18.05 Punchestown: Silver Concorde fancied to fly home
Four of the first six home in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival renew rivalry, and Silver Concorde looks a worthy favourite to come out on top again.
The Dermot Weld trained gelding won in good style at Prestbury Park, making sooth headway three from home before being produced inside the final furlong to beat Shaneshill by 1 1/2 lengths.
The runner-up had every chance but was unable to match Silver Concodre’s turn of foot, while the fourth home Black Hercules had the run of the race from the front and was made to look very one paced.
There is no reason why they should turn the form around with Silver Concorde, but it would be no surprise to see the sixth home Killultagh Vic get much close given how the race panned out at the home of jump racing.
Willie Mullins’ gelding didn’t get the smoothest of passages when driven to chase the leaders two from home and kept on well to be beaten five lengths.
The five-year-old Vic had previously put put in a stunning display to slam the highly regarded Golantilla by 16 lengths at Naas where he set a strong gallop before showing an impressive turn of foot in the home straight to leave the 2013 Champion Bumper third trailing in his wake.
If connections revert to the forcing tactics used in that contest, then Killultagh Vic could well prove the strongest of Mullins’ quartet in the race and prove the main danger to Silver Concorde.
Another horse definitely worth a mention is Fine Article.
Paul Nolan’s strapping gelding is a half-brother to the classy Joncol, and after shaping with bags of promise when runner-up on his racecourse debut duly went one better with a smooth success as Gowran Park last month.
If he can build on that then there is every chance of him being in the shake-up at the business end of affairs, but whether he will have the pace at this stage of his career to cope with the likes of Silver Concorde is questionable.