Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 1 February 2015

Lieutenant to take control

On His Own will strive to atone for his galling defeat to Lord Windermere in the Cheltenham Gold Cup after being overlooked by Ruby Walsh in this afternoon's Punchestown equivalent.

Paul Townend steps in for the potentially plum mount in the prestigious Bibby Financial Services-sponsored Grade One, with Walsh taking over from him on Willie Mullins' other runner, Boston Bob.

Having bounced back to his best to claim the Melling Chase at Aintree, Boston Bob is the only one of the 10 runners that comes here on the back of a victory.

That doesn't reflect especially well on a €200,000 event, with his fellow Aintree hero Silviniaco Conti a significant absentee along with Lord Windermere.

Nonetheless, it still has the makings of a fascinating edition, with man of the moment Barry Geraghty standing in on the frustrating First Lieutenant, which Mouse Morris will adorn with first-time blinkers.

Argocat, third to Silviniaco Conti at Aintree, represents Tom Taaffe and AP McCoy, as Nicky Henderson returns with his 2011 Cheltenham hero Long Run, a year after he split Sir Des Champs and First Lieutenant in the race.

But this is a chance for a fired-up First Lieutenant to score at Lyreen Legend's expense

Henderson and Geraghty team up with Beat That in the three-mile Grade One novice hurdle.

But Don Poli is going the right way, seems to have a great attitude and can score in this one.

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