Oliver Brady - the big ledge
Cheltenham Preview Night, Glencarn Hotel, Castleblaney Co Monaghan. (last week of Feb 09)
Proceeds split between The Shabra Foundation and Cancer Research.
Panel; Dermot Weld DW, Oliver Brady OB, Dessie Mc Donogh DMCD, John Cullen JC, Mark Walsh
MW, Don Mc Clean DMCC, Frank Berry FB, Paddy Power PP, Dave Keen DK.
Host; Matt Chapman
First of all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable night. People came with the expectation of humour and craic, and
they got it from start to finish. Oliver and his team put together an outstanding night of fundraising built in
around the racing preview. He had a race night, an auction race which raised close to €6000, an auction, as
well as raffles and prizes galore. The atmosphere was relaxed, and the evening kicked off with 3 races from
the race night, before the panel were introduced. The host for the night, Attheraces own Matt Chapman, was
at his brilliant best, with a typically over the top performance that best suited the occasion. I think a quieter
host would have taken away from the night. Chapman introduced the panel with his usual gusto, including
falling to his knees before Dermot Weld, commentating on a finish as John Cullen came up the steps, and
describing Dessie Mc Donagh as the best sire in the country, having given us “The Enforcer”.
Brady and Chapman worked well off each other all night. Oliver regaled the crowd with stories of past
glories, and it was worth the entrance fee alone to hear the man. The preview included the showing a short
film of the main contenders, followed by Chapman asking the panels views. From a punters point of view, I
didn’t really learn much from the night, but I was there for the enjoyment. Anyone with the idea of going to a
Cheltenham preview night and coming home with their cards marked is sadly mistaken. It was craic we went
for, and its craic we got. During the preview night, Chapman was interrupted by Brady to tell him he had a
special guest there to meet him. Sure enough, large as life, Pablo was led in through an emergency exit,
paraded across in front of the stage, and out the side door. Oliver is adamant that he will get a win out of
And so onto the racing. Il just do a brief summary of each race, and make any more points at the very end.
Supreme Novices Hurdle
FB confirmed that JP has indeed bought Karabak and he will be running in the Ballymore rather than the
With hurricane fly ruled out the panel were more or less unanimous that Cousin Vinny would be very hard to
beat. They didn’t see him being the price he is now on that day, and reckoned hed go off a warm fav. Of the
rest Torphichen has been nominated as the alternative.
JC said he wouldn’t swap follow the plan for anything. Also said that Tatenen had everything in his favour the
last day and that he cant have him at all. Interestingly, DMCD spoke highly of Kalahari King. He said that
Graham Lee who he is still in contact with had told him he is very sweet on this one, and he seen him as a
decent bet. DW said it was a very week renewal, and a no bet race.
Most of the talk was about Binocular, some saying he was a good thing, some saying there is something to
beat him, none of them knew what though!! Interestingly, FB said he liked Osana out of all the horses. JC put
up Brave Inca as one hed like to ride other than the Favourite. PP said he thought fav would win, but they
would be out to get him.
Ballymore Novices Hurdle
Karabak was well touted by all for this. JC did make the point however that Ruby thinks the world of Mikael
D’Haguenet, “could be as good as Florida Pearl”, and that the horse has serious gears. Cape Tribulation was
put up as an ew bet by both DW and OB.
R&S Novices Chase
DMCC said he felt the fav was weak. Was swaying towards Cooldine but was worried about the horse
having a hard race last time out. Matt Chapman was keen on Gone to Lunch, pushed FB on jockey
arrangements, he said Wichita would be going to the William Hill most probably over the 4 miler, and
wouldn’t be running in this.Casey Jones was well touted as having a good ew chance as well.
Only one winner, Master Minded. Only real opinion was Chapman, says Big Zeb wont win if he starts today.
One other point made was for Well Chief, if he came back within a stone of his best he would place. PP
made the point for ew punters, to back him now as the race might cut up to 6 or 7 runners.
One of the more interesting races discussed. Nobody knows what the best of mullins is, MW said the lads in
the yard told him Sicilian Secret. DMCD was keen on Welds Rite of Passage that had won last weekend. DW
was asked about him, said hed have a great chance, thinks a lot of him, and that he also thinks the world of
a horse hel have out this weekend, Universal Truth, who could be backed at 33/1 for Cheltenham. I wouldn’t
be surprised if that one is better………
JC said he fancies Phillip Fentons, who reckons it’s the best hes ever sat on or had.
FB reckons the banker of the meeting is Voy Pur Ustedes. Nobody really argued with him, Imperial
commander was put up as an ew alternative, but no real strong case against he fav.
Chapman thinks it should be , banker of the meeting for him. PP, DMcC the same. DmcC put up Tazbar as
an ew alternative to the fav, felt he would run a massive race.
Given the location and the organisers, its not hard to know what horse was talked about. In fairness to the
lads, they put all their bias aside, and made a rational argument for Ebadiayn. JC reckons he will benefit from
the course, and the gallop at Cheltenham. DMCD says he really likes the horse. OB says he has left a little to
work on, and he thinks hel win. I don’t know if it was a case of nobody dared to disagree, but nobody did.
They all agreed the horse had a serious chance.
Chapman still likes Denman, DMCD says he didn’t think the horse looked well when he last ran, and seen
him on telly the other day and still didn’t like the look of him. Rest of the panel were against Denman. Some
of them don’t think Kuato will get home, they think last years race has put them off Kuato round there.
Barbers Shop was well touted by DMCC who also put up Air force one as an ew bet, and liked Madison de
Berlais. .FB says it will be Kuato Star, Exotic Dancer, Neptunes Collonges 1,2,3. PP went for Exotic Dancer.
nd so onto the charity bets at the end of the night, Chapman asked them for their naps and a lay each.
They were given €250 for their naps by PP.
Mark Walsh NAP Cousin Vinny
Lay Diamond Harry
John Cullen NAP Ebadiyan, Mikael D’haugnet
Don Mc Clean NAP Barber Shop
Dave Keen NAP Follow the plan, Quevega
Frank Berry NAP L’ami
Dessie Mc Donagh NAP Rite of Passage
Paddy Power NAP Voy pur Ustedes
Lay Diamond Harry, Kuato Star
Oliver Brady NAP Won in the Dark ew
Matt Chapman NAP Kasbah Bliss
Lay What a Friend
Dave Keen was bullish about Quevega in the mares race, thinks its could well prove to be a cut above
anything in that division, especially if Whiteoak was to go to the Champion.
Before Dermot Weld left, he was asked to give us 2 horses to watch. He nominated Mad about You on the
22nd of March.
Synchronised was also mentioned as a horse to watch, possibly in the pertemps.