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Horse Racing - Racing: Cocooner seeks Punchestown reversal

Among the many Cheltenham rematches during the Punchestown Festival this week, the 3m Grade 1 Novice Hurdle on Wednesday could be the most likely to result in a reversal of the form from last month.

Minella Cocooner is 9/2 for the first Grade 1 on Wednesday, having finished a creditable second when sent off as the third-shortest-priced horse for the Albert Bartlett.

Mullins takes over from Townend

On that occasion, the six-year-old was the choice of stable jockey Paul Townend, with the obvious connotation that he must be more highly regarded at home than The Nice Guy (5/2), who was forgotten in the market when winning at 18-1.

Although Townend has deserted Minella Cocooner - who has five lengths to find with his stablemate - the gelding is reunited with Danny Mullins, who he combined so successfully with at the Dublin Racing Festival when delivering a devastating front-running display on his first try at top-level company.

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If jumping better than during the latter stages at Cheltenham, a second Grade 1 success is easy foreseeable for Minella Cocooner, who has already beaten six of the rivals he faces on Wednesday.

Mullins hints at reversal of fortunes

Patrick Mullins, assistant trainer for father Willie, said: "Sean O'Keeffe gave The Nice Guy a lovely ride there and perhaps Minella Cocooner might be better at Punchestown.

"There's a smaller field here and this track would suit front runners far more than the new course at Cheltenham.

"It will be interesting to see if the Cheltenham placings are confirmed here - I wouldn't be certain they will."

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