Three Punchestown winners to feature in winter’s centerpiece
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The latest three Unibet Morgiana Hurdle winners to feature in the latest Punchestown Winter Festival centerpiece renewal
Crowds will return to the freshman action at Punchestown for the first time since 2019 this weekend, as the hugely popular two-day winter festival hosts the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle on Sunday.
Last year’s winner, Abacadabras, will try to repeat the feat, this time in front of the audience in Punchestown, where he will face a potential field of six rivals selected after the last stage of the forfeit today.
Gordon Elliott ended Willie Mullins’ nine-year stranglehold on Unibet Morgiana Hurdle last season and this time holds a pair of aces with the much-vaunted four-year-old Zanahiyr, joining Abacadabras in the roster. acceptors.
Unsurprisingly, Mullins holds a strong hand in a race he has already won with Thousand Stars, three-time Hurricane Fly, Nichols Canyon, Faugheen, Sharjah and Saldier with the most recent winning pair among his squad for this weekend. .
Progressing mare Echoes In Rain and Stormy Ireland are part of the Closutton team. Joseph O’Brien’s versatile Darasso completes the potential.
Speaking this afternoon, Patrick Mullins said: “Sharjah is just one step away from the best. He is a true grade 1 horse. He has won the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle before, but he won it by winning the Galway Hurdle.
“He has a great record at Leopardstown over Christmas but he will be racing this weekend at Punchestown so good and I would expect a good performance but he will probably improve for that.”
Mullins won the Galway Hurdle this year over Saldier and the seven-year-old owned by Rich Ricci, he added:
“Saldier had a great summer with Galway and Tipperary. He would have an advantage over winter horses and he has already won this race. We tried to step it up on a trip last year and could try again so we’ll wait and see.
“We also left Echoes In Rain and Stormy Ireland in the race this weekend,” confirmed Mullins.
Mullins has booked this weekend for Closutton’s troops.
“This tends to be the start of the national hunting season for us. We probably have a week or 10 days off full steam ahead as we had a pretty dry fall so we didn’t rush them but we will always be well represented as Punchestown is a very good trail to start some good horses.
Cape Gentleman and Embittered appear to be two standout performers in BetVictor Casino Novice Chase Grade 2 on Saturday.
Cheltenham festival hero Bob Olinger could make his much-anticipated fencing debut at the BetVictor Loyalty Club Beginners Chase opening on Saturday, a race won two years ago by Faugheen and last year by Asterion Forlonge .
The Grade 2 Liam & Valerie Brennan Florida Pearl Novice Chase is the main support race on Sunday. The winner of Albert Bartlett Vanillier thus received Gavin Cromwell where he could face the impressive winner of Thurles Ballyshannon Rose for Paul Fahey.
On Saturday and Sunday, the races start at 12:00 p.m. with tickets at € 15 and € 10 for students and PAOs. Meal packages are available from € 89.
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