PADDOCKS PATENT (THURSDAY)
My first selection runs in the Listed mares hurdles run over two miles and two furlongs.
It’s hard to get away from the Colin Bowe trained Little King Robin in this who is really at the top of her game at the moment. The Kings Theatre mare has not been out of the first three in her last ten starts and has won five of her last six. If allowed to dictate things from the front like she always does, it could be hard to peg her back here. The Bowe family are fairly renowned for hard to peg back front running types with Solerina and Limestone Lad springing to mind.
She has most to fear from the Barry Geraghty ridden Jacksons Lady who reverts back to hurdles. The bay mare has not been seen over hurdles since April 2012 and actually won this race in 2011. The two look well clear of most of these ability wise and it will all come down to how soft a lead the Bowe mare gets.
Of the remainder I think that Well Tuned and Storm Away could be fighting it out for the third here.
Little King Robin (WIN)
For my second selection we make a visit to Wincanton for a handicap chase run over two miles four furlongs and 110yds.
The Paul Nicholls trained Wiffy Chatsby heads the betting here and does look the one to beat. What he does lack is experience as this will only be his second chase start. Another concern is that the gelding is returning from a 497 day absence and may just need the run. With those concerns in mind I would be prepared to look elsewhere in this.
Top weight Hollow Penny is at a major advantage here as the gelding has been on the go since June. While he does have to concede weight all round here I think that he might still have a bit in hand of the handicapper. The gelding does arrive here on the back of an unseat but he was going well when unseating four from home. With a clear round today, he is sure to have a say in the finish and hopefully his fitness will come in to play.
This is a tricky contest and it is hard to rule out Al Alfa, Hollow Blue Sky, Daymar Bay from the equation. Greywell Boy also has place claims but does not have a great record fresh and will probably need the run.
Hollow Penny (E/W if 5/1+)
My last selection also comes at Punchestown in the days feature, a Grade three chase run over two miles and seven furlongs.
The Tom Mullins trained ten year old Alderwood heads the betting and arrives on the back of a good fourth in the Kerry National. The gelding has produced all his winning form over fences at two miles but does stay this far. Two wins over hurdles at two mile six also alleviate any stamina doubts. One thing that he has over the majority of his rivals is a fitness advantage and that can be crucial at this level.
I think he has most to fear from Gordon Elliott’s Don Cossack who does have a very good record fresh. While he has won first time out on each of the last three seasons, it is a totally different proposition in good company. The son of Sholokhov has an entry in the JN Wine chase so you would have to think that he will not be fully primed on debut. He also has to concede 10lbs today and that will be difficult against Alderwood.
I think the ground will be too quick for Roi Du Mee and Rubi Light, while Loosen My Load looks a class below these.
by Ed Leahy