Day Two Punchestown Festival Preview - 28/04/21

Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 14:40
1
Jordan Gainford

Mt Leinster Gold

J:
 
Jordan Gainford
T:
 
Colin Bowe
Age: 7
Weight: 12-0
OR: 123
Days: 19

The first race on day two of the Punchestown Festival is the 2m 4 1/2f Series Final Handicap Hurdle and the top weighted Mt Leinster Gold looks to be a big player.

The seven year old mare is unbeaten in both starts under rules and before that landed a hat-trick and point to point races.

In February of this year the daughter of Gold Well made her hurdles debut over two miles in maiden and went on to take the event by five lengths.

He then went to Wexford on better ground, stepping up to three miles and showed his versatility to again win well.

Dropping in down in trip is no problem and starting off on a mark of 123 for his handicap debut looks workable, especially with talented claimer Jordan Gainford taking 4lb off.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/11/21FAI20Gd11-89
28/04/21PUN20.5Y11-106
09/04/21WEX24Gd/Y11-121
22/02/21FAI16Hy10-81
08/02/20KRK24Y/Sft12-21
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 15:15
4
Rachael Blackmore

Heather Rocco

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 6
Weight: 12-0
OR: 134
Days: 31

The second event of the day is the RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final and Heather Rocco for Henry De Bromhead is a big eye-catcher.

The six year old ran in a point to point back in October and after that was bought by Mustafa Elatrash and given to Henry De Bromhead.

He made his rules debut over Christmas at Limerick and was an 11 length winner of a decent Maiden Hurdle in heavy ground.

He looked a class above that day in tough conditions and he was then upped in trip against a much better field and ultimately he faded late on, again in testing conditions.

The gelding bounced back to form last time out when making it three wins from four starts and it saw him land a Novice Hurdle over two miles.

Heather Rocco now makes his handicap debut off a mark of 134 and that could be very lenient if taking to the new trip.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/03/21LIM16Hy11-61
27/01/21THU23Sft/Hy11-74
28/12/20LIM21Hy11-91
18/10/20UMH24Gd/Y12-21
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 15:50
2
Mark Walsh

Blue Sari

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 12-0
OR: 139
Days: 42

Next up is the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle and although near the top of the weights, Blue Sari for Willie Mullins looks to be a very interesting contender.

If you are looking on the bare face of this horses form of late you would not to get involved having been pulled up twice and also fell last time out.

However, the six year old has bundles of potential and has yet to truly show it over hurdles and we believe returning to this track could see him finally fulfil his potential.

The gelding ran twice in bumpers in 2019, being a wide margin winner on debut at Gowran and then in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper he was a narrow second to the superstar Envoi Allen.

Sent over hurdles after that he made his debut in November 2019 and got off to a winning start when seeing off the likes of The Bosses Oscar and Ashdale Bob over 2m4f at Punchestown.

After that though he has lost his way with three poor performances and it looked as though he had lost all enthusiasm for the sport.

However, last time out at the Cheltenham festival he looked sure to finish second in the Coral Cup which would have been a huge performance, but he unfortunately fell at the last.

Only 1lb higher for that run, if getting round he could be a big player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/04/22FAI20Y11-104
19/02/22GOW20Hy11-121
28/12/21LEO21Y12-04
04/12/21NAV20Y12-02
28/04/21PUN20.5Y12-0PU
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

The first Grade One of the day is the Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle over three miles and we can't look past the Cheltenham festival winner Vanillier for Gavin Cromwell.

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
28/04/22PUN23.5Gd/Y11-106
15/03/22CHL30GS11-63
30/01/22NAA25Gd/Y11-103
29/12/21LEO24Y11-123
14/11/21PUN22.5Y11-51
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 16:55
5
Danny Mullins

Kemboy

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 167
Days: 40

The feature event of the day and arguably the week is the Grade One Punchestown Gold Cup and the 2019 winner of the race Kemboy is our pick to land back to back renewals of the race.

The nine year old has been a fine chaser for the yard over the years, landing the Savills Chase in 2018 and then in 2019 going on to frank that form by taking out the Betway Bowl Chase at Aintree and this black type event.

Unfortunately last season, the star sort of lost his way when putting in lesser performances in the Savills Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Mullins looking for the star to bounce back to form this year.

He made his seasonal return at Thurles which saw him blow the cobwebs away nicely, to finish second behind Presenting Percy in a Listed event.

That put him spot on for the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and if the race was 20 yards shorter he would have won, with A Plus Tard getting up on the line.

He backed that up last time out when landing the Grade One Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival and that now looks some strong form.

Last time out in the Cheltenham Gold Cup he ran no sort of race with him hating the track, having never ran well at Prestbury Park.

Getting back to a course and distance he has won over and conditions he also enjoys, he could be a very live player if bouncing back.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/09/22LIS20Gd11-22
21/05/22AUT25.5VSft10-106
27/04/22PUN24Gd/Y11-104
07/04/22AIN25GS11-73
05/02/22LEO24.5Y11-105
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 17:30
6
Mr P W Mullins

Sir Gerhard

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 12-2
OR: N/A
Days: 42

The final Grade One event on the day is INH Champion Flat Race and Sir Gerhard for Willie Mullins might just have the slight edge on the field again.

Back in November 2019 the gelding was a well backed favourite for his first start in a point to point over three miles and having gone on to win by 12 lengths he was subsequently bought by Cheveley Park Stud for £400,000.

Having been given to Gordon Elliott like other exploits owned by Cheveley Park, he went on to make a superb debut at Down Royal in October when winning a bumper by 14 lengths.

The vibes from the yard about this horse is that he could go on and follow in the footsteps of many of his classy stablemates and next time out he cemented these thoughts when landing the Listed Future Champions bumper at Navan.

He then headed into the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham festival, now with Willie Mullins and having got an easy lead he did enough in the final stages to take the race and keep his four race unbeaten record.

He takes on stablemate Kilcruit again who was a narrow second at the festival and with Patrick Mullins choosing this horse, we think that says who is working the best at home.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y11-123
16/03/22CHL21Sft11-71
06/02/22LEO16Y/Sft11-121
26/12/21LEO16Sft12-01
28/04/21PUN16.5Y12-23
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 18:00
7
Conor McNamara

Embittered

J:
 
Conor McNamara
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 11-1
OR: 144
Days: 42

The penultimate event on the afternoon is the Guinness Grade A Handicap Chase over 2m4f and the horse we like the look of is Embittered for Joseph O'Brien.

The seven year old having been a fair hurdler finishing third in the 2020 County Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival was stepped over fences for the first time in November and finished a good second of 17 in a Beginners Chase.

He was then a narrow second behind Andy Dufresne in a small runner event and then next time out when upped to a Grade One Novice Chase at Leopardstown was fourth of six.

Tried in another Grade One, he was a fair fourth of nine in the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival, With Energumene blitzing the field.

Now going down the handicapping route, he was well backed for the Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham festival, but unfortunately fell before making his challenge.

Stepped up to 2m4f today he is 2lb lower than his mark for the race at Cheltenham and that could see him mount a big challenge if cutting out the mistakes.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/07/22GAL16Gd11-38
28/05/22PUN16Gd10-123
16/03/22CHL16Hy11-17
05/02/22LEO17Y11-125
04/12/21NAV17Y11-86
Punchestown - April 27 2021
Punchestown 18:35
6
Mr P W Mullins

Grangee

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-11
OR: N/A
Days: 42

The final event of day two at Punchestown sees the Grade Three INH Flat Race and Grangee for Willie Mullins could be a class above this field dropping back in trip.

The mare has been seen four times during her career, winning at Galway on Debut in October and then heading over to Market Rasen in January and getting beaten into third by the smart Eileendover.

She then got back to her best in the Grade Two INH Flat race at the Dublin Racing Festival, seeing off the likeable Party Central and Brandy Love.

The five year old was then given her chance in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper and finished a fair sixth of 14 and now going back into a Grade Three that sets the form standard.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y11-4PU
17/04/22FAI20.5Y11-56
17/03/22CHL17Sft11-23
29/01/22FAI18.5Gd/Y10-13F
27/12/21LEO16Y/Sft11-54

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