Good evening from the Major who again writes from the bed, tired, drained and rather weary of the fight.
A rather poor Tuesday and this Punchestown festival is one I don’t seem to have a great hold of. I shall keep this brief, I am cloaked in defeat and I think you may be best using these notes to help you put a line through a few selections…
Thursday Tips – Punchestown
Both Malt Master and Marito have been chasing recently which complicates the picture as they return to smaller obstacles in the opening hurdle. Marito fell when looming up in the Jewson after being backed. A mark of 140 is probably not beyond him but at evens, he looks a little vulnerable. I really like the form of Malt Master as I think Oscara Dara may well be very decent and so I prefer the second favourite.
I am chancing two at massive prices. Frawley, 14/1 has clearly had some problems but as a result is supremely lightly races and unexposed – A definite bet. Rye Martini was made too much of last time out over further and I suspect has improvement to come so 20/1 is too big.
In the second I am going for Plan A at 9/1, Slippers can bring home the bacon.
Arabella Boy is my idea of the Cross Country winner, weight and conditions may see him get the better of Big Shu here.
In the stayers hurdle, Quevega and Solwhit dominate the market. Both won their respective Cheltenham races, Quevega threading her way through the field for a victory that looked unlikely… what a mare. Solwhit is a horse I did not rate but hats off to him, he won fair and square.
Yet I am minded to side with Reve de Sivola, 6/1. I thought he was set up as a sitting duck at Cheltenham and this race might pan out more in his favour.
I jump the big handicap and go straight to the 6.40 where Alderwood, 11/2, is a horse I want on my side. I thought the Grand Annual was a very competitive handicap and this horse is young enough to keep stepping forwards from here. An early mistake seemed to unsettle at Aintree and I think a reversal of form with Special Tiara is in order.
I think more has been expected of Twigline and I am a fan but like Ruby, desert the horse in favour of Upsie – Load the cannons.
I will double that up with a slice of Captain Cutter in the last for a McMAnus quickfire double.
Courage and roll those dice.