Quick ground key to the consistent Stonehall Jack
myITdepartment.ie Handicap Steeplechase | 3m1f | 5yo+ | ATR
The only thing David Fitzgerald’s Stonehall Jack loves more than jumping fences at speed is rattling fast ground. Proof of this can be seen two starts back when the gelding was electric from the front in a handicap chase at Tramore on his desired conditions.
The watered ground at Kilbeggan didn’t play to Stonehall Jack’s strengths when he was second behind Lucky Pat in a handicap chase last month, but Fitzgerald is hoping for a big run as long as it's quick.
Thomond is another who likes good ground. The Noel Meade-trained gelding ran a cracker to finish sixth in the Topham at Aintree before finishing third at Fairyhouse 11 days later.
The Mouse Morris-trained Catalaunian Fields may not have the most inspiring recent form figures but he landed his maiden hurdle over three miles in the summer of 2015 and is returning to that trip for the first time over fences.
What they say
Shark Hanlon, trainer of Smadynium
He has already been a great servant to us but he just wasn’t quite himself for his last couple of runs. He had a few problems but we think we have them sorted now and he is entitled to be there. I think he will run well.
Mouse Morris, trainer of Catalaunian Fields
He is in good form. I would say the step up in trip will help him.
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Holeinthewall Bar
He has been a bit disappointing of late but hopefully he runs a better race in this. He is well at home.
Noel Meade, trainer of Thomond
He ran well at Aintree and in hindsight it may have been a bit soon for him at Fairyhouse when he stayed on to take third. He is very well and he likes good ground so hopefully he has a good chance. We are putting cheekpieces on him for the first time just to help him concentrate a bit.
David Fitzgerald, trainer of Stonehall Jack
He needs good-to-firm ground and that’s it. He’s a good summer horse and when he gets his ground he can be very good. I thought he was very good at Tramore and it wasn’t a bad run at Kilbeggan the last day either. He never runs a bad race and we are looking forward to a nice summer with him.