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Bryan Cooper: Identity Thief the star of the show on Sunday.


Bryan Cooper: Identity Thief the star of the show on Sunday.

Bryan Cooper: Identity Thief the star of the show on Sunday.

1.10pm Punchestown
Identity Thief

I had to sit and watch his chasing debut from the couch but I was very impressed with what I saw from him here last month. He was good and quick at his fences, and we all know what a classy hurdler he was last season when he won the Fighting Fifth and was second to Nichols Canyon in the Ryanair Hurdle. There is nothing in here with that level of hurdling form and the important thing now is to get plenty of experience into him; these 2m novice chasers need plenty of races to get used to jumping fences at speed.

1.45pm Punchestown

Only six runners, but a very competitive race and I had a hard time choosing between our three in here. A Toi Phil got the job done well at Down Royal, though he is never going to be impressive, and Nambour was good at Galway. It was not an easy decision but I sided with Disko. Obviously all three won when I was on the sidelines and I could be wrong, but to my eye Disko looked the best when winning over 2m4f here and I know Noel Meade holds him in high regard. It’s a tough race to call, though.

2.20pm Punchestown

We don’t have anything in the Morgiana Hurdle but in the absence of Faugheen and Annie Power this looks like Nichols Canyon’s to lose. He had a pretty hard time of it last season, ending up in America, but he has had a good break since May and has easily the best form. He won this race last season and finished third in the Champion Hurdle, and you have to fancy that Ruby will dictate this from the front. With last year’s juvenile form in mind, I’ll be interested to see how Jer’s Girl goes here, though, and obviously Triumph Hurdle winner Ivanovich Gorbatov.

2.50pm Punchestown

I schooled him at Mouse’s on Thursday morning. He is a massive horse and one who gave me a lovely feel. He has clearly has his problems though, as he hasn’t run since winning his point two years ago, and is now seven, but he remains a horse with potential. I imagine The Storyteller is the one we all have to beat, though. He looked the likely winner when falling at Down Royal last time and that looked a good race.

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