Tag Archive for: Fakir d’Oudairies

Big-race targets remain open for Fakir D’oudairies

Connections of Fakir D’oudairies are in no hurry to firm up plans for the six-year-old following his convincing win in the Clonmel Oil Chase.

The six-year-old, trained by Joseph O’Brien, trounced Royal Rendezvous by 15 lengths on his first start since he finished third to Clan Des Obeaux in the Punchestown Gold Cup in April.

Options for Fakir D’oudairies include the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown on December 5, the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton and the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

“He put up a good performance and Joseph said he’s come out of the race very well,” said Frank Berry, racing manager to owner J P McManus.

“We’re not 100 per cent sure where he’ll go. He’s in the John Durkan and he’s in over Christmas over here and in the King George. We’ll make our minds up nearer the time.”

Darasso (left) will reappear in the near future after being a late withdrawal from the Morgiana Hurdle
Darasso (left) will reappear in the near future after being a late withdrawal from the Morgiana Hurdle (Brian Lawless/A)

Berry reports Darasso has recovered from a setback that caused him to be a late withdrawal from the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday.

The eight-year-old, also from the O’Brien stable, had booked his place in the Grade One with an emphatic success in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan a week earlier.

“He put up a nice performance at Navan, but unfortunately he missed the race at Punchestown with a little knock in a joint,” he said.

“He’s fine again so you’ll see him out again shortly somewhere.”

Fakir D’oudairies secures emphatic Marsh Chase success

Fakir D’oudairies finally landed the big pot his consistent efforts have deserved in recent seasons when bolting up in the Marsh Chase at Aintree.

Second in six Grade Ones throughout his career, including last time out in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, he was declared to run at Fairyhouse on Monday but pulled out on account of the quick ground.

Connections had been hoping for a softer surface on Merseyside – but the way he travelled and jumped on this occasion suggests there will be no worries in the future.

Master Tommytucker attempted to make all but, as is his wont, made several errors, including a spectacular one on the first circuit which saw Sam Twiston-Davies perform miracles to keep the partnership intact.

Heading to the third-last Politologue moved alongside his stablemate Master Tommytucker, with Nuts Well aiming to squeeze between the pair as Mark Walsh moved on the outside of all of them.

It got very tight with Nuts Well coming off worst, forcing Danny McMenamin to take a pull and by then his chance had gone.

Sent off the 2-1 favourite, Fakir D’oudairies shot clear to give Joseph O’Brien a notable win, with Nuts Well holding off Itchy Feet for second, 11 lengths away.

O’Brien said: “We’re delighted with his win. Mark gave him a great ride, he jumped great and got into a great rhythm today.

Fakir D’oudairies was an emphatic winner
Fakir D’oudairies was an emphatic winner (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He’s been a very consistent performer for us and deserves another Grade One.

“He’s been running against the best of the best and always runs his race. We’re very proud of his win today.

“He was to run at Fairyhouse on Monday. He was at the track and we weren’t happy with the ground. It’s a touch of luck we sent him to Aintree instead.

“We’ll have a look at Punchestown. We’ll see how he comes home first – it’s a decision for next week.

“We’ll get today out of the way and go from there.”

Walsh said: “He deserved his day in the sun. He’s been running great all season, so I’m delighted he got his head in front.

“He had a hard race at Cheltenham in the Ryanair, but Joseph had him in great shape and he’s done it well today.”

Following the race, the stewards looked into the incident that saw the interference, and deemed Politologue’s jockey Harry Cobden guilty of improper riding. He was suspended for eight days.

Cobden is currently third in the race to be champion jockey behind Brian Hughes and Harry Skelton, and his ban is set to begin on April 23, the penultimate day of the jumps season.

Paul Nicholls also reported that a post-race endoscopic examination of Politologue revealed the gelding had bled.

Late call on Fakir D’oudairies’ Cheltenham options

Joseph O’Brien plans to make a “last-minute” call on which race Fakir D’oudairies will contest at next week’s Cheltenham Festival.

The JP McManus-owned six-year-old has performed well in defeat on each of his two previous appearances at the showpiece meeting – finishing fourth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2019 and runner-up in the Arkle Trophy 12 months ago.

The son of Kapgarde was pulled up on his first start over three miles in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown on his penultimate outing, before reverting to two miles to finish second to Chacun Pour Soi at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Fakir D’oudairies has the option of taking on Chacun Pour Soi again in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase next Wednesday, or stepping back up in distance for the Ryanair Chase the following afternoon.

“He’s in the Queen Mother and the Ryanair, and it will be between those,” O’Brien told Sky Sports Racing.

“At this stage it might be slightly favourite that he’ll go for the Ryanair, but a final decision hasn’t been made yet. Being quite honest, it will probably be left until the last minute.

“We’ve been very pleased with his preparation. He disappointed us a bit at Christmas, but he ran very well back at Leopardstown last time – and has been well since then.

“Chacun Pour Soi looks an outstanding horse, and this season he’s been untouchable really, but wherever you go at Cheltenham you’re going to meet the top animal in that division – there’s no easy touches.”

Fakir D’oudairies is set to be part of a team of “around 12 runners” for O’Brien in the Cotswolds next week.

The Piltown-based trainer could be well represented in the Grand Annual Chase, with both Embittered and Entoucas in the mix, while Busselton is an interesting contender for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

O’Brien said: “Embittered might run in the Arkle or the Grand Annual. He ran well in the County Hurdle last year and has performed well in all his starts this year, so we’re hoping for a good run from him.

“I don’t know if he has a huge amount up his sleeve, but I’m happy enough with the mark he has.

“Entoucas is in good shape, too. He has a couple of options, and the Grand Annual is one of those. He’ll go there with an each-way chance.

“The Boodles might be more likely (than the Triumph Hurdle) for Busselton. He’s run very well in his two runs for us so far, and we’re very pleased with him – I think he’ll acquit himself well in whatever race he goes for.”

He added: “It’s going to be a different Festival to what we’ve been used to, but we’re looking forward to the week.

“There’s some great races, and I think we’re well represented.

“Hopefully they all stay in one piece between now and next week.”