The Threat From Across The Water

February 28th, 2023 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

Hi there,

The message is coming through load and clear that the home team will be struggling to keep the Irish at bay when Cheltenham starts in a fortnight’s time.

We got an early indication of that in Saturday’s Adonis Hurdle at Kempton, where Joseph O’Brien’s Nusret comfortably beat a field that included Scriptwriter who, before the race was just about the shortest-priced of the British contenders for the Triumph Hurdle.

The 6/4 favourite was beaten just over 35 lengths and although nothing untoward came to light I suspect there was a reason for his disappointing display. However the really scary thing, as far as the British contingent is concerned, is that Nusret was beaten 16 and a half lengths by Lossiemouth at Leopardstown over Christmas and then 18 and a half lengths by Blood Destiny just over a fortnight later at Fairyhouse.

As for Nusret, the son of Golden Horn is not even entered for the Triumph Hurdle, with the Boodles the possible option although Daryl Jacob thinks he may be saved for something later.

The Triumph Hurdle, in common with the rest of the meeting, is dominated by the Irish with Willie Mullins responsible for the market leader in many of the Graded races. Mind you, having just dug further into the meeting for the Bulletin Book I am not convinced he will have everything his own way.

For a start, it looks most unlikely that the ground will be as soft as his team would prefer.

I have completed my analysis of the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup – my selections may surprise some of you – but, as you may know, it is the handicaps that most intrigue me and I have noticed a couple of entries that connections have chosen to omit naming in their pre-meeting interviews!

I know they don’t always win, but it’s a lot of fun getting on them at the right price and then seeing how they are ridden. Sire du Berlais, in the 2019 Pertemps Final, is one of a handful that springs to mind.

Anyway we are all hard at work trying to ensure this last ever edition of the Bulletin Book is a memorable one. It’s had its emotional moments, but one of the key lessons in life is to know when to move over for others, and that time now seems right.

Let’s hope for a great week and please refer to the shop for details of what we have to offer.


Bye for now