Posted: 13th Oct 2015
A FIELD of nine chase a five-figure first prize in the Festival 3 for 2 Deals Handicap Chase at Punchestown on Wednesday with Colms Dream the most recent winner in the line-up following his easy victory over 2m5f at Roscommon 16 days ago.
The Karl Thornton-trained six-year-old, who scored by nine and a half lengths and who has gone up 9lb in the ratings for that victory, will again have 7lb claimer Donagh Meyler on board.
Colms Dream's rivals include Churchfield Champ and Shield, who finished second and fourth respectively in the Roscommon race, and Old Supporter who was pulled up after blundering badly at the sixth fence.
A four-time winner over fences, Old Supporter was on a hat-trick at Roscommon having won handicaps at Tramore and Killarney in August. Also the winner of four chases is 12-year-old Kilmurry Lad, the oldest horse in the race and whose most recent win came at Naas in January. He is returning from a 227 day absence.
Heading the weights is the Henry de Bromhead-trained Never Complain both of whose chase wins were achieved over today's distance.
Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Never Complain, said: "He's in good form. The trip and the ground will suit, so we're hoping for a good run."
Peter Fahey, trainer of Churchfield Champ, said: "He had a lovely run at Roscommon last time and I think he has come on a bit since. He'll like the good ground. The slight concern is whether the race might be coming a bit soon for him."
Denis Cullen, trainer of Old Supporter, said: "He's in good order. He was in bullish form going to Roscommon last time but was just too brave at his fences and made a bad mistake. Brian Hayes has schooled him since and we're hopeful of a big run."
Karl Thornton, trainer of Colm's Dream, said: "He seems fine. He's gone up in the ratings but as it's a better race than last time he's still on a low weight which will suit as he's not a big horse. We're very happy with him."
Flan Costello, trainer of Diamondgeezer Luke, said: "He's been disappoinnting this year although he ran a bit better at Clonmel last time. He likes fast ground and if that's what it is then he'll have an each-way squeak."
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