Katie Walsh: My fancies for the final day at Punchestown
The Betway ambassador reflects on a fantastic week at Punchestown and reveals her fancies for the final day of the National Hunt season.
It’s been a really good week of racing at Punchestown, especially for Willie Mullins, who has just dominated.
Chacun Pour Soi was savage – he was just so good. I’m in agreement with what Dad [Ted Walsh] says – he’s brilliant on his day around certain types of tracks, but I still think he’ll be vulnerable around Cheltenham next year.
While the Envoi Allen versus Monkfish battle didn’t quite go to plan, you can’t take anything away from the winner, Colreevy, who was class from fence to fence.
Clan Des Obeaux was given a cracking ride by Sam Twiston-Davies and it was a great training performance by Paul Nicholls to have him in such shape just a few weeks after winning the Betway Bowl at Aintree.
Speaking of great training performances, the fact that Willie got Klassical Dream in the shape he did after such a long time off to win the Stayers was superb. He’s always been a horse with plenty of talent and he’ll be exciting over fences next season.
Energumene was sublime, too. He made light work of his rivals and is another horse to be excited about for next season. Fingers crossed we see him, Shishkin and Put The Kettle On in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase next year.
Saturday at Punchestown
It all went wrong on Thursday for Call It Magic , but I think if he’s in the same kind of form as he was in throughout the race, then he’s got a nice chance of getting placed (14:15). He’s a good old horse who is a pleasure to have around the place.
Mister Fogpatches was a good third in the Scottish National and is probably at the right end of the handicap for a race of this nature (14:50). He seems to jump and stay well, and you’ll need that here.
Concertista should really be winning this (15:20). She probably should have won at Cheltenham but this looks easier and she should be getting her first Grade 1 victory under Patrick Mullins.
Quilixios was brilliant in the Triumph and, while this won’t be easy, I can’t see a reason to go against him (16:00). Cheltenham form hasn’t come to the fore this week but I like him, and he’ll definitely stay further.
Ten Ten was unlucky at the start earlier in the week. He got left behind and Mark Walsh pulled him up. He was well fancied that day so I don’t think it would be a great surprise if he went close in this competitive handicap (16:30).
Chatham Street Lad and The Shunter must both have good chances back over hurdles (17:05).
Chatham Street Lad is very well handicapped over hurdles based on his chase mark and The Shunter has been brilliant all season.
Anything Willie runs in these handicap hurdles shouldn’t be overlooked, either. He has plenty, though, so it might not be too easy to choose.
I’ve been on course all week and there have been a few murmurings about Gardener in the Bumper (18:10).
It’s always tough to win a bumper first time out against the bigger yards, but they’ve got a good man on his back in young Jordan Gainford who claims a valuable 7lb off.
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