Balnaslow has pace to triumph in Punchestown
All eyes will be on Balnaslow at Punchestown this evening, as Willie Mullins' promising Fairyhouse bumper winner makes the switch to hurdling.
A ready point-to-point scorer in October, the Gigginstown Stud-owned son of Presenting was awarded his bumper in the stewards' room after being denied a short-head by Roque Angel.
The first past the post was deemed to have hampered Balnaslow in the latter stages and, while the decision to reverse the placings divided opinion, both horses emerged with plenty of credit.
Granted, tonight's two miles is unlikely to prove Balnaslow's optimum trip but there is little in the way of worthwhile opposition among the other eight runners and the slow ground will ensure a decent test.
The champion trainer might double up courtesy of the returning Arvika Ligeonniere in the beginners chase.
The Ruby Walsh-ridden seven-year-old is the best horse in the race and should triumph.