5 UK Meetings & Punchestown Too!
It’s Day 4 of the Punchestown Festival, but there are also 5 meetings taking place in Great Britain. The venues are Chepstow, Lingfield, Musselburgh, Bangor and Fontwell.
The 4.00 at Chepstow is an interesting handicap, over a mile. The King’s Steed goes for Ralph Beckett in this one and arrives with reasonable form. Cape Banjo and Medburn Dream should also figure.
There are only 4 runners, in the 4.15 at Lingfield, but all look in with a chance. Bertie Blu Boy is likely to make sure that they all travel at a decent clip, while the unexposed Just Us Two looks a big danger.
At Musselburgh, all eyes will be on Kahrab – a 110,000 guineas yearling and a half-brother to Online Alexander. Tallinski cost less than half that sum, but already has much to prove following a fairly dire showing in the Brocklesby.
The first race of the 2 evening cards is at Fontwell (4.50). Shaddaii looks capable of scoring, if the rain holds off. Centreofexcellence was very fortunate to win at Wincanton and will need to find a great deal more, to have any chance of winning.
Mere Anarchy recovered from a bad error and showed courage when winning on debut, over hurdles at Chepstow. Robert Stephens’ inmate looks capable of improving further, while the useful German, Hartside, has a tough mark to overcome.
Mullins Smells Blood, In Handicap Chase
A hunters chase gets matters underway at Punchestown. Looking at the records of the various runners, we should cross our fingers and hope that at least 3 manage to finish the race and fill the win/place positions. Much better is to follow, though!
The Novice Handicap Chase (4.20) should get the spectators off their barstools and up against the rails. Blood Cotil won the 2015 renewal, for Willie Mullins. He’ll have high-hopes that Avant Tout can repeat the success. Somewhat disappointing, when 9th at Cheltenham, the French gelding ran well when winning the G2 Hugh McMahon Memorial Novice Chase at Limerick. Sambremont also goes for Mullins, although the brother of Djakadam looks harshly treated by the handicapper.
Can My Tent Knock Vroum To The Canvas?
This season’s G1 Champion Hurdle (5.30) looks even better than its Cheltenham namesake, with 3 top-class horses looking very well matched at this trip. Vroum Vroum Mag has become a winning machine and will be hoping for her 10th triumph in a row. Willie Mullins’ charge never looked in any danger, when scooping the G1 Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
This race should be a very different kettle of fish, though. My Tent Or Yours may not have won, since February of 2014, but he looks to have fully recovered and has only been beaten by Annie Power in his last 2 outings.
Identity Thief won the G1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle, last season. He was far from fluent, at Cheltenham, but also has the class to give Vroum Vroum Mag a tough time today.
Disko To Make Meade Dance?
Noel Meade’s Disko will have just her 3rd run over hurdles, in the G1 Champion Novice Hurdle, but 1st-place does not look out of reach. Disappointing at Galway, on debut, he then annihilated his opponents at Naas to win by 29 lengths. Disko also finished runner-up to Bellshill, in last season’s Champion I.N.H. Flat Race, beating the likes of Modus and Altior. The yard’s apparent indecision with headgear, is the only real concern.
Jer’s Girl is another that looks to have a great future. The JP McManus-owned filly won the G1 Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Naas, by 13 lengths. O O Seven needs to bounce back, following a poor run at Cheltenham, but looks decent each-way value.