The weather did its darndest but Punchestown has managed to survive the monsoon like Irish spring weather almost unscathed. We’ve lost a couple of races but there’s still plenty of exciting action in the five races that are going ahead this evening.
We asked our man Ruby Walsh for his thoughts and tips on today’s action at Punchestown.
3.40 Club Hurdle (running at 4.50pm)
To be honest my ride Turban’s been a bit disappointing. He beat Folsom Blue in his maiden in Thurles, he travelled well for a long way at Navan but his form seems to have regressed from there. He was disappointing in Clonmel and again at Tramore. He was going well at Fairyhouse but he made a bad mistake at the fourth last and was quite slow at the third last.
If he comes back to his form he showed in his maiden hurdle he has a great chance. He’s been working well at home but for some reason he hasn’t been bringing it to the track. I haven’t given up on him yet but he needs to start proving himself.
It’s a competitive race but as people saw yesterday a lot depends on the ground. Turban should have a good go at it.
4.50 La Touche Cup (running at 5.30pm)
They’ll be going slow in this race today. Willie Mullins runs two horses, Uncle Junior and Shakervilz. Uncle Junior has a bit of experience but he’d prefer better ground. Shakervilz will probably jump a bit slow.
If I was sticking my toe in I’d probably go for Saddler’s Storm. He was pulled up at the Irish National but his form before that was very good.
Enda Bolger has a great record in this race. He has Arabella boy and Doctor Pat running in this race, of the two I’d go for Arabella Boy.
5.30 World Series Hurdle (running at 6.05pm)
Voler La Vedette looks a different mare this year, she looks very strong and her form is much improved. If you go strictly on the form book, Quevega beat Mourad by a length and half here last year and Voler La Vedette has been kicking Mourad out of the way this year. Her run behind Big Bucks in Cheltenham was amazing.
Quevega looked great in Cheltenham and she’s in really good form. She’s been working well at home. If we get a good run through the race and she doesn’t exert too much energy so we have enough to get home, she’ll be hard to beat.
6.05 Handicap Hurdle (running at 6.40pm)
I did win on Catleen in Limerick on heavy ground but I’d be worried about the ground for her today. She was definitely a better mare in Leopardstown when it was a bit drier. She should get the trip but I think Danny Mullins’ horse Cairdin can stay forever and I think she has a great shout.
Morning Royalty loved the heavy ground when she won at Gowran earlier in the season and she ran a cracker in Fairyhouse in her last run. If that hasn’t taken it’s toll she has a great chance. As we saw yesterday Willie’s bumper horses are in great form.