Monday, April 27, 2009

Punchestown - brief notes for Tuesday

The going on the first day of the Punchestown Festival is expected to be soft. Six go to post in the feature race, the Kerrygold Champion Chase, which is due off at 6.05. Paul Nicholls' Master Minded didn't look at his best, but then again he didn't need to be, to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase. He appears to have frightened off the opposition here and has been installed the 1/4 favourite. Big Zeb fell at Cheltenham while Newmill finished fourth and is better on good ground. A race to watch rather than bet on.

Willie Mullins' Hurricane Fly is the top-rated animal and will be a warm order to take the Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at 4.20 but he hasn't run for 122 days. If eight go to post, I will consider a small each-way interest in Lucy Wadham's El Dancer who caught American Trilogy on the line at Aintree last time out. Having said that, American Trilogy didn't do the form any favours by getting turned over at short odds at Sandown on Saturday.

Cooldine, Horner Woods and Gone To Lunch all met in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham and renew rivalry here at 6.40. Nothing could get near Cooldine that day where his jumping was particularly good; he'll be long odds on to collect again - Horner Woods ran well to take second. McCoy rode Gone To Lunch at Cheltenham and again at Ayr ten days ago when just failing to get to Hello Bud in the Scottish National. Here McCoy has opted to ride Joncol - that in itself looks a recommendation for those looking to oppose the favourite but we don't know for certain whether he'll stay the trip. Horner Woods certainly will and hails from a stable that had two winners at Navan on Sunday so makes more appeal as an each-way wager.

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