Benie Des Dieux
4th May 2019 – Punchestown – I compared times from her fourth hurdle with Fusil Raffles from his second hurdle. She was about two seconds quicker by the fourth last and closer to three seconds ahead of the juvenile by the time she reached the third last hurdle. This margin was reduced by the time she reached her final hurdle and the gap was closed to just over a second by the line. The mares race was a much quicker one than the juvenile despite having to run over a half a mile further. As a consequence she was quite laboured in the finish and she also took a long time to wear down the leader. I remain open minded regarding the possibility of her being equally effective over two miles.
4th May 2019 – Punchestown – She set some fast fractions compared with the juvenile hurdle. She had looked like a short runner in her early days but has stayed really well over this intermediate distance in her latest two races. Perhaps her trainer will find one or two easy races for her next season; maybe in England given how much better the Irish mares are as a group. The relative proximity to the third horse home compared with Cheltenham would imply Stormy Ireland may have run better here compared with how she performed in March. She also gave the winner a fright at Punchestown whereas that one was far too good for her last time out before falling at the last hurdle.
Good Thyne Tara
4th May 2019 – Punchestown – The leader set a strong pace and, as a result, she began to drop away after the second last hurdle to finish well beaten in the end.
4th May 2019 – Punchestown – This was a big ask as she has not been seen for a year. She was out the back from the start and was never at the races. She ran more like one would expect of a social runner.