Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Punchestown 2010 - thoughts on Thursday's card

Fifteen go to post in the feature, the World Series Hurdle at 5.30. Willie Mullins has done well so far at the Festival and has a strong hand here with Quevega, Mourad and Cousin Vinny. Likely favourite Quevega tries the three mile trip for the first time but the mare was showing no sign of stopping when taking the David Nicholson Hurdle at Cheltenham - that was her first run since finishing third in the Champion Hurdle at this meeting last year. Similarly Mourad hasn't raced over this trip previously but looks likely to be in the mix. I fancied Alan King's Karabak for a place at Cheltenham but his effort was disappointing - he appeared to run in snatches, coming in fourth behind Big Buck's. The yard has had a very in-and-out season and the 5/1 on offer about Karabak makes little appeal; stablemate Bensalem tries hurdles after finding the fences getting in the way once too often and may be of some interest to each-way backers. That comment also applies to Powerstation, third at Cheltenham, but at the age of ten the chances are he won't come home first. At 4/1, I'll support Willie Mullins' Quevega, hoping that with the mares' allowance she'll last home.

The novices are likely to go lickety-split in the Ryaniar Chase over two miles, so jumping at speed will be at a premium. Captain Cee Bee burst a blood vessel when finishing down the field in the Arkle, a race in which Osana finished third, Kings Theatre a somewhat disappointing fifth and Sports Line eleventh; we can expect to see improvement from both Kings Theatre and Sports Line. While Psycho is an excellent jumper, I'm prepared to forgive Captain Cee Bee his last run; beforehand McCoy rated him his best chance of a winner at Cheltenham so, if he's back to his best, he has to be thereabouts - Captain Cee Bee gets the nod.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

The worries about Quevega (5/2f) staying the trip look faintly ridiculous now as the mare travelled supremely well throughout, taking the World Series Hurdle by three lengths from Bensalem (10/1) with Mourad (11/2) another length and a half behind in third. The comments in running for the impressive winner include '...kept on strongly, comfortably...'
Riverside Theatre was sent off 7/2 favourite for the Ryanair Chase but came to grief five out while the normally reliable Psycho fell six from home. Let Yourself Go put up a bold show from the front but McCoy had the selection upsides at the last and he went on to win at 4/1. Connections were rightly pleased following the Cheltenham flop but we should heed McCoy's comments after the race - Eddie Harty's charge will need to improve again next term and jump better than on this occasion. The gelding's tenth birthday comes round next New Year's Day - time wouldn't appear to be on his side.