IT'S one of the first big jump races of the season and Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) previews the Daily Star Chase for us.
16:30 Punchestown | At The Races
A treat for us on Thursday with a very good National Hunt card from Punchestown and the Irish Daily Star Chase is the highlight of the day. There are only six lining up but we have four very talented chasers and it looks a very good renewal.
Smashing looks like starting favourite on his debut for Mouse Morris after the Potts/De Bromhead divorce and he is a talented and popular horse.
Almost white in colour he is a great jumper and had a very profitable season last term. He hasn't run since April and despite having a good record fresh he ideally wants heavy ground and is unproven over this trip. The trainer says he will improve for the run and under these conditions he is opposable to me.
Lord Scoundrel won the Galway Plate over the summer and fell when in contention in the Kerry National. He's been remarkably consistent over fences and seems to be improving still however this will require further progress.
He fell heavily last time which could have left it's mark and this is a very good race. This is his 13th start in 12 months and after running in two of the big handicaps of the Irish season on his final two starts I'm prepared to take him on today.
The one I really like here is the Henry De Bromhead trained Saddlers Risk. An improving eight year old he won the Munster National last October and is still unexposed over fences.
He was only seen out after that where he chased home the talented Alelchi Inois in June. He's since had a prep over hurdles in August and he has lots in his favour here. He'll love the ground, receives a minimum of 6lbs from his main rivals here and I make him a confident selection and plan to back him accordingly.
16:30 Punchestown – Saddlers Risk to win (5/2 BetVictor)