SUNDAY WEEKENDER

14:40 Punchestown A two mile listed novice hurdle race to start the day from the Co. Kildare track, a small and select field line up. Willie Mullins and Gigginstown hold the key here with Aminabad the likely favourite. His maiden form win is working out well. This is another step up in class and may just want for the experience. He is the pick of Bryan Cooper and must be respected. The other Mullins runner is Avant Tout. He won a average maiden at Listowel over the summer and this doesn’t look like the kind of test that will suit. The selection is Mr Diablo wha has been running very consistently, he takes a step up in grade but this trip suits. Owners rate him very highly and have bigger expectations. If he is to be that horse he will need to take this. The biggest danger maybe All Hell Let Loose. He finished second in the Royal Bond but flopped on heavy ground. If the ground doesn’t deteriorate he should improve again, however he is overlooked by retained jockey. Mr Diablo (WIN)

15:40 Punchestown The Grade Two Tied Cottage chase over two miles is the feature of the day and Hidden Cyclone is the clear favourite. When I originally looked at this race, I was trying to find what beats the market leader but he is impossible to appose on these terms. The Sharks flag bearer seldom runs a bad race and his two falls were unfortunate. He should be able to overturn Twinlight at these weights. Hidden Cyclone is in receipt of just under a stone from the Mullins horse who surprised everyone winning at Leopardstown over Christmas. He didn’t run too bad behind Dodging Bullets last time out. I can’t see him giving that amount of weight away to the classy Hidden Cyclone. Of the remainder Bright New Dawn has never won over this trip and needs more of a stamina test. However he shouldn’t be completely discounted. Hidden Cyclone (WIN)

16:10 Punchestown We finish the day with a Grand National Trial. A gruelling three and a half miles in front of this nine strong field. Robert Tyners excellent season continues and he has Embracing Change leading the market here. He is excellent form and has won his last three going up eighteen pounds in the process. It’s hard to know how much more improvement there is left with any further support in the betting a key indicator. Sword Fish lost to Embracing change at Fairyhouse and then franked that run with a win. He last ran in the Thyestees and was pulled up. Dropped back down in class and Mark Walsh back on board he should go close. But he is on a career high mark so is overlooked. Paul Nolan has enjoyed a good January and is double handed here with Behemouth and Jupitor. The former is a decent horse but lacks proven stamina at this trip and is still a novice. The latter has something to find with the market leaders but is down to attractive mark and young talented claimed David Mullins is booked to take a valuable seven off. He has been running well recently bar his last run and this may have been targeted. He is the selection. Jupitor (E/W if 8+ runners)

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