Posted: 9th Feb 2018
A field of 20 runners is due to go to post for Sunday’s €100,000 BoyleSports Grand National Trial with the increased prize money for the 3m4f contest attracting a stellar cast, headed by dual Grade 1 winner Road To Riches.
In what promises to be the race of the weekend, the BoyleSports Grand National Trial will see last years winner Baie Des Iles bidding for a repeat success for husband and wife combination of Ross O’Sullivan and Katie Walsh, while the Cheltenham Festival winner Mall Dini has also been declared by Galway trainer Pat Kelly.
Gordon Elliott will unleash a four-pronged attack on the race with Woods Well, Folsom Blue, Space Cadet and Out Sam all due to represent Ireland’s current leading trainer, while reigning champion trainer Willie Mullins will try to win the race for the first time since 2011 with Childrens List and Isleofhopeandreams.
Gordon Elliott commented; “We are running four in the race and in their own right each of the four would look to have good chances. Folsom Blue won the race four years ago so is a course and distance winner and he ran a blinder over hurdles at Sandown last weekend so he is probably the standout of mine but they are all in good form. The other three, Space Cadet, Woods Well and Out Sam all ran in the Thyestes Chase last month and were third, fifth and sixth respectively so hopefully they’re going to Punchestown with a chance.”
A field of five runners will go to post for the Listed INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle where recent maiden hurdle winners Another Barney and Riders Onthe Storm are set to clash with the Gigginstown-owned pair of Hardline and Athenean and Joseph O’Brien’s Lone Wolf who makes up the field.
Racing will begin with the P.P Hogan Memorial Cross Country Chase in which five of the declared runners are previous winners at Punchestown, including last years winner Auvergnat and his stable companion Cantlow who will be ridden by Nina Carberry. As well as trainer Enda Bolger, Peter Maher also has a strong hand in the race with Mtada Supreme and Punchestown Festival winner Enniskillen.
Gilgamboa is a high class recruit to the Hunters Chase division and he’s a fascinating inclusion in the www.punchestown.com Hunters Chase on the card where he’ll take on prolific point-to-point winners Burning Ambition and Ourmanmassini.
With regard to ground conditions, Punchestown Racing Manager commented "Given the weather conditions of late the ground will obviously be testing. The going is currently soft to heavy with some rain forecast Saturday ahead of a better day on Sunday"
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