Review punchestown 19th Nov

Sun 19th Nov 2017, 17:00

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Faugheen returned with a bang as he took the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle in style at Punchestown.

The 2015 Champion Hurdle hero was having his first outing for 665 days and could hardly have landed the Grade One prize in more convincing fashion.

Paul Townend let Willie Mullins' charge bowl along in front and once he asked him to put the race to bed, the 4-9 favourite fairly sprinted clear for a 16-length victory over Jezki.

Robbie Power recorded a Grade Two double which was initiated by Woodland Opera's gutsy display in the Ryans Cleaning Craddockstown Novice Chase.

It looked as though Tombstone was going to justify even-money favouritism when coming to challenge at the last, but Jessica Harrington's inmate rallied to get back up and deny Gordon Elliott's runner by half a length at 11-2.

Power then teamed up with Elliott to claim the Liam & Valerie Brennan Memorial Florida Pearl Novice Chase on board Jury Duty (6-1).

Shattered Love set the pace and after seeing off red-hot favourite Presenting Percy, he couldn't thwart his stablemate who hit the front before two out and kept on well to score by three-quarters of a length.

Elliott completed a double courtesy of Rapid Escape's (4-6fav) four-length triumph over The Holy One in the Punchestown Festival Ticket Offer Now On (Pro/Am) Flat Race.

Mtada Supreme denied the well-fancied Josies Orders in a thrilling finish to the opening Donohue Marquees Risk Of Thunder Chase, with the 10-1 chance edging out the 1-2 favourite by a nose.

The Thomas Mullins-trained Top Othe Ra (7-2) wore down the trailblazing Fizz late on to land the Irish Daily Mirror Handicap Hurdle by half a length.

Let's Twist Again repelled the challenge of Steel Wave by four lengths when winning the Nally Bros Hyundai Supporting Longford GAA Handicap Hurdle at 7-1, while Dom Dolo sprang a 16-1 surprise when coming out on top in a tremendous battle with Might Stowaway by half a length in the Tattersalls Ireland Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle.

Might Bite To Prove His Worth Next Season

There is not much attention given to national hunt racing in the summer months, by punters or by the media. It is, of course, understandable given that our attention is focused on the flat season: the action at Royal Ascot, the Classics and the rest of the elements that define the summer racing season. Some punters might have a dabble at an ante post bet for Cheltenham next year, but by and large we forget about it until the autumn.

THE IRISH TIMES