Good evening from the Major who writes from a splendid clean Worcestershire sky with pastel blues draining of vibrancy and rusting into the horizon.
We had a decent day at Punchestown. Our 33/1 nag plugged on into a place as did all but one of the selections. In the failed race, Binge Drinker was somewhat disappointing but I take some solace from identifying the weakness at the head of affairs with Shaneshill and No More Heroes under performing as anticipated.
Anyway, justice does not equal results.
I am going to get straight into it as am tired and wish to sleep.
Thursday Punchestown Tips
As Punchestown unfurls through the week, the quality becomes patchier and as such, this is a short post covering not all races but those I feel able to take on.
I am starting in the second race, the handicap 2m chase. I was on Ned Buntline at Cheltenham feeling the AP factor would surely get him over the line. Watching Michael Scudamore’s stable star Next Sensation absolutely jumped for fun off the front. I am not sure Ned having been so well set for that day will be at peak here.
It was only a three runner event that USA won last time out but it is a progressive looking horse that jumps well and cannot be dismissed.
I am going to chance Blacklough who is receiving some backing already. The horse runs off bottom weight but has shown as a hurdler that he has some talent. He has moved yard to the De Bromheads and in good hands, I would be hopeful of a big run at a best price 10/1 with Ladbrokes.
Quantativeeasing surely wins the cross-country. Sorry but I do not want to complicate things at all. Nina has already won on the cross-country fences on Tuesday and is a great asset in these races. The horse has achieved an excellent level of form in the distant past and has shown glimmers this season of being more enthusiastic about the work assigned to him. In these hands though, you can almost throw the book out, Enda gets them ready for the cross-country.
The clear and present danger is Rivage D’or but Quantativeeasing is only ten and I fancy it to get the job done.
The ageing legs of Hurricane Fly step up to 3 miles for the first time and there will be utter scenes if he can stomp his authority on another G1. I have to say, of all horses, Hurricane Fly has cost me the most over the years. I was in the guilty camp of thinking he was an Irish small field bully. Then I felt he won a poor Champion Hurdle and the misery continued as in recent years, I have thought that he now, surely, must be passed his best. Hurricane Fly travels nicely but please, please God, at 11, let his speedy spent finish, his true weapon, be ineffective at this staying trip.
I am persuaded by the claims of Lieutenant Colonel who did not give best at Cheltenham but had shown plenty of talent over the winter. He goes on decent ground and is young enough that we still might not yet have bottomed him out. 10/1 is an absolute standout with Paddy Power.
I backed Pleasant Company when gambled on last time out and thought I was due to collect but the horse never quite mastered his opposition. I am happy to stay involved at 7/2 and hope he has learned from his first Irish experience.
Enjoy Un de Sceaux, I think he is the horse of a generation. He is yet to set out of novice class but by god, the way he travels, none can live with him. How long his career will be; racing as he does with such an aggressive attitude, I do worry about. Yet, for now, all we can do is marvel.
Short, simple and sweet from the Major for Thursday.
Courage, roll the dice.