Punchestown a possibility for Affordale Fury

Sun 26 Mar 2023

Affordale Fury’s 150-1 runner-up effort in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle may have surprised some, but not trainer Noel Meade.

Despite winning a bumper and a maiden hurdle at Galway last year, Affordale Fury went under the radar at the Festival, largely because of his two subsequent runs, when falling in the Monksfield Novice Hurdle at Navan in November and then finishing sixth to Champ Kiely in a Naas Grade One.

At Cheltenham, he belied his lofty odds when stepped up to three miles for the first time under Sam Ewing, finding only Stay Away Fay a length too good.

Meade said: “He ran well. He is a very good horse. He was unfortunate at Navan that he got a fall and he wasn’t over the fall when we ran him again, possibly feeling something, at Naas.

“We had to give him time after that, but he is a very good horse.

“He won nicely at Galway before that fall, but I suppose his run at Naas put everyone off.”

Meade expects the five-year-old to develop once he fills into his frame, and has not ruled out one more run this term.

He added: “He stays well. He should be a better horse next year as he is a big, leggy horse.

“He might go to Punchestown, but he certainly won’t go to Aintree. Then he’ll have a bit of time off.”

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