Katie Walsh: Sire Du Berlais can be a serious challenger
The Betway ambassador previews the third day of the 2022 Punchestown Festival and makes her picks for all eight races.
Mount Brown has improved with each of his runs this season and, although it wasn't much of a race, he managed to win a maiden hurdle at Wexford in March. He ran OK off a mark of 116 and comes here fit and well.
There’ll always be a few things lurking in the shadows in these competitive lower grade handicaps, but he brings solid recent form to the table.
I was also really impressed with Ideal Pal who won at Fairyhouse last week. I’d definitely want to keep him on my side, especially with his recent winning form in the bag.
Grange Walk hasn’t really had the rub of the green this season. He’s a strong traveller who, when he stands up, is very consistent. It’s a really wide-open race, so he’s got a chance at this level.
Go Another One has never run over these banks fences and, while you’d rather a horse have had that experience, this isn’t the deepest running of this race.
He’s a good horse on his day. If he takes to the course, he’ll give his running.
Ross runs Call It Magic , who was pulled up in this race last year before going on to win on the Saturday. He’s not getting any younger and we’d be delighted if he made it around safely and was fighting a place at the end. I’d love to see him go well. It’d be grand for the yard.
Sire Du Berlais wasn’t really himself earlier in the season, but he was unlucky at Cheltenham in the Pertemps, where he was vey badly hampered early on. Then Gordon let him take his chance in a Grade 1 at Aintree earlier this month and he really came alive to win.
If he’s in that sort of form, he’s going to be a serious challenger.
Sassy Yet Classy was brought down early on last time at Cheltenham. She’s obviously been kept for this race since. She won a race here in November, so we know she likes the track. She’ll be ridden patiently and if she gets more luck in running than she did last time, I don’t think she’ll be far away.
Gentlemen De Mee has really come alive in this second half of the season. I thought he had a tough task to beat Edwardstone at Aintree, but he did it in great style. He clouted four out, but apart from that he was very good and his jumping could put some of these under pressure from early on. I expect Mark Walsh will buck out and try to keep it easy from the front.
Western Zara has improved nearly 30lb this season, but judging by the way she sluiced up last time, she’s not done yet. Paal Nolan does well with mares and she’s clearly in rude health. It’s not the deepest race, so she could go in again.
James’s Gate ran a corker at Cheltenham to finish third. I loved the way he travelled and he was just beaten by two very, very good horses. I know he’ll be short, but if he runs to that form again, they won’t get near him.
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