Old allies Byrnes and Russell to score with Denham Sound
Take the Champs Elysses-bred Denham Sound to get off the mark in Punchestown's Mares Maiden Hurdle today for Charles Byrnes.
The Byrnsey Boys Syndicate's filly, a four-year-old, is getting there with experience under Davy Russell. It also seems that she is much more effective on nice ground than the heavy conditions which prevailed when she was down the field in both runs either side of Christmas.
Denham Sound ran a pleasing race at Cork earlier this month, which she backed up at Killarney in what was a much stronger race than today's. She travelled sweetly to the second-last and, while ultimately no threat to Le Richebourg, she ran a rock-solid race.
Joseph O'Brien's four-year-old recruits from his father Aidan have not reached the heights that perhaps would have been envisaged, but the flip side of this is that he will have a deep team of novices for the summer ahead. One of them, Cook Islands, looks a ready-made jumper and can take the opening event.
The son of Fastnet Rock sports a tongue-tie today. He was pacy enough to win over a mile under the man who now trains him in 2015, yet he posted better form over an extended 10 furlongs subsequently.
Emily Square has a sporting chance in the first of the handicap hurdles. A modest sort on the Flat for Ken Condon, she might make a marginally better hurdler, and the better ground brought about an improved showing when she was fifth at Tipperary last time.
Trainer Tom Mullins' son David now takes the ride and this is a talented team to follow.
The novice hurdle is a smart heat given the ratings band and preference is for Pat Doyle's Hidden Charmer. A winner over a similar trip at Kilbeggan, he perhaps built on that when second at the same venue last time over three miles. He seems certain to go close under Phillip Enright.
Tom Taaffe does not have a huge team any more, but Goose Man is one of his more promising steeds and he can take the Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle under the talented Dylan Robinson. Over the same trip, Triolet has solid claims for Colin McBratney.
Joseph O'Brien can double up with Los Alamos in the finale.