Five Horses To Take Out Of The Punchestown Festival

1. Kemboy

Kemboy will now always be remembered as Ruby Walsh's final winning ride before retirement, after the pair teamed up to win the Coral Gold Cup at the Punchestown Festival.

The seven-year-old - who bounced back after his early exit in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with a bloodless victory in the Betway Bowl Chase at Aintree, clashed with stablemate Al Boum Photo who took the Festival feature back in March.

Aside from that unseat, Kemboy had won his last six in a row and you just wonder whether if he had stood up at Prestbury Park, would he have prevailed in front because he certainly got the better of Mrs Donnelly's stable-star last week over three miles.

The duo pulled miles clear of the others, but Kemboy just had that bit of extra class over Al Boum Photo, and with injury free seasons ahead of them, it will be great to see them fight out the Cheltenham showpiece in March properly.

Kemboy - with age on his side, looks a star in the making.

2. Gypsy Island

Gypsy Island was certainly the horse for owner JP McManus to feast over with next season in mind, after victory in her fourth consecutive bumper - this time in the Grade Three Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares NH Flat Race.

Ridden by Derek O'Connor, she was waited with early on at the back of the field, but on the final bend with a couple of furlongs left to run, she never looked like losing the race.

She breezed into contention and won by a margin of five lengths, not as stunning as her performance at Fairyhouse over Yukon Lil, but still completely convincing.

A return to hurdles now beckons for the five-year-old next season, who's initial attempt at Navan did not come to fruition.

3. Chacun Pour Soi

Chacun Pour Soi was a magnificent winner of the Ryanair Novice Chase for Willie Mullins and jockey Robbie Power.

Paul Townend will be biting his finger nails after selecting Duc Des Genievres to ride, but will soon realise he has the winner to look forward to next season when he gets first pick.

The Arkle winner was twenty-lengths behind the Rich Ricci-owned seven-year-old, who's profile does look rather bare, but he got the better of another Festival winner in the shape of Defi Du Seuil, which is probably now the most prolific two-mile novice chase form of the season going into next year.

Chacun Pour Soi recorded one of the most impressive beginners' chase wins of the season at Naas after moving from France, and after a below-par year for Rich Ricci, he and Mullins can look forward to a Champion Chase campaign next term with this one.

4. Reserve Tank

Reserve Tank pounced on the disappointing City Island to take the Grade One Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle, providing another big winner in the week for Robbie Power.

Riding for one of his more regular partners Colin Tizzard, he guided the five-year-old to another career best following his victory at Aintree in the Betway Mersey Novices Hurdle.

A horse who has progressed much later than some, he is now a dual Grade One winner after just six starts over hurdles, and raced four times in Class Fours.

Plenty of options now beckon for this gelding; a novice chasing campaign could be on the horizon, but wherever he goes he remains of strong interest.

5. Fusil Raffles

Fusil Raffles bounced back from injury - which he sustained on his impressive British debut and subsequently forced him out of the Cheltenham Festival, after taking the Grade One AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle.

One start for Nicky Henderson in the colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede really caught everyone's eyes and imaginations at Kempton back in February, having been freshly imported from France, where he finished first and second in two starts.

The four-year-old got the better of Supreme fourth and Aintree second Fakir D'oudairies who has been one of the standout juveniles of the season, having travelled really well into the race.

Another individual for Seven Barrows to be excited about; potentially Champion Hurdle?

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