Horses To Follow » Capodanno


There were many horses to note for next season from the Punchestown Festival, but chief among them was Capodanno. His task in the Grade 1 Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase was rendered easier than it might have been by the fact that both Bob Olinger and Beacon Edge under-performed, but he could hardly have been much more impressive than he was in beating talented novices in Lifetime Ambition and Fury Road, with Grade 2 winner Ballyshannon Rose well back in third and the Manifesto Chase winner Millers Bank back in fifth. Prominent from early, Willie Mullins’ horse moved into the lead on the run down the back straight final time, and it never looked like he would relinquish that lead. He wasn’t great at the third last fence, and that gave Lifetime Ambition a chance, but he stayed on strongly for Mark Walsh over the last two fences and he won well.

JP McManus’ horse won the three-mile handicap hurdle at this meeting last year, and he did well to win his beginners’ chase at Naas on his debut this season after making a bad mistake at the second last fence. He didn’t win again after that until Tuesday, but he unseated in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Novice Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival in February, and that probably upset the rhythm of his season. He didn’t run badly in the Brown Advisory Chase at Cheltenham, he was held up that day and he kept on to finish fourth behind L’Homme Presse, but he appeared to be happier ridden forward at Punchestown. He stays well and he is only six, so he has plenty of scope to progress next season, he could take a high rank among the staying chasers.
Punchestown, 26th April 2022