As is the tradition the last Irish meeting of the year is in Punchestown, the first is a 3m beginners chase and it gets underway at 12:05. Discordantly for Jessica Harrington and Joseph O’Brien’s Early Doors are sure to have plenty of followers. Willie Mullins has two runners in the form of Ontheropes and Small Farm. Paul Townend goes for Ontheropes, but I’d prefer Small Farm because I believe he’s an out-and-out three-mile chaser.
The 12:40 sees the inaugural running of this mares’ chase. Kupatana for Henry De Bromhead was third on her last start behind Shattered Love and Listen Dear in Clonmel, but was beaten a long way. Demi Plie for Padraig Roche and Victoria Bay for Colin Bowe both have chances. But Willie Mullins’ Salsaretta made a winning debut at this venue on November 26 and I reckon she’ll take all the beating again in this one.
This one sees the return of Sizing John to the racecourse and Barry Geraghty takes over on him for the out-of-action Robert Power. It’s going to be a tall order for him to win here. He’s a very good horse, but he’s been off the track for a long time. It’s the same situation for Edward O’Grady’s Kitten Rock, he was also a good horse in his day but he’s been missing for a while now. Willie Mullins runs four in this, Stratum, Burrows Saint, Sayo and Saglawy. I believe looking at the conditions that Paul Townend has picked right in going for Saglawy on this day.
The last race of 2019 in the Republic of Ireland is at 15:25 and I’ll be hoping that Willie and Patrick Mullins can round out the year in style in fine form with a win for Purple Mountain. This filly is closely rated to Mount Leinster and Blackstairmountain, that’s a good pedigree as they’ve all won bumpers and I reckon Purple Mountain will do the same here. I can’t imagine that she will be in Mrs Jackie Mullins’ colours for much longer.
12:05: Small Farm – 10/1
12:40: Salsaretta – 5/6
13:45: Saglawy – 15/8
15:25: Purple Mountain – 5/2
* All prices correct at the time of posting.