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Champion Hurdle third Darver Star couldn’t have got his chasing career off to a better start with an easy success in a beginners chase at Punchestown earlier this month. The Gavin Cromwell trained runner jumped well and took to fences like a duck to water.
The long-term Cheltenham dream would be crack at the Arkle Chase and our traders were quick to cut him straight after that Punchestown win from 20/1 to his current ante-post price. Connections have indicated the Craddockstown novice chase back at Punchestown as his next possible target in November and we’ll learn a lot more against better opposition then.
The Cheveley Park team have another nice national hunt recruit in the shape of Quilixios on the evidence of his debut success in a juvenile hurdle at Punchestown earlier this month. Having his first start for Gordon Eillott having won over hurdles for Francois Nicolle in France earlier this year, the son of Maxios ran out an extremely impressive winner under Denis O’Regan. It was a race which produced Espoir D’Allen in 2017 and this current-post favourite for the Triumph Hurdle may return to the track at Down Royal this weekend.
Like the name, it was perhaps unexpected for most that the Willie Mullins six-year-old made a winning debut over fences at Tipperary in a race which looked strong on paper. The Henry de Bromhead trained Captain Guinness went off an odds-on favourite before been pulled-up by Rachael Blackmore.
Unexpected is lightly raced for the Mullins team with only four previous starts over hurdles, which included a pulled-up run over the weekend of the Dublin Racing festival. Mark Walsh said the half-brother to Great Field made lengths over his fences and jumped beautifully throughout, so Unexcepted is another interesting contender for turning up in the Craddockstown.
A second Gavin Cromwell runner recently caught my eye at Tipperary when the unraced Letsbeclearaboutit made easy work of a bumper success at the venue on 20th October under Patrick Mullins. Plans are uncertain, but the manner of victory was impressive with Mullins saying his biggest problem was pulling him up afterwards. That’s normally a positive sign of a good one and having loved the heavy ground, he looks a bright prospect if keeping sound over the winter for the Cromwell team.
James Shortt’s four to follow
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- Ruby Walsh’s 10 to follow for the 2020/21 jumps season
- Paul Jacobs’ 10 to follow for the 2020/21 jumps season
- Mick Fitzgerald’s 10 to pay their way for the new jumps season