CeeBee previews the Mares 2m4f Handicap Chase and the two mile novice hurdle at Punchestown on Friday with bets on Dazzling Susie and Max Dynamite advised.
16.55 Mares 2m4f Handicap Chase
Burn and Turn won this race last year, the first running of it. But off 10lbs higher she’ll have a tough time repeating it. She was well beaten on her last handicap outing, in the Cheltenham Plate and was put in her place a little too easily for my liking last time. Vroum Vroum Mag is very smart but Burn and Turn still should’ve been a clear second. That race brings me to the selection, Dazzling Susie. The Stowaway mare received 3lbs off Burn and Turn and was beaten 2L by her. Today she gets 15lbs off the favourite. That should certainly help bridge a 2L gap. Ok, she may have benefited from a good hold up ride and not chasing VVM but with today’s big field there should be plenty of pace and Dazzling Susie may benefit from a Carberry special. He’s riding with great confidence.
Dazzling Susie’s best form has been on good ground so you can confidently ignore her poor runs prior to Fairyhouse. Her Thurles win before Christmas is form that’d give her a chance. On that day she made all so there’s plenty of options her for connections. At 16/1 in an open race she’s providing a bit of value.
Elsie will be of more interest if Mr Fiftyone runs well in the preceding race. She was behind him in Fairyhouse last time. Speckled Wood has disappointed when fancied more than once this season.
18.40 2m Novice Hurdle
The winner of this will be joining a roll of honour alongside Un De Sceaux and Arctic Fire. I think it’ll be another Willie Mullins inmate, Max Dynamite joining them today. On all this lot have shown so far this fella looks to be the best of them.
A decent flat horse in France he opened his hurdles account at the first time of asking with a very taking performance at Thurles. That day he made the above average Phils Magic look ordinary. His following two runs were not as good, possibly due to the heavy ground and possibly because connections had an eye on the Cheltenham handicaps. He finished fourth in the County Hurdle, best of the 5yr olds and best of the novices.
Arctic Fire was second in the County last year before taking this race (easily) and progressing impressively. We’ve already seen Killultagh Vic improve from Cheltenham handicap company to win a G1 this week and Sempre Medici who was 6th, 1.5L behind Max Dynamite at Cheltenham came out and won a G2 in Fairyhouse. The County Hurdle was as ever a good competitive race and it’s worked out well. Cheltenian was 8th and went on to win a valuable pot up at Ayr. The Game Changer finished 9th and placed at both Aintree and Punchestown since. Baltimore Rock did likewise at Aintree. Analifet (5th) ran well at Fairyhouse subsequently also.
Theophilus with a sole start in a 3yo hurdle is very inexperienced against these. That race he won hasn’t worked out fantastically either. The Irish 4yos look very weak this season. Snake Eyes is rated only 128 after a few handicap tries. He has plenty to find and in my opinion has a questionable attitude in a finish. Tandem is another short on experience having had just 3 hurdle starts back in the autumn. He may in time be better than he has shown but he has plenty to prove to get to the level Max Dynamite ran to in Cheltenham. Alton Bay has been off for almost 8mts and in my opinion may be better served with a greater test of stamina. His flat form is impressive but this is an altogether different test.
Max Dynamite fell at Fairyhouse last time which is obviously not ideal but I believe he has much the best form of this lot and warrants a bet. He wouldn’t have been out of place in the G1 novice hurdles run here this week. Against horses lacking experience and recent runs he should be far shorter in the betting.