Day Three Punchestown Festival Preview - 28/04/22

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Punchestown - April 27 2022
Punchestown 14:40
Rachael Blackmore

Hide And Seek

J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
Age: 5
Weight: 10-12
OR: 107
Days: 18

The first horse we are going to put up on Thursday comes in the Handicap Hurdle over two miles and Hide And Seek for the inform Henry De Bromhead team makes big appeal.

The five year old mare has some classy form over hurdles this term, three starts ago finishing third on good ground behind Braganza for Willie Mullins.

She then went to Tramore and again settled for third when well beaten by El Fabiolo who has turned out to be a very classy individual.

Over the same course and distance Hide and Seek franked that form by getting off the mark over timber, beating a nice type for Gordon Elliott by 10 lengths.

She makes her handicap debut in this sphere and only on a mark of 107, she could have a lot more to offer.

Punchestown - April 27 2022
Punchestown 15:15
Shane Fitzgerald

Grange Walk

J: Shane Fitzgerald
T: John Patrick Ryan
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 141
Days: 11

Next up is the Handicap Chase over two miles and we are giving another chance to Grange Walk who was a faller last time out when looking to have the race at his mercy.

The seven year old has been in fine form this season finishing a good second to the G1 placed Dunvegan over course and distance and then off the back of that won a nice event at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Having a small blip when falling at Fairyhouse in January, he bounced back to form at the Dublin Racing Festival when second to the well handicapped A Wave Of The Sea.

Next seen behind Grade One winner Gentleman De Mee in a Grade Three event at Navan when a 16 length second, that looks some of the best form on offer.

Last time out Grange Walk travelled beautifully into the race under Shane Fitzgerald, cruising up to rival Mt Leinster when unfortunately falling two out.

Only 1lb higher for that run today and now receiving weight off the Mullins horse, he has to be taken seriously if improving his jumping.

Punchestown - April 27 2022
Punchestown 15:50
Sean O'Keeffe


J: Sean O'Keeffe
T: Mrs John Harrington
Age: 11
Weight: 11-7
OR: 118
Days: 27

One of the trickier punting races on the card is the La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase over 4m2f and we are taking a punt on Neverushacon for Jessica Harrington.

The 11 year old has been a great servant for the yard over the years, especially in these sorts of races with his best performances coming around this track.

He has been seen over fences at Punchestown eight times and when completing his races he has gone on to place on five occasions, winning two of those events over stating distances.

The Thunder Chase in November is a race he has made his own at the track winning it back in 2020 and this season managed a close up fourth.

Top class rider Sean O'Keefe takes the ride and his latest second over 2m4f at Wexford will have set him up perfectly for this event with that his first race for three months.

Punchestown - April 27 2022
Punchestown 16:25
Paul Townend

Klassical Dream

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 163
Days: 42

The feature race on day three is the Grade One Champion Stayers Hurdle over three miles and this race looks set up for Klassical Dream and Paul Townend.

The eight year old is a very up and down horse but when on song is very tough to beat, being thought of as a two miler earlier in his career but is now a solid stayer.

His novice campaign in 2018/19 was nothing short of superb winning all four of his events including the G1 Supreme Novices' Hurdle and G1 Champion Novice Hurdle at this festival.

Finding things trickier when going over two miles in open company his 19/20 season was scrapped after two poor efforts in tough company.

Given time, he returned in April last year at this meeting and on his first try at three miles bolted up to land this event in style.

Ran more frequently this term he made a superb start to the term when landing the G1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown but after that was poor at Gowran Park and was well beat in the end at the Cheltenham festival in the Stayers' Hurdle.

However, getting back to a track he is unbeaten at, in the race he won last year and no Flooring Porter to compete with, he looks the pick of the bunch and has everything going for him to get back on track.

Punchestown - April 27 2022
Punchestown 17:00
Mr R James

Sassy Yet Classy

J: Mr R James
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 136
Days: 42

An Interesting handicap on the third day of the festival is the three mile Grade B event and Sassy Yet Classy for the inform Gordon Elliott cant be overlooked.

A fairly reliable horse over the years, the mare is a huge fan of Punchestown seeming to give her best runs over this course and distance which is only a benefit.

This season the mare has been seen five times, finishing third of nine on debut at Clonmel as a pipe opener and then off the back of that went to Punchestown and landed a Pertemps Qualifier with ease.

Unseating at Navan at the first hurdle in December, she then dropped down to 2m4f at the same track a few weeks later and was a close up second.

Saved for the Pertemps final at the Cheltenham, festival she was bought down before being able to make her challenge and having been well backed ahead of the off, we will never know what could have been.

Now back at a track she loves, 6lb lower than her mark at Cheltenham and 7lb claimer Rob Jame taking off further weight, she could be seriously well in here.

Punchestown - April 27 2022
Punchestown 17:35
Sean O'Keeffe

Saint Sam

J: Sean O'Keeffe
T: W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-12
OR: 152
Days: 44

The final Grade One of the afternoon at Punchestown sees the Barberstown Castle Novice Chase over two miles and we think the value lies with Saint Sam.

A very smart hurdler, placing in last year's Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle off a mark of 139, he looks to be an even better chaser.

Making his chase debut this season at Fairyhouse he impressively saw off Thedevilscoachman by nine lengths, with the JP McManus owned horse since franking the form back over hurdles.

Saint Sam was next seen at the Dublin Racing Festival when chasing home Blue Lord and Riviere D'etel in the Grade One Irish Arkle.

He put up a solid effort going hard at the front and looking to be tailed off he stayed on gamely to only go down by four lengths.

Set for a big run at this year's Cheltenham festival he was essentially bought down by faller Brave Seasca and we don't know how he would have got on.

He is worth another chance at the prices with favourite and stablemate Gentleman De Mee looking tough to beat but having run only three weeks ago, that might take its toll.

Punchestown - April 27 2022
Punchestown 18:45
Mr P W Mullins

James's Gate

J: Mr P W Mullins
T: W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 12-0
Days: 43

In the final event of the afternoon we have two runners that could go well with a win and each way place in the race.

Our win selection is the exciting James's Gate for Willie Mullins who was a €62,000 purchase who has been seen twice to date, making an emphatic debut over course and distance on heavy ground and then last time out placing in the G1 Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham festival.

Again on heavy ground he chased home superstars Facile Vega and American Mike to be third and now down into a Grade Three he could be very tough to beat.

Punchestown - April 27 2022
Punchestown 18:45
Mr D G Lavery

Sir Jimmy Mac

J: Mr D G Lavery
T: Muredach Kelly
Age: 6
Weight: 12-0
Days: 39

From an each way angle and a bit of an unknown entity is the Muredach Kelly trained Sir Jimmy Mac, who has been seen once to date.

On his sole start to date back in March at Downpatrick he went on to bolt up by 24 lengths in a 10 runner bumper, with the third since coming out and winning for Willie Mullins.

He is certainly worth a market check on the day, as he could turn out to be anything.