UNACCOMPANIED has to be the nap choice to land the Grade 1 AES Champion four-year-old Hurdle at the final stage of Punchestown this afternoon.
A smart enough sort on the flat and the first Moyglare Stud-owned horse to ever go jumping, she has taken to this new game like a dream.
After establishing herself as the best of her age group in Ireland, Unaccompanied then travelled to Cheltenham for the Triumph Hurdle.
The daughter of Danehill Dancer produced the performance of her young life to finish two and a quarter lengths second behind Zarkandar and that represents just about the best form around.
Grandouet was a further two and three quarters of a length behind in third and, on that running is well held.
But the uphill finish at Cheltenham did not play to his strengths and he was poised to take on eventual winner, Zarkandar, at Aintree next time when brought down two out.
Alan King’s Kumbeshwar stayed on strongly to claim second in that Aintree contest and has to have a life as well.
But I am a big fan of Unaccompanied’s and she emphasised her well-being at the Curragh last month when taking a Listed race over ten furlongs.
Racing over the banks is hardly one’s favourite medium for punting, but we have to make an exception in the case of Sizing Australia in the Irish Field Chase.
He was impressive at Cheltenham, beating Garde Champetre, and that seems to give him an edge in this league.
Recital, with Kieran Fallon in the plate, gets the nap to put his best foot forward in the Group 1 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown tomorrow.
There is no disguising he was a bit disappointing on his reappearance when only third behind Banimpire and stable companion, Regent Street, at Leopardstown.
But there is still plenty of stable confidence behind him and Aidan O’Brien is a past master at improving his charges from one run to the next.
Kevin Prendergast’s Pinkisthecolour can land the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Auction Maiden. She was outspeeded by the heavily-backed Boris Grigoriev over five furlongs at Tipperary and time may reveal there was little disgrace in that.
The Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial is best left to Dermot Weld’s Zaminast, who created a big impression when winning her only race as a two-year-old at the Galway festival.
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