16:20 Punchestown Fri 27 April 2018
Gained a valuable confidence booster when winning well at Limerick earlier this month (3m Grade 3, heavy). Far from disgraced in the JLT at Cheltenham (fourth) on his last completed start prior to that success.
Lacked the experience for Grade 1 company at Leopardstown in February (pulled up), but back on track with victory after surviving a scare at the last at Clonmel recently (2m4f heavy).
Justified short odds when scoring by 15L on his second ever chasing start at Gowran Park early last month (2m4f heavy), but beaten by classier stablemate Al Boum Photo in a Fairyhouse Grade 1 latest.
No match for Kemboy (beaten 8L) in a 3m Limerick Grade 3 contest earlier this month, but re-opposes on 8lb better terms in handicap company. Drop in trip should also suit.
Poor completion record over fences, having either fallen or unseated in three of his five starts over the larger obstacles. Did manage to stay upright in order to take a Gowran Park Beginners Chase by 3½L from De Plotting Shed in January.
Now nought from six over fences, but has frustratingly finished runner-up on four of those starts, including behind Montalbano at Gowran Park in January. Fine over this longer trip as a hurdler.
Seemingly a better chaser than a hurdler, but has had a relatively light campaign since his pair of victories in the summer months (Kilbeggan and Killarney). Never involved (66/1) in the Close Brothers' at Cheltenham latest.
Arrives as a fresh horse having made just the single start since Christmas, when sixth to Bel Ami De Sivola at Fairyhouse recently (2m+ soft to heavy). Form strongly franked since by Crosshue Boy (third) and Patricks Park (fifth). Course winner.
Brought down at the fifth in the Irish National earlier this month, which was disappointing for connections after his solid 5½L third to Missed Approach in the 3m2f Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival previously. Contender.
Given an 8lb rise for his recent Fairyhouse success (2m+ soft), but that form has been well advertised since by subsequent winners Crosshue Boy (Ayr) and Patricks Park (here). Stays 2m4f.
Started off well over fences, winning twice for Liam Kenny in the late summer of 2017 (2m-2m4f). Possibly needs decent underfoot conditions, and that might explain his subsequent extended absence. Debut for new yard.
Dropped out tamely after a bad mistake mid-race at Tramore latest, and fencing is often his achilles heel. Had a tough race at Cheltenham when finishing in excess of 30L fifth to Rathvinden (4m NH Chase).
Rock-solid front runner who was in rude health last summer with back-to-back Clonmel (3m) and Punchestown (2m6f+) victories to show for some consistent earlier placed efforts. Up the weights; 9lb higher, and off since being pulled up in November.
Not far behind a couple of these rivals at Fairyhouse latest (seventh), and that form has worked out very well since. Not fully exposed in handicap company, but marginal improvement is required.
Stayed well over hurdles (2m5f+ winner), but those timber victories came in much less competitive races than today's (rated 101 and 113). Not won in six starts over fences with his best chasing effort coming over 2m at Gowran Park in February.
Pulled up on his last two starts, but in his defence those races were competitive affairs; including the 2m7f Leinster Grand National (Gowran Park). Place prospects on the strength of his earlier 2m4f Naas second to Wishmoor (now 2lb higher).
Limerick novice chase winner in December 2017 (2m2f heavy) and did okay behind Wishmoor when upped in trip at Naas next time. Unexposed as such in handicap company, but this looks a tough assignment.
Still a maiden over fences and his trainer reaches for the first-time tongue-tie. Thrown in at the deep end on his first start in a handicap, and looks to be making up the numbers as part of his trainers title bid.
Last Year's Winner
|T: Mrs J HarringtonJ: R M Power|
Kemboy (11/4), Up For Review (13/2), Bel Ami De Sivola (8/1), Scoir Mear (10/1), Squouateur (10/1), Koshari (11/1), A Sizing Network (14/1), Tombstone (14/1), Bravissimo (16/1), The West's Awake (16/1), De Plotting Shed (16/1), A Rated (20/1), Pylonthepressure (20/1), Montalbano (25/1), Ask Nile (25/1), Conrad Hastings (25/1), Exactoris (25/1), Close Shave (33/1), Surf Instructor (50/1)
- The West's Awake
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