Well that was an eventful Saturday in Navan but sadly for me not what I had planned. I took a tumble from Fantasio D’alene in the second race which just left me a bit shook up so was stood down by the doc for the rest of the day. I’m resting up tonight and hoping to be back for the big card on Sunday in Punchestown.
It was frustrating to miss two winners in the later races but that’s the life I’m afraid of a jump jockey.
However, all the headlines were rightly grabbed by Gordon (Elliott) who saddled an amazing seven consecutive winners on the card which I believe is a new record. It’s a great credit to Gordon and the whole team at Cullentra and a day that won’t be forgotten for a long time.
On now to Sunday for John Durkan day at Punchestown where I have three booked rides.
11.55am TOP BANDIT Punchestown BetVictor Loyalty Club Rated Novice Hurdle 2m
I’ve developed a real good relationship with this fella and we’ve won the last two at Cheltenham (pictured below) and here the last day over the same trip. Top Bandit is not doing much wrong and I see we’re rated the same as Crowns Major who has translated his good flat form to the jumps judged by his easy win in Mallow. He looks the danger.
1.25pm PARTY CENTRAL BetVictor Proud To Support Irish Racing Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed Race) (4yo+) 2m 3 1/2f
She’s a lovely mare who won for us in Listowel but needs to bounce back from disappointing the last day in Down Royal where she didn’t jump as well and just ran flat. I’m hoping it was nothing more than a bad day at the office and Party Central can bounce back with the extra trip hopefully a positive.
2.00pm John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m 4 1/2f
Sadly no ride for me this year but it’ll be a must watch from the weighing room as it’s as good a renewal of the John Durkan that I can remember. All eyes will be on the Cheveley Park pair Envoi Allen and Allaho but they both lack a recent run and it’s a deep race. I don’t think you can rule many of them out but if forced to pick I’d just side with Allaho (pictured below) today.
3.05pm RAGNAR LODBROK Hanlon Concrete Handicap Chase (4yo+) 3m 1/2f
He needs to show plenty more than of late as his form has tailed off a bit but he starts out in handicap company and also has blinkers on for the first time. It’s the first time I’ve ridden him and hopefully we can see a bit more of Ragnar Lodbrok’s earlier form.