Noel Fehily celebrates winning the 3.30 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy on Buveur D'air

Noel Fehily Blog | 26th April 2018

It’s been an incident packed Punchestown so far and I’ve got a busy book of rides on Day 3.

 

Not the same feel from Monalee

Looking back to Tuesday briefly, a few people have asked me about Monalee’s fall. It was disappointing he tipped up but I didn’t think he was coming to win. I never got the same feel from him as I did at Cheltenham and I think he was beaten.

 

Sympathy for Townend

The biggest news story of the week so far was the unfortunate incident in the Champion Chase involving Paul Townend. I have sympathy for Paul and it was great to see him come out fighting with some winners on Wednesday. Imagine careering up a motorway in a car and someone shouts at you to take a quick turn just as you approach it, you would have to make a split second decision whether you take that turning or not. That’s the kind of scenario that Paul went through on Tuesday, he had no time to analyse and weigh it up, unfortunately for him he made the wrong call. The weighing room was quiet after the race, we’ve all been there and know what it feels like to make mistakes. There was sympathy for Paul.

 

A busy day for me on Day 3…

 

3:40 Apparition

I’m riding for Joseph O’Brien for the first time ever here. Apparition has decent form, he beat Mitchouka at the start of the season and that’s worked out well. He also looks well treated and has a shout.

 

4:15 Hurricane Ben

I don’t know much about this horse really. Looking at his form he looks to have a tall task on his hands.

 

5:30 Baupame

He won very well here last season and was impressive at Leopardstown just after Christmas when he finished third to Apple’s Jade and Supasundae. On the other side of the coin I was very disappointed with him at Fairyhouse at Easter. Really not sure what to expect here.

 

6:05 Minella Awards

He’s top weight and it looks a big challenge to follow up his win at the course last year. Having said that he’s a fresh horse and will have his conditions. He looks a solid each way bet.

 

6:40 Optimus Prime

Big step up in class for Dan Skelton’s horse here. He ran really well at Leicester back in January when he beat Rayvin Black but whether he can mix it up with Footpad is another matter.

 

7:15 Eoline Jolie

For her first run I thought she ran very well at Fairyhouse last week and if she improves that she has an each way chance.