Monday, April 19, 2010

Tuesday at Punchestown

A couple of quick suggestions for the opening day of the Punchestown Festival. The Champion Chase looks intriguing. Paul Nicholls won this last year with Master Minded - his entry this year, Twist Magic, has upwards of seven pounds in hand over all his rivals on official ratings. Having said that, he can be tricky (McCoy rides) and in my book isn't one to trust implicitly - I expected connections to wait for Saturday's Celebration Chase at Sandown. Nobody would begrudge Forpadydeplasterer a win after finishing second on five occasions this season - he came with a strong run over two and a half miles at Aintree the last time but couldn't get past Albertas Run. That was just eleven days ago - has this come a bit quick after a long season? I fancied Kalahari King for the Champion Chase at Cheltenham but he finished a well beaten third, connections saying two and a half miles may suit more these days; at Aintree the next time he fell at the second fence. The Arkle winner Sizing Europe steps up to race against the big boys. You pay your money and take your choice; I'm going with Forpadydeplasterer.

In the last eight years six favourites have won the Champion Novice Hurdle; Nicky Henderson's General Miller is the top-rated animal and gets the vote.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Willie Mullins' Golden Silver, relatively unfancied in the market at 12/1, took the Champion Chase, jumping the last upsides Forpadydeplasterer (7/2) and going on to win by two and a half lengths. I'm sure connections of the selection will feel mightily frustrated not to have won a race this season. 5/2 favourtie Sizing Europe finished third, Kalahari King fourth while Twist Magic (100/30) disgraced himself with a mulish display in the paddock before refusing to take part.

Willie Mullins secured a one-two in the novice hurdle, Blackstairmountain (5/1) showing his true form after the recent Cheltenham disappointment, beating stablemate Flat Out (6/1) two and a half lengths. Selection General Miller (2/1f) raced a fair way off the pace and struggled to make up the ground, coming home a well-beaten fourth.