Saturday 19 January 2019

Young books his place at Festival

The Willie Mullins-trained So Young booked his place at the Cheltenham Festival yesterday when comfortably claiming the Punchestown.com Festival Offers Novice Hurdle.

Despite that being over 2m, the 1/6 favourite is more likely to be sent to the Neptune Investments Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham according to the winning trainer, who will saddle Supreme Novices Hurdle hopeful Zaidpour at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Mullins stated: "A lot can happen between now and Cheltenham but once everything goes alright on Saturday with Zaidpour I'd imagine he will go for the Supreme Novices Hurdle and So Young will be aimed at the Neptune Investments.

"He (So Young) shows me a lot more on the racecourse than he'd ever show me at home."

Garde Champetre is also Cheltenham bound after justifying his odds of 1/4 to land the opening Cross Country Chase under Nina Carberry.


It was more workmanlike from the 12-year-old and afterwards JP McManus' racing manager Frank Berry admitted: "He's not getting any younger but once he comes out of it alright he will go to Cheltenham. It's nice to see him win again."

Gordon Elliott's Roi Du Mee has no firm future plans but Cheltenham wasn't ruled out by the trainer who watched the 9/4 favourite see off his rivals with ease in the Follow Us On Facebook Novice Chase. The Nas Na Riogh Novice Chase was earmarked later this month.

Davy Russell and Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud enjoyed a brace as Tofino Bay won the Goffs Punchestown Festival Sale Maiden Hurdle.

Turner Brown won the Visit Punchestown.com Handicap Hurdle and in doing so now looks set to line up in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham for Michael O'Hare and his father Barney O'Hare.

All jockeys wore a black armband and there was a minute's silence as a mark of respect to 19-year-old amateur jockey Jack Tyner, who has died as a result of injuries sustained in a fall at Dungarvan point-to-point last Tuesday week and was buried this morning following his removal last night.

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