Patrick Mullins discusses some of the key contenders for the Panchatown Festival

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Patrick Mullins made some comments to the main contestants in Punchtown this week.

Sir Gerhard
Sir Gerhard is very versatile, he can go for either Bactive Stud Champion Nevis Hurdle or Alana Holmes Nevis Hurdle because he has won Grade 1 on both trips. I guess that would be the way to split the three of us with Desert Dynamo and State Man. We need to get a closer look at how Willie will split them up but Sir Gerhard has come out of Cheltenham very, very well. He had a great jump there and we don’t know what got him into Leopardtown at the Dublin Racing Festival – maybe he was feeling something that day. I thought his performance at Cheltenham could be widely recognized because of how keen he was at first. I think he is very versatile and will be very difficult to beat on both trips.

Dessert Dynamo
For me, Punchtown really plays on the power of Desert Dynamo. There he won twice. He gave me a terrible time last year – it was like wrestling around a bear! I think the odds help him get some attention and it should be done after Cheltenham but I think Punchtown is a track that suits his strong running style.

The people of the state
I would be very disappointed if he does not become a Grade 1 winner in the future. He showed a lot of speed to win the County Hurdle and it’s just about splitting the new Hurdles. There is a fantastic harvest going forward for next year.

Everyone for themselves
He jumped into the third fence (champion Chase at Cheltenham) and then jumped back. While watching the race you will say I’m going well, and I probably was, I’m not surprised he’s down. I just didn’t feel like he was giving me the feeling I was hoping for. I don’t think he was in his ‘A Game’ that day. I’m just disappointed because he shouldn’t have made such a mistake. It’s not the Chachon Por Soi we know but look, I thought William Hill Champion Chase was a race in Panchatown last season. I thought Paul was great for the way he bounced him out and it was a huge performance for him to get God out of his comfort zone. He’s 10 now and Energumene is his prime eight years old, so it’s probably going to be tough for Chacun Pour Soi but I hope next week he’ll be back to his old habits and maybe he can be better ground horse I will not leave him out.

In reality, Cheltenham champion Chase became Grade 2, but Engerguman traveled through the race like a good horse. We will take it, a champion chase, we have never had before but we have to fight Shiskin again and settle it once and for all.

His options are limited. We didn’t go to the entry because he showed a huge performance at Cheltenham and we thought it would be hard to tell him to come back soon. While we will probably have two good horses in the two-mile race, the Ladbrooks Gold Cup, more than three miles long in Punchtown, will be a clear race for him. It’s not that he doesn’t live three miles, he ran Minela Indo very close to an extended 3m1f on better ground. He’s probably at his best position for more than two and a half miles but he’s still a very good horse over three miles. I think he’s a better horse to go left-handed because he adjusts to his left side but I wouldn’t be surprised if he can win the Punchtown Gold Cup.

Al Boom Photo
He ran right at Cheltenham. I think it turned out to be a sprint that obviously suits A Plus Tard and it’s not suitable for our friends – not that it would make a difference. I think he ran pretty well and he ran really well (in Punchtown) last year when he was second from Clan des Obox. Not only do I forget him, he didn’t suddenly become a second-class horse. He is still a very, very good horse and if Allah runs he will have a very nice extra ride to lift!

Easy Vega
All our good horses go to Punchtown so this has been planned. The champion bumper in Punchtown is more valuable than the champion bumper in Cheltenham so it would be crazy not to go for it. She comes out of the race and screams and David Porter is very happy with her. Good ground wouldn’t bother him and obviously his dam (Cuvega) would go from Cheltenham to Punchestown so hopefully this won’t be a problem for him.

St. James’s Gate
He ran a great run in third place at Cheltenham. He only came to the yard at Christmas and the tornado flyer was the last horse that fitted this kind of profile so he could still improve.

The classical dream
We got off to a good start in Leopardtown and (Cheltenham) started backing up to the classical rear and Paul finally jumped up and we were 10 yards back from the flooring porter so it was just a swing. I was a little disappointed at how poorly he finished. He traveled very well there but I don’t think he was his best and I would be disappointed if he couldn’t win at Punchtown next week.

I thought he would go here. Good soil will help and he is a very fast horse. It turned out to be a bit of a sprint in the Triumph Hurdle and it probably played with its strength but for him to be able to miss the last one and be able to escape by picking up the other two, I think he is a better average Triumph Hurdle winner than you. Hopefully he can back it up but I don’t see any reason why the track or the ground won’t play with his strength.

Gaelic warrior
Cheltenham’s first day’s play was fairly good, it was faster than usual and Fred Winter was so unusual that they walked very slowly. We were beaten by a Galileo horse, a flattened breed, a sprint on good soil. He started to jump to the right, maybe feeling a little towards the ground because he was a big jumping type horse and I think he was better than the empty size and he was probably unlucky with the situation that day. Will he kill Bhauban? Maybe not, but he is definitely moving forward for the next year which we are very excited about

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