Ed Quigley aka ‘Longshot Ted’ gets stuck into all the action on what should be a terrific day at the Punchestown Festival.
- (4.15) Hollow Games, e/w – bet with Tote
- (5.20) Klassical Dream – bet with bet365
- (6.30) Walking On Air, e/w – bet with BetUK
4.15 Hollow Games
The wheels appear to have really come off for Hollow Games in recent times, but I am prepared to give him a chance here dropped into Handicap company. He looked fantastic when bolting up on Chase debut at Navan, but has failed to fire since then.
However, they were in Grade 1 company, and this is a far cry from tackling the likes of Jonbon and El Fabiolo. Off his mark of 142 It wouldn’t be a shock to see this lightly raced chaser back in the shake-up here, and with young jockey D J Gilligan claiming 7lb.
He looks very well treated on his peak hurdling form, and a repeat of that Navan run would have him right in the mix here.
5.25 Klassical Dream
An enigma, but comes alives at this venue, as we have seen in the past, as the 9-year-old has won this race for the last two years, taking his record at the venue to three wins from four visits. He disappointed last time out at the Cheltenham Festival, but by all accounts he had a troubled preparation and so I am prepared to forgive that run.
The Willie Mullins team are on absolute fire at the moment, and with Paul Townend on board, a bold bid can be expected. The Gordon Elliott pair of Teahupoo and Sire Du Berlais clearly have to be respected but it would be a worry for Teahupoo that there hasn’t been enough rain around.
There is a little bit forecast, but connections would be very happy to see it raining buckets. Sire Du Berlais has been in the form of his life, and it is quite possible that the veteran could add another big win to his CV, but given the hard battles he has had at Cheltenham and Aintree, it is hard to tell as to whether he has had enough for the season. Monkfish is the joker in the pack and it is great to see him back.
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6.00 Walking On Air
It had taken a while for things to click in the jumping department, but it certainly did when winning at Exeter in February. Things reverted somewhat back to type in the Pertemps Final, where off a 5lb higher mark, he didn’t jump with the zest he had shown previously, and then got caught up in all sorts of traffic problems coming down the hill, and then into the home straight.
Beaten just over four lengths at the line, there is a strong element of ‘what if’ about that run, which often can be the case in a race of that nature where horses being produced from off the pace can be a hostage to fortune.
Deliberately swerved Aintree and last week’s Cheltenham meeting for a crack at this, and the British raider has to be respected with Daryl Jacob in the saddle for the Nicky Henderson team.
Don’t forget Ed will be previewing all five days of the Punchestown Festival and providing his best bets here for talkSPORT.
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