Rhys Williams has analysed Tuesday's racing and has a sole selection in the first race at Punchestown.
Showed some promise in points
Punchestown 13:20: Lihyan 1pt e/w 200/1
This is a weak maiden hurdle and it's no surprise that there's been some early money for No Conscience given she stayed on late having been given plenty to do on debut at Cork. However, I think has missed the chance of one at a triple-figure price.
Lihyan has had two runs in Irish points this season for John Halley and has shown more ability than his huge price would indicate. On debut at Ballycahane, he lost about ten lengths at the start and made a few bad mistakes on the first two circuits. He was still in last turning down the back for the final time but he had started to make some headway in a tightly-packed field into a close fifth at 3 out where he reached for it, appeared to pitch slightly on landing and unseated his rider.
He was back on the track just over a month later at Dromahane for his second start and raced much handier on this occasion. He was in a leading line of four jumping 4 out and held his position on the outside on the bend, jumping 3 out about a length behind the leaders. He was driven along on landing and couldn't go with the leaders after 2 out, fading to finish sixth beaten around fifteen lengths.
The winner of that race, Genietoile, had fallen when close up on debut in a race where the sole finisher went on to be sold for £155,000 and Genietoile has since been sold for £92,000 while the runner up, El Saviour, was sold for £80,000. The third has since finished second in a maiden and the fourth had finished second in the race where Lihyan made his debut at Ballycahane.
Lihyan is a hurdling type on looks and his performance at Dromahane and his breeding suggests that he wants a drop back in trip so he may be far more suited to this test than three miles in points. He also showed a tendency to edge to his right on debut so it may be the switch to a right-handed track having run on two left-handed tracks will suit too.
He does have to improve on the bare form to win this but nowhere near as much as the market suggests. Vocito and Ballyquin Bay hardly set an insurmountable standard while I doubt this race will be as slowly run as Ballybawn Belter's bumper and Red Glory and Female Approaching have only shown fair form on the flat.
It may be that Lihyan is still too green for his true ability to come out in the result and it's difficult to know what tactics they will use but 20/1 would be a far more accurate reflection of his chance than 200/1 in a race of this quality. Any 40/1 or bigger appeals.