Rachael Blackmore’s Top 8 Punchestown Prospects
Rachael Blackmore Punchestown Rides
Recent Cheltenham Festival leading rider – and Grand National winner – Rachael Blackmore will aim to continue her incredible run of form into next week’s Punchestown Festival. Rachael has a book of rides to leave any jockey at the meeting envious, and below, we have identified just eight of her strongest chances of success – and their potential race targets.
Allaho (Champion Chase, 5.25pm, Tuesday April 27)
Rachael Blackmore will bid to get the 2021 Punchestown Festival off with a bang on Allaho in Tuesday’s William Hill Champion Steeplechase. The seven-year-old produced one of the performances of the week when landing the Ryanair Chase at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.
Should Allaho line-up on Tuesday, he is expected to be joined by his Grade 1 winning stablemate Chacun Pour Soi, who will be aiming to put a slightly disappointing Cheltenham run behind him. We have produced an in-depth preview of the Punchestown Champion Chase, including a 33/1 selection who may have sneaked under the radar!
Envoi Allen (Champion Novice Chase, 6.30pm, Tuesday April 27)
With Envoi Allen now in the care of Henry De Bromhead, there is the possibility that Rachael Blackmore could be called up to take the ride on the imperious gelding in Tuesday’s Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Steeplechase. Envoi Allen spared many bookmaker blushes when taking an inexplicable fall in the Marsh Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Envoi Allen will try and put that right when lining up at Punchestown on Tuesday, and this has the potential to be one of the races of the week, with Envoi Allen set to take on the Willie Mullins-trained Monkfish. We have produced an expert preview of the Punchestown Champion Novice Chase clash, which includes our idea of which of the two horses will come out on top.
Telmesomethinggirl (5.20pm, Wednesday April 28)
One of the more open-looking Grade 1 contests at next week’s Punchestown Festival is Wednesday’s Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle. This is a race that Rachael Blackmore took on Minella Indo back in 2019, and she will be aiming to continue that fine recent record aboard the Henry De Bromhead trained Telmesomethinggirl.
Winner of the Grade 2 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, Telmesomethinggirl will be bidding for her first win at the top level when she lines up in Wednesday’s contest.
Captain Guinness (Ryanair Novice Chase, 6.35pm, Thursday April 29)
Captain Guinness will be hoping to get his career back on track with victory in Thursday’s Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase. A very smart novice hurdler, Captain Guinness has found life tougher since sent chasing this term, but he put up what looked his best effort in this sphere when third in last month’s Arkle Chase.
Rachael Blackmore has built up a good affinity with Captain Guinness, and she will be hoping to use the horse’s proven course and distance form to good use when coming up against the Willie Mullins hotpot Energumene later this week.
Honeysuckle (Paddy Power Champion Hurdle, 5.25pm, Friday April 30)
One of the most exciting horses in training, Honeysuckle, is back in action next Friday in the prestigious Paddy Power Champion Hurdle. Honeysuckle blew her rivals away in last month’s Champion Hurdle, and she will be aiming to join a recent roll of honour that includes Hurricane Fly, Jezki and Faugheen, in horses that successfully completed the Cheltenham-Punchestown Champion Hurdle double.
Now with a career record of 11 wins from 11 starts (12-12 including point to points), Honeysuckle will undoubtedly be seen by many as Rachael Blackmore’s strongest chance of success at next week’s meeting.
Bob Olinger (Champion Novice Hurdle, 6.00pm, Friday April 30)
Rachael Blackmore will continue what promises to be a spectacular Friday when she takes the ride aboard Bob Olinger in the Grade 1 Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle. Bob Olinger dispatched his rivals with ease when landing the Ballymore at last month’s Festival, and Willie Mullins’ Gaillard Du Mesnil – the horse who chased him home that day – appears the biggest danger once again.
Telmesomethinggirl (Mares Champion Hurdle, 3.20pm, Saturday May 1)
Telmesomethinggirl got herself back in the winners’ enclosure with victory in the Grade 2 Dawn Run Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and she will be aiming to build on that – and potentially gain her first Grade 1 success – when she participates in next Saturday’s Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish EBF Mares Champion Hurdle.
Rachael Blackmore is expected to maintain the ride aboard the mare at Punchestown next week, and victory could result in a memorable few days for owner Kenneth Alexander – who also owns Telmesomethinggirl’s stablemate Honeysuckle.
Quilixios (Champion Four Year Old Hurdle, 4.00pm, Saturday May 1)
Triumph Hurdle winner Quilixios will be yet another horse aiming to maintain an unbeaten career record when he lines up in Saturday’s Ballymore Champion Four Year Old Hurdle. Quilixios provided Rachael Blackmore with the last of her memorable six victories at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, and the son of Maxios will be aiming to put his course and distance knowledge to use when lining up next week.
Dangers to Quilixios come no bigger than Zanahiyr, who the market expected to beat Quilixios when the pair lined up in last month’s Triumph. It was the latter, however, who proved the stronger of the two that day, and connections of Quilixios will be hoping that they can maintain that superiority at next week’s Punchestown Festival.