Willie Mullins, fresh from a satisfactory if not spectacular Leopardstown, has a strong hand at Punchestown today and his Touch The Eden gets the nap in the Buy Your 2014 Annual Membership Beginners Chase.
He will be having only a sixth ever start and it is interesting is now asked to travel three miles, in what promises to be testing conditions.
Winner of a bumper in France and a maiden hurdle at Thurles, Mullins clearly thinks this is his game and wasted no time launching him over fences.
Touch The Eden made his debut at Fairyhouse over two miles, five and a half-furlongs last month and it was a promising start. Considering his technique over flights wasn’t convincing, he produced a fine exhibition of jumping.
The selection came from off the pace to challenge at the last and, briefly, looked a winner at the back of the obstacle, before being outstayed and beaten three parts of a length into second by Foxrock.
That horse was far from disgraced when third to Carlingford Lough and Morning Assembly in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown on Sunday and Touch The Eden can only improve for his initial experience.
Mullins unveils Boston Bob in the Follow Punchestown On Facebook Hurdle and this is surely an attempt to boost the horse’s confidence.
He looked all over a winner of the SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham in March, when falling at the last, and then subsequently fell as well at the Punchestown festival.
Currently about a 25-1 shot for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, it will be disappointing should Boston Bob fail to make a successful reappearance.
The champion trainer introduces yet another French import in the shape of Adriana Des Mottes in the Festival Hospitality On Sale three-year-old Maiden Hurdle.
He ran three times at Auteuil earlier in the year, finished second on his latest appearance, and, from this range, looks the solid option.
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