Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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Punchestown 28th April

Mt Leinster (Danny) goes for the 2 mile handicap chase. Danny won on him at Fairyhouse last time and retains the ride here. The drying ground will be a big help to him and this track should suit him better. He has a great chance even though he has plenty of weight.

We have two runners in the Grade 1 Champion Stayers Hurdle over 3 miles. Klassical Dream (Paul) won this race last year and has a favourite’s chance this time. The ground and track will suit and we will be disappointed if he doesn’t run a big race. Concertista (Daryl Jacob) reverts to hurdles after a disappointing run at Cheltenham. This is her first time over this trip but we don’t think that will be a problem. Her rating gives her a chance of collecting some place money.

We have two representatives in the 3 mile handicap hurdle. Maze Runner (Kieran Callaghan) has in- and-out form but will be suited by this ground. His rider’s valuable claim gives him a chance of running into a place. Dark Voyager (Bryan Cooper) will also like the ground but needs to step up if he is to get involved.

We run four in the Grade 1 Novice Chase over 2 miles. Blue Lord (Paul) is a course winner and runs to his rating every time. He should be very competitive. Gentleman De Mee (Mark Walsh) has the form and rating to win this. If his Aintree exertions haven’t taken too much out of him he looks the one to beat. Haut En Couleurs (Bryan Cooper) will find this tough and probably needs to go out in trip to be seen at his best. Saint Sam (Sean O’Keeffe) exited early in the Arkle at Cheltenham but if he jumps better here he might finish in the first three.

Manitopark (Sean O’Keeffe) runs in the Mares Handicap Chase over 2m 5f. She is one of the most disappointing horses in the yard but has a nice weight for her first run in a handicap. She jumps well enough and has a decent chance off her mark.

We have two in the bumper. James’s Gate (Patrick) is a course and distance winner and brings very good form to the table here. He looks the one to beat. Sir Argus (Jody Townend) needs to improve a good bit but the way Jody is riding that is not beyond the bounds of possibility.

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