(Updated Tuesday 12th February)
5th February – Naas
Rock Critic did what I thought he would do. He would have preferred better ground but I would say that applies to all horses in the race. I´ll discuss plans with his owner Eva-Marie Haefner. He´s entered at Cheltenham but at the moment I feel he might be more of a Fairyhouse or Punchestown horse. He jumped like a stag, exceptionally well. The plan wasn´t to get there as soon as he did but his jumping took him there. – Dermot Weld trainer.
Defy Logic was probably going to have to run to about 130 to beat Mad Brian and I´m just delighted he did it. The way he gallops he just annihilates horses. I was asked beforehand would he stay at it and I said that I didn´t know because he´s never come off it! I´ll sit down now with Frank [Berry] and see where we go from here. – Paul Nolan, trainer.
7th February – Clonmel.
Inish Island is improving the whole time. The owners might want to go to Cheltenham for the Albert Bartlett but there are plenty of good prizes here at home. We´ll sit down and discuss it. Willie Mullins, trainer
Call The Police is entered in everything, including the Grand National, although I wouldn´t mind coming back to 2 miles either, he´s such a good jumper. – Willie Mullins, trainer
9th February – Leopardstown
Maybe missing the race here at Christmas helped and Our Connor is getting that bit stronger. He was wrong at a lot of his hurdles but his jumping got better as the race went on. He stayed well, so that augurs well for Cheltenham. – Dessie Hughes, trainer He was clever when he needed to be and I actually got there too soon. He is a very good horse. – Bryan Cooper, jockey
Summer Star got a great ride, came home well and stayed on very well. We ran her in the good bumper at Punchestown last year and that took a good bit out of her. If she didn´t run well today off this mark we were in trouble! Ted Walsh, trainer
You´re always afraid after an inspection if it might end the season, so that´s a huge relief. With the way the owner´s horses are set up, I imagine Champagne Fever will go for the Supreme Novices´ Hurdle. The ground may also be the softest it´ll be all week then. – Willie Mullins, trainer
I think drier ground at Cheltenham will be a huge factor and we´ll look at the Jewson Novices Chase, especially if the ground is soft. It´s still four or five weeks away though. I´m just not sure that Boston Bob is back to what he was last Spring. Willie Mullins, trainer
I was thinking of going chasing with Tennis Cap but if he was half the horse I thought he was, he should have been capable of winning a handicap. He has turned it around and will probably go for the County or Coral Cup. – Willie Mullins, trainer
Salsify is coming along nicely now and is timing it just right. He´ll get a week off after this and then we´ll aim him at Cheltenham. Hopefully, he´ll come on another bit and he´s at the same stage as where he was last year.- Rodger Sweeney, trainer