Punchestown Festival winner Jamie Codd gives his selections for day one of the season-ending meeting and provides an insight on his two rides on Tuesday’s card.
3.40 – Howden Insurance Brokers Mares Novice Hurdle
I find it hard to get away from Party Central.
She ran well at Cheltenham where the ground was probably as soft as she would have wanted it after the rain came and yet was only beaten around nine lengths by Love Envoi.
She missed last week’s engagement in Fairyhouse and is coming in here a fresh mare. I’d like to think she can improve. She has won around the track before so might be the one to keep onside.
4.15 – Bective Stud Champion Novice Hurdle
The first Grade One of the meeting and I fancy Dysart Dynamo here. When you look at the run at Cheltenham he was still going well after being a bit keen. I don’t think there is going to be anything here to really take him on like they did at Cheltenham and the two miles suits him.
Sir Gerhard was really good at Cheltenham over two-miles-and-five furlongs and Three Stripe Life backed up that form at Aintree, but I am going to take a chance on Dysart Dynamo to upset the favourite Sir Gerhard.
Mighty Potter pulled up at Cheltenham, but that was too bad to be true. He seems in good form at home but has it all to do now.
4.50 – Killashee Hotel Handicap Hurdle
Ardla, trained by Michael Halford, has good form behind Banbridge and Au Fleuron at Navan in January. As you know Banbridge backed up that form by winning the Martin Pipe in Cheltenham.
I think the ground will suit him and he only has 10st 5lb so is the one to go with here.
Gordon Elliott has Glan who won well the last day in Fairyhouse, but Michael Halford’s might be the one to beat.
5.25 – William Hill Champion Chase
It’s another Willie Mullins match and it’s very hard to get away from Energumene as his performance at Cheltenham was really good, albeit the race fell apart a good bit.
He was very impressive at the Punchestown Festival last year when he beat Janidil and, bar a jumping error, I can’t see why he won’t back that up.
It is between him and last year’s winner Chacun Pour Soi but Energumene could still be on an upward curve and Chacun Pour Soi has to go and prove himself again.
6.00 – Goffs Land Rover Bumper
I ride Caldwell Potter, who is a nice Martaline horse and a full brother to Mighty Potter. He is one of four for Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins has two. I really like my horse. I think he is one for the future and I’m expecting a big run.
There are a few with form. Oliver McKiernan’s Make The Plan ran well at Ballinrobe and Liz Doyle’s Irish Envoy won well at Naas and can still run off level weights with the rest of us. The Mullins pair will have to be considered too.
I would love to say I have a good chance of being in the money but Emmet Mullins’s Presenting filly Katie Tay, who ran really well at Naas, gets the sex allowance and has Maxine O’Sullivan taking 5lb off as well, might be the one to go with.
6.35 – Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase
Bob Olinger steps up to three miles and it will be interesting to see how he gets on. He won by default in Cheltenham when Galopin Des Champs fell at the last. I am not convinced by his jumping, so he has a bit to prove now against a nice field.
I thought Fury Road ran well at Aintree but I am going to go for Capadanno who ran well behind L’Homme Presse at Cheltenham.
He seemed to jump better last time and could step forward again if he can put in another good round of jumping, having finished second to Bob Olinger earlier in the season.
7.10 – Kildare Hunt Club Cross Country Chase For The Ladies Perpetual Cup
I am going for Vital Island, trained by Richie O’Keeffe, who is a bit of a banks specialist in Wexford.
This horse has won round our local Lingstown course and was second in this last year. The ground will suit him, and he might take a bit of beating.
7.45 – Mick The Tent Flat Race
I really like my horse in this, Firm Footings, who is a half-brother to Monalee. He’s a really nice, big horse for the future and I would be expecting a big run from him.