Safe to say it's going to be a busy weekend and Saturday I have five rides at Punchestown that I am really looking forward to.
We start off with Punitive (11.45) in the beginners’ chase for Henry. This will be his first run over fences. He’s always looked a real chaser, so hopefully the bigger obstacles bring out the best in him, he has been doing well at home ahead of his first run since March.
Next up, I’m aboard Benruben (12.15) in the novice chase, again for Henry. He’s taken to chasing well. His battling qualities were there for all to see when he won at Roscommon the last day, beating Razoul. This is another step up for him, but he’s definitely going in the right direction and we’re more than happy going into this race.
Next we’re onto the Grade B handicap chase where I am on Visioman (12.50). He comes into this with fitness on his side and seems very well after winning on his last two starts. He’s owned by Alan Halsall who also has Demain Des L’aube in the race. The latter may be one to keep an eye on as he’ll enjoy the heavy going. However, we couldn’t be happier with Visioman and we expect him to go well.
I then ride Fusain (14.00) in the novice hurdle. He was an easy winner at Kilbeggan but ran rather disappointingly the last day at Punchestown. He’s definitely better than that, so hopefully we can get him back to his previous form. If he can do that he should be there or thereabouts at the business end.
In the last one of the day I am with Holymacapony (14.35) in the maiden hurdle. He won a point-to-point at Kirkistown in February. At home, he’s doing everything that has been asked of him, so we’re really looking forward to seeing what he can do on the track.
First up on Sunday at Puncehstown I am on Myth Buster (12.05pm) in the handicap chase. Going back to Christmas last year, he wasn’t beaten too far when running in a beginners’ chase in behind Easy Game and Alaho at Leopardstown. If he can find that form again, I’d expect him to go close again here. This is his first time in a handicap. He is going well at home, so I’m looking forward to the ride. Like I said, we couldn’t be happier with him and if he brings his best form to the table, he will be there at the business end.
Next up, I am on Pencilfulloflead (12.35pm) for Gordon Elliott. He was good the last day and looks a real stayer. The ground will be no problem, and although this is a hot race, he arrives here in form and I think he’ll relish the challenge in his 2nd start over fences.
I’m on Baptism Of Fire (1.40pm) in the Celebration Hurdle. Fury Road sets a fair standard, however, we’re very happy with Baptism Of Fire. He won well the last day, and the runner-up subsequently went on to finish 3rd next time out. If he can keep improving hopefully we’ll be in the shake-up at the end.
Then we’re on to the Morgiana Hurdle. I’m really looking forward to this one. I’m on Jason The Militant (2.10pm). He’ll love the ground and should improve from his run in DownRoyal. It looks a really competitive renewal with Saint Roi in there, however, we couldn’t be happier with our lad going into the race.
Finally, I’m on Getaway Pat (2.50pm) in the maiden hurdle. He won a point-to-point for Pat Doyle and is doing everything right at home. We’re really looking forward to getting him started on the track and seeing how he develops going forward.