Michael Hughes found a couple of winners at Punchestown yesterday in Treacysenniscorthy (6-1) and Anything Will Do (11-4) and here he selects a couple for day two of the Winter Festival.
It was wonderful to see Faugheen back to winning ways and how good it was to see the crowd at Cheltenham cheer him home on the big screen. With Douvan back as well and the performance of Saldier in the Morgiana Hurdle, it has been a good few days for Rich Ricci. Still, I wouldn’t be tearing up my ante-post Klassical Dream ticket for the Champion Hurdle as he was not beaten far and was not given a hard race once beaten. Willie Mullins thinks he will improve for the run and I don’t doubt him. Saldier might be better come March, too, though.
12.05 Neverushachon (9-1)
A Cheltenham regular over hurdles in the past, ex-Alan King horse Yanworth tries his hand over the banks in the care of Enda Bolger today. Vyta Du Roc, formerly with Nicky Henderson is also at the top of the market, but both are unproven in this type of race. Ballyboker Bridge did win the La Touche Cup at Punchestown earlier this year and may well be much shorter than the 13-2 at the time of writing, but a chance is taking with Neverushacon, who has flattered to deceive a little bit over a long career but has had eight wins, including three in chases and comes here fit.
1.05 Eglantine Du Seuil (15-4)
Stormy Ireland is the hot favourite and won this mares listed race last year but the selection is another Jared Sullivan-owned runner and was the winner of the Dawn Run novices’ race at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Eglantine Du Seuil does have to give 6lb to her stablemate but at the comparative prices is worth a punt.
2.50 Minella Fair (12-1 EW)
With Davy Russell on board Battleoverdoyen for Gigginstown, that one looks set to go off a prohibitive price based on a successful chasing debut at Gowran Park, but there might just be merit in looking for a bit of each-way value seeing as it is still a novices’ chase. Noel Meade’s Minella Fair will not have a problem with the ground, rarely runs a bad race and has also won on on all three tries at this 2m6f distance, including in a maiden hurdle on this track two years ago and in a recent beginners’ chase at Limerick.