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Commins: Pumbaa working well and has excuses for last two runs

Gordon Elliott: is bidding for another big payday at Punchestown
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8.05 Kilbeggan

Belvedere House, Gardens & Park Handicap Chase | 2m4f | 4yo+ | ATR

The Gordon Elliott-trained Turn Over Sivola received a couple of favourable mentions when he arrived at Cullentra House at the beginning of last season, however things have not gone to plan for the ten-year-old.

After running to a career-high mark of 140 in Britain in 2014, new connections would have hoped the gelding could take advantage of his mark in the 120s in Ireland over the winter, but he has yet to make the frame since switching stables.

Elliott has done particularly well at Kilbeggan in recent seasons and Turn Over Sivola could benefit from having his sights lowered in this race.

Henry de Bromhead is another trainer who does well at the track and he is doubly represented by Riviera Sun and Double Island.

The only previous course winner is the Charles Byrnes-trained Rock On Fruity, who ran with credit last month over course and distance, while the Tony Martin-trained Dallas Cowboy should also prove popular.

Favourites favoured

Punters fancying the market leader have done well with four of the past eight winners sent off favourite.

What they say

Donal Commins, trainer of Pumbaa
He’s working well at home and we’re hoping for a big run. He’s been pulled up on his two starts since coming to us, but there have been excuses. We’re happy with him.

Shark Hanlon, trainer of Smadynium
He’s very well at home but has been pulled up on his last two runs, which is disappointing. If he doesn’t run like he’s working at home we’ll give him a break.

Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Riviera Sun and Double Island
Riviera Sun has had a little break and we’re looking forward to getting him started again. Double Island has bumped into some nice horses over fences and stepping him up in trip and nicer ground will suit.

Charles Byrnes, trainer of Rock On Fruity
He won his maiden hurdle at Kilbeggan a couple of years ago. He ran well enough there last month but overall he’s been a little bit disappointing. I’m just hoping he runs a nice race.

I think stepping him up in trip and this nicer ground will suit him
E.W. Terms