Gordon Elliott’s yard are operating at a 20% strike rate at Punchestown this season to a 16-point level stakes profit. He sends eight across six races on the track’s Wednesday card, with all of his representatives previewed below along with bet365‘s new customer offer of Bet £10 Get £50 In Free Bets.
QUEENS BROOK (1.00 Punchestown)
The seven-year-old QUEENS BROOK has not immediately struck substantial heights, but she is definitely capable of proving too good in this Grade 3 Mares’ Hurdle.
She was third in Ferny Hollow’s Champion Bumper in 2020, but was not in the same league as Concertista last season. However, an encouraging return behind the useful Lunar Display was backed up by an easy win in November over Ciel De Neige, who has gone on to start life over fences very well.
She has never won in Graded company and it will be tough to concede 3lb to the former Triumph Hurdle heroine Burning Victory here, but she is as likely to improve as any with Davy Russell aboard.
NONBINDING (1.35 Punchestown)
NONBINDING was thrown right into the deep end for his bumper debut at this venue last April.
That form is very strong and can be discounted from the son of Kalanisi’s point of view. However, his seasonal return was very strong and he went down by only half-a-length at Navan behind Killer Mode, conceding that horse 7lb. He was below par at Navan last time out, though.
That has left a few questions to answer, but he starts out over hurdles here and there is every chance that heavier going could suit given his action.
If his last three races are anything to go by, THE WALTZER will be winning over hurdles in the near future.
He was beaten just half-a-length over just shy of this trip at Punchestown in a remarkably bunched finish in November. It could not have been too much of a surprise that he trailed in Dysart Dynamo’s wake at Cork next time out.
Only Classic Getaway was too good for him most recently over course and distance and it is unlikely there is a rival as talented as him in this lineup.
Two maiden efforts may have seen WALL OF FAME well-held, but his handicap debut at Punchestown could not have gone much better.
Jordan Gainford steered the seven-year-old to success that day with a 3lb claim, while Shane Fitzgerald’s 5lb claim is utilised again off a mark 8lb higher. There is every chance that won’t stop him and because of the presence of Zoffanien, his racing weight will be under 11st.
Elliott’s other representative is MOTOWN MAGGIE, who was sent over to Ayr by her trainer most recently. That day, she was beaten only by fellow Irish raider Allie Rose when conceding 7lb.
She is making her handicap debut here from a mark of 113 and she is likely to find her feet at this level. She has been very consistent in her career over hurdles, never finishing outside of the first four and only being beaten once by more than ten lengths. At the very least, she is an excellent each-way play.
HAPPY D’EX (3.15 Punchestown)
A bumper winner against her own sex at Fairyhouse in the autumn hurdles have indeed proved obstacles so far for HAPPY D’EX.
Admittedly, Dinoblue, her conqueror at Clonmel in January, has been installed as one of the leading contenders for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. However, she did not get much closer next time out at Punchestown.
Given she won a point to point over three miles last spring, the fact she is up in trip is probably a positive, so though she may ideally want a faster surface, there is a chance she could yet revel in these conditions.
It should be mentioned that WHAT AN OCEAN is third reserve here for Elliott and he won with such a horse in Irish Blaze on Tuesday. However, it would still take non-runners early enough for her to take her chance here.
IMAGINE (5.00 Punchestown)
Ahead of his bumper debut there is no flat, point or National Hunt form to go off with IMAGINE.
He is the half-brother to three winners in France and perhaps notably regarding this horse’s potential future, two of those won in the cross-country sphere. That is obviously notably different to the task he will face on Wednesday.
However, one of his half-siblings won over 2m1f and 2m2f in both hurdles and chases. With Jamie Codd aboard, he is clearly a horse the stable have confidence in.
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