Past Winners » Banbridge


I am backing Banbridge now for tomorrow’s Punchestown Champion Chase. I think that he could take the step up now that he needs to take.

Joseph O’Brien’s horse has always been high class, he won the Martin Pipe Hurdle at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, and he was very good in the early part of last season, his performances laced with fluent and accurate jumping.  He missed Cheltenham last season because of the soft ground, but he went to Aintree and was impressive in winning the Grade 1 Manifesto Chase.

He has raced just twice this season in open company, he was good in winning the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton in February on his seasonal debut. He was well beaten in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham last time, but the ground was just too soft for him there.  Connections took a chance on the ground with him, but it was just too soft.

He should be much happier on the better ground at Punchestown. He is dropping back down to two miles, and that is a slight concern, but he had the pace to win the Arkle Trial at Cheltenham in November of his novice year over two miles, and the shorter trip can only increase the potency of his fluent jumping. Also, Joseph O’Brien is fitting cheekpieces for the first time, and they could sharpen him up over the shorter trip.

His trainer’s horses on the flat and over jumps are in great form these days, and Banbridge won his maiden hurdle on his only run to date at Punchestown. And he goes into the race fresher than most of his rivals, having raced just twice this season. I want to get him on side today, I think that he could be popular tomorrow, he could go off at a shorter price than the price at which we can back him today.