Past Winners » Minella Melody 


This is a fascinating race, you can make a case for six or even seven of the seven runners – you can even see Darrens Hope out-running massive odds – but I think that Minella Melody is bigger than she should be at 5/1.

Henry de Bromhead’s mare was a progressive bumper horse last season, she finished second in the mares’ Grade 2 bumper at the Aintree Grand National meeting, for which she as sent off as favourite, and she finished third behind the hugely exciting Gypsy Island in the Grade 3 mares’ bumper at the Punchestown Festival.

She looked good too on her hurdling debut at Cork in early November, her jumping was good and she won easily.  She wasn’t as impressive last time at Punchestown, there wasn’t much between her and Mount Ida and Ard Abhainn in the end, but that race was not run to suit her.  The pace was not strong, and they took out a couple of hurdles in the back straight.  On the positive side, she battled well to win, and the mare who finished third, Ard Abhainn, won a listed mares’ hurdle at Thurles next time.

They should go a better pace today, and that should suit.  She shapes as if she will be a better horse in a better race, and her fluent jumping will be a big asset.  The Willie Mullins mares are obviously the ones to beat, and it is interesting that Paul Townend rides Yukon Lil in preference to Dolcita and Colreevy.  Gin On Lime is an interesting recruit from France for Jessica Harrington, and Global Equity ran well in Soviet Pimpernel’s race at Limerick last time.  It will be fascinating to see how the race develops, but Minella Melody is the bet.