Punchestown Day 2!
Up first we have BILKO – Chris Meehan, DAWERANN – Darragh Maher & FRIDAYNIGHTLIGHTS – Andrew Ring (who is first reserve) in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle; Bilko was second here on his first start in a Maiden Hurdle over 2m, he steps up in trip today which will suit him, his latest outing was nothing to write home when after a bad mistake he never got back into the race but he’s better than that and I expect an improved performance today. Our own DAWERANN (pictured) is a great fun little horse, he won here over 2m4 so this looks ideal for him and Darragh Maher claiming 4lb is a bonus! Fridaynightlights (first reserve) has won two races very well since joining us last month, he’s been put up 6lb after the last day where he jumped great and stayed on well to win by just under 3L.
MILSEAN – Jack Kennedy & MINELLA TILL DAWN – Mark Walsh contest the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle; Milsean makes his yard debut having joined us in February from Mouse Morris, he has some nice very form behind him but lost his way after finishing second in the 2015 Albert Bartlett, he’s in good order and I hope he can show a return to form here today. Minella Till Dawn was unlucky to fall in Fairyhouse when he looked to have every chance but thankfully he came out of the race fine and goes here today with a great chance.
CHAMPAGNE CLASSIC was somewhat of a surprise winner at Cheltenham! He came out of the race really well and this is his first outing since, stepping back up to 3m. He is very consistent, yet to finish out of the money in his 8 starts and I can only see him improving as time goes on. He takes on the Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle with Bryan Cooper in the saddle.
Grade 1 Lexus Chase winner OUTLANDER has some great runs behind him and ran well here in December to finish a narrowly beaten second to Djakadam who he beat in the Lexus. He has plenty to do here with the likes of Gold Cup winner Sizing John but if he can draw a line through his Cheltenham run. Bryan Cooper rides.
POLI ROI & FAYONAGH both represent us in the Champion Bumper; Poli Roi is the winner of both a Point to Point and a bumper, he does everything right at the moment and came out of the race in Navan very well. Katie Walsh in the saddle is a bonus. Fayonagh ran a very impressive race at Cheltenham despite missing the start under an incredible ride by Jamie Codd who retains the ride today.
The final 2 runners of he day are JETSTREAM JACK – Davy Russell & RIGHTDOWNTHEMIDDLE – Jack Kennedy; Jetstream Jack ran well last time out at Navan in a 3m Chase but drops back to 2m4 here today, he finished second here last year behind A Toi Phil in the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Chase and has run well here on a number of occasions. Rightdownthemiddle ran an absolute blinder at Aintree in the Betway Handicap Chase to stay on well and finish second. He’s a really honest type who jumps well and is in great order at home.
Punchestown Day 1!
LABAIK (pictured) is up first in the Champion Novice Hurdle, he was unbelievable at Cheltenham in the Supreme Novice, we know just how good he is and I think he will be hard to beat if he jumps off with the pack. Jack Kennedy retains the ride.
SANIBEL ISLAND, VEINARD & DAKOTA MOIRETTE are next in the Killashee Handicap Hurdle; DAKOTA MOIRETTE ran well in the Fred Winter but didn’t fare as well at Fairyhouse earlier this month, Chris Meehan takes off 7lb which should improve his chances. SANIBEL ISLAND is a consistent sort who will always show a good account of himself, he’s in fine form at home and dropping back to 2m will suit. Jack Kennedy rides. VEINARD ran a blinder at Fairyhouse in the Grade A Glascarn Hurdle finishing just 3L behind Grade 2 winner Thomas Hobson, Davy Russell rides.
REALT MOR & THE GAME CHANGER contest the Champion Chase; Realt Mor has served the yard and his owners well and it’s great to see him still running in competitive races at the age 12 and THE GAME CHANGER is another great stalwart for the yard, he’s not had his greatest season but he does love Punchestown winning here three times, twice over this trip. Bryan Cooper rides.
RAPID ESCAPE & VALDIEU both take on the Land Rover Bumper; RAPID ESCAPE was the very impressive winner of a Point to Point at Tinahely in February he went on to sell at the Cheltenham sales for €240,000. VALDIEU is another Point to Point winner, the son of Diamond Boy does everything very well at home and will likely appreciate this better ground today and I’m hopeful of a big run with Lisa O’Neill in the saddle taking off a welcome 5lb.
Webster Cup winner A TOI PHIL is next in the Champion Novice Chase, he finished second at Cork in a Grade 3 last time out behind runaway winner Val De Ferbet for which he was dropped 4lb, he’s in great form and he does run well for today’s rider Jack Kennedy.
ROARING BULL & STOOSHIE are the last 2 of the day in the Bumper; Roaring Bull is a four-year-old unraced son of Milan who has been doing everything well at home, Lisa O’Neill claiming 5lb is a plus. Stooshie ran very well last time out at Limerick to finish second in a tight finish, he will benefit from the improved ground today and is in great order at home, Jamie Codd retains the ride.
Busy day today with one runner at Dundalk and 13 declared at Kilbeggan!
We completed the first 3 days entries of Punchestown yesterday, it’s set to be a great week – fingers crossed for the Trainers Championship!
Our little pocket rocket Dawerann runs at Kilbeggan today in the Sean Hughes Memorial Handicap Chase, he ran a blinder last time out and is in great order at home. Jack Kennedy takes the ride.
2 runners at Tipperary today for a mixed card;
LEOMAR is up first in the 2m Maiden Hurdle, he has some decent runs behind him and has been in great order at home. Bryan Cooper rides.
BROUGHTONS STAR contests the 2m4 Handicap Hurdle, he ran well last time out to finish 4th beaten 2l after a couple of unlucky runs, we hope his luck is in today under Jack Kennedy.
Great to have a double at Fairyhouse yesterday bringing us to 186 INH winners for the season, in total (including the U.K) an incredible 216 winners!
12 runners at Fairyhouse today, it’s been a great couple of days and although so far we’ve missed out on a ‘big’ winner we’ve had some great results, namely Bless The Wings (pictured) finishing 2nd for the 2nd year running in the Irish National – what a legend!
21 runners at Fairyhouse today including 10 in the Irish Grand National!
We’ve had a very quiet week but all that is about to change with the Fairyhouse Easter Festival this weekend as well as Cork on Sunday!
Again no runners today but we are making the most of it with horses going galloping yesterday and later on this morning!