Punchestown Festival: Slowmotion set to cut a dash
David Metcalf | April 29, 2016
Slowmotion can foil Limini in Mares Champion Hurdle
Slowmotion has a progressive profile and can take the step up into Grade 1 company in her stride to land the Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Mares Champion Hurdle on the final day of the Punchestown Festival (15.50).
The filly won impressively on her second start over the obstacles at Auteuil in France, and there was lots to like about her debut run at Navan for trainer Aidan O’Brien when a 1/2 length second to Never Again.
Slowmotion travelled strongly throughout at the head of affairs, and was still hard on the bridle two from home.
It looked a case of how far the four-year-old would win by once Mark Walsh pushed the button, but Slowmotion then got very tired on the run-in to be collared close home and beaten 1/2 a length.
Weight allowance a big plus
The front two pulled when clear of the third home, and it was an effort which suggested Slowmotion needed keeping firmly onside.
That view was confirmed when the daughter of Soldier Of Fortune easily landed a Grade 2 contest at Fairyhouse by seven lengths when last seen in action.
This demands more, but Slowmotion remains totally unexposed and open to any amount of improvement and receives a handy 10lb age allowance from the red-hot favourite Limini.
Limini sets the standard
Limini represents all-conquering Irish trainer Willie Mullins and bids to get back to winning ways after losing her unbeaten record at Aintree.
The five-year-old was a smart performer on the level in France and won on the bridle on hurdles debut at this venue last May after joining the County Carlow handler.
Limini then overcame a lengthy absence to win by a wide margin at Fairyhouse on seasonal reappearance, before landing the inaugural running of the Grade 1 mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in impressive fashion.
The daughter of Peintre Celebre then had no excuses when tackling the boys and finishing an 8 1/4 length third to Buveur D’air on Merseyside, but will find things easier now back against her own sex.
Coral’s top tip: Slowmotion has a progressive profile and looks decent value to lower the colours of the much vaunted Limini.