Past Winners » Davids Charm


Ben Dundee is a worthy favourite here.  He was a decent hurdler last season for Andy Lynch, and there was talk of going over fences with him this season, his first for Gordon Elliott, but he was impressive in winning on his debut for Elliott over hurdles at Punchestown in October, and this race obviously came onto the radar then.

He was really strong in the market before that Punchestown race, connections obviously felt that they had a well-handicapped horse, and he was impressive in winning.  A 10lb hike may not be enough to halt his progress, he is only five and he is progressive, but this is a much better race than the Punchestown race, and he is fashionable now.  I am happy to let him run at no better than 4/1.

I do think that Davids Charm has been under-rated by the market, however, and I am backing him at 10/1.  John Joe Walsh’s horse has been a revelation this summer since they fitted him with headgear.  Winner of a handicap hurdle at Listowel in June off a mark of 95 in first-time cheekpieces, he followed up by winning a good handicap hurdle at the Galway Festival in a first-time hood off a mark of 111, and he was a little unlucky not to beat Lagostovegas last time in a big handicap hurdle back at Listowel off a mark of 127.

He got squeezed out of it a little that day as the field closed up as they started around the home turn, he lost a good position just behind the leaders and was shuffled back to ninth place as they came around the home turn.  He stayed on really well from the second last on the far side, however, and just failed to catch the winner.

Lagostovegas finished third in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket on her next run, while fourth-placed Swamp Fox won the November Handicap.  That is strong form.

The handicapper raised Davids Charm by another 7lb for that run to a mark of 134, that leaves him 39lb higher than he was in June, but he is a seriously progressive horse who still has the potential to go beyond that mark.  He is only six and has raced just seven times over hurdles.

He does stay two and a half miles, but that Listowel race was over two and, on soft ground at Fairyhouse, this race should present a sufficient test for him.  He handles soft ground well, Rachael Blackmore is a good rider who rides him for just the second time today, and he wears his hood again.  He could run a big race.