Day Four Punchestown Festival Preview - 30/04/21

Punchestown - April 29 2021
Punchestown 15:15
1
B J Cooper

Asterion Forlonge

J:
 
B J Cooper
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 152
Days: 26

With no bet in the first race we move straight onto the EMS Copiers Grade A Novice Handicap Chase and although top weight, Asterion Forlonge could just be a serious class above this field dropping down in class.

Last season over hurdles he showed a superb attitude, winning at Naas on his jumps debut seeing off a decent Gordon Elliott trained runner who then went on to frank the form.

From just the one run over flights he headed to the Dublin Racing festival at Leopardstown in the Grade One Pharma Novice Hurdle and caused a shock when taking the race.

He was then entered into the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and although going off as favourite for the event jumped way out to his right and had to settle for fourth.

Sent chasing by Mullins this term, things have not gone to plan and shipping him into this race could just be what he needs.

The gelding owned by the Donnelly's made a pleasing debut at Punchestown when winning an 18 runner Beginners' Chase by six lengths, overcoming a big blunder.

Since then he has been pitched into two Graded events at Limerick and Punchestown and fell on both occasions, showing how much of a novice he is.

He was next seen taking on stablemate Monkfish in the Grade One Flogas Novice Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival and although giving a clear round of jumping, he was no match for for the favourite.

Improving for the clear round he then put in a good performance to finish third in the Grade One Marsh Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham festival and backed that up last time out when third again in a Grade One at Fairyhouse.

He is a black type horse dropping into a handicap and although giving bundles of weight away, if giving his best running he should be no match for this field.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/03/22CHL26.5GS11-107
05/02/22LEO24.5Y11-104
26/12/21KEM24Sft11-10F
05/12/21PUN20.5Y/Sft11-12UR
30/04/21PUN21Y11-101
Punchestown - April 29 2021
Punchestown 15:50
5
Jordan Gainford

Scarlet And Dove

J:
 
Jordan Gainford
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 10-12
OR: 140
Days: 26

Next up is the Grade B Mares Handicap Chase and the highly progressive Scarlet And Dove dropping back into this company could be a big player.

The mare has been frequently raced this term, but has just got better and better with every run, making her chase debut at Cork in November and finishing second to the likeable Yukon Lil.

Back over the same course and distance she was a good second to Cheltenham festival winner Mount Ida and then at the third time of asking she landed a Beginners' Chase at Limerick.

Coming with a good run when stepped up to a Grade Two at Thurles, she unfortunately took a fall when upsides the dual Grade One winning Colreevy.

She put that behind her in a Grade Three at Navan when winning easily and then backed that performance up at Limerick in a Grade Two.

Last time out the mare was seen finishing fifth of nine behind Janidil in the Grade One Gold Cup Novice Chase at Fairyhouse and now dropping back into a handicap, on a nice weight, she could be a huge player.

Supertsar 7lb claimer Jordan Gainford also takes off another 7lb which makes her even more respected.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/04/22PUN21Gd/Y11-51
18/03/22CHL20.5GS11-53
27/01/22GOW25Sft10-6PU
01/01/22FAI21.5Y11-73
11/11/21CLO20.5Sft11-92
Punchestown - April 29 2021
Punchestown 16:25
8
Rachael Blackmore

Honeysuckle

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 165
Days: 45

The feature race of the day is the Grade One Paddy Power Champion Hurdle and there is just no looking past the super-mare Honeysuckle.

Honeysuckle looks to be the one to beat once again and has a been a star for the yard over the last two years being faultless on all four of her starts last term, winning twice at Fairyhouse including in the Grade One Hatton's Grace Hurdle, she then narrowly stayed on to take the Irish Champion Hurdle before landing her first Cheltenham festival winner when seeing off Benie Des Dieux in the Mares Hurdle.

Overall the Kenneth Alexander-owned seven-year-old has claimed 12 wins in a row, if including her point to point race aswell and this season she has picked up from where she left off.

She headed to Fairyhouse on her seasonal debut in defence of her Hatton's Grace title and in gritty and determined fashion she managed to hold on close to the line.

Given some time to improve for that run, she then went back to Leopardstown to defend her Irish Champion Hurdle title and in emphatic style she landed the event by 10 lengths.

That was arguably one of the performances of the season and with her jumping quicker and showing clear speed over two miles, she looked the real deal.

It was thought that run would be hard to top, but she did just that at the Cheltenham festival when making it back to back wins at the meeting when landing the Grade One Champion Hurdle.

She is a force to be reckoned with and should just go on and win again.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-51
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-31
06/02/22LEO16Y11-51
28/11/21FAI20Gd11-51
30/04/21PUN16Y11-71
Punchestown - April 29 2021
Punchestown 17:00
2

Bob Olinger

J:
 
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 159
Days: 44

The second Grade One event on the day is the Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle and Henry De Bromhead's superstar is looking to extend his credentials.

Bob Olinger is a superstar off the back of his starts during his career to date and since stepping over hurdles this term he has looked a complete natural.

Back in November 2019 the five year old won an Irish maiden at Turtulla by 15 lengths and was bought and given to De Bromhead off the back of it.

At Gowran Park in March he made his rules debut in a bumper and again showed clear talent to take the 2m2f event by 10 lengths, seeing off nice types for Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott.

He was sent back to Gowran Park for his hurdles debut when him and Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow breezed away from the rest of the pack and he narrowly finished runner up behind the Cheveley Park horse.

He was then stepped up in trip at Navan in a maiden hurdle over 2m4f and he was an emphatic winner of the race beating a minor field by 14 lengths.

Next time out he was sent into the Grade One Lawlor Of Naas Novices' Hurdle and he breezed away from a good field to land the event by close to seven lengths.

The gelding took on his toughest test to date in the Grade One Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and he came out victorious giving a hiding to a good field.

Throughout the season he has shown speed and stamina which is perfect for this event and looks a superb prospect for the coming seasons.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/04/22PUN24.5Gd/Y11-10PU
17/03/22CHL20Sft11-41
16/01/22PUN20Sft11-31
20/11/21GOW20Sft12-01
17/03/21CHL21GS11-71
Punchestown - April 29 2021
Punchestown 17:35
12
Mr J W Hendrick

Solomn Grundy

J:
 
Mr J W Hendrick
T:
 
Sean Thomas Doyle
Age: 11
Weight: 12-2
OR: N/A
Days: 27

The penultimate event of the afternoon is the Champion Hunters Chase over 3m 1/2f and Solomn Grundy for Sean Doyle could be a dark horse in this field.

The 11 year old has been highly progressive in this sphere over the last few years winning four of his last six event sin Hunter Chases and P2Ps.

This year he has been seen three times, finishing a good third in January behind Billaway and Staker Wallace at Naas, before backing that up at at Gowran Park in March, when winning a 3m1f event with the second since coming out and winning.

At the start of April at Fairyhouse he made it back to back wins when coming from a mile back to take the event in the final stages, showing he is a thorough stayer in tricky conditions.

He is everything you need in a horse for this race and at a nice price he looks the value.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/03/22GOW25Hy11-72
30/04/21PUN24.5Y11-97
03/04/21FAI24.5Y11-91
12/03/21GOW25Hy11-91
31/01/21NAA25Hy11-93
Punchestown - April 29 2021
Punchestown 18:05
10
Mr P W Mullins

M C Muldoon

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 12-0
OR: N/A
Days: 26

The final selection from Punchestown on day four comes in the two mile Novice Hurdle and MC Muldoon for the inform Willie Mullins, has some serious form in the book.

Having been a fair horse on the flat, he moved to Mullins' yard this season and was sent over timber, making his debut at Leopardstown in December and finishing a good fourth behind the likes of Decimation and Wide Receiver.

On his second start he got off the mark in good style in a maiden at Fairyhouse and then last time out gave a career best when stepped up to a Grade Two over the same course and distance.

He went on to finish a good second behind stablemate Echoes In Rain, who has since gone on to frank the form this week by winning a Grade One event.

Dropping back in to a Novice Hurdle should see him be amongst the frame and could be a nice bet.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/10/21NMK18Gd9-317
29/07/21GAL20.5Gd11-81
15/06/21ASC20GF9-62
30/04/21PUN16Y12-03
04/04/21FAI16Y11-62

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