/ Racing

Punchestown Review: Walsh saddles opener

Updated: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008 18:19

Action from the DNG Nationwide Chase
Action from the DNG Nationwide Chase

Michael Ryan has enjoyed immeasurable success as an owner and added the DNG Nationwide Chase over the 'banks' course at Punchestown to his haul courtesy of Wedger Pardy

The 2008 Punchestown Festival got under way with the Ted Walsh-trained 9-2 favourite, keeping on best of all to collect by 14 lengths - the winning distance extended by Money Point's fall at the last.

Ryan has just a small band of 12 horses in training but they include dual Classic winner Finsceal Beo and multiple Grade One-winning hurdler Al Eile.

Walsh said: 'He is no Al Eile or Finsceal Beo, but he did the job well. He is probably about 17 levels below Michael's other horses and could run again later in the week.

'The La Touche looks a hot race so he might go for the hunter chase.'

The Much fancied Clear Riposte was mugged in the dying strides by Bambootcha (16-1) in the Gain Horse Feeds Handicap Hurdle.

Colm Murphy's mare only got in the race as first reserve when Save The Bacon was a late defector. She still had plenty to do after jumping the last but came with a wet sail to pip the Walsh-ridden Clear Riposte by a neck, with Dreamy Gent third.

Murphy said afterwards: 'She sprouted wings! I was hoping she would improve off today's run as it was her first start back after a long lay-off.

'It was a big ask being thrown in at the deep end and we will keep her going through the summer now and hopefully run in some of the better handicaps. She could go to the Galway Festival.'