A superb array of jumps and flat racing, with the final hurrahs of the jumps season at Sandown and Punchestown.
The Daily Yankee:
Step Back, (1535 Sandown), 10/1: Has looked steadily progressive this season. We tipped him when he was third here two runs ago when he just stayed on at one pace over 3 miles. Looks like he could be a real stayer, has had a confidence boosting win since, gets cheekpieces fitted and has the help of the very good Jamie Moore in the saddle. Could beat a generally more over-raced field of opponents.
Forever Gold, (1700 Punchestown), 10/1: 11yo veteran who has finished runner up at the last two Punchestown festivals including this race 2 years ago. Was an excellent 3rd in the Irish National last time and could possibly have won but for a couple of sloppy late jumps. Looks the pick of those that ran there, and with his liking for the course he looks pretty good value to finally come good.
Lough Derg Spirit, (1715 Sandown), 12/1: Nicky Henderson’s handicap hurdler has been loftily campaigned, running 6th in the Betfair hurdle at Newbury before a staying on 6th in a slightly falsely run Martin Pipe at Cheltenham. May be slightly under the radar here with stablemate Soul Emotion taking the spotlight, but a true run race should see Lough Derg Spirit at his best and the slight drop in class can see him prevail.
Karalee, (1735 Punchestown), 14/1: The Willie Mullins team has been in sensational form all week and that has extended into many of the better handicaps. He supplies a fair number of the runners here, but stable jockey Paul Townend has been inspired since his brainstorm on Tuesday, and he selects Karalee. This horse has been struggling to win, but hinted at much better to come when staying on at Fairyhouse, and this longer trip looks tailor-made.
Please subscribe for latest tips and news, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.