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Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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Punchestown 1st May

Dragon D’estruval (Brian Hayes) runs in the 3m 7f handicap chase. A first-time tongue tie will be a help and he will like this trip and ground.

We have four runners in the Grade 1 Mares Champion Hurdle over 2m 4f. Burning Victory (Brian Hayes) is a top class mare but she hasn’t run since landing the Triumph Hurdle last year. However, she is in good form and could have improved a lot since last year. Concertista (Patrick) looks the best of ours on paper. She was beaten in the Mares Hurdle but a lot of ours are running a lot better this week than they did in Cheltenham. Hopefully, she will help Patrick in his quest for the Amateur Riders Championship. On ratings it is hard to see My Sister Sarah (Bryan Cooper) winning and we will be pleased if she finishes in the first five.  Stormy Ireland (Danny) has a chance of gaining some more black type.

We run two in the Champion 4yo Hurdle over 2 miles. Haut En Couleurs (Paul) ran a stormer to be third behind Quilixios in the Triumph Hurdle and we are hoping he has improved since. If he has he should go close. Saint Sam (Danny) was a shade unlucky when second in the Fred Winter. He has a great each-way chance here.

Brahma Bull (Brian Hayes) is in the 3 mile Handicap Chase. He will like this ground and trip but has a tough task with top-weight.

We have plenty of chances in the 2m 4f Handicap Hurdle. Dandy Mag (Hugh Morgan) might find this trip a little short but his rider’s 5lb claim gives him a shout in an open contest. Koshari (Ricky Doyle) has won over this track and distance and that will stand to him here. Low Sun (Adam Short) is hard to fancy here and probably needs to drop a bit in the handicap. Bleu Berry (Sean O’Keeffe) has some excellent form going back but has been off the track for a long time. We are hoping Rachael might get a tune out of Sayo before he goes to the Doncaster Sales. However, he doesn’t appear to like big fields.  Ciel De Neige (Jody McGarvey) ran very well at Cheltenham and will like the trip and ground. We think he could run a big race. Foveros (Donie McInerney) is going to have to improve and it would be good if he finishes in the first six. Power Of Pause (Bryan Cooper) was going well enough at Fairyhouse last time when he was brought down at the third last. A repeat of that form could see him in the mix here. Lady Breffni (Danny) won a big handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse last time but it is tough to win twice in succession at major festivals. She is a course and distance winner here and is entitled to go close. Crack Mome is second reserve and has been a long time off so is best watched if he gets in. It would be great if Tiger Tap Tap runs well before going to the Doncaster Sales.

Klassy Kay (Danny) looks to have a nice weight in the 2m 4f mares handicap hurdle. She likes good ground and has good chance if they haven’t put too much water on the track.

Willie The Coo (Patrick) makes his debut in the bumper. He is only a four year old but we are looking forward to seeing how he gets on here. He was named after the popular Maynooth auctioneer, Willie Coonan, who was involved with the North Kildare Racing Club who owned our first Cheltenham winner, Tourist Attraction.