Timeform Irish SmartPlays: Upsie to follow up at Punchestown

Ruby Walsh rides both Avrika Ligeonniere and Upsie

Timeform's Irish team highlight three selections for day three of the Punchestown Festival.....

"Upsie faces a much sterner test of her abilities this evening, but she looks the type to make above-average improvement..."

Solwhit is a horse that needs little introduction having been successful at the top level on no less than eight occasions, including the World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree earlier this month. He is turned out relatively quickly on the back of his latest success, but he is an incredibly consistent performer and he barely had to come off the bridle to see off the progressive Holywell that day. He faces his stiffest test of the season in attempting to give 7 lb to the remarkable Quevega in a race she has won for the past three seasons, but he came out on top in their only previous encounter at two miles and, unlike his famous rival, Solwhit has proven himself to be as good as ever this term and he looks sure to take plenty of beating.

Arvika Ligeonniere quickly made up into a very smart novice chaser this season, winning his first three races in this sphere, including two at the highest level. Things have not exactly gone to plan since, though, first falling four out when still going well in the Irish Arkle and then folding tamely in the English equivalent at Cheltenham last month. The latter of those performances does raise questions, but he has already proven his superiority over most of today's rivals under similar conditions earlier in the season and he looks worth another chance.

Upsie won both of her starts in bumpers for Alain Couetil in France in 2011 and created a very good impression on her first start for Willie Mullins when landing a 17-runner maiden at Naas on her hurdling debut by just under four lengths. The bare form of that race is nothing special, but she impressed with how well she travelled through the race that day and was value for double the eventual winning margin. Upsie faces a much sterner test of her abilities this evening, but she looks the type to make above-average improvement and, as the old cliché goes, she could be anything.

Timeform Irish SmartPlays

Back Solwhit in the 17:30
Back Arvika Ligeonniere in the 18:40
Back Upsie in the 19:15

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