Willie Mullins' dominance of the Punchestown Festival continued on day three with Faugheen providing Ireland's champion trainer with another Grade 1 victory in the Champion Stayers' Hurdle. The ten year old, who finished sixth in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on his previous start, was tackling three miles for the first time since the 28th December 2013. Partnered by David Mullins, the Germany gelding pinched a few lengths at the start and made all the running. Racing with old enthusiasm, he jumped and travelled beautifully and readily saw off his stablemates Penhill and Shaneshill to win by thirteen lengths. It was his ninth Grade 1 win in a glittering career. It was a fantastic result for Rich Ricci who has endured his fair share of bad luck during the last couple of seasons.
Footpad was equally impressive in the Grade 1 two mile novice chase and, in doing so, provided Mullins with his twelfth winner of the week. Ridden prominently, the six year old outclassed his rivals with a tremendous round of jumping under Daryl Jacob. Unbeaten in five starts over fences, it will be interesting to see which route he takes next season.
At Beverley, Trading Point looked a well handicapped horse when taking the extended one mile handicap by four and a half lengths. Restricted to a couple of outings last season when handled by John Quinn, he was switched to David O'Meara at the backend of 2017. Racing off a mark of 78, the son of Siyouni received a positive ride by Danny Tudhope and never looked like relinquishing his advantage. In all likelihood, the four year old is set for a healthy rise in the ratings but I wonder if his connections may consider a tilt at the rescheduled Thirsk Hunt Cup at Wetherby on Saturday week (5th May). A front runner, he is proven on a turning track and may take some pegging back at the West Yorkshire venue. Either way, the lightly raced colt is set for more wins this year.
I am away for a couple of days but will be back to update the Diary at the start of next week.
“Thank you for a very successful and profitable email service. My personal highlight was the win of Aloomomo whose romp round Uttoxeter was a joy. Keep up the good work with all your services, the books and updates, they are simply the best by a very long way.”
“Just want to say thanks for running the service again this year, I have ended up with a nice £756 profit from it so I'm obviously very happy with that so thanks a lot!”
“Thanks for your email Mark would just like to say your selections and insight has been awesome. Keep up the good work sir your service is the best.”
“Thank you for an excellent tipping service throughout the three months. It has been a pleasure and profitable to be a member of your service. Your indepth knowledge and analysis of the race has been excellent. I honestly rate your service as one of the best and most profitable.”
“Thanks very much for the fantastic service you have supplied, I have been involved with racing tipsters for over 30 years and never had as good a strike rate as yourself, out of this world.”
“The email service as usual has been brilliant and this season's OJA seems to continue to unearth amazing insight if you have the time to trust and follow it in detail over a period. Thanks as always for your outstanding value for money publications.”
“Superb information again Mark, I managed to get some 11/4, will certainly pay for Xmas. Different class.”
“Awesome result the magicman strikes again. Won with plenty in hand and not a moments worry great write up spot on again and results speak for themselves best service I've tried, keep up the fantastic work sir. Very happy customer!”
Mark Howard Publications Ltd.
69 Fairgarth Drive