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Punchestown Festival: Thursday’s tips

| 28.04.2016

David Metcalf | April 28, 2016

Sunni May to shine for in-form Jessie

Trainer Jessica Harrington has her team in flying form and Sunni May can provide the local handler with another winner in the Kildare Post Flat Race at Punchestown (19:45).

The gelding has always been held in high regard and ran a race full of promise on debut when a 1 3/4 length runner-up to Castello Sforza in a strong 20-runner bumper at Fairyhouse 12 months ago.

Castello Sforza has had just one run since, finishing an excellent four in the Champion Bumper at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, and the third home Deathy Duty has gone on to score twice to give the form a strong look.

Sunni May then ran well on seasonal reappearance when fourth at the same venue when looking in need of the outing, before getting off the mark in good style at Leopardsown when beating Some Neck by 1 3/4 lengths.

Although only third of four when last seen in action at Fairyhouse, Sunni May was unsuited by the slow gallop and and stronger pace looks assured in this bigger field.

Connections have also resisted the temptation to go to Cheltenham or Aintree, and Sunni May looks to have been laid out with this race in mind.


Cassells ready to Rock

In the 3m handicap hurdle (18:05), Cassells Rock looks weighted to run a huge race.

Trained by the shrewd Tony Martin, the six-year-old is a dual winner over the obstacles and was last successful when beating stable companion Pires by a length at Down Royal nine months ago off an official rating of 123.

Cassells Rock has since had just four starts, all on the level, and now switches back to hurdling off a mark of 126.

That makes the gelding look nicely treated, and Cassells Rock ran a mighty race at this meeting 12 months ago when beaten just 3/4 of a length in a competitive 25-runner contest off 5lb lower.

It appears that his campaign has once again been geared around trying to bag at big pot at the five-day extravaganza, and another plus is that Cassells Rock has the services of Donagh Myler in the saddle who is good value for his 5lb claim.


15.40: Roconga
16.25: Sizing Codelco
16.50: Josies Orders
17.30: Alpha Des Obeaux
18.05: Cassells Rock (NB)
18.40: Douvan
19.15: Missy Tata
19.45: Sunni May (NAP)


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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.