Gabynako out to end season on a high

Gabynako will not be winning out of turn if he can strike Grade One gold for the first time in the Barberstown Castle Novice Chase at Punchestown on Thursday.

Narrowly beaten by subsequent Grand National hero Noble Yeats on his chasing debut at Galway, Gavin Cromwell’s charge opened his account at the second attempt at Fairyhouse before being placed at the highest level on three successive occasions.

The bold decision to supplement him for the Arkle at last month’s Cheltenham Festival paid off with Gabynako finishing a clear second to hot favourite Edwardstone, and his trainer is keeping his fingers crossed he can go one better.

Cromwell said: “He’s been running very well and it would be fantastic to get his head in front.

“He’s come out of Cheltenham well and we’re happy that he’s in good nick. We’re looking forward to it.

“He ran a blinder in the Arkle. We were just unfortunate to bump into Edwardstone, who was very good, but he ran a cracker in defeat.

“I think he’s probably better on better ground, so fingers crossed.”

Mark Walsh and Gentleman De Mee after winning at Aintree
Mark Walsh and Gentleman De Mee after winning at Aintree (David Davies/PA)

Gabynako is taken on by four Willie Mullins-trained runners, with Gentleman De Mee the likely favourite after beating Edwardstone in the Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree three weeks ago.

He is joined by Blue Lord, Haut En Couleurs and Saint Sam, who finished third, sixth and unseated in the Arkle respectively.

The field is completed by Henry de Bromhead’s pair of Coeur Sublime and Maskada.

Henry de Bromhead is well represented at Punchestown
Henry de Bromhead is well represented at Punchestown (Tim Goode/PA)

Ben Pauling’s Grand Annual winner Global Citizen had been declared for the Pigsback.com Handicap Chase but was ruled out on Wednesday.

Jessica Harrington’s Exit Poll heads the weights while Danny Mullins retains the ride on Mt Leinster.

Henry de Bromhead runs three owned by Robcour, with Rachael Blackmore preferring the claims of Zarkareva. Robbie Power rides Magic Daze with Darragh O’Keeffe on Tiger Voice.

De Bromhead also fields the Roger Brookhouse-owned Arahecan and Ingleby McKenzie, giving him five of the 12 runners.

Singing Banjo and Ballyboker Bridge, the last two winners of the Mongey Communications La Touche Cup, are back once again in which Christian Williams’ Potters Corner is the sole runner from Britain.

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