Punchestown Festival 2016: On The Fringe on course for historic treble – again
David Metcalf | April 20, 2016
Star hunter chaser On The Fringe delighting Bolger
On The Fringe has already earned his place in hunter chasing folklore after winning last season’s Foxhunters’ races at Cheltenham and Aintree, before completing what is thought to have been a unique treble at Punchestown in the Racing Post Champion Hunters’ Chase.
The JP McManus owned 11-year-old, trained at Bruree in Co Limerick by Enda Bolger, is amazingly now on course to try and pull off the three-timer once again on Friday, April 29th, after scoring at Cheltenham and Aintree this season.
On The Fringe will also be bidding for an incredible fifth victory in the Racing Post Champion Hunters’ Chase at Punchestown, which he also won in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015.
On The Fringe “in tip-top form”
“On The Fringe won this race as a five-year-old, missed it one year when out through injury and now goes for a fifth win in it. Fingers crossed, he’s really improving as the spring comes along and I’m very happy where I have him,” said Bolger.
“He’s come out of Aintree in tip-top form and he even looks better than a month ago – his coat is coming and he’s feeling well in himself. It took him a bit longer this year – usually he hits form about now. I think that’s why he’s so good at Punchestown – because of the timing.
“You’d be kind of hoping for the Cheltenham, Aintree, Punchestown treble again. He’s got the two big races under his belt so far this season. He was amazing at Aintree and he’s equally as good at Punchestown which brings out the best in him as he loves it around there.”
Josies Orders up for the La Touche Cup
Between 1997 and 2010, Bolger won 12 of the 13 runnings (the race was not held one year) of the FBD Cross-Country Chase for the La Touche Cup over Punchestown’s unique banks course but he has not enjoyed a victory in the race since.
He is hoping that Josies Orders, who unseated two out when travelling well in last year’s contest, can make amends.
“Josies Orders was runner-up in the cross-country race at Cheltenham and will go for the La Touche,” added Bolger. “He ran an amazing race at Cheltenham as he didn’t get any luck in running. Balthazar King fell in front of him, which pushed him back. He had a lot of ground to make up and he couldn’t quite do it.
“But he was only just beaten and the winner Any Currency has franked the form with a win at the same course last week. My fellow won at Punchestown last year over the cross-country course (in the CME Auctioneers WFA Chase) and is well used to it.”