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Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares Bumper

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14 mares have been declared for the fifth running of the Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares INH Flat Race, a Grade 3 bumper which brings day two of the Punchestown Festival to a close.

Sixth in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, Grangee very much sets the standard. Un-penalised for her Grade 2 success at the Dublin Racing Festival – form which was advertised over Easter, when the runner-up won a Listed bumper at Fairyhouse (where she beat Mollys Glory and Condessa) – she boasts a similar profile to Willie Mullins’ two previous winners of this race. Both Augusta Kate and Colreevy had finished seventh in the Champion Bumper (read more about the short history of the race here https://www.weatherbys.co.uk/news/april-2021-(1)/weatherbys-general-stud-book-irish-ebf-mares-bumpe) so the daughter of Great Pretender follows a well-trodden path. Representing Syndicates.Racing, who recently saw their Cabaret Queen finish ninth in the Grand National, she had earlier won at Galway before finishing third at Market Rasen, and the Champion Bumper form might well look even stronger come post time, with Sir Gerhard and Kilcruit renewing rivalry in the Grade 1 contest which takes place some 65 minutes earlier.

Patrick Mullins (twice), Jamie Codd and Derek O’Connor are the only jockeys to have won this race to date, and with Mullins and Codd locked in battle for the amateur title, the bumpers will prove pivotal throughout the week. Codd and O’Connor both ride for Denise Foster in this event, with the former aboard Hollymount for owners Noel and Valerie Moran, and the latter partnering Glan, who hasn’t been sighted since winning at this track back in September. She gave weight and a beating to Powerful Out (a winner at Tramore in October) on that occasion, with the pair a long way clear. It has to be assumed that Codd had the choice and has opted to partner Hollymount, who was 22 lengths behind Grangee at Leopardstown in February. She had earlier made a winning debut for Stuart Crawford and Brian Hughes at Carlisle, which resulted in the Moran’s splashing out £300,000 to secure her. The Jet Away five-year-old wears a first-time hood tomorrow, having raced freely last time.

Another course winner is Choice Of Words, who beat Broomfield Hall (12-length winner since) by 13 lengths in a Point-to-Point bumper on the inside track for Martin Brassil. She has since changed ownership and will sport the familiar silks of Bernadine Mulryan (part-owned with Mrs Paul Shanahan) for the first time.

Of the remainder, the unexposed Manisanda is an intriguing runner for trainer Lorna Fowler. The five-year-old daughter of Presenting made a hugely encouraging racecourse debut at Fairyhouse over Easter, finishing third behind Letsbeclearaboutit and Harry Alonzo, with Sundrenched (also runs in the Grade 1 earlier on the card) back in fourth. The winner had earlier won twice before finishing runner-up to both Sir Gerhard and Kilcruit, so boasts rock-solid form, whilst the runner-up also looked a promising sort when winning over Christmas for Noel Meade, after which he was purchased by JP McManus. Despite her lack of experience, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her run a big race.