Tyner's hat-trick hopes look slim but trainer on the mend after serious injury
Goffs Land Rover Bumper | 2m½f | 4-5yo | RTE2/ ATR
One of the abiding memories of Punchestown 2017 was Robert Tyner leaping like a buck in the winner’s enclosure after Vision Des Flos landed the ultra-competitive Goffs Land Rover bumper, making it back-to-back successes for the Corkman, who struck in 2016 with the ill-fated Coeur De Lion.
While the trainer admits it’s a long shot that this year’s runner Design Matters, owned by his wife Mary, will be up to the task, a third straight success in the race would mean the world to the trainer after a difficult few months.
The Kinsale-based Tyner broke his pelvis and nine ribs when a young horse reared over on top of him in his yard over the Christmas period. He has since made a good recovery.
He said: "It happened on December 27. I was working in the yard at home and a horse reared over on top of me and I broke my pelvis and nine ribs.
"I was left in a wheelchair for a while but I’m back walking now and I threw away the crutches last week, which was great. I’m slowly getting better but I’m taking things easy."
Asked if last season’s post-race exertions would be out of the question if Design Matters came up with the goods under Ray Barron, Tyner replied: "Jesus, you’d never know, I might just manage if I won it again!"
He added of his runner: "It was heavy ground both days he ran and he travelled well to a point each time but just got bogged down in the conditions.
"We’re hoping the nicer ground might improve him a bit. We’re just hopeful more than anything."
Samcro's little half-brother, the four-year-old Think Positive, makes his Irish and stable debut for Willie Mullins, having finished fourth at Towcester in November on his only run for Peter Hedger.
Gordon Elliott, who struck with Petit Mouchoir in 2015, identified Column Of Fire and Commander Of Fleet as his main runners this time. He also runs Ferocious and Santana Plessis.
He said: "They are four nice horses ready to start off. Commander Of Fleet is a sharp sort while Column Of Fire is a half-brother to Tully East, who won over fences at the Cheltenham Festival last year."
Noel Meade, who took a valuable sales bumper at Fairyhouse recently and whose runners have been performing well in this sphere, said of his charge Seeyouinvinnys: “He's a nice horse but we haven't had him that long and he'll be going out to the field after this as he’s quite weak.”
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