Saturday 20 January 2018

Mallowney primed to help Russell double up on Punchestown return

Mallowney, with Davy Russell up, on their way to winning the Handicap Steeplechase at Punchestown
Mallowney, with Davy Russell up, on their way to winning the Handicap Steeplechase at Punchestown
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

THE progressive Mallowney ought to be capable of reaffirming his recent superiority over Art Of Logistics on their return to Punchestown today.

Tim Doyle's talented two-miler benefited from more patient tactics and the application of a hood to prevail by a couple of lengths when the pair clashed at the Festival 16 days ago.

He is three pounds worse off now, but looked to have at least that in hand when scoring with a bit of style under two-time champion jockey Davy Russell.

If there is pace in the Brady Family Ham Handicap Chase, it would doubtless make life easier for Mallowney, but he should have the quality to prevail either way.

Russell can also take the three-mile maiden hurdle on Des McDonogh's Jim Bolger-owned debutant Star Power.

An out-and-out stayer that won four times on the Flat off marks of up to 72, the Galileo gelding tackles a 20-runner contest that lacks real depth.

Russell continues his new-found association with Jessica Harrington aboard Punchestown bumper victor High Stratos in the Kildare Hunt Club Maiden Hurdle over two miles.

However, it is another Flat recruit by Galileo that catches the eye in that, namely Marchese Marconi, a triple winner on the level for Ballydoyle that boasted a mark of 91 at its peak.

Aidan O'Brien and Robbie Power have proved quite a potent alliance of late and Marchese Marconi, recently acquired by JP McManus, will be fit from a decent effort to be fourth on its return at Leopardstown at the end of March.

Power will have his work cut out to get the head of Harrington's frustrating Steps To Freedom in front in the Agnelli Motor Park Jeep Cherokee Beginners' Chase, with Henry de Bromhead's unexposed Sizing Granite a more progressive option under Andrew Lynch.

Sir Scorpion warrants the nap vote in the bumper. This is a competitive heat, but Tom Mullins' five-year-old showed enough under the trainer's son David when second to Moon Racer at Punchestown to suggest that he should be up to winning in ordinary company.

Irish Independent

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