3.40 Punchestown

Having run well on his last four visits to today’s venue and in many of these similar handicaps over the years, PIVOT BRIDGE (best price 20/1) has to go towards the top of any shortlist. A largely consistent type, he was a creditable sixth in the big 2m contest at this meeting last year and following a good spin on the flat at Tipperary last week, Adrian McGuiness’ inmate clearly has quite a bit in his favour.

Although the recent form figures of SHAMIRAN (best [price 25/1) are woeful, it was a similar story last year when Dermot McLoughlin’s charge landed this prize at 33/1, so the 11-year-old has to be worth a small each-way interest just in case lightning strikes twice. Based on his overall profile, clearly this son of Polish President saves his best form for this track in the Spring and with the tongue-tie and blinker combination on show for the first time, he rates a dangerous floater.
PIVOT BRIDGE - 0.5pt e/w @ 20/1Lost -1pt
SHAMIRAN - 0.5pt e/w @ 25/1Won 15.62pt

3.55 Ascot

In what looks a star-studded field, GIFTED MASTER (best price 11/4) is fancied to keep his winning spree intact and account for many of the illustrious names on show. After plundering a big pot in a valuable sales race at Newmarket towards the backend of last season, Hugo Palmer’s charge proved his worth in Group 3 company on his final start of the campaign, in the process, laying to rest any doubts of his ability to be affective beyond seven furlongs. Dropped back in trip on his seasonal reappearance, the son of Kodiac again found the contours of the Rowley Mile to his likely by accounting for Waterloo Bridge for the second time in his career and with the time figure of the race suggesting he ran close to his very best, the three-year-old appears to have trained on in the style of a horse that might just keep improving. A real strong front runner who takes no prisoners, a positive ride over today’s trip should get most of his opponents out of their comfort zone.
Gifted Master - 1pt @ 11/4Won 2.75pt

4.20 Punchestown

A solid third in a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse last time out, MOON OF GERMANY (best price 6/1)has also shaped as though a step up in trip will suit and that theory is well worth investigating in this slightly weaker contest. Outpaced by Sutton Place and Royal Caviar after the second last after looking a massive danger turning into the straight at the Co Kildare venue, Edward Harty’s charge ran equally as well as he did the time before against Ball D’Arc in a similar event at Navan and if he does find the expected improvement over today’s extra four furlongs, the son of Germany should turn out to be a massive player.
MOON OF GERMANY - 1pt e/w @ 6/1Lost -2pt

4.55 Punchestown

The underrated ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS (best price 5/1) continues to defy the doubters and following another win against the head last time out at Fairyhouse, bookmakers and punters alike just might start to recognise Sandra Hughes’ charge as a serious Grade 1 contender. Although he’s had five outings this season, they’ve been spaced out enough to allow him sufficient time to recover, and this game and consistent performer looks booked for another positive show.

CONEY ISLAND (best price 7/1) improved significantly for the step up in trip and the better ground at Fairyhouse last time out and with similar conditions in his favour, it would come as little surprise to see Edward Harty’s charge outrunning his odds. The feature of that performance was the way he travelled throughout the entire contest and what was also impressive was the turn of foot he found once off the bridle. Although that race was only a handicap, the EBF Final always takes some winning, and on the evidence of that display, he clearly arrives here right on top of his game.
ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS - 1pt @ 5/1Lost -1pt
CONEY ISLAND - 1pt @ 7/1Lost -1pt