12:47 Punchestown

SLANAGAIBHGOLEIR (best price 5/1) would not only gain you quite a few points playing Scrabble, but he could make you a good deal better off financially if, as anticipated, he makes a step forward from his eye-catching debut at Leopardstown over the Christmas period. 

Sent off 50-1 in what looked on paper a warm maiden hurdle at the Dublin venue, Gordon Elliott’s inmate never gave his layers a moments concern, given that he spent most of the well-run affair tootling around the back of the field. However, it was noticeable that he made significant inroads towards those involved at the business in the final half a mile and it’s the ability he exhibited in doing so that makes him a tempting proposition here this afternoon.

Presuming he’s allowed to run on his merits, he doesn’t have too much to find with today’s favourite, Diverge, based solely on that initial effort, and even if he just runs just a similar race to what he did 35 days ago, he’s surely good enough to finish in the frame at the very least.

Slanagaibgoleir - 1pt e/w @ 5/1

13:22 Punchestown

ACTION MOTION (best price 4/1) found the necessary improvement off his debut run at Cork that enabled him to land a similar contest back over the same C&D next time and with the form of the race in question working out well since, Denis Hogan’s gelding is strongly fancied to make a big impact in the first juvenile handicap run in Ireland this season.

Promising when seventh of 21 behind the top-class Blood Destiny at the Mallow venue back in December, his odds of 20-1 looked about right on his return visit even allowing for the fact he might come on for the initial experience, but despite the general negativity surrounding his chance, he overcame any question marks with some panache. 

Noted still going well turning for home, the son of Gutaifan kept chipping away at the short priced favourite, Alastor, on the run down to the last and by the time they pair had landed on the run-in, his persistence paid off.

In outrunning his main market rival close home, he caused a bit of a shock, but based on the speed figure and those who finished just behind him (namely Whatcouldhavebeen and Gordons Aura), there doesn’t appear to be any fluke about the result. 

Given an opening mark of 118, that initial assessment doesn’t appear to be too harsh based on subsequent events and with conditions pretty similar to what he encountered last time in place here today, another positive outcome should be forthcoming from this useful four-year-old. 

Action Motion - 1pt e/w @ 4/1

14:25 Hereford

GARDENER (NAP) (best price 3/1) appears to be a young horse heading in the right direction and following a convincing success at Leicester last time out, Alex Hales’ gelding can continue his progression in this new discipline off what looks a very favourably mark. 

Just run out of the argument late on by the useful Twinjets on his debut for new connections at the Midland venue, the son of Dragon Dancer duly atoned for that agonising defeat when returning to the same C&D a month later.

Once again setting a decent gallop from the outset, this time he was able to shake off all his opponents in the final half a mile and in doing so, he clocked a smart set of numbers for the grade.

Only handed 113 despite beating a useful field, the lightly-raced seven-year-old shapes like he’s a good bit better than that opening assessment and he’s fancied to back up that view over a track that should suit.

Gardener - 1pt @ 3/1

16:30 Huntingdon

KENTFORD MALLARD (best price 6/1) did really well to finish as close up as she did at Taunton last time out and with hopefully no pronounced bias on today’s hurdle course, Seamus Mullins’ mare can play a key role in the final outcome. 

On a day when there was a significant advantage to those who raced on the outside in search for better ground, the daughter of Sulamani was rather injudiciously asked to race around the swamp up the inside and ultimately this led to her downfall.

That said, she still ran with great credit despite suffering from wheel spin and considering she was also running over a trip short of her best, the combination of the two negatives lead to a big positive in terms of her final result. 

Back over her optimum distance and ground that will suit, the consistent 10-year-old should give her supporters a decent spin.

Kentford Mallard - 1pt e/w @ 6/1