Sunday Irish Racing Tips: Baie Des Isles can again go well in Grand National Trial

Baie Des Isles can relish National Trial stamina test for third year running.
Baie Des Isles can relish National Trial stamina test for third year running.

Punchestown hosts a seven-race card this afternoon and Tony Keenan has previewed it for readers and found three horses to back...

"The likes of Spider Web and Forever Gold, though perhaps more to place with the latter, make some appeal but at the prices Baie Des Isles stands out."

1.5 Points Each-Way Baie Des Isles @ 11/1 in the Punchestown 16:20 with the Sportsbook

Interpreting the form from last weekend's Dublin Racing Festival is likely to prove a key to finding Cheltenham winners next month and I for one have doubled my number of ante-post bets for March in the days since. Two horses that look particularly good plays are Petit Mouchoir for the Arkle and Mr Adjudicator for the Triumph at 5/1 and 8/1 respectively.

Petit Mouchoir ran a huge race off his injury-enforced break, missing the first two fences but getting into a good rhythm afterwards, giving Footpad a race until the last and not getting a hard time in the finish. The time was particularly good, nearly identical to that of Min, and provided he doesn't recoil from this run - always a possibility off a break - he shouldn't be five times the price of Footpad who he beat repeatedly over hurdles.

The flop of Espoir D'Allen seems to have led to the Spring Juvenile Hurdle form being underrated but Mr Adjudicator put up the time performance of the season among the juvenile hurdlers and this was on just his second start over obstacles. Farclas has to be respected but Mr Adjudicator was never further ahead of him than at the line and he has plenty of form on decent ground from the flat.

Punchestown 14:25 - Riders has the pace to put the rest in trouble

Hardline is a hard horse to rate given how his last two races have developed; he picked up the pieces from the rear in the Royal Bond, form that doesn't look as good as it did at the time, before going much too hard in the Future Champions over Christmas. In any case, he will likely prove better over further and that's a comment that applies to both Another Barney and Athenean too, the former coming from a race that looks weak form, the latter coming off a terrible run.

Riders Onthe Storm however looks to have plenty of gears with how he won last time and this tighter circuit should be in his favour. Time-figures suggest he is improving run-t0-run and he should be clear favourite for this which makes him a bet around 3.55/2. There is a slight doubt about his temperament however so it might be sensible to include a short-priced in-running lay.

Punchestown 16:20 - Race specialist Baie Des Isles to go well again

My way into Grand National Trial is to oppose the horses that ran in the Thyestes. That looked a weak running beforehand and Monbeg Notorious blew away some exposed horses; the five that followed him home are still exposed now despite reasonable looking form figures and are easy to pass over. The likes of Spider Web and Forever Gold, though perhaps more to place with the latter, make some appeal but at the prices Baie Des Isles stands out.

This has proved her race over the last two seasons, second in 2016 before winning in 2017, and a mark four pounds higher than last year doesn't seem insurmountable. She was an eye-catcher at Limerick over Christmas, ridden negatively over a trip short of her best, but she stayed on well to take sixth and left the impression she would be sharper next time over further.

Punchestown 16:50 - Choungaya can build on Navan promise

Getaway John is the standard-setter in terms of bumper form but while he should improve for fitness after his last run, he is also a horse that seems in need of a trip and this track may not test it sufficiently. In any case, Choungaya looks the overpriced runner as he was better than the result over hurdles last time and the hurdles back to bumpers angle is one I like.

Despite making his debut in a deep race, Choungaya was relatively strong in the market and the form has proved reasonable with the likes of Cask Mate and Moonshine Boy showing up well since. Most importantly however, he seems worth rating as the third or fourth best horse on the day rather than the seventh as he still had his chance when making a bad error at the last after which he weakened. That seems to have been somewhat missed in the betting and I had him closer to the Elliott and Mullins runners.

2018 P+L: -12.65 points

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