Thursday 18 January 2018

Punchestown 2015: Step up in distance won't stop legendary Hurricane Fly

Hurricane Fly
Hurricane Fly

Willie Mullins has already been a dominant force on the opening two days of the Punchestown Festival but you get the feeling that no winner would give him more satisfaction this week than if Hurricane Fly could win a remarkable 23rd Grade One in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle this afternoon.

Hurricane Fly will once again take on Jezki in today's feature but this time it will be over uncharted ground as the pair step up to three miles for the very first time and in doing so take on a classy field of rivals including dual Grade One winner this season Lieutenant Colonel and Dedigout, who is the choice of Gigginstown stable jockey Bryan Cooper.

There's a field of 12 going to post in all, including last year's winner Jetson and the Willie Mullins pair of Thousand Stars and Zaidpour. It certainly does promise to be the race of this record-breaking week at the Festival.

Many will have differing views on how the race will pan out but on the trust that Mullins has believed that the step up in trip would be little obstacle to his legendary stable star and with the manner in which he travels through his races you'd have to believe that the trip won't pose a problem and he can give the Punchestown historians something to start a new chapter on.

Shortly after people catch their breath after what will hopefully be a fascinating World Hurdle, it'll then be time for Un De Sceaux to come and take it away again as the breathtaking Arkle winner lines up in the Ryanair Novice Chase at 6.40pm.

Don Poli, showed on the opening day that not everything is inevitable when it comes to Cheltenham winners just turning up and winning at Punchestown but it would appear that it would quite literally take something out of the ordinary for Un De Sceaux to get overturned this evening.

One novicey mistake at Thurles on his debut cost him his flawless record but two perfect rounds of jumping since then has only inspired confidenc. The horse, who would have surely gone close in Tuesday's BoyleSports Chase despite his inexperience, should cap the season off with a second Grade One triumph.

Elsewhere on the card the La Touche is a race for the traditionalists over the famous Punchestown banks and while this should also serve up a cracker between some real experts of this sphere, Cheltenham winner Rivage D'or is the pick to frank the Cheltenham form despite the fact that Enda Bolger's Quantitiveeasing looked a shade unlucky on that occasion.


Cronin's Choice

3.40 Dandridge

4.15 Usa

4.50 Rivage D'Or

5.30 Hurricane Fly

6.05 No Secrets

6.40 Un De Sceaux

7.15 Lyrical Theatre

7.45 Newsworthy

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