Thursday, April 22, 2010

Punchestown 2010 - Friday's Champion Hurdle

Friday's highlight at the Punchestown Festival is the Rabobank Champion Hurdle due off at 5.30. Let me state from the outset that, following his sensational win in last year's Cheltenham bumper, I'm a big Dunguib fan. Having said that, he's taking on some battle-hardened opponents here - on official ratings he has seventeen pounds to find with Solwhit - and the 3/1 on offer doesn't look the best value. At Cheltenham last month I quietly fancied Punjabi but he was soon beaten. Hurricane Fly hasn't been seen out since last November - Willie Mullins has had a good Festival so far - but this looks a big ask. Of the bigger priced runners, David Pipe's Ronaldo Des Mottes is relatively unexposed and makes some appeal each-way - five-year-olds have won three of the last eight renewals. On the back of his official rating last year's winner Solwhit gets the vote.

In the 6.05 Luska Lad will be popular while Philip Hobbs' Duke Of Lucca is respected but I'm going with Nick Williams' Reve De Sivola.

5 comments:

Ben Aitken said...

Hi GeeDee

I just can't have DUNGUIB at the top level over hurdles. To me he is a chaser in the making and I will be disappointed should he not go down that route next season. HURRICANE FLY would have to be some horse to take this after his troubled season and at the prices SOLWHIT looks the best of the 3.

It looks a cracking field and MEDERMIT and PUNJABI and indeed a couple of others must come into the equation.

Looking forward to the race I must say :-)

GeeDee said...

Yes, agree Ben, it looks very competitive. If Punjabi came back to his best, there would be nothing between him and Solwhit, as per last year's renewal.
On this year's Champion Hurdle form Medermit has three quarters of a length to find...

Ben Aitken said...

I'm a huge fan of PUNJABI but I'm starting to worry he may not be the force of last season. Seems to be travelling well without finding much. Would love him to win today but he won't be carrying any NTF funds....

GeeDee said...

That's my view of the way he's run this season. Had a setback early on and so far hasn't run to the same level of form as last year.

GeeDee said...

This was truly a great training performance from Willie Mullins to bring back Hurricane Fly (3/1) to win the Champion Hurdle after a protracted spell on the sidelines through injury. Selection Solwhit (5/1) struck for home early and at one stage appeared to have nicked it in front but he was caught within the shadow of the post, going down a neck, all guns blazing.
Luckily that particular disappointment was rather short-lived as Reve De Sivola (9/4f) stayed on well to lead within the final hundred yards and take the Cathal Ryan with Fionnegas (9/2) second and Duke Of Lucca (13/2) third.