Henry de Bromhead describes Bob Olinger as “a very exciting horse” as he unleashes his Cheltenham Festival winner again in the Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown tomorrow (Friday).
The six-year-old was an easy winner of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle six weeks ago, registering his second Grade 1 success after the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle in January.
De Bromhead has kept Bob Olinger fresh by taking him to the beach and has his fingers crossed the horse can retain his form for Friday’s end-of-season contest.
“He’s pretty impressive all right and was brilliant at Cheltenham,” said the Co Waterford trainer.
“He’s great and he seems in really good form.
“At this time of year, coming to the end of the season, you get nervous. But he seems in mighty form – so we’re OK, hopefully.
“He’s been down the beach and looks on good terms.
“What he did at Cheltenham, the way he tanked there, and Rachael (Blackmore) couldn’t pull him up. I’ve always thought a lot of him, and thankfully he’s doing it on the track – he’s a very exciting horse.”
Among Bob Olinger’s opponents, Ashdale Bob was a narrow Grade 2 winner at Fairyhouse this month.
But his trainer Jessica Harrington feels he faces a tough task this time.
“He’s probably up against it, but he hasn’t gone to Cheltenham and he’s won two Grade 2's, so he’s entitled to take his chance,” she said.
“It was great to see him win at Fairyhouse.”
The other three runners are trained by Willie Mullins. They are headed by Gaillard Du Mesnil, who was second to Bob Olinger at Cheltenham, with Ganapathi and N’golo completing the field.