King Wah Glory for Festival


KING WAH GLORY returned to his best with a convincing one-length success in yesterday's IAWS Novice Chase at Punchestown and has accordingly shortened from 14 to 1 to 8 to 1 for Cheltenham's Arkle Challenge Trophy.

Ventana Canyon set off a hot favourite and were it not for a thumping error at the fourth last might conceivably have won, so strongly did he finish from been all of five lengths adrift at the last.

But I doubt if King Wah Glory had ever jumped so well. Having won all of his seven races to date on good or firm ground, one might be forgiven for believing King Wah Glory to be essentially a good ground chaser, but it may be more true to state that he is a spring horse and is only now coming to his best.

Ridden by Conor O'Dwyer, who completed a treble at Gowran on Saturday and is in well nigh invincible form this season, King Wah Glory was ear-marked for Punchestown by owner J P McManus who said he would now have to seriously consider Cheltenham.

Winning Curragh trainer Paddy Burke reported his other stable star, Strong Platinum, on target for Cheltenham. "Strong Platinum runs at Naas next Saturday which should leave him right for the Queen Mother Champion Chase. After today's win, we will probably bring King Wah Glory as well for the Arkle Trophy," he said.

Ventana Canyon has been eased to 7 to 1 for the Arkle Trophy, with Cable Beach, who made much of the running yesterday and eventually finished third, a 12 to 1 chance.

The French importation Draborgie, trained by Martin Pipe is currently favourite with Corals at 9 to 2, with the Arthur Moore-trained Manhattan Castle, second favourite at 5 to 1. Blazing Spectacle burst in yesterday's race.

The stewards inquired into, King Wah Glory's apparent improvement in form. Conor O'Dwyer's explanation that although his mount has an aversion to heavy ground, he was able to cope with yesterday's looser surface.

Paddy Mullins and Danoli's jockey, Tom Treacy, completed," an easily gained double with Talina's Law and Castlekellyleader. The latter, successful at Clonmel on his previous appearance, drew right away in the straight to win the Chapmans Land rover Novice Hurdle Series by five lengths after overcoming a sloppy jump at the last.

Mullins expressed regret that he had not entered Talina's Law for the Triumph Hurdle. Aided again by blinkers, the mare jumped well to complete her hat-trick in the Murphys Irish Stout Juvenile Hurdle, quickening instantly when asked the question by Tom Treacy to clear the last in style and beat Antapoura by two lengths.