not sure what we have to do to get a winner this week we seem to have seconditus (again don't mention Gods Own!!)
Rock the World looked all over the winner coming to the last and traded at 1.3 on Betfair - ouch! He didn't jump the last all that fluently and was beaten on the run in by Bright New Dawn.
Diamond King was held up by Davy Russell and moved up the field smoothly in the later stages but between the last two it was obvious he wasn't going to be involved in the finish. We were right to oppose Alpha Des Obeaux at such a short price and Ruby Walsh fell at the last again on Shaneshill whilst delivering a strong challenge but it was the Greatrex and Sheehan team with One Track Mind that took the not too shabby spoils home.
Onwards and upwards....
The team at Cleeve
4.20 Punchestown EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase
Top 4 Rated:
1) Guitar Pete
3) Full Shift
4) Lord Scoundrel
This is a competitive Handicap and I looked long and hard at this race, but ultimately decided to leave it alone as most of these have had multiple runs during the season and could be past their best at this stage.
Two just outside the top four appealed but not enough to back – they were Avant Tout and Marlbrook.
To be open and transparent we have a share in Avant Tout we haven’t had any significant news from the stables yet but if we get something really positive we will send out an update email. We are hopeful of a good run so keep your fingers crossed.
5.30 Punchestown BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle
Top 3 Rated:
1) My Tent or Yours
2) Identity Thief
3) Fethard Player
Annie Power was entered here but was withdrawn at the final declaration stage. Vroum Vroum Mag has been left in and with the seven pounds mare’s allowance is sure to go close. I think she has had a long enough season and may well have to give second best to the boys here.
Identity Thief will welcome any of the forecast rain and is another one which has had a long season with five starts since October. If the race developed into a battle head to head in the final three hundred yards I would like his chances as he is very tough – his win in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle is perfect evidence of that.
My Tent or Yours can cap a fine comeback season by getting his head in front here. He is clear at the top of the ratings and I expect him to be able to win this on an easier track than Cheltenham running over shorter than at Aintree last time. He has only had Annie Power ahead of him in those two races and as she is missing and none of the others are as good I fully expect him to win.
6.05 Punchestown Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle
Top 3 Rated:
1) Jer’s Girl
2) Thomas Hobson
3) A Toi Phil
A key race for the form here is the Neptune Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham, which was won by Yorkhill but had Thomas Hobson, O O Seven and A Toi Phil finish down the field.
Thomas Hobson was leading the Neptune two out before a blunder led him to pull up prior to the last. He had looked good until then, but it is hard to tell how much that will have taken out of him. He may give our selection most to do if he has fully recovered.
A Toi Phil seemed to run out of puff in the latter stages of the Neptune and the return to a furlong less without an uphill finish should be to his benefit. He may have found the ground too quick at Cheltenham and if there is enough rain in the next day or two it will help his chances. He is one to follow next season as he is still relatively inexperienced.
Jer’s Girl could not have been more impressive when winning at Fairyhouse last time when stepped up in distance. The big advantage for Jer’s Girl here is the weight allowance received for her sex and her age, which gives her an eighteen pounds benefit at the weights. This actually gives her a twelve pounds advantage over the top official rated horse O O Seven. The only reason she is not a maximum bet is her inexperience and how she will cope against the colts but a very strong selection anyhow.