24th April 2012
Punchestown Betting: Mullins and Walsh look to Sous Les Cieux in Garde 1 Novice at Punchestown
455 Punchestown: Irish Daily Mirror War Of Attrition Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (3m)
The first grade 1 race on the second day of the Punchestown Festival is the War Of Attrition Novice Hurdle over three miles. The ground is very soft and this trip will take some getting and anything unsure about their stamina will struggle in these conditions. The highest rated of the runners on official figures is the Willie Mullins trained Sous Les Cieux, he will be ridden by Ruby Walsh and is an 11/4 shot with Stan James at the moment.
A winner of two hurdle races this season the 6yo was second to outsider Benefficient in the Deloitte Hurdle at Leopardstown and then went to Cheltenham and ran well to finish fifth to Simonsig in the Neptune. That form certainly sets the standard but will be attempting three miles for the first time.
Another horse that was at Cheltenham was Ipsos Du Berlais, he was pulled up in the Albert Bartlett behind Brindisi Breeze but then ran a good race to finish fourth to Lovcen at Aintree in the Sefton Novices Hurdle twelve days ago, he will enjoy a return to soft conditions and stays well. Sea Of Thunder was also in the ruck behind Brindisi Breeze and although he looked a non stayer that day he had previously ran well at Cheltenham over three miles so maybe the ground was the issue that day. Barry Geraghty rides him for the first time today and isn’t out of it. Andrew Lynch rides My Murphy who is rated only three pounds behind Sous Les Cieux and has already won twice over three miles. He had also won a point to point last April so has no fears about the trip or the ground. Last time out he won in the final strides from another of today’s rivals in Marasonnien who is from the Mullins yard so maybe they will have a handle on the form. The third Mullins runner is Vesper Bell; he was fifth in a handicap last time off a mark of 126 so looks to have it all to do in this company. Jessica Harrington runs Jetson, who was second in that race at Fairyhouse off 132 and that was his first run since just after Christmas so could come on for that. He has won over this trip and Robbie Power is back in the saddle.
Of the others the 5yo Bridgets Pet comes into the reckoning on two placed effort’s in graded company lately, his second to Jenari at Fairyhouse was a very solid run and now steps up in trip and in class and both may just be beyond him.
It’s a nice race and we have some promising horses in the line up, I do think it’s a question of whether Sous Les Cieux gets the trip, the form stacks up well enough and will be hard to beat. If Ipsos Du Berlais has recovered from his busy spell he could be the danger but running at both Cheltenham and Aintree is busy enough without coming here too and maybe Sea Of Thunder can bounce back to form with Geraghty on board.
2pts Sous Les Cieux 3/1 Boylesports
1pt EW Sea Of Thunder 14/1 Paddy Power
Author: Graham Sarson