6.05pm Punchestown Tips & Betting Preview 27/04/2017

It’s still very early days for THE BARROWMAN who has taken a sizeable step forward the last twice since entering handicaps for Adrian Keatley. After showing promise in novices, he started off in handicaps off a mark of 132 and he wasn’t necessarily disgraced in a hot looking race at Fairyhouse in February, finishing eighth behind horses such as Presenting Percy, Carrig Cathal and Sure Reef. Dropped two pound in the handicap, he finished fifth at the same venue when upped in trip despite being lame, which is likely the reason why he dropped from first to fifth on the run in. He remains on the same mark and conditions are to suit; so if fully fit for this he should be heavily involved under Roger Loughran and needs to be respected.

Willie Mullins is trying to claw back ground on Gordon Elliott in the trainers championship and he’ll be hoping Kate Appleby Shoes can put 60,000 euros into his pocket. The further she goes the seemingly better she gets and after showing huge amounts of promise in bumpers, she was perhaps disappointing in defeat in both her first two hurdling starts. Upped in trip though on her third start she was a game winner at Clonmel in February before another step up in trip reaped dividends as she powered clear on the run in for a five length success at Limerick when last seen in March. That Grade 3 victory represented a career best for the eight year old who should improve again for this step up in trip on handicap debut, with an opening mark of 130 not necessarily harsh. Ruby Walsh prefers her to the other Mullins runners and she has to be respected.

Harry Fry sends over his Minella Awards and this improver should have his say if taking another step forward for a trainer who is in blistering form of late. Showing huge amounts of promise on debut when second to Champers On Ice at Newbury in November 2015, he has been sparingly seen since then, though he returned this season with a pleasing effort when second at Plumpton in January. On handicap debut at Sandown he took another step forward when winning a competitive event at Sandown in March, being raised 6lb as a result of that Grade 3 win. He still remains with potential and this step up in trip should help to eek out further progress from the six year old by Oscar, who shouldn’t be underestimated with conditions to suit.

Lightly raced and still full of potential, it would be very dangerous to discount the chances of Younevercall for Kim Bailey who has a number of factors in his favour. The six year old needs a right handed track and sounder surface which he gets in this and he was in good form on his last two runs, capping off last season when winning a novices hurdle at Huntingdon easily. On handicap debut back in November he took another leap forward when comfortably winning at Pertemps Qualifier and has been raised 8lb as result. He goes very well fresh so this 171 day break will be ideal and this step up in trip should only serve to improve this interesting and potentially useful hurdler. He is entitled to be involved and shouldn’t be take lightly under regular rider David Bass.

Brother to the smart Our Duke, Oscar Sam has been better than never the last twice for the Harrington yard and comes here a fresh horse after being given an eighty-one day break. Winning well in handicap company at Leopardstown in January, he was raised 7lb but that did little to deter the eight year old who finished a gallant third in a very competitive Pertemps Qualifier over C&D back in February. He goes up another 3lb as a result but that could well be generous considering he remains with potential, which makes him a very interesting runner for a yard who cannot do anything wrong at present. Robbie Power takes the ride and he looks likely to go very close, so has to be given a second look.

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