Dunsdon’s Herminator Will Be Backed At Punchestown
Leopardstown has been the main hub of excitement this week but the year will end at Punchestown on Saturday as the home of Irish jump racing stage a seven-race card that will bring the curtain down on an eventful year of Irish racing and hopefully there’s a few winners to be found along the way.
Double For Dunsdon
David Dunsdon may not be a household name among the jockey ranks but the amateur makes the trip over tomorrow to ride a couple of his own horses in training with Willie Mullins and despite his inexperience and the fact that this is clearly his hobby, Dunsdon has two strong chances.
In the two and a half mile handicap hurdle just 11 runners go to post but…
it is Herminator that is expected to prevail.
The six-year-old has only ran three times since Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival last year but in all his starts for the champion trainer since joining from France he hasn’t been beaten far and this looks to be an opportunity for him to get his head in front.
Top weight Realt Mor is a Grade One winner over fences and reverts back over hurdles for this but it would be a surprise if he can rekindle enough enthusiasm on the eve of his 12th birthday, while Little Haarth ran well at Navan last time to make it a trappy contest, but Herminator is probably value for having a bit in hand with the handicapper and hopefully he can show that on Saturday.
Dunsdon will also ride Redhotfillypeppers in the concluding mares bumper. Joseph O’Brien and Noel Meade both introduce newcomers but Redhotfillypeppers was a £200,000 purchase after winning a point-to-point…
so she is expected to come out on top in the finale.
Ben Can Be Placed
Between them Gigginstown and Willie Mullins have won the majority of beginners chases run in Ireland this season and they have three of the 10 runners in the opener at Punchestown but it is Shay Barry’s Bentelimar who can reward punters here.
The seven-year-old was a listed winner over hurdles last year around Punchestown and has had two runs over fences at the same track, both as a longshot but on both occasions he was taking on decent sorts like Identity Thief and American Tom.
There doesn’t seem to be anything quite up to that level here, although Edwulf has obvious claims if showing no ill-effects from his fall at Navan behind Our Duke last time and while the Joseph O’Brien runner can prove difficult to beat, Bentelimar is certainly an each-way bet and may indeed pick up the pieces if there is to be any mixed wires with Edwulf again.
Messire Aims For Challow Gordon Elliott sends over Baltazar D’allier for the Challow Hurdle at Newbury and after an impressive racecourse debut at Naas he would have to hold a solid chance in the Grade One contest.
However, the selection for the two and a half miler is Messire Des Obeaux for Alan King and Daryl Jacob.
The four-year-old has won both his last starts and beat Champion Bumper winner Ballyandy at Cheltenham last time out. He bypassed a more straightforward engagement at Cheltenham on Sunday to take up this opportunity at Grade One level and Messire Des Obeaux’s extra experience could be the difference that see’s him come out on top when battling it out with the Irish raider who may have a big future if going over fences next season.
Bentelimar (e/w) – 12.15 Punchestown
Herminator (7/1) – 2.30 Punchestown
Redhotfillypeppers – 3.40 Punchestown
Messire Des Obeaux (3/1) – 1.50 Newbury
*Prices correct at time of publication