to Leopardstown on Sunday for Day 2 of the Dublin Festival. My best ride looks to be Monalee in the Grade 1 Flogas. He was good enough to finish second in last season’s Albert Bartlett so should be right in the mix here.