HomeHorse RacingMichael Verney: Banbridge can finish frustrating season with a major high

Michael Verney: Banbridge can finish frustrating season with a major high

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All eyes on all-conquering Willie Mullins but others may shine with Spillane’s Tower to continue Jimmy Mangan’s fairytale as Punchestown Festival kicks off

Visionarian, left, with Keith Donoghue up, Banbridge, centre, with JJ Slevin up, and Flame Bearer, right, with Brian Hayes up, during the Goffs Irish Arkle Novice Steeplechase on day one of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown Racecourse in February of last year. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Not even a racing Grinch could knock the quality of the three Grade One contests up for grabs today as the Punchestown Festival kicks off in spectacular fashion.

Much is made of Willie Mullins’ dominance either side of the Irish Sea – particularly after being crowned British champion trainer for the first time over the weekend – and he will have his usual bagful of winners this week, but plenty of other trainers have come out to play.

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