IM­PE­RIAL RUN BY JOEY Michael Cawe’s run­ner beats Cheap as Chips

Bray People - - SPORT - RAC­ING with ROTH WELL

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.

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