First the bad news, DINNIE’s VINNIE is an 11-year-old who is 9lb out of the handicap. However, there are a few good reasons to suggest he’s worth a speculative interest at a big price in the 3m4f Boyesports Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at Punchestown in Sunday (4.20), especially with some firms offering enhanced place terms.
He has an excellent overall strike-rate under Rule - scoring on seven of his 25 outings for a level stakes profit of £41.75 to a £1 level stake at SP - and though only fifth at Fairyhouse last time, the extended 2m7f trip was way too sharp for him and he scored over 3m5f at the same venue on his penultimate start. After that win, trainer Phil Dempsey said “He loves it round here – a big galloping track with big fences”, Punchestown is similar in nature to Fairyhouse and he goes well at this time of year, recording form figures of 111 (3-3) in February if we include his point-to-point form. Age has not been a barrier to success in this race previously – 11-year-old Folsom Blue was successful 12 months ago and ten-year-old Embracing Change scored in 2015. All of the last ten winners carried 10-11 or less, nine recorded a top-five finish on their latest start and eight raced up with the pace, as the selections tends to do.
Dinnie’s Vinnie – Punchestown 4.20 (0.5pts each-way, 33-1 Coral and Ladbrokes (four places), 28-1 Paddy Power (six places))