Tizzard targeting Punchestown raid for Aintree scorer Finian's Oscar
A strong British contingent for next week’s Punchestown festival is on the cards, with Gold Cup-winning trainer Colin Tizzard among those readying a team to do battle in Ireland.
Tizzard is keen to give last week’s Manifesto Novices’ Chase winner Finian’s Oscar the chance to claim another Grade 1, with the Growise Champion Novice Chase (April 24) the plan for the Aintree hero.
The trainer said: “We’ll just keep an eye on how he’s come out of Aintree, but he should be fine to go to Punchestown.
“He’s a good horse and it’s only 18 months ago that all he’d done was win a point-to-point, so he’s done a hell of a lot in a short space of time.”
The 3m½f Punchestown race will represent a step up in trip for Finian’s Oscar, who was successful over 2m4f at Aintree.
Tizzard added: “Robbie [Power] looked after him on the first circuit at Aintree. He made two bad mistakes when he started picking the pace up, but he’s going to be a three-miler.”
Tizzard’s Albert Barlett winner Kilbricken Storm is also likely to make the trip, with the Grade 1 Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (April 25) on the agenda.
The seven-year-old was a 33-1 outsider when winning at Cheltenham and Tizzard is keen to see just how good Kilbricken Storm is.
“I think he had the run of the race at Cheltenham because a couple in front went too fast and the second and the third were sat too far back,” he said.
“Harry [Cobden] was sat right in the pocket and we had a hell of an advantage. But Kilbricken Storm is a really good horse and we’ll find out just how good he is at Punchestown.”
My Tent Or Yours pitching up
My Tent Or Yours was runner-up in last year’s Betdaq Punchestown Champion Hurdle and the Nicky Henderson-trained 11-year-old will be back for more on Friday week.
The soft ground at Cheltenham meant the veteran missed the Champion Hurdle, but he returned to finish fourth behind stablemate L’Ami Serge in last week’s Aintree Hurdle.
Henderson said: “My Tent Or Yours is a definite for Punchestown – I thought he ran really well at Aintree. We might also take Charli Parcs over for the same race.
“We’ve got one or two others on the shortlist for Punchestown and the ground could be the best of any of the festivals. It’s a terrific week and we’ve had some wonderful days there over the years.”
Punchestown manager Richie Galway is pleased with the state of the ground and said: "It's in great condition and we'll have, in real terms, a full fresh track each day.
"Ground conditions can change very quickly at this time of year but our going is currently soft, soft to heavy in places. The next 48 hours are predicted to be unsettled, but the forecast for the middle of this week is warm and settled, so we expect things to dry out before the weekend."
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