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Today’s Racing News: The Devil out to strike in Punchestown’s Stayers Hurdle feature

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In the 14:10 at Redcar, Pub Crawl 2.56/4 looks a winner in waiting after a fast-finishing effort at Epsom last time out and is turned out quickly today, stepped up in distance to 1m2f for the first time. Trainer Michael Bell had a 29% strike rate in 2021 with runners over this distance.

Jockey Kevin Stott is profitable to back GBP33 to a GBP1 level stake when riding for trainer Kevin Ryan. Today they partner with two runners at Redcar. Mas Poder 7.06/1 15:15 and Monsiuer Jumbo 3.7511/4 16:25.

In the 15:25 at Musselburgh, The Thin Blue Line 3.55/2 has had three of his six rivals in behind in recent runs this season and his fast-finishing effort over course and distance for the first time on turf was eye-catching last time. Primos Comet 7.06/1 will bid for back to back wins in the race off a career-high handicap mark.

Four-time Chepstow course winner Sir Plato 5.04/1 is nine pounds lower than his last visit to this venue and today is partnered by Hollie Doyle in the 17:00 and has the visor re-fitted after his reappearance run. He could be worth a second look in the betting.

Time to get back in the winner’s enclosure

There’s Listed action at Chelmsford in the 18:20, Romantic Time 11.010/1 is one to take seriously after failing to stay and handle the track at Newmarket over 7f the last twice. She is back to 6f today and partnered by jockey Jack Mitchell who has won his last five rides and is operating at a 35% strike rate.

She is drawn well to gain a prominent position, and the stacks of pace on in this contest will suit her strong travelling nature and strong finishing effort. The switch to turf should pose no issue on pedigree and she is third top-rated in this contest, so she should be backed each-way at double-figure odds.

In the 16:15 at Punchestown, punters should be warned that the fitting of the tongue-tie first time for Henry De Bromhead runners Bob Olinger and Minella Indo has seen the pair pull up. Magic Daze 7.513/2 gets a first-time tongue-tie today.

Trainer Willie Mullins is looking for a sixth straight victory in the 18:35 at Punchestown. He holds all the aces, including odds-on favourite Gentlemen De Mee, who goes in search of a four-timer after Aintree success.

Horses for courses

This section highlights the best bets from horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks.

15:25 Musselburgh – Primos Comet – Has won here five times (29%)
18:20 Chelmsford – Tippy Toes – Has won here twice (67%)
18:45 Chepstow – Major Valentine – Has won here five times (29%)

Weighted to go well

“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.

14:50 Musselburgh – Just Hiss – Has won off 82 runs off 67
16:05 Lingfield – Perfect Symphony – Has won off 55 runs off 45

Furthest traveller

Today’s furthest traveller is trainer Archie Watson who has made the 256-mile journey to Redcar with his sole runner Tahani 15.014/1 in the 15:15. The trainer has a 31% strike rate when sending three-year-old runners to this venue!

Race of the day

We head back to Punchestown today for their 17:25 Champion Stayers Hurdle. This has been a division that has flip-flopped all year but today we have some new blood in the race that will make for some interesting viewing at least.



Trainer: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Jockey: P. Townend
Age: 8
Weight: 11st 10lbs

Klassical Dream scored in this contest last term in a very impressive fashion. Still, his reputation has been somewhat tarnished after a poor finishing effort at Cheltenham in the Stayer’s Hurdle, and the air of invincibility has been blown away in recent starts.

The market has him as the right favourite, but he is certainly not one to be running scared of.



Trainer: Noel Meade, Ireland
Jockey: Sean Flanagan
Age: 6
Weight: 11st 10lbs

Thedevilscoachman was an emphatic winner of the Boyne Hurdle when stepped up in distance for the first time at Navan, and he takes a further step up in trip today for this first crack at three miles. His trainer has suggested that he needs deep ground, but it could be the case that he has just needed a sterner test of stamina. He is extremely interesting in this contest, especially given he has won at this venue previously.

He is open to vast improvement and one to keep on side.



Trainer: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Jockey: Daryl Jacob
Age: 8
Weight: 11st 3lbs

Concertista is another interesting runner who attempts this trip for the first time back over hurdles after failing to match her useful form over fences this term. She stayed 2m6f on heavy ground over fences this season, so she should have no issues with this new trip, but she may need this first run back over the smaller obstacles, and this is her first run outside of mares only company.

This is a stiff ask for her, but she could easily surprise a few, and I couldn’t put you off having a few quid each way.

Big race verdict

This is a cracker, but Sire Du Berlais has never run a good race at this venue. Paisley Park is interesting, given the form standard he sets on his Stayer’s Hurdle second at Cheltenham, but how he will fare on his first start in Ireland remains to be seen, and the reminder needs a good deal of improvement.

Thedevilscoachman is the offering, he looked like a horse to keep on the right side of with his dominant display at Navan, and he has won on good to soft ground over 2m. With further improvement over this trip highly likely, he could prove the rising star in the staying hurdle division.

Timeform looking for a dream start at Punchestown

Timeform’s Andrew Asquith highlights a NAP, Next Best and Each-Way selection on day two of the Punchestown Festival on Thursday.

Final Word

Absolute fury exploded out of me yesterday when Enemy was hemmed in at the rail by winner Princess Zoe at Ascot in the Sagaro Stakes. I have embedded the video here for you to save me explaining because I will only get wound up again!Yes, I was on, and no, I don’t care if it’s pocket talk, but Enemy undoubtedly was the moral winner of the race. Unfortunately, moral victories don’t pay the bills, but the wider issue here is that the Stewards found little reason to demote the winner and the placings remained unaltered.The Stewards have clear cut rules for incidents like this, but there ought to be some sort of consistency in when they are enforced. The above incident comes under the careless riding category.*A rider is guilty of careless riding if he fails to take reasonable steps to avoid causing interference or causes interference by inattention or misjudgement, including when manoeuvring for position.The punishment…*Consider placings as for accidental – demotion only if the horse causing the interference has improved its placing as a result of the interference. Rider caution to 9 days, depending on seriousness of the interference caused and taking into account the standard of riding and its effect.How do any Stewards think that Princess Zoe’s jockey has not enhanced his racing position by the above manoeuvre?To add more confusion to how these decisions are made, Classic Getaway caused almost identical interference to Fils D’oudairies at Punchestown, with the first three finishing in almost identical positions to the race at Ascot. The Irish Stewards took the view that the placings should be reversed.Moments later, at Musselburgh, another very similar situation happened when Code Purple was hampered at the rail in a three runner contest by Fleetwood Pier in which the result was changed.Sometimes it seems like it depends on what way the wind is blowing as to what the decision will be when that Steward’s bell goes. All we ask for is some consistency and perhaps an explanation or two.Until tomorrow, be lucky.
Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7

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