Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
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# Runners and Riders
Mark Your Card: your best bets for a soggy Day 3 at Punchestown
To be honest, your best bet is staying at home with a cup of tea. Declan Smyth takes a look at the form anyway.

Reproduced with permission from

I DON’T THINK in all my years going to and watching horse racing that I’ve seen horses running in such atrocious conditions as they did yesterday.

It may be that they were going through the ground in the first race as it was quite loose but as the day progressed, the ground got churned up. Watching the Champion Bumper in particular didn’t make for good viewing with the horses appearing to be out on their feet and wallowing around the track.

The problem now is that as the ground dries out it will become sticky, making it even more tiring for the horses. Anyway, that’s all in front of us and the advice for punters is to go easy with the betting and live to fight another day.


With the Ryanair Novice Chase abandoned due to the weather, we’ve just one Grade 1 race to focus our attention on.

The World Series Hurdle at 5.30pm will be a real test of stamina. Mikael D’Haguenet has found his form again since reverting back to hurdles, although he disappointed at Cheltenham where the ground may have been against him. He will appreciate the testing conditions but is unproven over the trip.

Mourad is not far behind Voler La Vedette on their previous meetings apart from at Cheltenham, where Mourad was 39 lengths behind Big Buck’s.

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Quevega will start favourite having won the race in the last two runnings. She beat Voler La Vedette by seven lengths last year but that was on good ground. Colm Murphy’s mare has improved a good bit this year and will have no problem with the ground.

Quevega will act on the ground but she has never had to run in such testing conditions over three miles. I’m going to take a chance with VOLER LA VEDETTE who is reported in good form by her trainer.

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And they’re off… Punchestown gets the go-ahead despite inclement weather