The Newbury quagmire threw a lots of plans in the bin yesterday, but the old rule that class acts go on anything was amply demonstrated by the extraordinary Altior. We haven’t given up on yesterday’s nap Verdana Blue who travelled supremely well on ground she detests under Davy Russell before failing to get home, there will be better days on better ground.
Today’s action is centred on Punchestown and we are looking for history to repeat itself in the big race, the National Trial (1620). The useful staying mare Baie Des Iles was second in this as a 5yo two years ago, and won last year under a front running Katie Walsh masterclass.
As a 7yo she should still be improving at these marathon trips, and a 4lb rise on last year looks readily achievable. She has had a quiet start to the season keeping in mind later targets, but ran conspicuously well under Katie at a shorter trip last time. She will be very hard to beat.
Childrens List is a potentially useful stayer, but one run in 15 months, and ground on the heavy side suggest it’ll be the Spring for this one, whilst Folsom Blue will love the going, but this 11yo veteran has few secrets from the handicapper.
The rival that hugely interests us is Mall Dini for the fantastic Kelly-Russell combo. He has always looked like a horse who is better when the ground dries up a bit. A rating of 143 is no-mans-land for the coming Cheltenham Festival being dangerously close to the ratings cap for the Kim Muir, but not quite classy enough for the 4 miler. We think today is a step on the festival master-plan, and a tidy run around in 3rd or 4th, behind Katie, would do nicely.
Recommendation: Baie Des Iles, (1620 Punchestown), 1pt win, 10/1 Boylesports
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