Rhys Williams has analysed Friday's card at Punchestown and has one selection in the opening race.
"Given how quickly he has weakened late on in both of those runs, it may be best for him to be ridden with making a very late challenge in mind and there's a positive jockey switch with Jamie Codd taking over so that increases the chance of Beyond Redemption being ridden to best effect."
Patient tactics can pay dividends
The Bishopscourt Cup typically lacks any depth in quality and this year's contest is no different. Rewritetherules heads the market and comes here on the back of being pulled up in the Aintree Foxhunters. He has to carry a 10lb penalty but he may still be too classy for the opposition.
Rather than oppose him, I think there's a more appealing bet in the without the favourite market. That market is currently headed by Alpha Male, who is 8/15. Given his connections, this race is likely the main target for him each season and he won the race in 2018 before finishing second in 2019. He ran well on his final start of last season at Down Royal but his form this season hasn't been quite so encouraging. He was never in contention when third at Down Royal and it was a similar story last time at Cork, albeit in a good quality race. It may be that he will take a big step forward today but I think there's too much in this market between him and Beyond Redemption.
Beyond Redemption finished behind Alpha Male at Down Royal on his first start in a hunter chase but I thought he ran the more encouraging race that day. Having been held up early on, he gradually made headway through the race and jumped into third at 4 out. He was still going well in third at 3 out before being pushed along on the long run to 2 out. He was still a couple of lengths in front of Alpha Male at that point and came under stronger pressure going to the last, where that rival headed him, and he weakened on the run in to finish fourth.
That was a fairly encouraging run after 371 days off the track and he shaped better than the margin beaten suggests. That was also the case to a lesser extent at Tramore last time. He was held up and never got anywhere near the leaders at any stage but he did make a big move to close on the third on the long run to 2 out before fading quickly late on.
A tongue tie goes on for the first time today and that may help him to finish stronger than has been the case on both of those starts. Given how quickly he has weakened late on in both of those runs, it may be best for him to be ridden with making a very late challenge in mind and there's a positive jockey switch with Jamie Codd taking over so that increases the chance of Beyond Redemption being ridden to best effect.
It might be that Alpha Male improves significantly today or that Beyond Redemption will once again find little late on but the run at Down Royal suggests there's not as much between them as the market suggests and any 2/1 or bigger appeals.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021