Jessica Harrington Stable Tour

    'The Queen of Cheltenham' hit a brilliant hat-trick at Cheltenham last year and two that trio - Supasundae and Rock The World - return in 2018 in a contingent including Irish Grand National hero Our Duke.
  • Tuesday 27 February 2018
  • Stable Tours

Jessica Harrington has been in the upper echelons of the Irish National Hunt training ranks and a regular in the Cheltenham Festival winner’s enclosure for over two decades. 

While she will forever be associated with the legendary Moscow Flyer, a dual winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Harrington has had a string of Grade 1 winners through her hands including Cork All Star, Boston’s Angel and Jezki, who all bagged big races at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Not content with winning Grade 1 races over jumps, in recent years Harrington has very much become known as a dual-purpose trainer, with her joining the prestigious Group 1 club when saddling Pathfork to win the National Stakes at the Curragh in 2010.

However, Harrington is still very much a major force in the National Hunt game and that was firmly underlined at the festival in 2017 when she hit a brilliant treble - Sizing John in the Gold Cup, Supasundae in the Coral Cup and Rock The World in the Grand Annual.  

Harrington has a fine selection of horses to go to war with at Cheltenham and two of last year’s winning trio - Supasundae and Rock The World - are joined by Irish Grand National hero Our Duke amongst others.    

Here, the Moone-based maestro gives Kevin Blake of attheraces.com the lowdown on her 2018 Cheltenham Festival raiders.

Older Horses

Another Barney

Form Profile:

A winning point-to-pointer, he made a winning hurdling debut at Naas in January prior to running below form in a Listed novice hurdle at Punchestown in February.

Trainer Says:

He was very good when winning his maiden hurdle and he just made a bad mistake at the second-last in his latest start at Punchestown that cost him his chance. He’ll go to Naas on Sunday week for a two-mile novice hurdle.

Video Form
27 Apr 2018:
23 Mar 2018:
11 Feb 2018:
7 Jan 2018:

Don't Touch It (IRE)

Form Profile:

A 149-rated chaser, he won a valuable handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival and has been below form since.

Trainer Says:

He will go for the Grand Annual. We won it with Rock The World last year, but I think Don’t Touch It might have more class than him being a Grade 1 winner over hurdles. He’s a funny horse, he needs good ground and will have either cheekpieces or blinkers on at Cheltenham to help him concentrate. He seems to be coming to himself, he is certainly better this week than he was last week, he just doesn’t like the cold weather. I couldn’t predict anything with him, but if he can get into a rhythm with his jumping he’ll hopefully go well.

Video Form
3 Feb 2018:
14 Jan 2018:
29 Aug 2017:
3 Aug 2017:
27 Apr 2017:

Forge Meadow

Form Profile:

A 146-rated hurdler, she has won a Listed mares hurdle at Punchestown in November and the Grade 3 Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park in February.

Trainer Says:

She went to Cheltenham last year and she absolutely melted over there. She didn’t like the whole experience at all, so we’ll wait for Fairyhouse and Punchestown with her. She’s her own madam, she has to make the running and is very strong at home.

Video Form
28 Apr 2018:
2 Apr 2018:
17 Feb 2018:
28 Jan 2018:
29 Dec 2017:

Jett

Form Profile:

A 141-rated chaser, he has won twice over fences this season and run well in Graded novice chase company.

Trainer Says:

He’s entered in the Close Brothers Novices’ Chase, but I’m not sure he’ll run as he’ll probably be near top weight or maybe even rated too high to be eligible for it. We’ll wait and see what mark he gets off the British handicapper. He’s a horse that wants good ground, he’s a half-brother to Jezki, and if he doesn’t go to Cheltenham we’ll wait for Fairyhouse and Punchestown.

Video Form
14 May 2018:
24 Mar 2018:
22 Feb 2018:
4 Feb 2018:
26 Dec 2017:

Jetz

Form Profile:

A 140-rated hurdler, he most recently finished a head second to Tower Bridge in the Grade 1 Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.

Trainer Says:

He was only just beaten in the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival on his latest start. He’s not going anywhere near Cheltenham, as he’s a bit quirky and I’d rather keep him at home for Fairyhouse and Punchestown

Video Form
25 Apr 2018:
1 Apr 2018:
3 Feb 2018:
7 Jan 2018:
17 Dec 2017:

Jezki

Form Profile:

A 152-rated hurdler, he is an eight-time Grade 1 winner over hurdles, winning the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 and the World Series Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in 2015. He made a winning return to action in a Grade 3 hurdle at Tipperary in October and has run well without winning since.

Trainer Says:

He’s not going to go to Cheltenham for the first time in a few years. He’s going to run in a conditions race at Leopardstown on Sunday and if all went well there, he could potentially go for the Aintree Hurdle. There is also a suitable race for him at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival.

Video Form
26 Apr 2018:
2 Apr 2018:
9 Mar 2018:
3 Feb 2018:
28 Dec 2017:

Madison To Monroe

Form Profile:

Changed hands for £300,000 after winning a point-to-point at Monksgrange, but disappointed in his first start in a bumper.

Trainer Says:

He has had one run in a bumper and was disappointing. He’s had a few problems and we are just trying to get him back right, but he’s a lovely horse and will be a fine chaser in time.

Video Form
23 Mar 2018:
27 Dec 2017:

Moonshine Bay (IRE)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Milan - Chantoue Royale (Cadoudal)
  • Trained by: Mrs J Harrington
  • Last Race: Down Royal, 7 May 2018 15:00
  • Result: Won/5, held up in last and travelled in snatches, pushed along 4th and detached next, good headway on inner into 2nd after 3 out, ridden in 2nd next, improved to lead approaching last, stayed on well run-in
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A winning point-to-pointer, he won a maiden hurdle at Clonmel prior to disappointing in a Grade 3 novice hurdle back at that track on his latest start.

Trainer Says:

He’s a big horse that disappointed on terrible ground at Clonmel last week. It’s easy to forgive that run and he’s a big chasing type for next season.

Video Form
7 May 2018:
26 Apr 2018:
2 Apr 2018:
20 Feb 2018:
11 Jan 2018:

Not Many Left

Form Profile:

A winning point-to-pointer, he has won a maiden hurdle and finished third in a Grade 3 novice hurdle at Thurles this season.

Trainer Says:

We gave him an entry at Cheltenham, but he won’t go and we’ll wait for Fairyhouse and Punchestown with him. He’s a chaser for next season.

Video Form
25 Apr 2018:
22 Feb 2018:
20 Jan 2018:
28 Dec 2017:
10 Dec 2017:

Our Duke (IRE)

Form Profile:

A 166-rated chaser, he won the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown and the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse last season. Having disappointed on his seasonal return at Down Royal, he underwent surgery to remedy a kissing spine issue and has since finished fourth in the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown and won the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park.

Trainer Says:

We’ve been thinking about the Cheltenham Gold Cup for him ever since he won his Grade 1 novice chase at Christmas last season. The Coopers decided at that stage that they didn’t want to go for Cheltenham last year. They wanted to wait until this year before sending him. He obviously had a bad start to this season at Down Royal and we discovered the problem he had with a kissing spine afterwards, so we had that dealt with and we’ve been building him back up since. He wouldn’t have run at Gowran Park last time if he hadn’t made that mistake in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown. After he made that mistake, Robert gave him a chance to recover from it and he avoided a hard race as a result. Because of that, the decision to go to Gowran was easy as I knew he hadn’t had a hard race and I really needed him to run again for the benefit of both his jumping and his conditioning. He hasn’t had a lot of chasing experience, so each race at this stage is going to be of benefit to him. I was happy with him at Gowran. He decided to bulldoze one fence out of the way, but once he had done that he jumped the last three very well when it mattered most. He seems to lack a bit of concentration when he’s not going as quick as he’d like. Robert is always saying that he has a high cruising speed and when he’s travelling below that, he doesn’t concentrate. Noel Fehily will ride him at Cheltenham and he is coming over tomorrow, weather permitting, to sit on him. My instructions to him will be simple, go out, jump and come home in front!

Video Form
17 Feb 2018:
4 Feb 2018:
4 Nov 2017:
17 Apr 2017:
12 Feb 2017:

Rock The World (IRE)

Form Profile:

A 152-rated chaser, he won the Grand Annual Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year and has acquitted himself well since without winning.

Trainer Says:

He’s in super form and will go for the Grand Annual again. He’ll probably have near enough top weight, but he did it well in the race last year and he’s built to carry big weights, so hopefully we can get him there in the same form.

Video Form
14 Jan 2018:
2 Aug 2017:
18 Jul 2017:
15 May 2017:
25 Apr 2017:

Sizing Pottsie

  • 4-y-o; bb gelding; Kapgarde – Line Salsa
Form Profile:

The first foal out of a mare that won a Listed race over fences, he realised €220,000 as a three-year-old at the Derby Sale. He is entered in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Says:

He might start off in the four-year-old this weekend. He’s a lovely prospect for the future.

Supasundae (GB)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Galileo - Distinctive Look (Danehill)
  • Trained by: Mrs J Harrington
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 27 Apr 2018 17:30
  • Result: Won/7, soon chased leaders in 4th, pushed along at stages, under pressure from 6th, left 2nd from 3 out, on terms from before straight, soon led, asserted approaching last where mistake, kept on run-in and reduced lead towards finish
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 163-rated hurdler, he progressed over hurdles to win the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival prior to finishing second to Yanworth in Grade 1 company at Aintree last season. He has improved again this season, with the highlight being his win in the Irish Champion Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.

Trainer Says:

Supasundae is in really good form. He’s a much better horse this season than he was last season. Last season you’d have to cajole him down to the gallop, you just had to make him do everything, but this season doing everything more willingly at home and he’s travelling and jumping much better in his races. Whether he has just got more confidence, I’m not sure, but he seems to be a lot better this season. He’s a horse that really appreciates better ground in the spring of the year. He will definitely run in the Stayers’ Hurdle, he isn’t entered in the Champion Hurdle and with a proper two-miler like Buveur D’Air there, he won’t be supplemented for it. I’m pretty certain he will stay the trip just fine on good ground. I’d be hopeful that he can reverse form with Yanworth. When he went to Aintree last season he was after having some hard races and a tough schedule. I think he was just a tired horse and did well to run as well as he did. One thing I’m looking forward to with him at Cheltenham is not having to make the running or be very handy as he has been in his last two starts, as I don’t think that really suits him. He dosses and makes it hard work for himself when he’s in front.

Video Form
27 Apr 2018:
3 Feb 2018:
28 Dec 2017:
3 Dec 2017:
19 Feb 2017:
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