Grade One Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle Guide 2022

Jake Russell | @JakeRuss1000

Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
10
B J Cooper

Ramillies

J: B J Cooper
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 138
Days: 40

It is very rare to see a Willie Mullins horse trading at this big of a price, but it is clear to see why. He has only won once over hurdles, which was just a Maiden contest at Punchestown back in February but did finish 6th in the Albert Bartlett last time out.

He was well beaten that day and like a few of the other runners further down in the market, he has a fair bit to find on form to land a blow in this.

Has only won a Maiden Hurdle this season, 6th in the Albert Bartlett last time out, but was well beaten that day so has something to find on the rest of these. Best watched.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-106
18/03/22CHL24GS11-86
23/02/22PUN20.5Sft/Hy11-121
30/01/22NAA19Gd/Y12-03
28/04/21PUN16.5Y12-26
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
4
Kevin Sexton

Good Time Jonny

J: Kevin Sexton
T: A J Martin
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 139
Days: 40

Like a few of these further down in the market, Good Time Jonny has been in decent form this season with 3 wins over hurdles, but he does look slightly more exposed with the 11 hurdle runs to his name, lacking the graded form like most of these.

Finished a well back 9th in the Albert Bartlett last time out so has to improve wonders to land a blow in this.

Just 9th in the Albert Bartlett last time out, hasn’t got the graded form some of these have and looks more exposed with the 11 runs over Hurdles already, just three wins to his name, best watched in this red-hot contest.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-10PU
18/03/22CHL24GS11-89
05/02/22LEO24Y10-131
29/12/21LEO20Y/Sft11-41
13/11/21CHL21Gd11-26
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
1
Brian Hayes

Bardenstown Lad

J: Brian Hayes
T: John C McConnell
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 142
Days: 40

One of the busier horses for this season, John McConnell’s gelding has been in great form this season, winning 4 out of his 6 runs over hurdles, with a few wins coming in Ireland and a few over in the UK.

This horse completely outrun his odds in the Albert Bartlett last time out when finishing 3rd out of 16 runners, he was beaten by just under 10 lengths so has a fair bit to find on the main two in the market who finished ahead of him that day, but he has come on leaps and bounds with each run so write him off at your peril.

Like most of these trip and conditions will suit, so he could outrun his odds once again in this. Four-time winner this season since going over hurdles, wins coming from both in Ireland and in the UK and was a fantastic 3rd in the Albert Bartlett last time out, could run well once again in this but has a fair bit to find on the main runners, Place chances for sure.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-10F
18/03/22CHL24GS11-83
05/02/22MUS24Gd11-81
22/10/21CHL24Gd11-61
18/09/21NAV22Gd11-83
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
5
Davy Russell

Hollow Games

J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: 142
Days: 40

This horse started off the season with two wins over hurdles, his debut at Down Royal by 6 and a half lengths and then got his head in front again at Navan in a Grade 3 by just over 2 lengths.

He looked like a potential top-class novice for the season ahead and got a lot of eyes on him going forward. Although hasn’t won a race since, he has been running very consistently in some decent contests, including two Grade 1’s in Ireland and the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham festival last month where he was only beaten by just under 5 lengths.

He finished behind two of these in the Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in February, so has a bit to find on the form, but the feeling was the yard was protecting his mark ready for the Martin Pipe.

Now back in Grade 1 company the yard will be going all out for this race, with Davy Russell booked to ride he will run his usual consistent race in this.

Two-time winner on his first two starts over hurdles, been running consistently since then in Graded 1 contests, Davy Russell booked with is the eye catcher and will see out this trip well, could run his usual consistent race and maybe outrun his odds.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-105
18/03/22CHL20.5GS11-93
05/02/22LEO22Y11-103
02/01/22NAA20Sft11-123
21/11/21NAV20Gd11-41
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
11
Paul Townend

The Nice Guy

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 153
Days: 40

This horse arrives at this race in top form, unbeaten this season with four runs and four wins for Willie Mullins, he was a brilliant winner of the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham festival last time out, beating Minella Cocooner by 5 lengths.

He didn’t particularly jump with much fluency last time out, which might usually catch a novice out in a top race, but he really shown his quality to gather up when it really mattered coming around the final bend, jumping well and stayed on superbly up the Cheltenham hill, looking like an even further step up in trip might suit this horse further down the line.

The trip will suit, and conditions are certainly in his favour, as he has won on Good to Yielding ground twice in his career. If he reproduces a performance like he did in the Albert Bartlett, he will be very hard to beat off level weights in this.

Brilliant winner of the Albert Bartlett last time out, beating some of these by 5 lengths, needs to slightly brush up on his jumping, but he has an engine and conditions suit, making him the one to beat in this contest.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-101
18/03/22CHL24GS11-81
30/01/22NAA19Gd/Y12-01
29/12/21LEO16Y/Sft12-21
27/11/21FAI16Gd12-21
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
7
Barry Browne

Meet And Greet

J: Barry Browne
T: Oliver McKiernan
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: 138
Days: 59

A horse who was highly tried in bumper races last season, with 1 win in 6 runs has similar form over hurdles this season with just one win in four runs. His only win came in a Maiden Hurdle contest at Naas last time in a big field, winning by just under 4 lengths.

Hasn’t got the form in the book most of these have so very hard to see him winning this, probably a horse who will be better suited to running in big field handicaps further down the line.

Has just the one win over hurdles to his name, which was a 25 runner Maiden at Naas in February, needs to step up wonders to land a blow in this, best watched.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/02/22NAA15.5Sft11-42
12/02/22NAA15.5Sft11-121
06/11/21NAA16Y11-113
29/04/21PUN16Y11-118
03/04/21FAI16Y11-85
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
6
Rachael Blackmore

Journey With Me

J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: 145
Days: 42

One of the slightly more interesting contenders coming into this race, he was unbeaten in his career before falling at the last against Sir Gerhard in the Ballymore last month at the festival, he was a winner at Leopardstown and Naas before that, where he beat Minella Crooner on his hurdle debut at Leopardstown back in December of last year.

He takes the step up in trip to 2m7f for the first time in his career, and judging by his previous hurdle victories it looks as if this step up might suit, but he is up against some nice staying types in this who have already ran at this sort of trip, plus he has to overcome the heavy fall last time out when beaten in the Ballymore, where he was 2nd at the time of falling but looked well beaten.

He has only ever run-on softer conditions so needs to prove these better conditions will suit and has to take the step up in trip in his stride, but he is clearly talented, and his trainer Henry De Bromhead has said positive things about this horse with the step up in distance.

Certainly, an interesting runner who has to step up after quite a heavy fall last time out.

Four wins out of five career runs so far, takes the step up in trip for the first time today and has to come up against some nice staying hurdlers, but he shown he has bags of talent on his two hurdle wins, interesting runner who could upset the main two in the market.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-107
16/03/22CHL21Sft11-7F
12/02/22NAA19Sft11-101
29/12/21LEO20Y/Sft12-01
12/03/21GOW18Hy12-21
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
2
Daryl Jacob

Bronn

J: Daryl Jacob
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: 137
Days: 24

Leading jockey Daryl Jacob heads over to the Punchestown festival for a few rides and he looks to have a nice one in this, although Bronn lacks the form of some of these, but he is very unexposed so could be anything in this.

Trained by Willie Mullins this horse has only had the four runs over obstacles, and has improved with each one of those runs, winning on hurdle debut at Naas back in January, before going on to win a Grade 2 contest at Fairyhouse last time out in decent style, beating Churchstonewarrior by half a length.

He is another type tackling the 2m7f trip for the first time, but he is bred for the trip and was always staying on well to the line last time out, when just pulling away coming to the line.

He is very unexposed over this trip so that might edge out some more improvement from the Notnowcato gelding, who is only a 5yo so very much one to keep an eye on.

Grade 2 winner over 2m4f at Fairyhouse last time out when getting on top at the finish, tackles this sort of trip for the first time so hard to gauge him, but he looks talented and is trained by the master in Willie Mullins. Could fill the places.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/04/22FAI20Y11-31
12/03/22NAV22.5Hy11-42
05/02/22LEO22Y11-105
02/01/22NAA16Sft12-01
16/04/21BAL17.5Y/Sft11-91
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
8
Danny Mullins

Minella Cocooner

J: Danny Mullins
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: 147
Days: 40

Willie Mullins looks to have the grip on this race with the two main protagonists in this race, and although this horse was beaten by the favourite last time, he could get a bit closer this time around.

Minella Cocooner was fairly well fancied at the festival last time out when sent off at 9/2, and didn’t particularly disappoint when beaten, he raced wide on occasions which wouldn’t have helped his cause, and probably didn’t stay up the hill as well as the winner that day, he like the favourite does lack fluency in his jumping, but again like a few of these in this race he will improve on again with each run.

Conditions and trip will suit him like the favourite, and with this track being slightly easier to run at compared to Cheltenham he is expected to go pretty well again, with Danny Mullins booked to ride who is a fantastic back-up jockey for Willie Mullins to have riding him.

This horse is a Grade 1 winner at Leopardstown in February when beating Minella Crooner by just under 3 lengths, so certainly has the quality in his locker, definitely could be the one to serve it up to the favourite in this.

3-length winner of a Grade 1 at Leopardstown in February, a creditable 2nd in the Albert Bartlett last time out, has something to find with the favourite but is only a 6yo so could improve even more.

Definitely a contender in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-102
18/03/22CHL24GS11-82
05/02/22LEO22Y11-101
18/12/21NAV20Gd/Y12-01
14/11/21COR16Sft12-02
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
9
Jack Kennedy

Minella Crooner

J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: 142
Days: 81

Gordon Elliott’s charge has met a few of these previously, Journey With Me back on hurdle debut last December where he was a 3 and a half lengths second, and Minella Cocooner in the Grade 1 at Leopardstown in February, where he was beaten by just under 3 lengths.

It look’s as if the runners at the top end of the market might have his number, but he has one factor that plays to his strengths that the others don’t have, he comes into this race very fresh with no Cheltenham Festival run to his name just over a month ago.

He was ruled out of running in the Albert Bartlett due to an injury, so has that to overcome but he wouldn’t be running in this if he wasn’t ready to go, with conditions in his favour and this sort of trip clearly suiting, arriving at this fresh with no festival run could be the key to landing this race.

2nd in a Grade 1 behind Minella Cocooner at Leopardstown in February, arrives at this race with no festival run so will be fresh and ready to go, could be the one to upset the runners who have had a busy time of things recently, will go well for an in-form yard.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/02/22LEO22Y11-102
17/01/22PUN24Sft12-01
29/12/21LEO20Y/Sft12-02
13/11/21PUN16Y12-21
22/10/21SLI18Y12-21
Punchestown - April 26 2022
Punchestown 16:20
3
Sean O'Keeffe

Daily Present

J: Sean O'Keeffe
T: Paul Nolan
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: 133
Days: 46

Another horse that could be a fascinating contender in this, not trained by the top boys in Ireland, Paul Nolan looks to have a nice 5yo on his hands, with the career record of 2 wins in 3 runs under rules, all three runs coming over hurdles.

He has only been winning novice contests however and does lack the Graded form like most of these, but he did beat Bronn back in March who has since won a Grade 2, so the form in behind is very strong.

An unexposed runner who could take a slight step up in this and run well but is definitely one to keep an eye on going forward, possibly for next season.

Two-time winner over hurdles where he beat recent Grade 2 winner Bronn, decent piece of form but has only been running in novice contests, so has to improve considerably to land a blow in this, but definitely an interesting 5yo for the next few seasons ahead.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/03/22NAV22.5Hy11-41
15/01/22FAI20Sft11-61
16/12/21NAA19Y11-92

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