punchestown 9th May
The decision to save the Breakfast With Hector On 2FM Handicap Chase from the Festival has been rewarded, with a classy field headed by The Midnight Club declared at Punchestown.
Willie Mullins has won the last four renewals and his representative this time got round in the Aintree Grand National for the second year running, having previously performed with credit in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so deserves his burden of 11st 10lb.
Vic Venturi did not complete the Liverpool course but subsequently redeemed himself by making the frame in the bet365 Gold Cup, while Cork Grand National principals The Bishop Looney and Another Palm, as well as Smoking Aces, are surefire stayers who should relish the testing conditions.
Mullins has finally got Arvika Ligeonniere back on track and he starts his fencing career in the Punchestown For Events Beginners Chase.
Last seen winning at the 2010 Festival here, he had finished fourth in the Albert Bartlett before that and connections will be hoping he retains his class.
His stable companion Balnaslow needed the stewards' intervention to make a successful start to his career under Rules at Fairyhouse and now tries timber in the opening Dobbins Food Hall Maiden Hurdle at 5.10.
On The Fringe came to grief on the banks course here recently but will be fancied by many to regain the Racing Post Champion Hunters Chase crown he won in 2010, with another former winner in Whyso Mayo among the opposition.
Cool Warrior and The Baler have landed the last couple of runnings of the KFM Hunters Chase (for the Bishopcourt Cup) and lock horns again.
See Double You scored with plenty up his sleeve at Limerick last Saturday so a 4lb penalty should not inconvenience him in the Tote Sports Lounge Handicap Hurdle, providing those exertions have not left a mark.
» All news for Wed, 9th May, 2012
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