Tony Keenan

Sunday sees an exciting card at Punchestown with Envoi Allen returning in the Killiney Novice Chase. The Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle also features, where Tony Keenan has a suggested bet in.

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January it may be, but the racing at Punchestown this afternoon is anything but dry with Envoi Allen taking on Asterion Forlonge in the opening Sky Bet Killiney Novice Chase at 12:50.  

The former has to give the latter 11lb due to his Grade 1 win in the Drinmore but more important might the fact that while Envoi Allen is a horse that does everything right in his races, Asterion Forlonge – for all his ability – does not, having had jumping issues of one sort or another in each of his last four starts.  

So, I would lean towards Envoi Allen, not that that is telling you much you don’t know!  

Betting opportunities are hard to find on the rest of the card but perhaps outsider of the field ECHOES IN RAIN is worth a small play in the Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at 1:20.  

With Master McShee out, this is a field mainly comprised of maiden hurdle winners and Echoes In Rain won as impressively as any of them at Naas in December, doing the damage in the middle part of the race as she pulled clear of her rivals before coming home unchallenged to win by 15 lengths.  

The horses she beat there were limited but the fourth, fifth and sixth – all of whom were beaten a long way – have posted improved efforts since and her aggressive style of racing seems likely to suit this track more than Naas.  

She had shown a bit on debut for this yard behind Aspire Tower at Christmas 2019, travelling well for a fair portion of the race, and with 354 days between that run and her Naas one when she was a drifter in the betting, there should be improvement to come.  

Tony Keenan’s next tipping column will be on Saturday, January 23rd.         

Tony Keenan

Punchestown 13:20, 17 January 2021

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