Vroum Vroum Mag bidding for a repeat in strong Mullins team
Betdaq Punchestown Champion Hurdle | Grade 1 | 4yo+ | 2m | RTE/ATR
Vroum Vroum Mag, who will be attempting to repeat her win in this event a year ago, has three Grade 1s to her credit – over two miles, two and a half miles and three miles.
The versatile eight-year-old is Ruby Walsh’s pick from five Willie Mullins-trained runners, the trainer seeking an eighth success in the race.
Her rider said: “She won the race last year and if she runs to that level again she should win. She’s dropping back in trip again but it doesn’t tend to bother her.”
Arctic Fire, a winner once at Grade 1 level, made a winning return from a long absence at Cheltenham when defying top weight in the County Hurdle under today’s rider Paul Townend.
The jockey said: “It was a huge run at Cheltenham after a layoff and if he doesn’t bounce he should run well. He’s a class horse and showed last time that he retains all of his ability.”
Wicklow Brave, winner of the Irish St Leger in September, is blinkered for the first time, having been reluctant to start when eighth in the Champion Hurdle.
Rider Patrick Mullins said: “I’m hoping the blinkers bring about improvement, and if he jumps off sharper than he did at Cheltenham he should be bang there.”
Eight-year-old Diakali, a dual Grade 1 winner as a four-year-old, showed his wellbeing when scoring by 20 lengths at Fairyhouse 11 days ago.
Pros High-class performer who put up an excellent effort when landing the County Hurdle under a big weight at Cheltenham last month. Has run well many times at the top level.
Cons The bounce factor might come into play. Had been off the track for 13 months before Cheltenham win
Vroum Vroum Mag
Pros A tough, genuine and consistent performer who won this event a year ago. A good second in a couple of Grade 1s this season.
Cons Two miles is not her optimum trip, despite winning this last year.