Grade One Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle Guide

Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:20
5
Jonathan Moore

Vanillier

J:
 
Jonathan Moore
T:
 
Gavin Cromwell
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 150
Days: 40

Vanillier was picked up and moved to Gavin Cromwell’s yard for training under rules having been successful in a point to point at the second time of asking.

Well enough fancied on his hurdling debut, he put in a satisfactory performance to finish second by 11 lengths to an easy winner. With experience under him, Vanillier made amends and broke his maiden at the second time of asking at Naas. 

Progressing well, he moved into graded company for his next run and was unlucky not to catch Farouk D’alene at the line.  Looking like a stayer he was tried at the top table in Ireland in the Grade One Nathaniel Lacy Hurdle.

Not unfancied at 12/1 he didn’t hold his own in Grade One company and flopped back into 10th. 

However, getting back to better ground, he bolted up last time out in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham festival, seeing off most of these runners with ease.

That was a career best performance and there is a big chance he could follow up here if running to a similar level.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/12/21LEO24Y11-123
14/11/21PUN22.5Y11-51
29/10/21DRO19.5Sft12-03
28/04/21PUN24Y11-124
19/03/21CHL24GS11-51
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:20
6
Paul Townend

Galopin Des Champs

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-11
OR: 150
Days: 40

A smart five year old for Willie Mullins that is stepping up into this sphere for the first time in his career, having been tried over lesser distances.

The lightly raced son of Timos was bought over from France and made his debut at Gowran Park in November over two miles and finished a good second.

Having been pulled up on his next start at Limerick with the race not going to plan, he then went into the Grade One Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle and finished a fair sixth behind the likes of Appreciate It, Ballyadam and Blue Lord.

That worked out to be special form, being stepped up to 2m4f at the Cheltenham festival last time out in the Martin Pipe and winning easily.

He is being stepped up again in trip and now in a Grade One he will have to improve again, but it did look though that a trip like this would suit.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/12/21LEO21Y12-01
28/04/21PUN24Y11-111
19/03/21CHL20.5GS11-91
07/02/21LEO16Sft/Hy11-116
29/12/20LIM16Hy11-4P
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:20
2
Danny Mullins

Stattler

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 142
Days: 40

The £59,000 purchase as a three year old started his career in January 2020 and was pitched into a bumper at Fairyhouse where he got off the mark straight away.

He was seen twice again in this sphere finishing third behind the likeable Farouk D'Alene and then second at Limerick in a minor event.

Mullins this term stepped him over hurdles and he looks to be a different prospect all together, with staying trips certainly more of what he needs then two mile events.

He was sent to Naas in November on hurdles debut and finished a good third of 20 runners, but last time out he showed his best run to date when stepped up to 2m4f.

Stattler landed a Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown over the Christmas period, seeing off the smart Glens Of Antrim who was receiving 7lb from our horse.

The second looks to be a smart type for the same yard and it makes Stattler an even better recruit winning easily giving weight away.

He headed into the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle last time at the Cheltenham festival and although getting plenty of market support, he was ultimately well beaten into fourth.

Needs to do better here to reverse the form with some of these.

Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:20
7
Mark Walsh

Gentlemansgame

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
M F Morris
Age: 5
Weight: 11-11
OR: 142
Days: 24

A point to point recruit for Mouse Morris, Gentlemansgame made his rules debut this year and showed bags of talent to dismantle a big field by 21 lengths.

Rachael Blackmore had an easy day in the saddle as her mount cruised to victory over two miles and the further he went the better he looked.

He was then thrown into the deep end at the Dublin Racing Festival when running up 6f from his debut run in the Grade One Nathaniel Lacy Novice Hurdle.

He ran to a superb standard collaring Stattler late on to grab second, finishing in behind the impressive Gaillard Du Mesnil.

Morris decided to save him and skipped both the Cheltenham and Aintree festival's and instead took him to Fairyhouse in the Grade Two Novice Hurdle over 2m4f.

He was unfortunately way back in third behind Ashdale Bob, with the run not going to plan and now back up in trip he should go much better.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/12/21LEO24Sft11-100
28/04/21PUN24Y11-112
04/04/21FAI20Y11-73
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-102
02/01/21COR16Sft/Hy12-01
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:20
8
Rachael Blackmore

Telmesomethinggirl

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 142
Days: 41

The only mare in the field is the Cheltenham festival winner Telmesomethinggirl for Henry De Bromhead and this progressive six year old may come on again for the step up in trip.

The daughter of Stowaway has been highly consistent this season in all of her six races, not finishing outside the top three in any of the runs and also going on to win four of her events.

Having ran well during the summer, winning events at Roscommon and Bellewstown, she then went to Listowel and made it three from four for the term.

Given a small break she returned in February at Leopardstown in a decent Handicap Hurdle finishing third of 20 runners behind Heaven Help Us and Global Equality.

That form was hugely franked at the Cheltenham festival with the winner of the race taking the Coral Cup and Global Equality since winning at Limerick.

Telmesomethinggirl also boosted the form of that race when putting in a career best performance at the Cheltenham festival to land the Grade Two Mares' Novices Hurdle.

It was a super performance coming from off the pace and if staying an extra half a mile, she could be a big player getting the mares allowance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/12/21LEO20Y/Sft11-93
14/11/21PUN18Gd/Y11-115
28/04/21PUN24Y11-55
18/03/21CHL17GS11-21
07/02/21LEO18Sft/Hy11-03
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:20
4
Jack Kennedy

Torygraph

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Mrs Denise Foster
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 137
Days: 40

Recently bursting onto the scene in the betting for this race for the team at Cullentra and Denise Foster. 

Beaten on his hurdle debut by Power Of Pause over 2.5 miles, the best was brought out of the six year old when upped in trip to three miles at Fairyhouse in mid December.

He left his maiden status behind in style running out a 13 length winner to a subsequent maiden winner in Velvet Elvis. 

He’s since backed that effort up winning a novice event under the penalty. Only a small field that day he handily dispatched favourite Fighter Allen who’s trained by Willie Mullins. 

The second and third from that last run have both placed in Grade three events since so the form is looking strong enough. 

However, Torygraph did not do it justice last time out when well fancied for the Albert Bartlettat Cheltenham and getting outclassed into eighth.

It looks as though he wants a testing challenge in the mud and he once again won't get that in this event.

Needs to bounce back.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/11/21FAI21Gd12-06
13/11/21PUN19.5Y12-03
28/04/21PUN24Y11-126
19/03/21CHL24GS11-58
27/01/21THU23Sft/Hy11-71
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:20
3
Simon Torrens

Streets Of Doyen

J:
 
Simon Torrens
T:
 
John C McConnell
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 139
Days: 19

A very busy seven year old novice this year, he actually made his hurdle debut all the way back in November 2019. 

Beaten out of sight in three maidens over two miles that season, he didn’t look to be amassing to much over timber. 

Kept going through the summer and the new season, things didn’t click into place for him until he was sent up in trip for a handicap hurdle over three miles.

Off a mark of 113 he relished the extended trip and broke his maiden in open company. Interestingly he then beat Flooring Porter in another handicap, who’s since won the Grade One Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle. 

Moving back into novice company he’s followed up twice including a win back in October at Cheltenham.  A busy early schedule saw him have a decent break and come back at the end of February

A Grade Two over two miles asked far too much of him and he struggled to lie up with the field but the run would’ve blown away the cobwebs. 

It did just that and with the better ground coming at Cheltenham it saw him finish a staying on third in the Grade One Albert Bartlett.

He was turned around quickly and featured in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree, where although staying well in the end he was easily beaten from a long way out.

Will love the ground but might not have the class to win it.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/08/21WOR23Gd11-83
29/07/21GAL22.5Gd11-111
28/04/21PUN24Y11-127
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-44
19/03/21CHL24GS11-53
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:20
1
Robbie Power

Crosshill

J:
 
Robbie Power
T:
 
Mrs John Harrington
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 138
Days: 25

The final runner of the race is the outsider Crosshill for Jessica Harrington who is a nice horse in his own right but may just be outclassed at this level.

The six year old made his debut over hurdles in October and won nicely over 2m4f at Punchestown, seeing off the favourite Vanillier.

Stepped down to two miles he finished a close second in a Novices' event, but it ultimately showed that he needed to go over further.

Back over 2m4f he fell in the Grade One Lawlor Of Naas Novices' Hurdle when well beaten anyway and then after that at Thurles back in novice company he was a weak fourth.

Last time out he was stepped up to three miles for the first time in his career and revelled in it finishing a narrow second to Lady Breffni for Willie Mullins.

Although that was a better effort, stepping back up to Grade One company leaves him vulnerable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
25/11/21THU18Gd12-02
28/04/21PUN24Y11-128
03/04/21FAI24Y11-82
15/02/21THU20Hy11-124
13/01/21NAA20Hy11-12F

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