Back to Punchestown on Friday for three rides on day four. Clerk of the course Brendan Sheridan was planning to water the track on Thursday evening to keep the ground as it’s basically been for the first three days, on the slow side, good to yielding and yielding in places. I’ve three rides on Friday’s card.
MILL QUEST (4:55 Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Handicap Chase (Grade B))
The mare is in foal and makes quite a quick reappearance after winning nicely for me the last day at Fairyhouse in what looked quite a nice field. However, she is up 9lb today which is going to make life a little more difficult for us in what is a more competitive race. The ground and distance should be spot on for her though.
5:30 BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
No ride for me here but it looks a belter of a renewal with the last two winners Supasundae and Wicklow Brave mixing it with Apple’s Jade and Buveur D’Air who are both looking to bounce back to top form. It’s so tough but I’d narrowly favour Buveur D’Air to give Nicky Henderson another winner here this week and reverse Aintree form with Supasundae.
SAMS PROFILE (6:05 Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1))
Is a lovely horse who is still very much improving. He ran a big race at Cheltenham when fifth in the Ballymore but the problem today is the winner of that race City Island is also back for more – so we have something to find on the form book. I think the form is solid though and will hopefully mean we can get a piece of the action.
DUNVEGAN (7:10 SalesSense International Novice Hurdle)
I’ve never ridden this fella before but he’s shown plenty of ability – notably at Fairyhouse in December when I finished a fair way second to him. He’s struggled in two Grade 1’s since at Leopardstown (when found to be clinically abnormal) and was pulled up in the Ballymore. He obviously needs to bounce back but if he does should be able to get a little bit more competitive in this company. It does look competitive though with Willie Mullins having three strong contenders and Joseph’s (O’Brien) Gardens Of Babylon very consistent.
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