Day One Punchestown Festival Preview - 27/04/21

Punchestown - April 26 2021
Punchestown 14:40
9
Jody McGarvey

Hallowed Star

J:
 
Jody McGarvey
T:
 
John Joseph Hanlon
Age: 6
Weight: 10-13
OR: 112
Days: 45

The first race of the five day Punchestown festival is the Handicap Hurdle over 2m 1/2f and with a huge field heading to post we have selected two horses to take at each way prices in the race.

The first is the John Hanlon trained Hallowed Star who has been knocking on the door in all five of his events this term and looks to be on a nice mark for his handicap debut.

Starting off on the flat in June he was a nine lengths winner of a two mile event at Tipperary and then backed that up Galway when second in a better event still on the level.

Stepped over hurdles in December, he made his debut in a 20 runner Maiden hurdle at Leopardstown and he finished fifth behind some smart types that have since gone on to frank the form in better company.

He then went to Down Royal and finished a good second on heavy ground behind Decimation, that has since gone close in a Grade Two.

The gelding was last seen finishing second again at Navan in a maiden, just going down by a short head and now stepping into handicap company he could be thrown in.

Handles the quicker ground and McGarvey rides for John Hanlon and when the pair team up together they are running at an 18% strike rate for the year, whilst also producing a profit of £108 from a £1 level stake.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/09/22GAL18.5Y11-122
30/07/22GAL23Sft10-111
27/07/22GAL12Gd/Y11-125
23/05/22ROS10Sft10-72
13/04/22GOW9.5Y/Sft9-92
Punchestown - April 26 2021
Punchestown 14:40
17
Sean O'Keeffe

Ya Ya Baby

J:
 
Sean O'Keeffe
T:
 
Mrs John Harrington
Age: 4
Weight: 10-2
OR: 111
Days: 23

At a slightly bigger price Ya Ya Baby for Jessica Harrington could have a big say in the proceedings, getting a load of weight off the field and last time out showing some serious ability.

The filly was a fair runner on the flat and has now been taken over hurdles, being seen three times since making her debut in March.

Having unseated her rider on debut, she learnt for that experience and went to Navan and finished a good second behind Coventry for Paul Nolan.

Getting on to a quicker surface last time out she got off the mark over hurdles seeing off Clever Currency who she opposes again.

Near the bottom of the weights this four year old could go well on handicap debut.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/07/22LEO9Gd9-1112
31/05/22TIP12.5GF9-716
25/04/22NAA8Gd9-912
11/12/21FAI16Y/Sft11-98
21/11/21NAV16Gd11-414
Punchestown - April 26 2021
Punchestown 15:15
5
Mr P W Mullins

Echoes In Rain

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-7
OR: 141
Days: 23

The first Grade One of the day is the Champion Novice Hurdle and Echoes In Rain for Willie Mullins could be tough to beat getting weight off the lads.

Echoes In Rain for Willie Mullins took on the boys in the Grade Two Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse last time and blew them away, making her a very exciting horse

Although getting a slight bit of weight off the field, she could have been giving them weight and still won on the day, giving out a hammering to the field winning by 15 lengths never coming off the bridle.

This mare has been highly progressive throughout the season, winning at Naas two starts ago when seeing off Cheltenham festival winner Belfast Banter and then stepping into Graded company last time out at Fairyhouse, against the boys and giving them a battering.

She does the same today, but this time against a better standard of horse in Blue Lord, but she looks a special talent and will enjoy the drying ground.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
25/07/22GAL17Sft11-31
20/05/22CUR14Gd/Y9-72
29/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-52
15/03/22CHL20GS11-55
06/02/22LEO16Y11-53
Punchestown - April 26 2021
Punchestown 15:50
21
Conor McNamara

Jazzaway

J:
 
Conor McNamara
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 10-5
OR: 126
Days: 272

Next up is the big fielded Grade B Handicap over 2m 1/2f and Willie Mullins has a fair few runners in this event, but the one we like the look of is Jazzaway.

The six year old mare looks to be weighted to strike being an extremely low weight and gets an added bonus with handy 5lb claimer Conor McNamara taking more off.

For her age she is very unexposed only being seen six times during her career, not being seen since July 2020.

Two starts ago in January 2020 she landed her first race over hurdles when taking a Maiden Hurdle at Fairyhouse in taking style.

She then headed to Galway in July and finished a very smart second behind Mrs Milner, who has since gone on to land the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

Jazzaway could just be thrown in here and having good form on good ground is a big positive.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/07/21GAL23Gd10-51
27/04/21PUN16.5Y10-21
29/07/20GAL16.5Gd11-52
11/01/20FAI18.5Sft11-51
16/12/19NAA19Sft11-04
Punchestown - April 26 2021
Punchestown 16:25
1
Rachael Blackmore

Allaho

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 12-0
OR: 174
Days: 40

The Grade One Champion Chase over two miles sees a superb field of runners head to post and we are siding with Allaho to make it back to back Grade One wins.

The seven year old had a successful novice chasing campaign, narrowly coming second on chase debut he made amends on his second try over fences to an emphatic victory. 

He rounded out the season going off favourite in last years’ RSA. A commendable run, his petrol tank was emptying from the dual with Minella Indo.

Only for both horses to be caught in the shadows of the post by Champ. 

Moving into open company he was well beaten by Min on seasonal debut, didn’t stay at Christmas over three miles but looked right at home dropped back to 2.5 miles at Thurles. 

Picking up Grade Two honours he held off the smart looking Elimay, Who has since gone on to frank the form on a few occasions.

Last time out he gave a career best performance when winning the Grade One Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham festival and although dropping in trip, his pedigree suggests he will take it in his stride.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-101
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft11-101
23/01/22THU20.5Gd/Y11-121
05/12/21PUN20.5Y/Sft11-121
27/04/21PUN16Y12-02
Punchestown - April 26 2021
Punchestown 17:30
3
Paul Townend

Monkfish

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 163
Days: 41

The feature race of the afternoon is the Grade One Champion Novice Chase and it sees one of the match ups of the season with Monkfish taking on Envoi Allen.

We are siding with the former, as we believe that it will come down to stamina and although Envoi Allen is a superstar, he is untested over this trip.

The Willie Mullins trained gelding was bought by Rich Ricci at Cheltenham in 2018 for £235,000 off the back of winning a point to point and since then they have not looked back with this horse.

In 2019 he was ran twice, once in a bumper and once over hurdles finishing second on both occasions behind smart horses in Diol Ker and Longhouse Poet.

Since then he has gone on to be a superstar being unbeaten in three hurdle event and on both his chase starts showing clear staying ability and this term a superb jumping temperament.

Having won at Fairyhouse and at Thurles last term over large distances, he went to the Cheltenham festival and managed to stay three miles the best of the runners to just get up in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Sent chasing by Mullins this term he landed his debut at Fairyhouse with ease and used that run to improve further when managing to see off Latest Exhibition in a Grade One Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Although dropping slightly in trip next time in the Grade One Flogas Novice Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival he gave his best performance of the season to land the event by 11 lengths.

He made it seven wins in a row last time out at the Cheltenham festival when taking the Grade One Brown Advisory Novices' Chase.

It was arguably his worst run over fences, not jumping like he can, but he still got the job done and will have to be at his best to take this race.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/21PUN24.5Y11-122
17/03/21CHL24.5GS11-41
07/02/21LEO21.5Sft11-121
29/12/20LEO24Y11-121
28/11/20FAI21Sft12-01

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