Joseph O'Brien has six runners at Punchestown on Sunday, including two in the opening where he's taking on Gordon Elliott's Envoi Allen...
"...he shows ability at home and we'll be hoping for a better showing on his hurdling debut here."
- Joseph O'Brien on Cast Iron
Big asking taking on Envoi Allen
Taking on Envoi Allen is obviously a big ask, but it is a tough ask for him to give 11 lbs away to all his rivals, so we'll have a crack at him and see how we go.
Fils D'Oudairies made it second-time lucky for us in a novice chase at Navan last time. He was quite impressive there and while this is obviously a big step up in class, we'll let him take his chance and see how he stacks up.
Sempo put in a satisfactory round of jumping when third in a maiden chase at Leopardstown last time and we'll be looking for a step in the right direction from him here.
Fair chance if building on debut run
Fire Attack made a very promising hurdling debut when second in a Grade 3 novice at Navan. He proved a bit disappointing in Grade 1 company at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting, but we are happy to forgive him that. If he can belatedly build on the promise of his hurdling debut, he'll have a fair chance.
Both need to step up a bit in this company
Inviction has shown promise in a bumper and maiden hurdle, but will need to step up a good bit to get competitive in this sort of company.
Cast Iron was pulled up in his only start in a point-to-point, but he shows ability at home and we'll be hoping for a better showing on his hurdling debut here.
Suited by the trip
High Sparrow is suited by these long-distance handicap chases and while the handicapper might well have a hold of him, we are hopeful he can run well.