Horse Racing: Macs Joy or Brave Inca? I CAN BE THE PASS MASTER TO WIN IT
Byline: Barry GERAGHTY
In this game, you have to live in hope and I'm certainly hoping that Macs Joy can get past Brave Inca in today's ACC Bank Champion Hurdle.
The race has attracted a small but very select field and after running a couple of tremendous races against Brave Inca, Macs Joy deserves to win a big one.
Jessie's horse enjoyed a great season last year, winning both the Bewleys and AIG and, after a slightly disappointing run at Cheltenham, ran another cracker to finish a close third behind Brave Inca and Harchibald in this race.
This season has been a mixed bag with him. Jessie's horses were under a cloud for quite a while and Macs Joy took time to come right, which he did in the AIG.
Coming away from the second last that day, I thought we'd win. But that was before I remembered what was in front of me - Brave Inca.
And hard as Macs Joy tried, he was just never going to get by Colm Murphy's horse.
Macs felt a little flat when he won the Red Mills at Gowran, but he was in great order for Cheltenham and, arguably, ran the race of his life, although beaten again by Brave Inca.
Nobody could fault Macs Joy that day. He travelled well all the way and, if any other horse led him over the last, I think he would have been crowned champion.
But Brave Inca is so deceptive. He seems to be flat to the boards, even struggling at times.
But, when you get to his girth, he just keeps picking up and finding more. He's a lazy horse and is just dossing in front.
Plenty of people think, with good reason, that it's impossible to pass him. And all I can do is hope to prove that theory wrong today.
This good ground won't be a problem for either horse. And it shouldn't trouble HARDY EUSTACE either.
Dessie Hughes' horse was a worthy champion twice at Cheltenham and, when you consider that he was a sick horse in the build-up to Cheltenham, he ran some race there, against two younger, improving horses.
But I was disappointed in Hardy Eustace at Aintree.
I know he finished seven lengths clear of me on Sky's The Limit but Asian Maze destroyed us both. …