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Punchestown Festival preview: Donohue Marquees Handicap Hurdle (18:05)

| 30.04.2015

Trainer Gordon Elliott has already saddled two winners at the Punchestown Festival and Roll It Out can add to that tally by landing the Donohue Marquees Handicap Hurdle there today (18:05).

The gelding scored in good style on hurdling debut when landing a 20-runner contest at Down Royal back in 2013, and the race has thrown up plenty of subsequent winners.

They include the runner-up Mister Nibbles who is now rated 128, and fourth home Sort It Out who has landed two valuable handicaps this season to be rated 138.

That is strong form and makes Roll It Out look potentially very well-treated off a mark of 121.

Although Roll It Out has failed to get his head in front in seven subsequent starts, the six-year-old has run some solid races to make the frame on a couple of occasions and often shaped as if he has a bigger performance in him.

The son of Kayf Tara particularly caught the eye last time out when third of 16 to Mine Now over 2m 4f at Gowran Park, staying on well from way off the pace to be nearest at the finish.

Judged on that effort the step up to 3m for the first time this afternoon looks sure to suit, and Roll It Out looks to have been laid out for the race.

Roll It Out also has the services of rising star Luke Dempsey in the saddle who is terrific value for his 5lb claim, and taking that into account the JP McManus-owned gelding looks weighted to take all the beating.

There are plenty of dangers in a wide-open contest, and the unexposed Rogue Trader could prove the biggest.

The six-year-old has had just three starts over the obstacles, winning his last two starts in the manner of a progressive sort.

After scoring easily by 12 lengths at Leopardstown on his final start for trainer Charlie Swan, Rogue Trader showed a good attitude to get up and force a dead-heat with Velocity Boy at Limerick on debut for Tom Taaffe.

The pair pulled 13 lengths clear of third home Sambremont, and Rogue Trader now meets that rival on identical terms after being allotted what could be a lenient opening mark of 123 given his upwardly mobile profile.



David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.