The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from Punchestown & Kelso

Punchestown

Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 12.15
Dysart Dynamo (nap)
Champion Trainer Willie Mullins surely holds the key to this Grade 2 contest, running both Hawai Game and Dysart Dynamo. Preference is for the latter, who looks the pick of the pair on jockey bookings, with Paul Townend up in the saddle. Mark Walsh, though, has plenty of horse underneath him in Hawai Game, and Henry de Bromhead’s Guily Billy is another smart prospect in the Cheveley Park Stud silks. A good race in store for the opener

Kildare Novice Chase (Grade 3) 2.20
Bob Olinger
It should pay to side with the warm order favourites for the feature races here at headquarters, so we’ll look no further than the exciting Bob Olinger. The 7 length winner of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival back in March, with no other than Bravemansgame and the re-opposing Gaillard Du Mensil filling the minor places, Bob Oliinger lines up for his second start over fences. He impressed on his chasing bow and looks set for a big campaign, the one to beat

Sporting Life Beginners Chase 2.50
Whiskey Lullaby
Having moved out of Paul Nicholls’ Ditcheat yard, it will be fascinating to see what Willie Mullins can get out of the Stowaway mare. She’s unexposed over fences, with just a couple of runs at Newton Abbot in low grade affairs, and has to be high on the shortlist for this beginners chase

Kelso

Kelso Betting Ring Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle 2.40
Word Has It (nb)
He was never out of the first three in five starts over timber last season, but his chasing bow didn’t go exactly to plan when he fell at the first at Haydock last month. He’s returned to the smaller obstacles here, where he has course and distance form, so with Champion Jockey elect, Brian Hughes on the reins, there’s plenty to like

Chairman’s Cup Handicap Chase 3.10
Big River
Lucinda Russell’s veteran has plenty of winning form around Kelso, and made no mistake in the Scottish Borders National here at the start of December. He’s a fine staying chaser at this stage in his career, and relatively lightly raced for his age, so it would be no surprise to see Derek Fox steer him home once more. The one to follow

The Mandarin

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