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Blow By Blow: one of five runners for Gordon Elliott in the Grade 3 novice chase

Patrick McCann

1.15 Punchestown
Total Event Rental Novice Chase (Grade 3) | 5yo+| 2m4f| RTV

KEY HORSES & QUESTIONS

Elliott mob-handed but which is the one?

Gordon Elliott dominates this event, with five of the nine declared horses, although that tally includes Cubomania, who finished second in the Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday.

Davy Russell teams up with Ben Dundee for the first time over fences, while Paul Townend partners Blow By Blow. Jack Kennedy rides Leopardstown winner Gun Digger, with Mark Enright on Poli Roi.

Elliott said: “Ben Dundee failed to complete on his last two starts but seems in good order and is a course and distance winner. If he’s got his confidence back he’s capable of a good run.”

He continued: “Blow By Blow hasn’t gone forward from his chasing debut win at Galway but he ran okay when third at Leopardstown last time.

“Although Gun Digger was flattered by his winning margin at Leopardstown, where he was disputing the lead when left clear at the last, we think he’s an improving horse, whereas Poli Roi has been disappointing.”

Can youngest runner trump his elders?

Rachael Blackmore: partners A Plus Tard

Patrick McCann

Rachael Blackmore’s mount A Plus Tard scored twice over hurdles in France before joining Henry de Bromhead, for whom he won at the second attempt over fences at Naas last month.

“He jumped very well at Naas and is very well so we’re hoping for a good run,” De Bromhead said of the Cheveley Park Stud-owned five-year-old, the youngest horse in the line-up.

Will change of tactics work oracle with Jetz?

Conqueror of the smart Duca De Thaix – winner of the €100,000 Dan Moore Memorial Chase on Saturday – at Navan in November before finishing in the frame in two Grade 1 events, Jetz represents Jessica Harrington.

The trainer said of Robbie Power’s mount: “He just pulled too hard the last twice and it’s been his undoing. Hopefully a change of tactics will help.”

She added: “We’re taking the hood off him and we’re going to let him do his own thing. Hopefully he’ll settle.”

Can Winter Escape land the hat-trick?

Winter Escape: bids for a hat-trick of wins

Alain Barr

Winter Escape, trained by Aidan Howard for JP McManus, is two from four over fences and is on a hat-trick following wins at Galway and Cork, where he won at this level and over this trip in November.

The eight-year-old finished second on his only other run for Howard since his switch from Alan King last year, and has won half of his ten starts. Lightly raced, he certainly remains open to improvement. 


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