Mud-loving Sumos Novios out to make hay in the rain
Book Easter Festival Tickets Online At fairyhouse.ie Rated Steeplechase | 3m1f | 5yo+ | ATR
Thunder And Roses returns to the scene of his most famous triumph as the 2015 Irish Grand National winner makes his tenth visit to Fairyhouse.
The nine-year-old was in the care of Sandra Hughes when he bravely fought off subsequent Aintree hero Rule The World in the Irish Grand National back in April 2015, but he has been unsuccessful since and arrives on the back of a seventh placed finish in the Thyestes at Gowran Park.
Thunder And Roses fared better in the Thyestes than Rogue Trader did. Despite being sent off the 13-2 co-favourite of three, Barry Geraghty decided to pull him up after the sixth fence having jumped poorly in the early stages. He has been sent back to work quicker than expected.
The likely favourite is Sumos Novios from the Liam Burke stable who was among the winners at Clonmel on Thursday. The lightly-raced nine-year-old has only had eight runs in his entire career but he has won three of these and he will have his beloved soft ground on this occasion.
Texas Jack used to be a stable star in Noel Meade's Castletown yard a few years ago but he has yet to recapture his old sparkle and is on a retrieval mission under Sean Flanagan.
What they say
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Vukovar
I was very disappointed with him at Leopardstown. He has had plenty of problems and I just hope he will show more life on this occasion.
Liam Burke, trainer of Sumos Novios
He's in really good order and conditions are very much in his favour. He is lightly-raced for a nine-year-old but that is because he had problems with a joint a few years ago. He is a big horse and needs soft ground so that is why we are a bit restricted with him. Everything looks to be in his favour here, though.
Sandra Hughes, trainer of Guitar Pete
I thought he ran very, very well in the Dan Moore and he jumped great but the trip was just too short for him. This sort of test should be more his cup of tea and I expect him to run well. He is in good form at home.
Noel Meade, trainer of Texas Jack
He's never really stayed this far before but he is getting older and wiser and he seems to mind himself a bit more not so I think he might stay. He seems in good order and I think he could run well.