Review Punchestown 20th Feb

Wed 20th Feb 2013, 17:40

Yes Sir Brian (extreme left)
©Healy Racing Photos

There was something of an anti-climax to Punchestown's AES Family Saturday At The Festival INH Flat Race as Aidan O'Brien's first National Hunt runners in more than eight years finished out of the frame.

Shield showed up for a long way and was still in contention halfway down the straight, whereas his stablemate Egyptian Warrior made only moderate headway from the rear as 20-1 outsider Yes Sir Brian made a successful start to his career under Derek O'Connor

Corbally Ghost and Western Leader were pre-race withdrawals from the Festival Any Day Flexi-Ticket Hurdle, while Apt Approach crashed out mid-race, and Dressedtothenines (7-4) took full advantage.

Heading long-time leader Mount Colah approaching the final flight, Eddie Harty's mare stormed clear and had 11 lengths in hand at the line.

Sadly, Apt Approach didn't get up from his fall but his trainer Willie Mullins enjoyed better fortune when Un De Sceaux (9-10 favourite) accounted for market rival Sammy Black in the Festival Party Pack From 19 Euros Maiden Hurdle, with the pair miles clear of the remainder.

Kashline was rewarded for his recent consistency with victory in the Festival Free Upgrade Offer Ends Today Maiden Hurdle.

Barry O'Neill produced the 11-2 shot at the last to tackle Fergiethelegend and he pulled out more on the run to the line to prevail by three-quarters of a length, with Foxrock again letting favourite-backers down in third.

Claudia Augusta (20-1) and Tudor Fashion hasn't shown a great deal leading into the For Festival Offers Mares Maiden Hurdle but they fought out a thrilling finish, with the former prevailing by three-quarters of a length.

Similarly, Day Dream Boy hadn't exactly been at the top of his game this term but he put his best foot forward to claim the Festival Hospitality From 99 Euros Handicap Hurdle at odds of 10-1, while Rathvawn Belle sprung a 33-1 shock in the Goffs Punchestown Invitational Sale INH Flat Race.

Will there be another Irish winner at Aintree?

A lot has been said recently about the fact that the Irish contingent at Cheltenham tend to stoke up the fires of Anglo-Irish needle with their flag waving and chest beating due to our incredible success in recent years. As pointed out previously, this is nothing more than a bit of harmless fun that some folk on both sides of the Irish Sea take a little too seriously.