Sundays action packed Punchestown card plays host to Cheltenham hopes such as Sizing Europe and the exciting novice Don Cossack. The card is sure to give many clues and impact many decisions for Cheltenham.
Racing kicks off at 12:50 with the Anna Gannon 80th Birthday Maiden Hurdle where Willie Mullins Upazo 13/8 is sure to be well supported. The French import has looked good so far and only found Jennies Jewel, who has been Listed Placed since too good for him on his latest outing over 2miles 3furlongs at Naas. Mullins’ charge will not be much value pricewise and it could be best to look elsewhere. The most interesting contender is Byerley Babe 6/4 . She has shown a high level of ability on a few only a few runs and she was an impressive winner at Thurles in December. Her only poor run was when she was reported to have burst a blood vessel at Cork last season and with Tony McCoy on her back here, and a with mares weight allowance she should prove difficult to beat.
Don Cossack 11/10 is a very exciting novice, and he lines up in the Grade Two Racing UK Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at 1:20. He was beaten when falling in a race against Pont Alexandre but his opponent that day has proved himself to something extraordinary. Today he can show his true worth here and should have every chance in this hot race. Mozoltov 3/1 is himself like Don Cossack a chaser in the making. He has done nothing wrong to date and is a danger to the favourite. Ned Buntline was a good winner of his maiden over Christmas, but the runner-up has since been beaten.
In the Pertemps Qualifier Handicap Hurdle at 1:50 Tony McCoy interestingly has chosen Colbert Station 7/4 over the hat-trick seeking Fahamore 6/1. Colbert Station most recently won the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown and now looks to be still well treated over hurdles. Fahamore has been in great form of late when seeing beating Boylesports.com Hurdle winner Abbey Lane on his latest appearance. Blissful Moment another JP McManus owned horse holds strong claims. Perhaps a small each way value bet lies in the 140 rated Fully Funded at 25-1 with Boylesports. Noel Meades charge is out of form lately but on his day is a very classy sort.
Sizing Europe 1/6 should easily win the Grade Two Boylesports.com Tied Cottage Steeplechase at 2:20. He has beaten better rivals this season and does should be somewhat of a confidence booster on route to Cheltenham. The main danger is in Foildubh, who was hampered when pulled up at Thurles latest but on his day is a classy type.
Boston Angel 9/2 looks set to go one place better than his two previous outings today. He ran a solid race when second to Arabella Boy on his debut over the cross-country fences here and since was only beaten by Outlaw Pete at Cheltenham in December. Enda Bolger’s Arabella Boy clearly warrants respect, along with the Mullins trained Uncle Junior.
Others to note in the card are Vesper Bell 2/1, Lambro 2/1 and each-way value in Railway Tommy 10/1 in the closing race.