Punchestown 2015: Djak' set to scoop all the Riches in Gold Cup
Novice Coneygree is enjoying a well-deserved break somewhere in the South of England following his Gold Cup heroics but the two that followed him home at Cheltenham will do battle in the feature Bibby Financial Punchestown Gold Cup at Punchestown today.
Second home Djakadam and and third placed Road To Riches join the likes of Aintree winner Don Cossack in the nine-runner race that will crown the leading staying chaser on these shores.
Djakadam is the selection but it would be no surprise if you could throw a blanket over himself, Road To Riches and Don Cossack jumping the last fence.
Unsurprisingly, Bryan Cooper admitted he may have picked the wrong one when opting for the Lexus Chase winner Road To Riches over Aintree hero Don Cossack, who has been a revelation this season.
Willie Mullins got off to a fantastic start to the week by taking the three Grade One races on the opening afternoon and while he has a strong hand in all three today, the other two may go elsewhere.
Trainer Gordon Elliott, who won the Goffs Land Rover bumper yesterday, will be looking to cap off a fine season by winning the three-mile novice hurdle with No More Heroes (pictured), who ran a blinder at Cheltenham in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle behind Martello Tower.
The Champion Bumper is an interesting race, but on the basis of Cheltenham and Aintree, the British bumper horses are superior, although Katie Walsh did make a good point in yesterday’s edition of The Herald when suggesting that this is a ‘home fixture’ for the Irish-trained horses and the Mullins team may be better for that fact.
That said, Modus sets the standard from the Cheltenham bumper and he is the one that’s going to take the beating.
Elsewhere on the card, another possible race for export is the Guinness Handicap Chase in which Baby Mix gets the vote after an encouraging return to action at Aintree earlier in the month.
3.40 Hurricane Ridge
4.20 Prince Of Scars
4.55 No More Heroes
6.40 Baby Mix
7.15 Champers On Ice