It may seem a bit of a “daft” choice finding our best bet of the day in a national hunt flat race in Ireland where the expected field of sixteen have little or no form to go through but with a lack of UK racing things aren’t all that easy! Never the less there’s a handful that represent big yards and are expected to do well.
Of the newcomers the likes of Amen Korner could be well in the mix hailing from the top yard of Willie Mullins but a lot would have to be taken on trust and I feel a previous run may be advantageous.
A fellow descendent of Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats is the Gordon Elliot trained Conflated who finished a very encouraging second on his previous start. That sort of form will stand him in good stead and expect another bold showing once more.
Both Sempo and Chef Afef also in the places on their most recent run and deserve a tonne of respect but it’s actually Punitive that gets our vote. A 4th placed finish at Down Royal on Boxing Day is looking like very good form with the winner contesting a Grade 1 at the recent Leopardstown Festival. It’s also worth noting that jockey B O’Neill has a promising strike rate at Thurles and a even greater 30% strike rate when teaming up with today’s trainer. Although a tough race to call there’s enough signs that point towards Punitive that cannot be ignored.
13:15 – Ex Patriot (E/W)
13:45 – D’bru Na Boinne (WIN)
14:15 – Final List (WIN)
14:50 – Moratorium (WIN)
15:25 – Castle Oliver (WIN)
16:00 – ShantOu Sisu (WIN)
16:35 – Punitive (E/W) *NB