My first of six rides at Punchestown on Thursday is on Shakeytry (3.40) in the Specialist Joinery Group Handicap Hurdle.
This looks like a race where you could make a case for many in the field. He’s been running mostly over fences recently, however, he comes into his after a decent run over hurdles at Cork.
As I said, this looks competitive, but Shakeytry is ready to go, so we’re hopeful of a good run.
Next up, I’m on Raya Time (4.15) in the Punchestown Pigsback.com Handicap Chase over 2miles. He’s been consistent on his last two runs and he comes here off a light weight.
He used to be a bit keen, but now he seems to be a bit more relaxed.
He’ll like the conditions here, so there’s plenty of positives to suggest he’ll run well.
In the Grade 1 Champion Stayers Hurdle I’m aboard French Dynamite (5.25). This looks a fantastic race with three Cheltenham Festival winners in there, including Stayers’ Hurdle winner, Flooring Porter.
French Dynamite, however, is a very good horse in his own right. He was a good second the last day to Stormy Ireland, so we’re very much look forward to seeing him here.
If he’s at his best, he should run a big race and be bang there at the end.
Baptism Of Fire
My fourth ride of the day is on Baptism Of Fire (6.00) in the Punchestown Conway Piling Handicap Hurdle. He won around here previously, however, since the he’s been a bit disappointing.
Wearing cheekpieces for the first time, we’re hoping that brings out the best in him.
There was a slight improvement in his last run, so with the addition of the cheekpieces, hopefully he can improve and run well again.
I partner Captain Guinness (6.35) in the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase. He’s a very nice horse, and just ran too free at Cheltenham, so I’m hoping he’ll settle a lot better here.
I felt he was running a big race up against Energumene an Leopardstown when he fell, so hopefully he can relax and get round safely. If he can do that, hopefully he won’t be too far away.
My final ride of the day is on Magic Daze (7.05) in the Punchestown Close Brothers Mares Novice Hurdle.
She’s progressing well and ran a fantastic race when second to Telmesomethinggirl at Cheltenham. She seems to be improving all the time and has come out of that race well, so if she keeps going on this upward curve, she shouldn’t be too far away.