Grand National Trial Success Adds To Westerner’s Stellar Season
Ifyoucatchmenow (7m Westerner - Ifyoucouldseemenow, by Saddlers’ Hall) tapped into hidden reserves to power home late and take the Grand National Trial at Punchestown on Tuesday.
Ridden to chase the leaders by Conor McNamara, the Willie Mullins-trained mare was travelling well in the straight and showed a significant turn of foot to improve into second on the run-in. Staying on all the while, she led in the final strides to deny Agusta Gold by a head on the line and land a valuable prize of €59,000.
Ifyoucatchmenow clearly relished the step up to three and a half miles and had previously appreciated tests of stamina, finishing second in a valuable hurdle last season over three miles, the same trip as her point-to-point success. Speaking after the race, her trainer said of future plans, “She might come back here for a 3m6f handicap chase at the festival.”
Owned by Coldunell Limited, Ifyoucatchmenow was bought by Mullins and Harold Kirk for £100,000 after winning her point-to-point for Denis Murphy. The bay was bred by Patrick Molloy and continues a terrific season for Castlehyde Stud sire Westerner, who sired a Grade 2 winner over the weekend in the form of Captain CJ.