BetVictor Brand Ambassador Rachael Blackmore has a fantastic book of rides to look forward to this weekend at Punchestown. We caught up with her to go over her mounts and hear her thoughts on Saturday’s BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Dancing On My Own

“Sadly, I was unable to take the ride on Dancing On My Own at Cheltenham on Friday due to the meeting being abandoned. He lines up in the rescheduled Ballymore Novices’ trial there tomorrow. He was impressive when winning at Wexford last day and he should benefit from going left-handed round Cheltenham. It would be nice to see him do well here and if he shows the same form as he did at Wexford, I think he’ll be there or thereabouts”.

Punchestown, Saturday

“I start off at Punchestown aboard Popong in the Novices’ Hurdle for Henry De Bromhead. She was 3rd last time out at Tipperary behind the useful winner Turnpike Trip and has been schooling well, so we’re hoping she could improve on that and go close again.

I was aboard Dommage Pour Toi last time out at Naas when he was unfortunately brought down at the first fence. We go again today in the Beginners Chase and we really have to treat this as his first run since he barely got started previously. Since then he’s been going well at home, so we are optimistic he shows a good account of himself. Obviously, we’re up against Faugheen on his first run over fences, so it’s a fascinating race and one I am very much looking forward to being involved in.

Next up at Punchestown, I partner Notebook for Henry in the Grade 2 Novice Chase. I was lucky enough to win on him last time out at this track when we took the Beginners Chase, beating today’s rival Eclair De Beaufeu. Eclair has since gone on and won, so that gives us a lot of optimism going into the race.

It will be lovely to pair up with Petit Mouchoir again in the prestigious Morgiana Hurdle. He’s a horse that needs no introduction, having won an Irish Champion Hurdle as well as numerous top-class races. He ran well last time out considering I went too quick. He cannot be dismissed, although this looks very competitive with Supreme Novices’ winner Klassical Dream in there. If he’s on top form, he could be in the mix come the business end of the race.

Fusain recently arrived at Henry’s from France and this will be his first race since joining the yard. He was 3rd in a 4yo Hurdle at Vichy over 2 1½ miles on soft ground, so it’s nice that he’ll be able to bring that experience into this race. He’s schooling well at home and he could be a horse with an exciting future.

I team up with Sir Ector in the Handicap Hurdle for JJ Lamb. He was a good 3rd last time out at Down Royal on soft ground, so we’re hoping conditions remain in his favour here. This is a competitive race, however, if he performs to the same level as he did previously, he should go close again here”.

Punchestown Races

Punchestown, Sunday

“On to Sunday where my first ride of the day is on Eglantine Du Seuil in the Mares Hurdle. She won the Mares’ Novice Hurdle at The Festival and has since been 3rd behind Honeysuckle and most recently Reserve Tank at Punchestown in May. She’s lightly raced having had only five career starts, however, she has been placed in all of those. This is a strong race, with favourite and last year’s winner Stormy Island an obvious threat. She must carry a penalty here, which isn’t to her advantage, but I’m optimistic she’ll give a good account of herself again.

The Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle is up next where I am aboard Fully Charged for Henry. He comes into this having won a PTP in his last outing, which should stand him in good stead. He’s a lovely big horse and this looks a good opportunity for him. He’s going well at home, and it would be nice to see him put his best foot forward to progress his career further.

My final ride is upon Mick The Jiver in the Handicap Chase for Eoghan O’Grady. He was 4th last time out at the end of October at Galway, his first since a long time off the track. Hopefully he’s benefitted from that last run and has some improvement in him here”.

BetVictor Gold Cup

“This looks like an extremely competitive renewal of the BetVictor Gold Cup.

One thing that struck me as I was going through the runners is that there looks to be a lot of pace in the race. So, with the conditions as they are, it should benefit those that can jump efficiently and stay well.

There’s plenty of contenders in there. Siruh Du Lac is one to keep an eye on, however, Count Meribel for Nigel Twiston Davies has the benefit of having a run already this season.

He should relish the heavy conditions underfoot and could hold a good each-way chance”.

Count Meribel

Odds are correct at the time of posting

Join the discussion