The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections from Punchestown, Newmarket & Auteuil

Punchestown

Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish EBF Mares Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 3.50
Epatante (nap)
She chased home Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and that form entitles her to be at the top of the shortlist for this mares race. Stablemate Marie’s Rock surprised a few when landing the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, and won’t be lining up at 18/1 this time, while Henry de Bromhead’s Telmesomethinggirl is the best of the home team. Epatante is the class act here though, and should be home and hosed by four o’ clock

Ballymore Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (Grade 1) 5.00
Vauban (nb)
He could not have been more impressive than when landing the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and should have too much in the locker for the re-opposing Fil Dor. Willie Mullins has a superb record in this four year old finale, and in Vauban he has a terrific prospect. HMS Seahorse makes some appeal as long shot for the place money, and can fill third spot, behind Vauban and Fil Dor

Newmarket

Read Ryan Moore On Betting.Betfair British EBF Kilvington Stakes (Listed) 1.15
Gale Force Maya
Michael Dods mare just seems to get better each year, and although she’s pretty exposed compared to a few others lining up here, showed she’s lost none of her enthusiasm when scoring here earlier in the month. She didn’t have much to spare in that Class 2 contest, but should be race fit for another big effort. In the mix

Betfair Palace House Stakes (Group 3) 3.00
Hurricane Ivor
William Haggas may hold the key to this warm renewal with Hurricane Ivor. The French import has come on by leaps and bounds since the move to the trainer’s Somerville Lodge yard, including a win in this grade at Newbury last September. He can run well fresh, and already has the scalp of Tis Marvellous under his belt, so super each way value from the in-form trainer

Qipco 2,000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) 3.40
Perfect Power
While Native Trial is all the rage in the ante-post markets, it may be worth chancing your arm with Richard Fahey’s Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes victor from last season. Proof that the Irish bred colt has trained on was in evidence when he scored a cosy win in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury two weeks back. Christophe Soumillon returns to the saddle, and with winning form here he’s a threat to the big guns Native Trail and Coroebus from Charlie Appleby’s powerful yard

Auteuil

Leon Rambaud Hurdle (Grade 2) 4.45
L’autonomie
She’s the course specialist around here, and her only weak spot is when she’s tried at three miles, where Galop Marin has found her out at this trip she’s nigh well unbeatable. L’autonomie carries a lofty rating for good reason and should prevail once more

The Mandarin

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