King Rasko Grey

(Willie Mullins)

Punchestown, April 30th

Willie Mullins is anything but short of ammunition in the major bumper races, so it was eyecatching that he was so strong on the prospects of King Rasko Grey ahead of his debut in the Goffs Defender Bumper at Punchestown. The Galilway four-year-old, bought for €250,000 as a store at the Goffs Arkle Sale last year, was the choice of Patrick Mullins in a race where the champion trainer saddled four. “He’s a lovely horse with a lovely pedigree and this was an easy pick for Patrick,” the record-breaking handler said beforehand. A combination of rawness and others perhaps getting first run on the Audrey Turley-owned newcomer probably counted against him in finishing fourth but he shaped with a fair deal of potential in defeat. Having raced wide throughout, he was the second fastest in the 25-runner field through the final two furlongs and has every chance of improving.

W B Easy

(Arthur Moore)

Punchestown, April 30th

In the same Goffs Defender Bumper, which often tends to throw up quality National Hunt types, there was a perfectly pleasing debut back in fifth from the Arthur Moore-trained newcomer W B Easy. Ridden patiently, the €62,000 store purchase was beaten a total of nine and a half lengths but showed plenty of natural ability to get involved from the rear and will surely have learned a fair deal from this. There is some encouragement for his future on paper, being out of a winning two-mile hurdler who is a half-sister to Coral Cup heroine Heaven Help Us.

Burrows Drive

(Philip Dempsey)

Punchestown, April 30th

Burrows Drive hails from a capable family, being a half-brother to Burrows Park (peak Racing Post Rating of 139), Burrows Diamond (RPR 139) and Burrows Edge (RPR 133), and he fetched €125,000 at last year’s Tattersalls Derby Sale. The Authorized debutant travelled strongly into the straight but perhaps showed a little greenness and couldn’t match the turn of foot shown by impressive winner, Sixandahalf, who had the benefit of a previous run - as did runner-up Colcannon (disqualified from an earlier bumper win after rider weighed in fractionally light). Still, the Philip Dempsey-trained four-year-old kept boxing on and looks a lovely prospect for the future. The experience he gained here, faring best of the newcomers, won’t be lost on him.

Melbourne Shamrock

(Emmet Mullins)

Punchestown, May 3rd

There was plenty to like about how well-backed winner Don’tstopthemusic quickened up for Derek O’Connor in the concluding bumper at Punchestown last Friday, with the seven-year-old using all his experience in winning cosily at the third attempt. Back in third, Melbourne Shamrock made a pleasing bumper introduction despite coming up short for Emmet Mullins and Robert Waley-Cohen. Bought for £125,000 after winning a point-to-point in January, the Hillstar gelding shaped like a stayer in this two-mile-three-furlong event and didn’t lie down after being headed on the front end. He should give his connections plenty of fun next season and beyond.

Solsbury Hill

(Gearoid O’Loughlin)

Punchestown, May 4th

There were nibbles in the market at big prices for newcomer Solsbury Hill (66/1 to 20/1) in the final bumper of the week and he finished a respectable five-and-a-half-length fourth - catching the eye from off the pace. Nothing in the race was faster than him through the final half mile. The Lucky Speed five-year-old has a future.