Punchestown Festival Day 4 Previews
PUNCHESTOWN DAY 4! Superstar Honeysuckle puts her unbeaten record to the test in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle PLUS Bob Olinger returns following his Ballymore romp.
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3.40 Punchestown Paddy Power Hunters Chase For The Bishopscourt Cup 2m4f
4.15 Punchestown EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase 2m5f
4.50 Punchestown Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Handicap Chase 2m5f
5.25 Punchestown Paddy Power Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m
6.00 Punchestown Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m4f
6.35 Punchestown Irish Daily Star Champion Hunters Chase 3m1/2f
7.05 Punchestown SalesSense International Novice Hurdle 2m
7.35 Punchestown Alison Young Flat Race 2m2f
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Punchestown 3.40 Paddy Power Hunters Chase For The Bishopscourt Cup 2m4f
Not the best race to kick off day 4 at Punchestown as it does look a trappy race. ALPHA MALE hasn’t been at his best in his last couple of runs but goes well at Punchestown and finished second in this race in 2019 (the last running of the race). If the course can bring out his best again he will be hard to beat and looks good value against the favourite Rewritehterules.
The latter has beaten the selection before but I feel he needs 3 miles so may not be seen in the best light giving weight away but with the quality of the race he has to rate the main danger. Beyond Redemption has a tongue strap on for the first time and is probably just about best of a modest rest.
Punchestown 4.15 EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase (Grade A) 2m5f
Blood Cotil, Avant Tout, Kemboy and Real Steel mean Willie Mullins has won 4 of the last 5 renewals and he has another great chance with 3 darts being fired this year. Asterion Forlonge will probably prove the most popular now entering handicap company but he isn’t one for maximum faith and I think he’ll find a way to get beat. He ran a cracker when third to Chantry House in the Marsh Novices’ Chase but looked a bit one paced at Fairyhouse and he’s had a long enough season now. I think he’s opposable.
The one I like is ANTEY in the Rich Ricci silks. This horse is lightly raced for his age and has knocked on the door the last twice. He chased home Rebel Gold over 2 miles at Gowran before bumping into Cedarwood Road up in trip last time. If he jumps better I think he is handicapped to have a big say here. Stablemate Fan De Blues is also worth respecting as he shaped much better than recent efforts when second at Gowran last time. Port Stanley has proved frustrating but also made the shortlist along with Fils D’Oudairies if he can put in a clear round.
Punchestown 4.50 Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Handicap Chase (Grade B) 2m5f
4 of the last 6 winners of this Mares Handicap Chase have carried under 11 stone which makes it look a tough ask for some of the big names at the top of the handicap. SCARLET AND DOVE carries 10-12 and looks to have bit more to come in the handicap sphere. She was last seen in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse which was a bit too good for her but her Graded wins at Limerick and Navan prior to that would put her right in the mix. They have put the talented Jordan Gainford up and using his 7lb claim to make her look even more appealing.
Demi Plie may be nicely weighted and I think rates the main danger of those lower in the weights. Magic Of Light is top class and will be aiming to bounce back after a rare fall in the Grand National last time. She is good enough to have a good go off top-weight. Agusta Gold and last time out winner Waitnsee complete the shortlist.
Punchestown 5.25 Paddy Power Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)
The unbeaten HONEYSUCKLE put in a mesmerising performance to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last month and judging by her last two runs she is still improving. She looks to have relished the drop back to 2 miles and I can’t see anything getting her out of her comfort zone here. She had nearest market rivals Sharjah and Epatante readily held in second and third and it’s hard to see why they will close the gap here. Jason The Militant and Aspire Tower should put good pace to the race and that will only help her get into a rhythm before taking it out and clearing away.
Abacadabras is the intriguing one as he fell at just the third flight at Cheltenham before quickly making amends at Aintree. He will relish a strong gallop and could be coming home well under Jack Kennedy but it’s a huge ask to try and peg back Honeysuckle as she looks to make it a perfect 12 from 12.
Punchestown 6.00 Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m4f
With Bob Olinger declared a non runner this morning GAILLARD DU MESNIL looks hard to oppose now. This race has seen quite a few upsets over the years but this horse has looked thoroughly progressive and his second to Bob Olinger in the Ballymore last time was probably another step forward in all honesty. He is capable of better yet having just had four runs over hurdles. He looks to have a big engine and granted this doesn’t turn overly tactical he will have too much.
Ashdale Bob looked promising thrashing Fakiera at Navan over Christmas but fell next time and was then left standing by the selection when only ninth at Leopardstown. He was back on track at Fairyhouse beating Decimation by a neck but this demands a lot more now. He’s feared but I’ll be surprised if he can turn the tables.
Punchestown 6.35 Irish Daily Star Champion Hunters Chase 3m1/2f
Caid Du Berlais has won the last two renewals of this race and comes here in terrific form having won at Wincanton before winning head in chest at Warwick last month. He has won 4 of his last 6 now and even as a 12yo looks in the form of his life. While he ticks plenty of boxes I’ve still decided to look elsewhere as I think SOLOMN GRUNDY is better value. This horse has plenty of back-class and has shown a new lease of life recently. He showed a cracking attitude to beat Stand Up And Fight at Fairyhouse last time and that looks a solid piece of form. I’m convinced he’s going to run a big race.
Bob And Co unseated behind Porlock Bay at Cheltenham last month but got back on track and Hexham last time. Classy sort but is prone to a mistake and he’s hardly convincing. Billaway has had a long season but obviously if he brings his best form to the table he will go close. At a bigger price Jury Duty could get involved in a first-time visor.
Punchestown 7.05 SalesSense International Novice Hurdle 2m
Joseph O’Brien broke the Willie Mullins stranglehold of this race by winning it in 2019 and looks to have a great chance of following up that win with two live chances here. KESKONRISK was soundly beaten by the classy Bob Olinger in the Ballymore when he didn’t seem to see the trip out. All his form is over 2 miles and it looks fairly solid with two nice wins plus a third behind the Supreme winner Appreciate It. The step back to this trip should really help and I think he has the class to win this.
The other Joseph O’Brien runner Fire Attack I rate as the main danger as he has been running well in some very good races without winning. As a result he gets to carry 7lb less than most who have won races and this could see him go very close. Like the selection Get My Drift back down at this trip could go much better than his last run and be in the frame.
Punchestown 7.35 Alison Young Flat Race 2m2f
Some nice types have won this race down the years including Champers On Ice, No Comment and Longhouse Poet. A lot of unknowns so hard to be overly bullish about anything lining up. My Mate Mozzie won his point to point and is the mount of Patrick Mullins so is entitled to automatic respect. I’m guessing he’ll take up a large part of the market. Gortmillish brings a level of form to the table having finished runner-up on his first start under Rules at Tipperary last month. That was a good effort so he’s also respected but he did look a bit one paced under pressure last time so the drop back in trip isn’t a huge positive.
I thought it might be worth taking a chance on newcomer STONE MAD for Martin Brassil. This son of Yeats cost €185,000 as a 3yo and is a brother to Tintangle and half-brother to Tombstone, two smart types. He could have a bright future and if he is forward enough for his debut he could land a blow. Like most bumpers the betting is going to be very informative.
Punchestown Day 4 Win Treble
With 8 races again on Day 4 of the Punchestown Festival we have another Win Treble for you to get stuck into!
Punchestown Day 4 Each Way Trixie
We’ve also included an Each Way Trixie just for the Punchestown Festival on Thursday. If we can get 2/3 winners we will make some nice profit.