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  • 25 June 2019
    Don Cossack and Road To Riches head a strong Gigginstown Stud team heading to Punchestown. It has been an unforgettable few weeks for Michael OLearys Gigginstown House Stud with Don Cossack winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Rogue Angel landing the BoyleSports Irish Grand National and Rule The World capturing Saturdays Grand National at Aintree.The Gigginstown team are aiming to finish the season on a high closer to home with a powerful squad assembled for the Punchestown Festival. Its been awesome. Weve had a fantastic time and we would love to crown the season with a few Punchestown winners, said Eddie OLeary, Gigginstowns racing manager.Heading the squad is Don Cossack, set to take on Cue Card and Vautour in a brilliant Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday, April 27.We dont hide away and this is the big decider. It will be a hell of race, said OLeary. All three are probably best on good ground so I hope the going is perfect for them so that they can all shine.You had to be really impressed with Cue Card at Aintree, hes a fantastic horse. Perhaps a flat track and three miles is his cup of tea whereas this race is over three miles and a furlong. We wouldnt swap our fellow and they wouldnt swap theirs. With Vautour in there as well its just a fabulous race. Its great for racing and its great for Puchestown.Road To Riches, who finished second in the 2m 4f Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, will also line up while Cheltenham Gold Cup third Don Poli, who finished runner-up to Cue Card at Aintree, is a possible starter.Road To Riches definitely runs, added OLeary. Thats more his trip and its all about the ground with him. Hell be there all being well. I dont know with Don Poli. Theres nowhere else for him to go and he could run.There was no easier winner at Aintree last week than the Willie Mullins-trained Apples Jade, who won the Grade 1 juvenile hurdle by an amazing 41 lengths. She is set to start in the Grade 1 AES Champion 4YO Hurdle on Saturday, April 30.If you believe what you saw at Aintree then Apples Jade is very good but it was hard to believe, said OLeary. Shell go for the four-year-old race. She never ran on the Flat and that was only her fourth ever run at Aintree. Shes a little baby coming through and if shes OK shell run at Punchestown.IDENTITY THIEF HEADS TO CHAMPIONThe Henry de Bromhead-trained Identity Thief is set to start in the Grade 1 BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle on Friday, April 29, having finished sixth to Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on his previous start.Identitiy Thief will run, said OLeary. He missed the second hurdle at Cheltenham and landed on all fours. The race was gone for him after that. He didnt jump or travel afterwards. We think hes exciting and we think hes better than that. Im not saying wed have beaten Annie Power but on form we should have been ahead of Top Notch, who finished fifth and we should have been up with there with Nichols Canyon, who came third. It was disappointing but hes very inexperienced, it was only 12 months since he won a bumper.Gigginstown could be double-handed in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle on Thursday, April 28, with dual Grade1 winner Lieutenant Colonel bidding to bounce back from a disappointing run when pulled up in the Ryanair World Hurdle at Cheltenham. Dedigout might also line up.Lieutenant Colonel will run in the Stayers. It didnt happen for him at Cheltenham so well see. Dedigout will only run if the ground is soft, added OLeary.Click here to buy your tickets for the Punchestown FestivalLARGE NOVICE HURDLING TEAMAlong with their established stars, Gigginstown have a wealth of talented novice hurdlers coming through the ranks.Many have multiple entries in the two-mile Grade 1 Herald Champion Novice Hurdle on Tuesday, April 26, the 2m 4f Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle on Friday, April 29 and the three-mile Grade 1 Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle on Wednesday, April 27.We havent decided which races they will all go for at the moment, added OLeary.But Tombstone is likely to head to the Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle and we deliberately missed Aintree after Cheltenham with him to keep him fresh for Punchestown.Nambour will also probably go over two and a half miles but could step up to three miles on better ground. He is a nice horse, he ran really well the last day when second at Fairyhouse. It was his first run back after a wind operation and it was a super run.Those penciled in for the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle include the Willie Mullins-trained Arkwrisht, a Grade 3 winner at Clonmel in February, his stablemate Stone Hard and the Noel Meade-trained A Genie In Abottle, who easily won his only hurdling start at Naas last month.Arkwrisht is big and slow and if hes OK hell run. He ran a nice race at Aintree and bounced off that ground there. He probably wasnt quite good enough but hes going to make a smashing chaser, continued OLeary.Stone Hard is ready to rock. Hes another nice horse and he has just had a wind operation. Hopefully that will set him fair because hes a good horse and it just hasnt happened for him. Hell run over three miles.A Genie In Abottle won his maiden hurdle in Naas well. Hell definitely run and he wants at least three miles, hes a proper chasing type. Hes nice.The Noel Meade-trained Disko has been entered over two and two and a half miles and he is set to have his first run since scoring by 29 lengths at Naas in November.Dont tell Disko hes been entered, I think he can read! said OLeary. I hope he gets there as hes very good. Its been frustrating, hes just had a knock here and a knock there but hes good.Running through some other novice hurdlers, OLeary added: Petit Mouchoir ran a super race at Aintree, Ill have to talk to Willie (Mullins) but hell run at Punchestown if hes OK. A Toi Phil was slightly sore after Cheltenham so Im not sure hell run. Bella Conti is a nice, weak horse, and hes there to run if hes alright.I dont know whats gone wrong with Gangster (who was pulled up Aintree) but he could run.The Willie Mullins-trained Roi Des Francs and the Sandra Hughes-trained Sub Lieutenant are entered in the 3m1f Grade Growise Champion Novice Chase on Tuesday, April 26, while Roi Des Francs stablemate Outlander is in that race and the two-mile Ryanair Novice Chase on Thursday, April 28.Outlander fell when travelling well in the JLT Novices Chase at Cheltenham before coming second when favourite at Fairyhouse over Easter.Outlander is holding his form pretty well. Hes been busy enough but hell go if Willies happy with him, said OLeary. He was going well at Cheltenham before falling and then we probably ran him back a bit too soon at Fairyhouse. Roi Des Francs could also go if Willies happy and Sub Lieutenant will run, hes a nice horse.GROTESQUE HEADS TO BUMPERGigginstown dont specifically target bumpers but OLeary feels the Mouse Morris-trained Grotesque, a possible for the Grade 1 Champion INH Flat Race on Wednesday, April 27, could be a good prospect for the future.Bumpers arent really our thing but we might run Grotesque, who is a good horse, added OLeary. He was second first time at Leopardstown over Christmas to Bacardys, who went on to win the Aintree bumper. He came back and won a race at Gowran that was run very slowly, which wouldnt have suited him. I think the last bumper winner Mouse trained was 47 years ago so he must be a good horse!Click here to buy your tickets for the Punchestown Festival Sky Tickets Racing Fast, secure racing tickets: Exclusive racing offers near you Also See: Live results service Full racecards Get Sky Sports DeAndre Jordan Jersey . P.A. 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Josh Jenkins has a well-documented love of U.S sport, and for the next few weeks, hell be giving readers the chance to go behind the scenes during his working holiday in America.The star Adelaide forward and gun ESPN columnist is already Stateside and will be documenting his experiences as a credentialed journalist throughout his four-week trip.As well as producing a regular travel diary, to be published on, Jenkins will be interviewing fellow athletes, writing opinion pieces and shooting video inn his usual forthright, engaging fashion.ddddddddddddThe U.S sports nut will also be active on social media, using the hashtag #JJintheUSA so follow Jenkins (@JoshJenkins24) and ESPN Australia/New Zealand (@ESPNAusNZ) on Twitter to ensure you stay up to date with the latest as Jenkins takes you inside lines at NFL, NBA, college football and college basketball games across the U.S. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys ' ' '