Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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Punchestown 27th April

We run two in the Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle over 2 miles. Paul has picked Blue Lord who fell at the last when destined for the runner-up position behind Appreciate It in the Supreme at Cheltenham. He is a course and distance winner here and his form in Ireland and England stacks up. Patrick rides Echoes In Rain who was hugely impressive at Fairyhouse last time. On official ratings there is nothing between our two and hopefully one of them will do the business.

We have seven chances in the 2 mile handicap hurdle over 2 miles. Whiskey Sour (Hugh Morgan) is returning after a long break and it is hard to see him being competitive here. Gentleman De Mee (Jody McGarvey) ran very free when finishing unplaced at Cheltenham so we are dropping him back in trip here in the hope that it will help him settle. He needs to leave his Cheltenham run behind if he is to get involved here. Ruaille Buaille (Danny) is a course and distance winner and ran a very promising race when third at Fairyhouse last time. That form gives her a big chance in an open race. Dysart Diamond (Donie McInerney) won at Leopardstown at Christmas but she has had two poor runs since. Getaway Gorgeous (Bryan Cooper) has the advantage of being a course and distance winner. However, she has just been disappointing during the winter but maybe the spring weather will suit her better. Jazzaway (Conor McNamara) hasn’t run since finishing second at the Galway Festival but that form looks very good in the context of today’s race. Her homework has been good and if the lack of a recent doesn’t catch her out she could be good each-way value. Hybery (Brian Hayes) has been very disappointing and wears cheekpieces for the first time today. Ideally we would prefer to run him over a longer trip but he is not guaranteed to get into the longer races later in the week.

We have three in the Grade 1 Champion Chase over 2 miles. Paul takes the ride on Chacun Pour Soi and his form over this trip looks the best on offer here. Rachael won the 2m 4f Ryanair at Cheltenham on Allaho and she takes the ride again here. We will see today if he has the pace for two miles against specialist two milers and this will give us an indication what direction we go with him next season. We are taking the hood off Cilaos Emery (Brian Hayes) today. He possibly needs another half a mile at this stage of his career but we are hoping he might pick up some nice place money.

We have two runners in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper over 2 miles. Adamantly Chosen (Jody Townend) is making his debut and is closely related to Adamant Approach. He is a real summer bumper/hurdle type who will run a solid race here. The track and ground will suit. Hemlock (Patrick) was fifth at Clonmel earlier this month and that form wouldn’t be good enough here. However, he has improved since and we are hoping he will get into the firing line today.

We have three of the four declared runners for the Grade 1 Champion Novice Chase over 3 miles. Franco De Port (Bryan Cooper) has a lot to find on form but we are going out in trip here to see how he copes. He is settling better as he gets older and we think he will be a staying chaser going forward. Monkfish (Paul) is unbeaten this season. He wasn’t as impressive as he can be at Cheltenham but hopefully he will get back to his fluent jumping and galloping style today. Colreevy (Danny) comes out ahead on ratings in this fascinating contest. The trip will suit but the drying ground won’t. She is in foal to Walk In The Park and hopefully she will give a good account on what will be her last run.

Hara Kiri (Patrick) goes for the 4yo bumper. He was third on his debut at Gowran in January. The ground was testing that day and he will be much more suited by the faster conditions here. We are expecting a good run. We also have the first reserve, Glowing Account, who is a really nice type by Le Harve.

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