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Colgan has Noble call at Punchestown

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Robbie Colgan

Robbie Colgan

Robbie Colgan

ROBBIE COLGAN has already secured a career-best figure of 16 domestic winners this term and he is napped to stretch that on Noble Endeavor at Punchestown.

Last season, the underrated rider's three cross-channel victories saw him sign off on 17, his current running tally when you add in his sole British win during the current campaign.

Colgan has three spins at this afternoon's all-hurdle affair, with the step up to two-and-and-a-half miles expected to suit Noble Endeavor in the maiden.

Gordon Elliott's Flemensfirth gelding foiled the subsequent easy bumper scorer Windsor Park in a Leopardstown bumper at Christmas.

At Fairyhouse next time, he improved on his previous hurdle start when a one-paced fourth to Waxies Dargle.

That wasn't a bad race, so the suspicion is that the Chris Jones-owned Noble Endeavor is the one to beat here under Colgan, who enjoyed a fine recent triumph in the same colours aboard Mala Beach in the Galmoy Hurdle.

A few of the selection's 14 rivals wouldn't be too far behind in terms of form, with Spa Hill possibly the pick of those, though he has developed a habit of finding one or two too good.

Elliott might also collect courtesy of Layla Joan in the mares' hurdle over the same trip.

Willie Mullins' Upsie could prove a formidable opponent, but she has been disappointing over this trip of late and Layla Joan remains on a steady upward curve.

An easy point-to-point winner in October, she ran out a decisive winner of a maiden at Fairyhouse on New Year's Day, before then sluicing up in a pair of novices at Ayr. The daughter of Oscar loves a proper test, so she and Paul Carberry get the nod here.

In the two-mile maiden, JP McManus' Conor O'Dwyer-trained Blow The Doors Off should have enough quality to score for Mark Walsh, while Tipped Up Harry could provide an emotional win in the two-mile-six-furlong handicap.

Robbie Power's mount is quite well treated over flights, and he has the scope to deliver Denise 'Sneezy' Foster a first winner since the sad recent death of her daughter, Lucy.

Irish Independent