Sunday 25 February 2018

Stick with Martin's Pin in Punchestown feature

PUNCHESTOWN today stages some of the chases that fell foul of the weather at the Festival, including the valuable Aon Handicap Chase, which has attracted some decent performers.

The Willie Mullins-trained Call The Police is down in grade after failing to live with Flemenstar last time, having previously finished a respectable third to Bobs Worth at Cheltenham.

Foildubh tops the weights after winning here on the Saturday of the Festival, while Tom Taaffe's Ninetieth Minute is also worthy of consideration, having fallen in the Irish National when well fancied.

The long-absent Gala Dancer steps up in grade after making it three wins from his last four starts at Clonmel, but a chance is taken on Nearest The Pin.

Tony Martin's seven-year-old was expected to have broken his duck over fences by now, but he has disappointed on several occasions this season. As a result, he has been given a decent mark by the handicapper and with a tongue tie fitted, a chance is taken on him in the hope that Barry Geraghty can get the most out of him.

The '3' Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase sees classy novice Frisco Depot bid to atone for his unlucky tumble at the Festival. Top weight won't make life easy, especially as impressive Fairyhouse scorer Caduceus looks on the upgrade.

Slieveardagh bids to follow up a recent success in the Madra Irish Dog Food Chase, but faces a tough task against False Economy, third to Flemenstar in a Grade One, and Lambro, which may benefit from a shorter trip having failed to stay three miles at Cheltenham.

Another Mullins inmate, Are Ya Right Chief, is hard to oppose in the Kids Go Free Maiden Hurdle under Ruby Walsh.

Irish Independent

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