Dublin: 16°C Thursday 5 August 2021

Hurricane Darwin the value option on the final day at Punchestown

The nine-year-old arrives fresher than most and has some rock-solid form at the track.

A view of yesterday's action at Punchestown.
A view of yesterday's action at Punchestown.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

THE FINAL BANKS event of the week opens the final day of the 2019 Punchestown festival and Enda Bolger has his usual strong hand in the Dooley Insurance Group Cross Country Chase (2.35) but, like in the La Touche on Thursday, he could have to settle for a minor role as last year’s runner-up, Hurricane Darwin, looks the value option.

It looks like Alan Fleming has laid him out to try to go one better this season as he has appeared only twice in the last 12 months.

His most recent run was over course and distance in mid-February when he was two lengths behind Josies Orders having been badly hampered at one stage and made a complete mess of the second-last. That display can be upgraded.

Only nine, Hurricane Darwin arrives here fresher than most and has some rock-solid form at the track. It is hard to see him finishing out of the frame.

Having spent weeks trying to convince everyone C’est Jersey would win the Irish National because he is probably the best-handicapped staying chaser in Ireland, it was deeply frustrating to see him exit the scene so early at Fairyhouse.

The unexposed seven-year-old deserves another chance to prove he is better than his rating of 140 in the Boylesports Handicap Chase (3.10).

He has form tied in with Kemboy from last season and his recent efforts over fences have been well and truly franked. The track, trip and ground should be perfect and excuses won’t wash this time granted a clear round.

Bellow Mome covered more ground than any other horse in the Irish National and makes plenty of appeal in the Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase (5.00) off an unchanged mark of 136.

Finishing fifth does not even begin to tell the whole story and that performance can be upgraded by about ten lengths. This looks a poor renewal of the race and could be his for the taking.

Having believed Mr Adjudicator would win the big handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse’s Easter Festival, it was bitterly disappointing to see Ruby Walsh pull him up so early in the race.

He reported to the stewards that his mount was reluctant, obviously not a good sign, but he has more than enough ability to be a major player off 149, stepping up to 2m4f for the Ballymore Handicap Hurdle (5.35), if on a going day.

Saturday’s Selections

Hurricane Darwin
2:35 Punchestown

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C’est Jersey
3.10 Punchestown

Bellow Mome
5.00 Punchestown

Mr Adjudicator
5:35 Punchestown

– David Jennings, for more visit the Racing Post  

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