Ignore The Big Guns At Punchestown
Punchestown brings an end to a crazy week of racing in Ireland as the home of Irish jump racing hosts the final fixture of 2018.
From an interest point of view Killultagh Vic will be the biggest talking point as he makes his return to action although there is a possibility of a cloud lingering over the Mullins team at the moment.
Pakman Worth A Roll Of The Dice
Surrogate Lad is going to be very hard to beat in the handicap chase for Tony Martin and Donogh Meyler but, as it is the last week of the Irish Field naps table and I need something at a big price to give me any sort of chance of making the frame, I went with a horse called Pakman in the 1.05 at Punchestown.
Realistically it would be hard to see him turn up and beat Martin’s recent Thurles winner or even Robin Des Mana for the in form Gordon Elliott but apart from fitting the criteria of being a big price…
Pakman would have an each-way claim if producing his best form.
The nine-year-old is still a maiden from 19 starts but his best efforts in handicap company were around Punchestown over hurdles when he was beaten just nine lengths by Presenting Percy one day and four lengths by Elusive Ivy off much higher ratings than he runs off in this chase today.
In maiden company he was only beaten eight lengths by Anibale Fly one day so there is some sort of ability in there and tomorrow would be a nice day to find it as he runs off a mark of 102.
Overlook The Big Guns
Henry de Bromhead couldn’t have his team in better form at the moment, Gordon Elliott sent out 11 winners over the four days of Christmas and Willie Mullins is Willie Mullins and always has to be respected with his newcomers but in the juvenile hurdle a chance is taken with Warnaq for trainer Matthew Smith.
It could be a case when this one goes down the handicap route she might be better watched but Warnaq did run to a decent level on her first two starts on the flat and then went on to win and give Colin Keane his memorable 100th winner on the final day of the season in Naas last month.
The horse she beat in Naas was Great Tango who managed himself to win a maiden hurdle at Limerick during the week and although the handicapper only gave her a mark of 76, that could look quite lenient when she returns to that fray in the New Year. It’s hard to take on the big names in maiden company in Ireland
but Warnaq could be worth siding with at a decent price on what is a tricky card.
Pakman ew (8/1) – 1.05 Punchestown
Warnaq – 2.10 Punchestown
*Prices correct at time of publication.