Twinlight To Shine Over Punchestown
BoyleSports Tied Cottage Chase
Sunday’s Grade 2 Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown (3.10pm) has been won by some crack two-milers down the years, including Sizing Europe, Big Zeb, Central House and Moscow Flyer.
Some of the aforementioned winners went onto subsequent glory at the Cheltenham Festival, and punters should bear that in mind as Sunday’s winner crosses the line – the question is: who will it be?
Well, with Willie Mullins landing two of the last four renewals, his three entries in Twinlight, Ballycasey and Turban need respecting.
Twinlight is officially rated the highest in the race on 163, which is the requirement for this event based on the last 10 renewals…
Of the last 10 Tied Cottage winners…
9 returned 4/1 or shorter – others were 1-36
9 won during their last three runs
9 won 26% or more of their career chase runs
8 were officially rated 157 or higher
8 won three times or more over 2m
7 won at Punchestown
W Mullins & H De Bromhead both won it twice
Twinlight also won during his last three outings, when winning a Grade 1 over Christmas at Leopardstown (2m1f, heavy), prior to an 8l defeat from Dodging Bullets at Ascot a few weeks ago (2m1f, soft). Twinlight ran up to form that day despite losing, and the drop back in class to a Grade 2 here will help.
Ballycasey (rated 153) has a bit to prove having been beaten 28l by Twinlight over Christmas, and may prefer further, while Turban (rated 151) is another lacking any good recent form.
Shark Hanlon’s, Hidden Cyclone (rated 160), on the other hand, arrives having finished just under 5l behind Twinlight at Leopardstown at Christmas (Bright New Dawn a further 5l behind), and is an experienced campaigner who has been there and done it. He has yet to win in eight Grade 1/2 races, though, and may be more each-way material.
Henry De Bromhead won this twice with Sizing Europe, and has chances with the consistent Days Hotel (rated 152), who was only 7l behind Twinlight back in November. Days Hotel did beat that same rival a year ago, though, and having won four Grade 2’s, cannot be overlooked.
There may well be a twist, though, should Gordon Elliott run his young improving 5yo, Clarcam (rated 154), following his 15l second to the classy Un De Sceaux last weekend. He could well be the one to beat if Ellliott gives the green light.
Fancied runners have definitely held sway in this historic race in recent times, and Twinlight is likely to be near the head of the betting for the Willie Mullins yard, which has made a habit of mopping up all the big domestic races of late .