Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
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ROBBIE Power has ridden four winners at the Cheltenham Festival and has three chances on Thursday to add to that tally that includes Supasundae in the Grade 1 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle.
Supasundae, trained by Jessica Harrington in Ireland, bids to improve on last year’s second in this race when beaten two lengths by the Willie Mullins-trained Penhill.
Harrington’s charge has remained in consistently good form at Grade 1 level since the Cheltenham defeat, finishing second at Aintree before concluding the campaign with a three and a quarter length victory in the Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.
The nine-year-old returned with a second place at Fairyhouse in early December and followed-up with a brace of second places at Leopardstown and Power – who teamed up with Harrington to win the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sizing John – hopes Supasundae can secure the one feature race that the trainer has not won at the Cheltenham Festival.
Harrington has already bagged the Grade 1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Moscow Flyer – 2002 and 2003), the Grade 1 Unibet Champion Hurdle (Jezki 2014) and the Grade 1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sizing John two years ago but has yet to win a Stayers’ Hurdle.
“Supasundae was second to Penhill last year, and there’s no Penhill to worry about this time. Paisley Park could be a tough nut to crack, but apart from him it is wide open,” Power said.
“Supasundae is very consistent and always runs his race, so I think he’s sure to go close. Jessie’s won all of the big ones bar the Stayers’ so it would be great to win that one for her.”
The jockey’s other rides are Lostintranslation in the Grade 1 JLT Novices’ Chase and Walk To Freedom in the Grade 3 Pertemps Final.
“Lostintranslation was a good winner of The Dipper here on New Year’s Day and is a horse I really, really like,” added Power who does not have a ride in this year’s Gold Cup. “Walk To Freedom has run two really good races since he won at Navan in November. He’s got a lot of weight, but I think he has the class to carry it.”
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