Puppy To Weave More Magic At Punchestown
The final day of the Punchestown Festival takes centre stage this weekend and while the Mullins v Elliott sideshow has been the main talking point, there’s no getting away from the incredible run of Jessica Harrington.
The trainer can leave her local track with a winner on the final day of the season and hopefully we’ve found a decent-priced double to sign off the National Hunt campaign.
Jessie On A Roll
In the Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase, a field of 15 go to post which unfortunately means just the first three for each-way punters, but one at a price is Sandymount Duke, trained by Harrington and owned by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood.
The eight-year-old has to defy a lengthy lay-off of 210 days since his last run and the Galway Plate may well be his long-term objective, but a look back through his form would give plenty of positives.
Obviously you’d feel it was hard for Puppy Power to get off Sizing Codelco following his Aintree win, but Sandymount Duke appears to like the track and is definitely better on better ground and can hopefully outrun his odds.
He has been off since finishing fourth at Tipperary on soft to heavy ground but prior to that was a winner twice on nice ground at Roscommon and Killarney and at the Punchestown Festival he was only beaten three and a half lengths by Bellshill in Grade One company. Off a mark of 137 he could be well handicapped.
Puppy To Weave More Magic
The 3m6f three.ie Handicap Chase is a fascinating race with Irish Grand National runner-up Bless The Wings lining up to do his bit in the trainers’ championship and on form he’d have a strong chance. But the worry would be his hard races at Cheltenham and Fairyhouse may take their toll.
On his Fairyhouse run, White Arm could still prove to be ahead of the handicapper and with such a light weight on his back he’ll surely be at the top of many shortlists for this race but the selection is one of the most locally trained horses running at the track on Saturday- Call It Magic.
Ross O’Sullivan’s seven-year-old is relatively unexposed over fences and could be much more suited by this step up in trip and man of the moment Robbie Power takes the ride.
Call It Magic ran a fine race on his first start for a while at Fairyhouse but met the second-last fence that day all wrong and but for that mistake he would have finished closer. Hopefully he can put in a clear round here and go one better.
Call It Magic (12/1) – 3.10 Punchestown
Sandymount Duke (8/1) – 5.00 Punchestown
*Prices correct at time of publication.