1pt win Zabana @5/1, 18:40 Punchestown, Tuesday

Willie Mullins’s Outlander has got to be taken on on the opening day of this year’s Punchestown Festival.

He’s 11/4 for this Grade 1 staying chase after falling at the Cheltenham Festival and, ten days later, having come second in Grade 1 company to Kylemore Lough at Fairyhouse.

Visually, I’ve never been too impressed with the horse and he’s been a constant disappointment for punters on the big occasions.

He probably still sets the form standard on the strength of his Grade 1 Leopardstown success, but nothing has yet franked that form and it was run on winter ground, which he won’t get tomorrow.

ZABANA was massively backed ahead of his prep run for Cheltenham and disappointed behind Outlander on that occasion, but he remained warm order for the JLT before a bizarre incident at the start saw his jockey Davey Russell unseated before he’d run a yard.

As a result his hand has yet to be played and I’m encouraged by his good-ground form at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, finishing a neck-second to Aux Ptit Soins in the Coral Cup.

If good ground is his want then he should run well here, particularly as he arrives a fresh horse.

Russell seems to think the step up to three miles will suit, and he’s fairly unexposed at this three-mile-one trip on spring ground.

The 5/1 with WIllHill feels quite generous, so we’re taking it.

1pt win Zabana @5/1, 18:40 Punchestown, Tuesday

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.