Life's a Beach at Punchestown
National Hunt racing returns to Punchestown this afternoon for an interesting two-day meeting which further marks the return of winter racing.
Michael O'Leary may be winding down his Gigginstown House Stud operation, but we can still expect it to be normal service for that outfit to supply some of the more interesting runners for the coming months.
That is certainly the case here with Fred Winter runner-up COKO BEACH (3.30, Punchestown) making his seasonal debut in the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Hurdle for Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy.
The four-year-old was no match for Grade One company at this venue back in May but this looks a nice starting point for his campaign.
Rachael Blackmore deputises for the injured Sean Flanagan on the potentially smart SIXSHOOTER (4.05, Punchestown) for Noel Meade.
This dual bumper winner made a good impression last season and represents a trainer in good form.
He had the well-fancied You Raised Me Up behind when winning here at the Punchestown Festival and he's expected to frank that form today.
Eddie Harty's ADVANTAGE POINT (1.55, Punchestown) unseated his rider on his chasing bow at Gowran Park earlier in the month but, if posting a clear round, he could be of interest in the opener as he ran to a fair level over hurdles.
ARTIC PEARL (2.25, Punchestown) has been off the track for almost a year since winning a handicap hurdle here and he returns for a tilt at the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Handicap Chase today.
The fact that Mark Walsh has opted not to ride any of the JP McManus runners in this race could be significant and the market is sure to be a good guide.
1.55 Advantage Point
2.25 Artic Pearl
3.00 A Wave Of The Sea
3.30 Coko Beach
4.35 Burlesque Queen