Bob Olinger sparkles with Punchestown verdict

Bob Olinger made it two wins in as many starts over fences when running out a cosy winner of the Kildare Novice Chase at Punchestown.

The seven-year-old, a dual Grade One hurdles victor last term, had triumphed on his chasing bow at Gowran in November although his jumping was not faultless on that occasion.

However, he turned in a more assured round of fencing in this Grade Three, with Rachael Blackmore content to maintain a watching brief in the early stages as Lifetime Ambition and Capodanno set the early gallop.

With three fences down the back straight omitted due to the sun, it was a long run to the third-last with Bob Olinger clearly travelling well for Blackmore.

However, she had to start pushing on the 1-2 favourite turning in, but once Bob Olinger found top gear he swiftly put the race to bed, clearing the last in fine style before coming home four and three-quarter lengths ahead of the game Capodanno. Gaillard Du Mesnil plugged on for third, beaten a further 27 lengths.

Bob Olinger is now the evens favourite for the Turners Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham with both Coral and Paddy Power.

De Bromhead was delighted with Bob Olinger’s performance and felt he had progressed from his Gowran victory.

The Bob Olinger team following his victory
The Bob Olinger team following his victory (Donall Farmer/PA)

He said: “He was really good and Rachael was really happy with him. He jumped great and it was a class race.

“He’d come on a hell of a lot since Gowran and I think the experience he got there has really stood to him.

“The second is obviously a good horse and the pair of them have pulled clear. Thankfully our man kept going.”

De Bromhead initially indicated he would look towards Leopardstown next month for Bob Olinger, if conditions allow.

He added: “The Dublin Racing Festival is the plan subject to ground. There would want to be a good ease in the ground.

“It seems our best option. It’s three weeks and I think that’s the plan at the moment.

“He’s got a lot of class and a great attitude.”

However, he later told Racing TV: “He was probably going there (Leopardstown) before today, now I don’t know. We might need to think twice about it. We’ll see how it unfolds.

“That’s what we were doing, but the way he jumped there today, we’ll see. Nothing is set in stone.”

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