Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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Punchestown 30th April

We run two in the 3m 7f Handicap Chase. Augusta Gold (Paul) has top weight but she is built to carry it. She will like going right-handed and the ground and trip suit. Her owner had a winner on Wednesday with Royal Rendezvous and maybe lightening will strike twice! Class Conti’s (Daryl Jacob) form this season is not good enough and it’s hard to see him finishing in the first four.

We have four declared for the Grade 1 Mares Champion Hurdle over 2m 3f. Burning Victory (Paul) will like the trip and ground. We are hoping a first time tongue tie will bring about big improvement. Dysart Diamond (Brian Hayes) will need a career best to finish in the first three. The water softened ground wouldn’t be to her advantage. This will be her last run before going to stud. Shewearsitwell (Sean O’Keeffe) was injured and jumped badly at Leopardstown at Christmas. Hopefully, she will get her confidence back after a few hurdles today. If so, she could be a lively each-way prospect.

We are doubly represented by Recite A Prayer (Danny) and Cavallino (Jack Foley) in the 3 mile handicap chase. Both have nice weights in a very open looking contest. They face a tough task and a first three finish for either would be great.

We also have two runners in the Grade 1 Champion 4YO Hurdle over 2 miles. If Vauban (Paul) can repeat the form that saw him win the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham this race should be well within his grasp. Il Etait Temps (Danny) ran very free in the Triumph and Danny will have to try to settle and relax him today if he is to show his best. This is a tough ask for him.

We have six declared for the 2m 3f Handicap Hurdle. Five O’clock (Jack Foley) didn’t come to hand soon enough this season to go novice chasing. That’s why he is still hurdling. It’s hard to have much confidence in his chance after his run in Cheltenham and with so much weight here. Paul has picked Adamantly Chosen and that speaks well for his chance. He ran well in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham. Berkshire Royal (Danny) ran really well at Thurles in February but then flopped at Fairyhouse next time. He will like the trip and ground but needs to find his best form. La Prima Donna (Bryan Cooper) ran a great race at Fairyhouse and will be suited by this trip and ground. If this race is not coming too soon she will be involved at the business end. The same comment applies to Heia (Brian Hayes) who finished just behind La Prima Donna at Fairyhouse. Mi Lighthouse (Sean O’Keeffe) disappointed at Fairyhouse but has a light weight and a good pilot. Belle Metal is first reserve. If she gets in she has an each-way chance with her handy weight.

We have two in the bumper. Ballybay (Patrick) is a lovely looking horse who has a good pedigree. We are looking forward to seeing him in a bumper for horses who have never raced. Follow The Brave (Jody Townend) is a new horse for owner Nick Peacock who named him after his star, Wicklow Brave. However, this one’s homework wouldn’t suggest he will follow in Wicklow Brave’s footsteps.

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