Diakali to distinguish himself in cracking hurdle

Willie Mullins’ Diakali is the nap choice in a cracking little five-runner Grade 3 Visit punchestown.com For All Our Offers Juvenile Hurdle at Punchestown this afternoon.

The ex-French son of dual derby winner Sinndar made a fine start in this country at Gowran Park in November.

Backed as if defeat was out of the question, he strolled through that contest to beat subsequent winner Crouching Harry by an unflattering 12 lengths.

Mullins also runs another former French horse, Dogora, and that certainly complicates matters.

He won in a canter at Limerick, but the fact Paul Townend prefers Diakali has to be regarded as significant.

The other to consider is Gordon Elliot’s Flaxen Flare, a useful sort on the flat in England for Andrew Balding.

Flaxen Flare quickened in fine style on his Irish debut to win a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown at Christmas and has to be respected.

Tom Mullins’ Some Article and Noel Meade’s Curley Bill look the two to concentrate on in the INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Curley Bill is the form horse, going down by a neck to Third Opinion at Down Royal, when having Totally Couture over six lengths behind in fourth.

When Some Article was fourth to Un Atout at Navan, he was a place and two and three quarters of a length behind Totally Couture.

But Some Article was very uneasy in the market that day and this impressive winner of a bumper at the Punchestown festival gets preference.

At Navan tomorrow, Willie Mullins’ Midnight Game gets the nap in the Follow Navan On Facebook Hurdle. This looks sure to develop into a battle of tactics and Midnight Game looks best equipped to cope.

He’s been in good form this campaign, winning at Fairyhouse and Thurles, and the way the race is run will make no difference to him, whereas both Cause Of Causes and Hisaabaat would both like a proper gallop.

And it is back to Tom Mullins and his Alderwood in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Beginners Chase.

He was third to Canaly and Terminal at Fairyhouse last time and both of those horses have won in the meantime.

The Navan Golf Course Maiden Hurdle may be best left to John Carr’s Fergiethelegend.

He wasn’t disgraced when sixth in a bumper at Leopardstown, having previously gone down by a neck to Jupitor in a two mile and six over flights at Punchestown.

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