Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pointers for Punchestown on Wednesday

Wednesday's feature is the Guinness Gold Cup run over a distance of three miles one furlong; thirteen have been declared, although I doubt whether Cooldine will face the starter after finishing a well-beaten fourth behind Rare Bob earlier today. The ground is currently described as soft, soft to heavy in places and is likely to play its part in an open-looking race. Testing conditions will be against War Of Attrition, Schindlers Hunt and Albertas Run. Nigel Twiston-Davies is quite bullish about the chances of the market-favourite Imperial Commander who won the Ryanair at Cheltenham last time out; I'm not convinced he'll see out this trip on this ground so will side with Notre Pere instead. He comes to this fresher than most and will relish what is likely to turn into a test of stamina.

In the Champion Flat race at 5.30 I have to side with Dunguib. I was privileged to see this horse take the Champion Bumper at Prestbury Park last month by a stunning ten lengths - it was one of the most impressive victories in that race I've seen over the years. In a Cheltenham preview slot Jim McGrath had put up Dunguib as his one Festival banker but on the day I listened to the Siren voices and paid the price in no uncertain terms. Irrespective of what happens tomorrow, Dunguib is one to note for next season.

Willie Mullins fields two in the three mile novice hurdle at 4.55; Ruby Walsh rides Palace Merano but on official ratings The Midnight Club looks the one to beat. He is one of only two in the field that have won over the distance and his third behind Weapon's Amnesty in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham reads well. Emmet Mullins' three pounds claim is likely to prove invaluable in the conditions.

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