IMPERIAL RUN BY JOEY Michael Cawe’s runner beats Cheap as Chips
IT'S OFF TO Punchestown this week and what a great line up of racing for the week ahead. It will be a treat for everyone headed to the Kildare racecourse with only the smallest amount of rain forecast on Thursday with sunshine and warm weather thereafter.
We didn't have a bad run of things last week and the long journey to Ballinrobe really paid off with a one, two in the Handicap Chase.
Imperial Joey got the better of Cheap As Chips in the end under the mount of Mark Enright. I was delighted for his owner, Michael Cawe, as Ballinrobe would be his local track, and he was over the moon with the result.
I did feel a little bad for Cheap As Chips as she gave everything she had but ultimately the extra weight on her back gave Imperial Joey the 4.5L advantage at the line.
We were a bit unlucky not to come home with the double as Cathin Time finished second in the Handicap Hurdle but again nothing to be disappointed about and I'm sure I can place him to get his head in front over the coming weeks. His last two runs are very encouraging and he seems to be a horse that is getting stronger with every passing week.
I won't have a huge amount of runners in Punchestown but hopefully my entries will all put their best foot forward.
I have spent quite a bit of time schooling Paddy O Dee over the past few weeks in preparation for the Irish Field Steeplechase on Saturday or the Banks Race as I like to call it!
I used the local riding club grounds here in Tinahely to get him used to the more solid obstacles and I was really pleased with how much he enjoyed the cross-country jumping. He took to it really well and is a bit of a natural.
I also made the trip up to Punchestown last week to give him a go at the fences he will need to concur on Saturday and thankfully I came away feeling he had gained plenty of confidence.
I will run Beneficial Spirit today (Wednesday) in the handicap Steeplechase and I think he will be right up there.
He is working great at home for the past week. I have been a little easier on him following his race in Wexford on his last outing; he just came home a tired horse and needed to recover.
Decade Player will run on Thursday. I will most likely declare him for the handicap Chase and again off the back of his last run I will be disappointed if he isn't in the shake-up, he should be a good each way price on the day.
I am looking forward to Punchestown especially the Champion Hurdle on Friday.
As you are all aware I've been an advocate for Jezki since Christmas but it could be a tight contest, it could be Annie Power who gets her head in front provided she runs here and not in the Mares Champion Hurdle on Saturday, which would have to be a possibility?
My money is still on Jezki but it will be an interesting little race!
Who will win the Bibby Financial Services Punchestown Gold Cup?
Although the racecourse are watering at present and are hoping to keep the ground condition at a safe Good To Yielding, it will ride very fast and over 3m1f it takes a really fast jumper to not make any mistakes over this distance.
I think that Boston Bob is a justified favourite at 3/1 but I wouldn't be righting off A.P McCoy on Argocat, a bit more value at 12/1.
The Ryanair Novice Chase currently has only eight declared and it could be set to decrease by Thursday.
Felix Younger is my pick here and is presently quoted at a really decent 8/1, definitely worth some consideration!
It's fantastic to see so many of the overseas trainers making the trip to Punchestown this year, it makes for great racing and I'm sure that we will be seeing performances every bit as good as what was produced in Cheltenham in March.
Imperial Joey jumps in Ballinrobe to win ahead of Cheap as Chips.