Day Five Punchestown Festival Preview - 01/05/21

Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 13:50
18
Darragh O'Keeffe

Young Dev

J:
 
Darragh O'Keeffe
T:
 
Denis Gerard Hogan
Age: 7
Weight: 10-5
OR: 126
Days: 28

With no bet in the first race of the day we move straight onto the 3m7f Handicap Chase and near the bottom of the weights Young Dev for Denis Hogan could have a sniff.

A highly consistent seven year old for the yard who has been frequently raced this season, but if getting this trip could be a big player.

Seen 10 times since the start of the season, the gelding has placed on five occasions in good staying events and has also gone on to win once.

His win came three starts ago in extraordinary circumstances when his jockey nearly being unseated and losing his irons for the whole way round, but still managing to get the horse up.

He was dropped in trip after that and it did not suit but last time out back up to three miles at Fairyhouse saw him finish a good second behind a nice handicapper for Noel Meade, also giving him weight.

Tackling his furthest trip in his career, he is still only on a mark of 126 and that looks extremely workable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/02/24NAV24Hy10-131
23/01/24DRO24Sft11-64
14/01/24PUN22.5Sft11-33
27/12/23LIM20Hy11-96
14/01/23FAI24Sft/Hy10-138
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
2
Mr P W Mullins

Concertista

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-9
OR: 153
Days: 46

The first feature race of the day at Punchestown is the Grade One Mares Champion Hurdle and we are giving another chance to Concertista for the inform Willie Mullins.

The seven year old for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede is lightly raced in Britain and Ireland, making her hurdles debut for the yard back in March 2019, when beaten a head in the Grade Two Mares Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

Being very much a spring horse, this mare comes alive at the festival and last year having not set the world alight in Ireland, went back into the Grade Two Mares Novices Hurdle and took the event by an ever growing 12 lengths.

Having put up one of the performances of the meeting the yard, this year decided to aim her at this Grade One event and she has done nothing but improve all season.

She started her season off at Fairyhouse stepping up in trip for the first time and she saw off Minella Melody in impressive style to take the Grade Two event.

She last seen again in December at Leopardstown over 2m4f in the Grade Three Mares Hurdle and she emphatically brushed aside a smart field of mares.

Thought of as the Irish banker by many for the Cheltenham festival she was narrowly beaten in the Grade One Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival by Black Tears.

Although getting beat she still put up a superb performance and that looks the best form on offer.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/04/22PUN23.5Gd/Y11-3PU
18/03/22CHL20.5GS11-55
28/12/21LIM22.5Hy11-71
05/12/21COR16.5Sft11-21
01/05/21PUN20Gd/Y11-93
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 15:00
8
Jack Kennedy

Zanahiyr

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Mrs Denise Foster
Age: 4
Weight: 11-2
OR: 145
Days: 43

The final Grade One event of the five day meeting is the Grade One Ballymore Champion Four Year Old and with a similar Irish contingent seen in the Triumph Hurdle it looks a hot affair.

We are giving another chance to the Denise Foster trained Zanahiyr, who was a perfect three from three since being switched to hurdles, but lost that record at the Cheltenham festival.

Solid enough when winning his maiden in October, him and favourite Dark Voyager pulled miles clear of the remainder. Zanahiyr being the more professional on the day.

His next start earmarked him as a really smart sort. Winning a Grade Three hurdle he dispatched the well fancied Saint Sam for Willie Mullins without breaking sweat.

Backing up that effort in a Grade Two race for four year olds at Leopardstown, he was sent off favourite for the first time and obliged at a short price. Giving 3lbs to Busselton he asserted on the run-in to an impressive victory.

With his form stacking up he went into the Triumph Hurdle a hot favourite, but unfortunately flopped not running the race many thought he would.

He now needs to bounce back in this event and up against Quilixios once more makes it very tough, but if giving his true running he still posses the best run in the division this season and his sectional back up just how good he is.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/02/24THU16.5Sft/Hy11-121
28/12/23LEO21.5Sft11-122
03/12/23FAI20.5Sft11-124
18/11/23NAV20Sft/Hy11-32
10/10/23PUN18Y11-21
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 15:30
11
Rachael Blackmore

Popong

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 7
Weight: 10-6
OR: 130
Days: 126

Another staying Handicap Chase this time over 3m 1/2 furlong and the horse that has caught our eye is the Henry De Bromhead trained Popong.

Although the yard aren't in the same electric form they were earlier in the season, this mare has plenty going for in this event.

The seven year old having been a fair hurdler last term, stepped over fences for the first time in July at Tipperary and was a good second on debut.

She then used that to get off the mark over 2m4f at Listowel, but when stepped up to a Grade Three was slightly outclassed.

The mare bounced back next time out giving her best run of the season when second at Punchestown behind the dual Grade One winner Colreevy.

Dropped in trip on Boxing Day she unfortunately fell and she has not been seen since that event.

She should be fresh for her small break and if the step up in trip brings improvement her mark is extremely lenient following the Colreevy form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
15/05/23KLN20Gd11-510
28/12/22LEO24Sft10-1117
12/08/22TRM21.5Gd11-32
08/07/22KLB25Gd10-82
14/06/22ROS24.5Gd11-72
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 16:05
5
Mark Walsh

The Shunter

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
Emmet Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-9
OR: 143
Days: 23

The Grade B Handicap Hurdle over 2m4f sees a huge field of superb runners heading to post, with plenty of familiar faces and with that in mind we have two selections at each way prices.

The first horse to side with is the superstar The Shunter, who has been one of the stories of the season for shrewd Irish trainer Emmet Mullins.

The eight year old has been a fine servant for the yard this season, over both hurdles and fences and off the back of his last run at the Cheltenham festival he deserves his chance in this company.

Frequently raced this term, his first stand out win of the season came at Cheltenham in the Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle, when bolting up over two miles.

Still on a nice mark over fences he was sent to the Dublin Racing Festival in the Matheson Handicap Chase and he finished a staying on third of 20 runners.

Not afraid of travelling this horse, Mullins took him next to Kelso for the Morebattle Hurdle, where the winner of the race would have a chance of a £100,000 bonus if going on to win the race and then at the Cheltenham festival.

Having stayed on well to take that race in Scotland, he was then sent into the Paddy Power Plate at the Cheltenham festival over 2m4f and under a superb ride by 7lb claimer Jordan Gainford he took the event.

He is versatile with ground and has shown he stays this trip well, and with that in mind he was sent to Aintree in the Grade One Manifesto Novices' Chase over 2m4f.

He finished a narrow second behind Protektorat and if it was not for his jumping he would have surely gone much closer.

Now back over hurdles off a 10lb lower mark than he last ran off over fences he can not be dismissed and looks a big player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
14/10/23NMK18Sft9-11
16/08/23GOW12.5Gd10-04
29/04/23PUN19Gd/Y11-415
04/03/23KEL23.5GS11-23
06/11/22NAA16Hy8-114
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 16:05
11
Conor McNamara

Gabynako

J:
 
Conor McNamara
T:
 
Gavin Cromwell
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 138
Days: 43

At a bigger price but still looking to have a huge chance is the Gavin Cromwell trained Gabynako who was extremely unlucky at Cheltenham last time out.

The six year old was a fair bumper horse placing in most his races, but as a hurdler has stepped his game up, finishing second on debut behind the likeable Fakiera for Denise Foster.

He got off the mark next time out, coming on for his first run to land a 17 runner maiden at Naas over two miles with the third in that event since coming out and winning.

Like many in this race last time out the gelding was put into the Grade Two Novice Hurdle at Navan over 2m4f and finished third behind Ashdale Bob and Fakiera again.

Two starts ago he was stepped up into Grade One company for the first time and again was a good third behind Bob Olinger and Blue Lord, who both franked the form earlier in the week.

He was pitched into handicap company for the first time next time out to gain big field experience and with the mix of him needing further than two miles and hitting a hurdle early, he ran no race.

Last time out he was well backed for the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle over 2m4f at the Cheltenham festival, but unfortunately was bought down at the first hurdle.

He has since been dropped 3lb for that run and with a handy 3lb claimer taking more weight off he has to be in with an each way shout.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-123
15/03/22CHL16GS11-42
26/12/21LIM19.5Hy11-123
28/11/21FAI20Gd11-122
09/11/21FAI21Gd/Y12-01
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 16:40
12
Danny Mullins

Klassy Kay

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 10-9
OR: 107
Days: 26

The penultimate event of the afternoon is the Mares Handicap Hurdle over 2m4f and with the form Willie Mullins is in this week, Klassy Kay near the bottom of the weights can't be overlooked.

The seven year old started her season off at Sligo in August with a pipe cleaner and it worked a trick with her getting off the mark for the season next time out at Fairyhouse.

Having backed that up with a fair third at Clonmel she then stepped up in trip over course and distance and got back to winning ways in fine style.

She has been seen twice since then finishing sixth of 17 at Leopardstown in a Handicap Hurdle and then last time out in a good handicap when staying on she took a nasty fall.

If none the worse for that tumble, she looks a big player off a mark of 107.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/07/21GAL21Gd11-34
16/06/21WEX20.5Y11-21
24/05/21BAL18Hy10-105
01/05/21PUN20Gd/Y10-915
05/04/21FAI22Y9-9F
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 17:10
6

Guily Billy

J:
 
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 5
Weight: 12-2
OR: N/A

The final selection from us for the entire 2021 Punchestown festival is Guily Billy for Henry De Bromhead and Cheveley Park Stud and this potential superstar could be the next Envoi Allen.

The five year old cost £310,000 at Cheltenham in December having been seen twice in point to point events, being pulled up on debut, but then winning nicely at the second time of asking.

Cheveley Park over the years have bought extremely well when it comes to jump horses building a fortress of a team for the big spring festivals and making his rules debut, you would not be suprised to see this youngster be a superstar.

Worth taking note of.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/01/22PUN16Sft11-4PU
09/12/21TRM16Sft12-01
28/10/21CLO16.5Hy12-02
15/11/20TIN24Sft/Hy11-111
01/03/20BOH24Y/Sft11-11PU