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Sport Preview: Punchestown Selections - Sun 16th Jan 2022

Punchestown Selections: 16th Jan

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12:15 Dysart Dynamo

This looks to be a very strong renewal of the Moscow Flyer, but DYSART DYNAMO still looks to be the most likely winner. Willie Mullins has won this race 7 times already and his 6-year-old is 3-3 under rules, having won 2 bumpers in the spring and a maiden hurdle at Cork in December. He won that maiden hurdle by 19-lengths and looks to be one of the leading novices in Ireland, in which case he should really win this despite the level of opposition.

12:45 Killer Mode

This isn’t the deepest maiden hurdle and KILLER MODE stands out from a form perspective. He ran to a very good standard in bumpers, including when winning at Naas in November and he was only beaten ¾ length by Bronn on 2nd January on his hurdles debut. A repeat of that effort should be enough to win a race of this nature.

1:15 Jack in the Box

The horses with form don’t make any significant appeal so Gordon Elliott’s newcomer, JACK IN THE BOX won’t need to be anything special to feature of debut. He is a half-brother to 3 winners, including Gold Present and will have been well schooled for his debut at Cullentra. Jack Kennedy has been riding at a 29% strike rate since his return from injury and could pick up another winner with this son of Soldier of Fortune.

1:45 Breezy Bell

Competitive stuff for the grade and with several mares arriving here in good form, BREEZY BELL is a tentative each-way selection. She won over 2-miles at Fairyhouse last month, pulling nicely clear in the closing stages to record an 8-length win. That hasn’t been missed by the handicapper, who has put her up 9lbs for that win, but she won with a lot in hand and should be able to back up that effort despite the rise in the weights.

2:20 Bob Olinger

His chase debut was a little shaky, but he still got the job done and given that he holds most of his main rivals on form, it is hard to oppose BOB OLINGER. He was the leading novice hurdler last season and firmly holds Galliard du Mesnil on their meeting in the Ballymore at Cheltenham. Henry De Bromhead’s yard continue to struggle for form, but he looks to have enough in hand on his rivals to make him a solid proposition regardless.

2:50 Whiskey Lullaby

She has a career record of 0-10, so it may be worth covering the Win bet with a Place Bet as well, but WHISKEY LULLABY has shown enough for Willie Mullins to suggest she can win a race as weak as this. She has made the frame on 6 of those 10 starts and her 3rd place finish at Limerick last month does set the standard. The switch from Paul Nicholls to Willie Mullins did look to have brought out some improvement and it will be a surprise if Irelands Champion trainer can’t find a way to get her head in front.

3:20 Stealthy Tom

Soft ground looks to be the key to STEALTHY TOM and so the recent rain should have significantly improved the chances of Enda Bolger’s charge. He was a winner on soft ground at Killarney in October in first-time blinkers, so if the switch to first-time Cheekpieces here has the same effect, he could go close in his ideal conditions under Jordan Gainford.

3:50 Alpha Des Obeaux

He has fallen a long way in the weights since his glory days, but this is the weakest contest ALPHA DES OBEAUX has run in and that offers some hope. He ran to a reasonable standard before he unseated in the closing stages at Cheltenham last month over the Cross-Country fences and he should find the lower-class opposition and more sedate pace to his liking. Despite the weight on his back, he is worth chancing as any spark of his former ability would be enough to outclass this field.

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