Carberry returns for Sublimity's swansong
Philip Carberry has his first ride in Ireland since finishing third on Sublimity in the 2010 Irish Champion Hurdle when he partners the same horse on its final racecourse appearance at Punchestown this evening.
Carberry, who is based in France, missed much of the season just finished due to injury. He returns home now for the swansong of a horse which carried him to a famous victory in the 2007 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The Robbie Hennessy-trained gelding has a chance in the Motivate Challenge Supported By Failte Ireland Hurdle. A field of 13 lines out in the two-mile contest, which presents a rare opportunity for the 11-year-old to race on some decent ground.
That said, Sublimity has it to do on form. Made In Taipan and Won In The Dark, both dropping back in trip, have been in good heart lately.
If the Davy Russell-partnered Won In The Dark can replicate the form that saw him run so well behind Big Buck's at Aintree and Quevega here, he is the one to beat.
The most valuable contest on the seven-race card, Punchestown's last before it switches its attention to events such as the Oxegen music festival for the summer, is a €13,000 conditions chase over two miles and two furlongs. On the basis of their recent Killarney form, Archie Boy and Aran Concerto set the standard.
Fourth and second respectively behind Psycho then, when today's top-weight Shelm was third, the two seasoned campaigners have between them amassed 17 defeats since Archie Boy scored at the Kerry venue 12 months ago. By and large, though, Paul Flynn's Archie Boy has been running well, and the drop in trip should suit.
In the day's opening amateur riders' handicap chase, Ten Fires is taken to bounce back to his best now that he sports first-time blinkers under Richie Harding, while Russell, who rides Archie Boy, is again fancied in the mares' maiden hurdle on Dazzling Susie.