Our columnist dissects Sunday’s John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown and there are many horses who stuck his eye somewhere else.
Min did neatly to win the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown on Sunday once more. It was once an result that was once in keeping with marketplace expectancies, however the victory wasn’t fairly as emphatic because it were 12 months in the past.
He led from flagfall this time, against this to remaining yr, when he didn’t hit the entrance till he had landed over the second one remaining fence. But it surely isn’t that he can’t lead. He made all when he post one of the most preferrred performances of his lifestyles in profitable the Melling Chase at Aintree remaining April by means of 20 lengths.
Willie Mullins’ horse was once a bit cautious at one or two of his fences, he made a mistake on the remaining fence down the again immediately, and he was once excessive and planned at the second one remaining, which allowed Hardline problem and go him at the run to the remaining. However the Stroll In The Park gelding dug deep when Paul Townend requested him to. He was once in entrance once more ahead of they were given to the overall fence, and he stayed on strongly up the run-in to win by means of simply over two lengths.
It was once an admirable efficiency by means of Min. It was once profitable the sport with out fairly taking part in your preferrred. That’s two John Durkan Chases now for Susannah Ricci’s horse, and 5 out of 5 on his seasonal debut. His document after a smash of 50 days or extra since he joined Willie Mullins reads 1211111, and the two was once within the Splendid Inexperienced persons’ Hurdle, when he had Altior in entrance of him and Buveur D’Air in the back of him. He is going neatly contemporary all proper.
2019 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (Grade 1) – Racing TV
He holds an access within the King George, however it must be not likely that he’ll pass there now, in simply 17 days’ time. He’s additionally within the Grade 1 Paddy Energy Chase at Leopardstown an afternoon later over a longer two miles, however that should be not likely too. Min has run simply as soon as after a smash of lower than 3 weeks, and that was once within the Punchestown Champion Chase in 2018, when he completed fourth in the back of Un De Sceaux and Douvan and A Toi Phil.
The Ladbrokes Dublin Chase on the Dublin Racing Pageant in early February – he has received each renewals of that race below its present guise – must be his in all probability goal once more now. It’s a attempted and examined formulation. After that, we all know that he remains two and a half of miles neatly, so the Ryanair Chase is also his Cheltenham Pageant goal this yr.
Hardline ran a large race to complete 2nd. A Grade 1 winner over two and a half of miles remaining season as a newbie, Gordon Elliott’s horse formed as though two miles was once too sharp for him within the Fortria Chase at Navan on his seasonal debut, and he re-affirmed the perception right here that two and a half of miles is his shuttle. He regarded a most probably winner when he hit the entrance between the remaining two fences and, whilst he in the long run ceded preferrred to Min, he most definitely post a career-best in completing 2nd. Min was once formally rated 17lb his awesome going into the race, and he ran him to 2 and 1 / 4 lengths off degree weights.
It looks as if the Gigginstown Space horse can be stored to 2 and a half of miles now. Gordon Elliott discussed the Kinloch Brae Chase as a imaginable subsequent step now, and that matches in properly: two and a half of miles, Thurles, 19th January.
Presenting Percy ran a large race too to complete 3rd. Proprietor Philip Reynolds stated afterwards that they had been thrilled with that, they usually must were. It was once the Sir Percy gelding’s first run since he completed a disappointing 8th within the Cheltenham Gold Cup remaining March, when he was once despatched off as favorite. There have been excuses for that run, he got here house lame, he got here again with critical bone-bruising, and that was once fixable. However you continue to need to see him soar again. A few weeks’ with vet Gerry Kelly and a half of a summer time spent again at house along with his proprietor seems to have completed the trick.
Presenting Percy – encouraging go back to motion
It was once a disgrace for Davy Russell that he needed to surrender the experience, however JJ Slevin was once an ready deputy. Susceptible available in the market previously, Presenting Percy jumped and travelled neatly and, whilst he were given out-paced from the highest of the house immediately, he stayed on strongly up the run-in to take 3rd position.
Like Min, Presenting Percy is every other who is going neatly contemporary. He received his freshmen’ chase on his chasing bow, and he received the Galmoy Hurdle remaining January on his first run in 10 months. Even so, you’ll be able to be expecting that he’ll come on for this run, and you recognize that he’ll give a boost to for stepping up from this two-and-a-half-mile shuttle.
His proprietor discussed the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas as his subsequent step. He may just meet Kemboy or Al Boum Photograph or Highway To Admire or Delta Paintings or Bellshill there, or some aggregate thereof. He’s again at the Gold Cup path.
The fourth and 5th within the John Durkan Chase also are value a point out. Actual Metal was once distinguished from early, simply in the back of the tempo and alongside the interior, and he travelled neatly to the second one remaining fence. It gave the impression that he simply didn’t have the tempo of Min or Hardline from there, however he nonetheless stored on, simply lacking out on 3rd position.
And fifth-placed Voix Du Reve was once susceptible available in the market and prepared early on, however he too travelled neatly to the house flip, and he stored on over the past two fences. He received the Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse remaining April, and he was once travelling neatly in a red-hot JLT Chase when he unseated on the 3rd remaining fence.
It’s fascinating that he holds entries within the King George and within the Savills Chase over 3 miles, however no longer within the Paddy Energy Chase over a longer two. He may well be every other for the Kinloch Brae Chase, and he wouldn’t be misplaced in a Ryanair Chase. He has Cheltenham Pageant shape too. He will have received the 2016 Fred Wintry weather Hurdle had he no longer come down on the ultimate flight.
Willie Mullins finished a feature-race across-the-country double a few half of an hour later when Cilaos Emery received the Grade 2 Kerry Team Hilly Method Chase at Cork. Luke McMahon’s horse handiest had two competitors to overcome, and he handiest had one from the fourth remaining fence, the place Nice Box departed.
His sole ultimate rival, although, was once a powerful rival, a 169-rated rival in Ballyoisin, who went into the race on a excessive, after striking up one of the most preferrred performances of his profession in profitable the Fortria Chase remaining month. And Enda Bolger’s horse put it as much as Cilaos Emery too, leaping with feature alacrity in entrance.
Cilaos Emery’s leaping regarded a bit sticky by means of comparability, however it wasn’t actually a good comparability. He was once competing in simply his 3rd chase, taking up one of the most preferrred jumpers of a fence in coaching. He settled into his rhythm properly although, he loomed up along the chief as they rounded the house flip, and he jumped on on the 3rd remaining fence. Danny Mullins simply stored him going from there, and he ran out an excellent winner.
The Califet gelding is unfortunate, in that he received his freshmen’ chase at Gowran Park remaining January ahead of a setback dominated him out for the rest of the season. As such, he isn’t a newbie this time period, he has to ply his business in open corporate, even if he had handiest run in a single steeplechase ahead of this season were given below approach. He was once spectacular in profitable the Grade three Poplar Sq. Chase at Naas on his debut this time period although, and this was once a step ahead from that.
He’s most definitely going to need to proceed to development if he’s going to be a Champion Chase contender, however it’s most probably that he’ll development. He must give a boost to at the fluency of his leaping as he features in enjoy, and he may just give a boost to considerably as a outcome.
He’s stylish, he beat Melon within the Grade 1 Champion Beginner Hurdle at Punchestown in 2017, and he’s nonetheless calmly raced. He handiest ran six instances over hurdles, and he was once off the observe for over a yr ahead of he received that freshmen’ chase at Gowran Park remaining January. The Queen Mom Champion Chase is a sensible goal.
It’s inconceivable to know the way the two-mile freshmen’ chase at Punchestown would have panned out had Breaken no longer come down on the 3rd remaining fence. He held a pleasant benefit on the time, and Paul Townend hadn’t requested him to pick out up, however Jack Kennedy was once reasonably immobile too on Dunvegan, for all that he was once nonetheless round six or seven lengths in the back of the chief. Pat Fahy’s horse had simply moved into 2nd position in entrance of Trainwreck, and he was once ultimate at the chief on the time of his departure. Alas, we will be able to by no means know. It was once nice to peer Breaken and Paul Townend stand up temporarily, as it appeared like a heavy fall.
We do know that Dunvegan ran out an excellent winner from an invaluable type of Noel Meade’s in Valdieu, with the 138-rated Trainwreck again in 3rd. Dunvegan himself is rated 138 over hurdles, however he’s handiest six and he jumped neatly right here for a chasing debutant, so he has the prospective to move upper over fences.
Smartly Set Up endured her ahead march when she stayed on neatly below Ricky Doyle to land the Grade three Kerry Team Stayers’ Beginner Hurdle at Cork. Mark Fahey’s mare received her maiden hurdle at Roscommon in September over two miles, however she has stamina in abundance, and she or he continues to development. She has now received 3 of her 4 races over hurdles this season up to now.
Ultimate yr’s winner of this race, Derrinross, adopted up by means of touchdown the Grade 2 Dorans Pleasure Beginner Hurdle at Limerick over Christmas, and that appears like a excellent goal for Smartly Set Up now. She is a thrilling mare.
Twister Flyer – two from two over fences
Twister Flyer stayed on neatly too to land the Grade three Klairon Davis Chase at Navan on Saturday. They didn’t pass a really perfect gallop early on, and it regarded not likely for Willie Mullins’ horse when he got here below power on the 3rd remaining fence.
Danny Mullins needed to transfer him to the some distance aspect of the 2 Gordon Elliott horses Eclair De Beaufeu and I’m A Recreation Changer at the run to the second one remaining fence, the place not one of the trio was once excellent, however he picked up neatly from there, joined I’m A Recreation Changer on the remaining, and stayed on strongly up the run-in to win neatly finally.
Winner of the Champion Bumper at Punchestown in 2018, Twister Flyer’s 3 runs over hurdles remaining season had been all over the place two and a half of miles, so the sedate early tempo over a longer two miles right here wasn’t ultimate. He must get additional over fences, he received his freshmen’ chase over two miles and 3 furlongs however, out of a half-sister to Typhoon Fly, he confirmed right here that he has gears too. He’s probably a high-class newbie chaser, and he must proceed to development because the season develops and as he features in chasing enjoy.
Broad Receiver was once spectacular too in profitable the bumper. Winner of his handiest point-to-point remaining February, and acquired on the Tattersalls Eire Cheltenham Sale 11 days later for £410,000, Gordon Elliott’s horse travelled neatly thru his race for Lisa O’Neill. He travelled preferrred of all to the two-furlong marker he moved neatly in entrance and he picked up properly.
The Gigginstown Space horse nonetheless regarded inexperienced, however he got here clear of his competitors readily, and he left the affect that he would have had masses extra left to offer if extra were required. He’s a thrilling prospect, however Gordon Elliott did say afterwards that he wouldn’t do an excessive amount of this yr, that he’s a horse for the long run.
For extra of Donn’s paintings seek advice from www.donnmcclean.com