Can’t think of a better word to describe the fun and games at Punchestown this week than bonkers. Only in Ireland!
From Paul Townsend’s moment of madness on Tuesday, to Willie Mullins’ 6 timer on Wednesday to the chaos of Debuchet’s fall yesterday, or from Samcro and Melon falling independently at the same fence in yesterday’s champion hurdle to the compulsive narrative of the trainers title with Willie turning a €500k deficit into a €800k winning gap over young pretender Gordon Elliott, to Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry retiring after riding a winner. And then there was the rehabilitation of Faugheen in the stayers hurdle and the classy Bellshill in the Gold Cup. What a week. Pause for breath.
Does any of the form amount to anything? Is this just last week of a long season madness? I went to Day One at Punchestown last year and saw Fox Norton, Disko and Cilias Emery win Grade Ones. None of them have had a 2017/18 season to remember so I must question the form this week.
Great fun though – unless you are Gordon Elliott or Gigginstown who have rolled over everything before them this season but once again can’t just crack this increasingly popular festival.
No Punchestown for me this year, and no Sandown today either as the jumps season in Britain comes to a close.
But I have been jump racing today, a first ever trip to Auteuil in Paris, which is an hors d’oeuvre before returning to Longchamp (or ParisLongchamp as we are now to call it) for L’Inauguration tomorrow, including Cracksman running in the Prix Ganay, and then next Saturday it is already Classic time at Newmarket.
Jumps? What jumps?