Punchestown 2015: Local trainers could save punters on the first day
When it’s said that Punchesown offers something for all comers, it is not a point that is overstated.
With three Grade Ones on tomorrow’s card you have two of the top class novices of their divisions contesting the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle and the Growise Champion Novice Chase.
And in the BoyleSports Champion Chase we may be lacking a reigning champion of two-mile chasing but a more competitive and wide open Grade One you won’t find all season. That is an ideal opportunity for punters to get stuck in with many differing opinions.
But proceedings tomorrow begin back with the roots of National Hunt racing as the Fr Sean Breen Ladies Cup is fought out over the famous Punchestown Cross Country course.
This race is the first of three races ran over the banks, where the runners go out into the country and horses are asked questions and encounter jumps like nowhere else in the sport.
Enda Bolger is so often the go to man for these types of races but Peter Maher, who trains in the shadows of Mondello Park, is proving to be an expert at getting one ready for the cross country races.
He shot to prominence with Big Shu, who won at Cheltenham after winning this race in 2012.
Maher runs Mtada Supreme on this occasion and he is the cautious pick of a difficult opening race for punters.
The Killashee Handicap Hurdle is wide open but in form trainer Denis Cullen may have just found a perfect opportunity for Dysios, who reverts to hurdling after some decent efforts over fences.
Still a maiden over fences, Dysios will be a nice novice for next season but off a favourable hurdling mark and with a lovely racing weight on his back, Naas-based Cullen can continue his good run of form with the biggest success of his season.
3.40 Mtada Supreme
5.30 Champagne Fever
6.05 Petit Mouchoir
6.40 Don Poli
7.15 Bright Tomorrow