Punchestown Festival Day 2 Previews
PUNCHESTOWN DAY 2! The Punchestown Festival rolls on with 3 more Grade 1’s on Wednesday including the Punchestown Gold Cup! All 8 races covered in detail.
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3.40 Punchestown Adare Manor Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle 2m41/2f
4.15 Punchestown Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final 2m41/2f
4.50 Punchestown Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle 2m41/2f
5.20 Punchestown Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m
5.55 Punchestown Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m1/2f
6.30 Punchestown ITM Supporting Irish Store Sales Champion I.N.H. Flat Race 2m1/2f
7.00 Punchestown Guinness Handicap Chase (Grade A) 2m4f
7.35 Punchestown Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares Flat Race 2m1/2f
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Punchestown 3.40 Adare Manor Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle 2m41/2f
As with all handicaps at the Punchestown Festival they are ultra-competitive and this looks no different. With it being so competitive I have had two shots at this race with STAND OFF being my best chance of the winner. He has been running really well this season with two wins to his name already and stepping back up to this trip seemed to suit him last time. That was his best performance so far and he is improving with every run and will go close if taking another step forward.
The other I think will thrive at this trip is FORTUNE STREET who’s win at Wexford was a solid effort to break his maiden-tag and there could be a bit more to come off a mark of 116. The main danger in the race has to be the unbeaten mare Mt Leinster Gold who gets the talented Jordan Gainford taking off 4lb and should be in the mix on handicap debut.
Punchestown 4.15 Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final 2m41/2f
Another good race and it is probably more open than the betting is suggesting but even still I can’t get away from the favourite HEATHER ROCCO for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore. This Shirocco gelding has won 3 from 4 and he really impressed winning by 16 lengths at Limerick last month. He was left clear with Mr Coldstone taking a tumble at the last but he looked to be getting the better of that argument at the time to me and the form looks quite decent. He’ll need to step forward again to win this but he’ll strip fitter and looks capable of better yet.
Born Patriot is lightly raced and won here in November. He wasn’t disgraced when fourth at Navan and has solid place claims. Calthor might emerge as the danger. He was a big gamble last time before running out an impressive winner and it wouldn’t surprise me if the money came for him late again here as he looks to have a fair chance of getting involved.
Punchestown 4.50 Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle 2m41/2f
This looks like it could be between the top 2 in the market BLUE SARI and Decimation. Willie Mullins has won the last 3 renewals of this so he knows what it takes to win it and Blue Sari has a good chance of making up for his Cheltenham fall. He travelled really well in the Coral Cup and this looks to be his preferred trip now and I think he will be hard to beat if none the worse for that fall.
Decimation is obviously the danger but has proven hard to get his head in front with four seconds to his name and I don’t fully trust him as favourite. His second behind Ashdale Bob looks a fair effort but I don’t think we have seen the best of Blue Sari yet. Marajman could be best of the rest given the potential he brings to the table.
Punchestown 5.20 Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m
Cracking race as Albert Bartlett winner Vanillier and Martin Pipe victor GALOPIN DES CHAMPS go head-to-head. We also have the winner of the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle lining up in the shape of Telmesomethinggirl and she certainly shouldn’t be underestimated. I am keen on Galopin Des Champs though. The way he came there swinging to win the Martin Pipe was so impressive and the fact he has enough to fend off another extremely well handicapped horse in Danger Dan with the pair 9 lengths clear from the rest speaks volumes for me. He steps up to 3 miles for the first time and has stamina to prove but if he stays he will win again.
Vanillier routed them in the Albert Bartlett pouring it on in the closing stages but has has failed to back up a win in the past and I feel he was very much primed for that day. Who knows how much it has taken out of him and I think at a short enough price he might be opposable here. I’d put Telmesomethingirl forward as the danger as she is clearly improving all the time with the form of that latest run already franked with the fourth Skyace winning at Fairyhouse in the style of a nice prospect.
Punchestown 5.55 Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m1/2f
It is such a shame Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Minella Indo has been pulled out of this due to a knock. It still looks a good race with 2-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner AL BOUM PHOTO lining up. He ran a massive race when trying to write his name in racing history by winning 3 Gold Cups behind two top class horses in Minella Indo and A Plus Tard. All the right horses were competing in the finish of that race and if running to that level he will take this.
Clan Des Obeaux looked back to his best with cheekpieces on at Aintree and even though this is a better race if they have the same effect it should be some finish as he is capable of mixing it with the best when on form. Kemboy won this in 2019 with a positive ride and is capable of backing it up but I feel the top two in the market may have his number now especially with the jumping errors he is prone to.
Punchestown 6.30 ITM Supporting Irish Store Sale Champion I.N.H. Flat Race (Grade 1) 2m1/2f
It’s the Champion Bumper rematch now and I’m keen to side with KILCRUIT here. Sir Gerhard is clearly extremely promising as well and he should come into his own over hurdles but I do feel he had everything go his way at Cheltenham. That experience wouldn’t have been lost on Kilcruit as he tried to come from behind and I think he’ll be a lot more streetwise here. He could be anything at this stage and if he progresses from that, which the winner should do too, I think he’ll have a good chance of reversing the form if he isn’t given so much to do. He is a strong staying type and I can see him picking up Sir Gerhard in the closing stages.
The tactics will be fascinating for this and if the front two get too focussed on each other that might bring others like Lake Winnipesaukee and Eric Bloodaxe into the equation. Ramillies promised a lot but I feel he hasn’t produced it on the track and he looks vulnerable again even though it wouldn’t surprise me to see him nibbled at in the market again at around 25/1.
Punchestown 7.00 Guinness Handicap Chase (Grade A) 2m4f
This is a race British trainers have had some success in over the last few years and Tom George sends over BLACK OP who on his form over this trip could have a decent each way chance. His last two runs at the trip were behind Imperial Aura and Champ and he wasn’t beaten far on either outing. Obviously he was a big price outsider in the King George and Gold Cup and this looks a much more achievable target off 143.
Livelovelaugh really impressed winning at Aintree in good style, he is only up 4lb for that and I wouldn’t rule the 11 year old out and is certainly a danger in this. The other who should be in the mix is Embittered who on his form is a lively player if getting the extra couple of furlongs.
Punchestown 7.35 Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares Flat Race (Grade 3) 2m1/2f
Cheltenham bumper sixth GRANGEE looks to have a leading chance here. She won 2 of her first 3 starts and was ridden quietly at the Festival but could never land a blow. The experience wouldn’t have done her any harm and in much calmer waters her chance is crystal clear. She is proven at a better level than this having won a Grade 2 so it’s no surprise to see her a shade of odds-on at the time of writing.
Glan has looked promising winning her last two starts and if she improves she should give the favourite a race. Hollymount is well bred and made a bright start but could never get in it behind Grangee at Leopardstown. The hood needs to help get her back on track.
Punchestown Day 2 Win Treble
With 8 races again on Day 2 of the Punchestown Festival we have another Win Treble for you to get stuck into. Hopefully land a nice winner!
Punchestown Day 2 Win Trixie
We’ve also included a Win Trixie just for the Punchestown Festival on Wednesday. Hopefully we get at least 2/3 winners so we make some profit.