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Henry de Bromhead reveals weekend target for star novice Bob Olinger

Bob Olinger: on course to appear at Punchestown on Sunday
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All eyes will be on Punchestown this Sunday after Henry de Bromhead said Bob Olinger is on course for the Grade 3 Kildare Novice Chasie (2.20) – his first appearance since winning on his chasing debut at Gowran in November.

Last season's exceptional Ballymore Novices' Hurdle winner finished 16 and a half lengths clear of third-placed Master McShee on that occasion, with the Paddy Corkery-trained rival doing the form no harm when winning the Grade 1 BoyleSports Faugheen Novice Chase over Christmas.

De Bromhead opted against running Bob Olinger during the festive period, despite entries at Cheltenham, Ascot, Limerick and Leopardstown throughout December, and has been working on the Cheltenham Festival favourite's jumping ahead of Sunday's assignment.

"We're certainly aiming to take Bob Olinger to Punchestown," the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National-winning trainer said on Tuesday.

Henry de Bromhead on Bob Olinger: "It looked a very good beginners' chase on paper. We'll take one race at a time"

"He seems in good form and worked well this morning. There were a few options for him but this one stood out to us and we said we'd have a go."

Looking back on Bob Olinger's chasing debut, De Bromhead said: "He was good. I think you'd be entitled to comment on his jumping. It wasn't spectacular. It was fine. He jumped some really well but there were a couple he didn't jump so well. But it was good. He won. It looked a very good beginners' chase on paper. We'll take one race at a time."

Bob Olinger is 6-4 favourite for the Turners Novices' Chase at Cheltenham and De Bromhead added: "He's doing plenty of schooling. He's jumping fine at home, so we have no reason to worry about that, having had that experience behind him. We're looking forward to Sunday."

A maximum of 11 could go to post for the 2m4f contest, which has been won by Sir Des Champs (2012), Djakadam (2014), Vautour (2015), Yorkhill (2017) and Envoi Allen (2021) in the past decade.

Grade 3 Kildare Chase: full racecard and entries

Bob Olinger's possible main dangers include Capodanno, who made an impressive chasing debut for Willie Mullins and JP McManus at Naas last month, Grade 1-winning novice hurdler Gaillard Du Mesnil and the useful Lifetime Ambition.

Dysart Dynamo: unbeaten in two bumpers and one maiden hurdle outing

Earlier on Sunday's card, the Grade 2 Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle should prove informative as Mullins has entered impressive maiden hurdle winners Dysart Dynamo and Hawai Game.

The champion trainer has won the race on a record seven occasions, including with Cheltenham Festival winners Mikael D'Haguenet (2009), Vautour (2014), Douvan (2015) and Min (2016).

The Gordon Elliott-trained Gringo D'Aubrelle, third in the Challow Novices' Hurdle last time, is one of seven possible runners in the 2m contest. De Bromhead can call on Guily Billy, who bounced back from a shock defeat on his stable bow at Clonmel when bolting up in a Tramore maiden hurdle last month.

De Bromhead said: "Going to Punchestown was the next logical step for him after his last run. He's won his maiden hurdle, now we step forward and see. We'll learn more about him. It'll be extremely competitive but we'll take our chance."

Read these next:

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Mark Boylan: Zanahiyr a live each-way contender at 14-1 for the Champion Hurdle (Members' Club)

Upping The Ante star Gavin Lynch joins the Racing Post roster for a weekly Saturday column throughout the jumps season. He'll offer a guide to the weekend action, highlight the horses and races to watch and share his punting wisdom. Read it every Saturday in the Racing Post or online from 4pm every Friday, exclusively for Members' Club subscribers. Sign up to Members' Club here for more top jumps season insight.

I think you'd be entitled to comment on his jumping. It wasn’t spectacular. It was fine
E.W. Terms