Punchestown Festival: Tuesday’s tips
David Metcalf | April 25, 2016
Automated geared up for big run in handicap hurdle
Automated shaped as if ahead of his mark when runner-up last time out and can go one better to land the 2m handicap hurdle on a cracking card at the Punchestown Festival (16.55).
The Gordon Elliott trained gelding has only had four starts over the obstacles, and came good on the second of those when running on strongly to beat Stuccodor by six lengths at Navan.
Automated backed that up with a solid third to the highly regarded Lift The Litch at Gowran Park, leaving the impression that was better to come.
Excellent effort at Aintree
That view was confirmed when the five-year-old finished runner-up to Ivan Grozny in a competitive 17-runner contest at Aintree off an opening handicap mark of 128.
After being held-up in midfield, Automated made smooth headway three from home to be travelling strongly on the heels of the leaders with two to jump.
The son of Authorized then chased the winner approaching the last, before keeping on well to be beaten eight lengths.
Ahead of the assessor
Although eventually no match for Ivan Grozny, the way in which Automated travelled for much of the contest suggested he was ahead of the assessor.
Automated is able to race in this off an unchanged mark, and remains unexposed and open to plenty more improvement.
Another plus is that he has the services of Jack Kennedy in the saddle who is terrific value for his 3lb claim, and hails from a yard that has enjoyed a tremendous season and love nothing more than to plunder big handicaps.
15.40: Wish Ye Didnt
16.55: Automated (NAP)
18.40: Henryville (NB)