GAVIN CROMWELL: After a quieter week, Gavin has plenty of runners over the weekend at Fairyhouse and Punchestown, all of whom he previews in today’s blog.
We kick things off with Wolf Prince in the Stallion Trial Hurdle (12.25pm). He’s back down in grade after finishing second in a Grade 2 at Leopardstown on Boxing Day, where although he was well-beaten by Aspire Tower, he pulled 17 lengths clear of the third.
He’s got a penalty to contend with but Conor McNamara takes five pounds off to negate that and he should go there with a favourite’s chance. The juvenile races at Cheltenham are very much on the agenda and he’s an exciting horse to have in the yard.
We run Mary Of De Sorrows, Bold Pearl and Galaxy Girl in the maiden hurdle (1.00pm). Bold Pearl is the best of the three and she should run a nice after finishing third in a bumper last time.
Both Prospectus and Arverne go in the beginners chase (2.45pm). The former would like the ground a bit softer which probably hinders his chances somewhat and he’ll need to be better than he was the last day at Navan.
Arverne needs to take better to chasing than he did the last day at Punchestown to be involved here.
Brex Drago and Bentham take their chances in the rated novice chase (3.20pm). Brex Drago ran a cracker last time at Leopardstown and was probably a bit unlucky to only finish third.
He’s got plenty of weight again, so Conor’s claim is really handy and we’d like to think he’ll go well. It’s a competitive race for the grade, though, and he’ll need to step forward again which we’re hoping he can.
Bentham hasn’t quite fulfilled the potential we thought he had so far and he looks up against it here.Irish Racing Markets
We’ve got three runners at Punchestown on Sunday starting with Biddy The Boss in the handicap chase (2.10pm). She got her head in front the last day at Fairyhouse and seems to really enjoy it when she’s allowed to dictate from the front.
It’s a pretty quick turnaround but she’s come out of her win well and we’re hoping she’ll run well again.
Midnight Wilde and Wavelength will run in the maiden hurdle (3.45pm). We’re interested to see how Midnight Wilde gets on over hurdles for the first time as he didn’t run too badly on the all-weather at Dundalk on his first start for us last time.
Wavelength was brave when winning a Roscommon bumper in September, before he fell at Cork the time after. He ran okay at Tramore the last day but will need to step up from that to feature here.Horse Racing Markets