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Punchestown Day 2 and the race that never was.

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup

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At the risk of sounding like a trainer, this is a difficult time of the year to get things right. Old stock is replaced with new, as muttering owners send their horses off in the truck to their new yard, (often sporting but not always racing), and the seasons change. Rare, because a tough and long season, a seasonal change in the weather and thus the going, a new yard, a virus, an injury, a wind-op or the Cut, all make and magnify differences. Crikey, I really could be a trainer on the strength of that list!

So at the risk of raising the faintest murmur of smugness, we called the outcome of what was heralded as a mouth-watering contest but delivered, as we suggested a result that surprised many and thrilled the bookies. The match between Envoi Allen and Monkfish simply did not materialise, with Colreevy who is a  tremendous mare, taking the spoils on her final ever start, before she heads off to the barns. There was something amiss with Envoi Allen, other than the distance, and Monkfish was simply beaten by a better-weighted horse. The result and the proposed RFC gave us an overall 12 pt profit and in a couple of races, we came might close to going large.

Today of course we are faced with what is becoming a tiresome Festival conundrum. As happened at Fairyhouse, Mullins is dominating Punchestown, which of course is going to impact the market. That suggests that non-Mullins long-shots will be bigger and Mullins no-hopers will confuse by their market support. The great man has 19 runners and as I write he has the favourite in six of the eight races, mostly priced to a maximum of 2/1. Perhaps this is a day to think in terms of risk management. However, what is certain is that the quality of the racing on show is fabulous and our end-of-season treat continues today.

Talking of Risk Management……

Firstly let’s deal with the Mullins Bandwagon. To that end, I shall take out an insurance policy of the following horses – all WP Mullins:

BLUE SARI 4:50 –   GALOPIN DES CHAMPS 5:20 – AL BOUM PHOTO 5:55 – SIR GERHARD 6:30 – LIVELOVELAUGH 7:00 – GRANGEE 7:35

These I have combined in ½pt trebles, fourfolds, fivefolds and a 1½pt accumulator in 3,4,5 and 6 folds with Bet365.

If the four lowest priced horses win, then the trebles would pay approx. 15 pts and the fourfold would pay 21pts, showing a 14pt profit.

3:40 Adare Manor Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle (4yo+ 95-123) 2m4½f 25 run

OSCAR THYNE would be on my short list having abandoned his proposed chasing career, where he was fully exposed behind Monkfish at Fairyhouse before a decent performance at Down Royal at year’s end, and then winning at Clonmel. Back hurdling off a mark of 116 I suspect there is more to see here, but the price is skinny. I also like GUIRI with Sam Torrens on board, 1st-time cheekpieces might make the difference. BAY HILL also makes the cut and TAKARENGO. With Skybet offering seven places, I shall back..

GUIRI e/w – TAKARENO e/w – BAY HILL e/w

4:15 Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final (4yo+) 2m4½f 18 run

FEELGOOD ISLAND e/w

4:50 Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4½f 11 run

BLUE SARI Win

5:20 Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) 3m 8 run

CROSSHILL e/w

5:55 Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1) (5yo+) 3m½f 6 run

Hmmm, can Willie Mullins win this? I’m going to look back to 2019…

KEMBOY Win

6:30 ITM – Supporting Irish Store Sales Champion INH Flat Race (Grade 1) (4-7yo) 2m½f 8 run

First two in the betting provide the winner.

SIR GERHARD Win – ERIC BLOODAXE e/w

7:00 Guinness Handicap Chase (Grade A) (5yo+) 2m4f 24 run

LIVELOVELAUGH Win – THE WEST’S AWAKE e/w – CROSSED MY MIND e/w

7:35 Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares INH Flat Race (Grade 3) (4-7yo) 2m½f 14 run

GLAN e/w

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