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The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections for 26th November 2023

The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from Punchestown & Cork


I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle 12.10
It will be interesting to see how this runner-up from the Champion Bumper at the Punchestown Festival goes on his hurdling bow. There won’t be much on offer from the bookies after going for £220,000 at the Cheltenham sales last November, and assuming the schooling’s gone well, just about impossible to oppose. A fascinating debut in store

Frontline Security Grabel Mares Hurdle (Listed) 1.20
Gordon Elliott’s course winning mare looks the one to follow for this Listed prize. She lines up fresh from a solid enough third in a Listed Handicap at Listowel nine weeks back, and can score now back against her own sex. The Cullentra inmates are in fine form, so Shecouldbeanything is the one to beat

BetVictor Craddockstown Novice Chase (Grade 2) 1.55
Uncle Phil (nap)
The two powerhouse yards of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott contest this Grade 2 contest, with Uncle Phil getting the nod. He only briefly touched top gear when winning by a cosy 12 lengths at Listowel back in September, and can be expected to go on from there for the Champion Trainer. That said, Gordon Elliott has been sending out winners for fun in the early stages of this season, so his French bred gelding Imagine has to be noted after scoring at Fairyhouse earlier this month. Uncle Phil to take on the jolly for Willie Mullins

John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (Grade 1) 2.30
Galopin Des Champs (nb)
Simply the best chaser in training on either side of the Irish Sea in his last campaign, Galopin Des Champs was 7 lengths too good for Bravemansgame in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham. He won this race on his seasonal reappearance last year, and will no doubt be odds-on to do the same again. Hard to oppose, so the bookies will be taking no chances


Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase 2.20
Night And Day
The chance is taken on Night And Day for this Mares Beginners Chase. She only once got things together in five starts over timber, and can run a bit hot and cold, but if fencing is going to be her game then this looks a good starting point. Sainte Dona and Halka Du Tabert rate the main dangers, but Night And Day gets the nudge for Willie Mullins

Kevin McManus Bookmaker Handicap Chase 2.50
It may pay to side with Michael Kennedy’s Dundaniel from the bottom of the weights in this handicap Chase. Sent off favourite at Thurles three weeks ago, he was just under a length runner-up and will be looking to go one better here. There’s sure to be plenty of interest in En Beton lining up in the Cheveley Park Stud silks for Willie Mullins, but he’s had a long lay-off of 22 months which has to be a concern. However, En Beton did look smart previously so enters calculations, but Gavin Brouder’s 5lb claim and race fitness gets Dundaniel the vote

The Mandarin

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