Douvan The Real Deal In BoyleSports Champion Chase At Punchestown
A fantastic week awaits at Punchestown and the BoyleSports Champion Chase is going to be one of the talking points of the week with such a stellar cast lining up. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to a great Festival.
Khan Mengli do it?
In the first instalment of the battle between Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins this week, Elliott’s Mengli Khan is preferred to come out on top of Getabird in the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle.
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle third placed finisher does have to reverse form with Getabird from a meeting at Punchestown earlier this year but the better ground and coming here fresh could prove to be in his advantage after Getabird bombed out in Cheltenham and then went to Fairyhouse where he did win and was very impressive doing so but on very testing ground.
I just wouldn’t be sure that with the 10 runners lining up on nicer ground in a competitive Grade 1 that Getabird will get the same easy lead and I would expect Mengli Khan to take advantage and actually Getabird’s stable companion Sharjah to outrun his odds in the race.
Douvan can do it for Willie
The BoyleSports Champion Chase has proved to be a thrilling feature race at this meeting for many years and today will be no different with the stable companions Douvan and Un De Sceaux facing off.
Willie Mullins will also send out last week’s Aintree runner-up, Min and outsider Ballycasey. But, it looks to be a race that will be dominated by the big two and the way Douvan was shaping up at Cheltenham before his early exit suggests that he is back to his best.
If that is the case, he’ll be impossible to beat here with a clear round.
Un De Sceaux is another horse coming here from Fairyhouse and it’s just not ideal, while Min was beaten at Aintree just over a week ago and he had a tough race there.
Bolger to make his mark again
Ballyoisin is a horse that leaps off the card on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival when he contests the Killashee Handicap Hurdle.
A much higher rated chaser than he is a hurdler, Ballyoisin had some issues over fences when failing to complete on a number of occasions but back over hurdles he looks a like a horse that could be thrown in here.
He has the services of Barry Geraghty and a lovely racing weight of 10st6lbs for this competitive handicap but his experience should stand to him and he just looks like he could be too good for these with a bit of luck in-running.
Menghli Khan EW (4/1) & Sharjah EW (16/1) – 4.20 Punchestown
Ballyoisin (8/1) – 4.55 Punchestown
Douvan (6/5) – 5.30 Punchestown