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Punchestown Thursday Tips, Live Stream + Douvan at 3/1

It was a disappointing day for Cheltenham favourites as Cue Card, Vautour and Yorkhill all ran stinkers at Punchestown yesterday – Will we see more shocks today?

Peter Cahill take a look through the card.

3:40: JLT Handicap Hurdle

Another big handicap hurdle starts the card today. It looks an open race and any number of these could win.

The ones that I would give chances to are Roconga, Seeyouallincoppers, Proofreader, The Brock Inn and Here for the Craic.

Roconga was very unlucky not to run on his flat debut at Dundalk.

He got a terrible ride and the jockey went for a gap that was never there but fared better at that track on his next run.

Roconga was a big gamble on both these runs and he is been slashed in price yet again today. He should like this ground today as he reverts to hurdling.

His last run over hurdles was a good one and he should have a great chance in this based on that run at Tipperary. 8/1 looks just about right.

Proofreader who is trained in the U.K by Neil Mulholland won when we tipped it earlier in the season. It’s next run wasn’t so good. Has been off for a while and if he’s fit and ready he could run well.

He would have to improve based on his form though. Seeyouallincoppers runs well in these type of races.

He hasn’t won for a few years but has been gallant in defeat. He loves good ground and is still nicely weighted, and Bryan Cooper on board is also a bonus, and at 12/1 looks each way value.

We got word for The Brock Inn when it ran at Fairyhouse.

He ran a great race and came 2nd at a big price.

This race is tougher but I wouldn’t rule out a place again. Here for the Craic has mainly been applying its trade on the Flat in recent seasons. He has improved a lot though for that and he could be well handicapped back over hurdles.

He usually finds a few too good though. I think Roconga might be too classy for these.

Selection: Roconga 9/1 E.W & Seeyouallincoppers 12/1 E.W


Paddy Power go Douvan at 3/1 – See Above!

4:15 Handicap Chase

This looks a tricky handicap chase.

The two Jessica Harrington trained horses Rock the World and Mr Fiftyone will have their chances in this.

Harrington’s yard has been in flying form. Rock the World is probably the best horse in this race but he has had a tough season. He’s been on the go for a while, running at Cheltenham but he was poor at Aintree.

I’d prefer Mr Fiftyone of her two.

This race has appeared to be the target for Mr FiftyOne some time. He got his handicap mark and then had a light campaign. This good ground will be the best ground he’s encountered in a while and it will suit.

9/1 looks a cracking price.

Of the others I do give a good chance to USA. I remember him running a really good race in this last year.

He is now 5lb lower in the weights. Jacksons Lady won this last year, USA was 5th and Bold Henry was 7th.

This time round USA is 11lb better off with Jacksons Lady and is 13lb better off with Bold Henry. USA is a summer horse and needs good ground.

The ground was on the yielding to soft side last year, this time round he gets the good ground he needs.​

Selection: Mr Fiftyone 9/1 E.W & USA 20/1 E.W

4:50 FBD Cross Country Chase

The La Touche Cup run over 4 mile 1f on the banks course is one of my favourite races of the racing calendar.

This race was won seven times by Risk of Thunder for owner/actor Sean Connery.

What an excellent horse he was around here, I don’t think that record will ever be broken.

Enda Bolger who trained Risk of Thunder is sure to followed yet again in this year’s renewal.

He has three runners in this including the odds on favourite Josies Orders. He has been a revelation ever since he started running over these banks.

He’s won 3 cross country races and was 2nd in the big cross country race at the Cheltenham festival. He was unlucky in this race last season.

He unseated 2 out when going well. He got compensation a few days later when winning over the course.

He really should be winning this race but these fences and banks can throw up a lot of fallers so he’s no cert. He isn’t much of a price either and at 4/5 we’ll pass.

From a value standpoint I’m going to go for something at a nice price.

Ballyboker Bridge has won over this bank’s course in the past and ran some nice races behind Josies Orders this season.

He was very unlucky in this last year, he was about to take the lead but he fell 2 out. He was traveling very strongly at the time.

I think he could be the one to give Josies Orders the most to think about today and at 12/1 looks handy.

Selection: Ballyboker Bridge 12/1 E.W

5:30 Champions Stayers

This race on form looks a match race between Alpha Des Obeaux and Shaneshill based on both of their 7l 2nd’s to Thistlecrack at Cheltenham and Aintree respectively.

They both had very hard races though trying to take on Thistlecrack and I’m not sure if they’ll have enough left in reserve in the finish today.

Diamond King and If In Doubt make the step up from handicap grade to a grade 1 today.

Diamond King beat Ubak at Cheltenham and Ubak beat If In Doubt at Aintree.

I’d give the edge to Diamond King in regards to those too.

I’m going to go with a horse who has had a light campaign though. That horse being One Track Mind.

He’s a second season hurdler on the up. He won a handicap hurdle at Newbury in great style and he was a clear 2nd to multiple grade 1 winner Reve De Sivola in the 3 mile Rendlesham at Haydock in February.

He has won on good ground so still potential for more on this better ground. He’s fresh unlike most of these, it could make a huge difference in the finish.

Another fresh horse is Legacy Gold who ran two nice races this season back from a layoff.

She was 2nd to Annie Power over this track and then finished 3rd at Cheltenham behind Vroom Vroom Mag.

She is trying this trip for the first time, if she sees it out I wouldn’t rule this one out at a huge price.​

Selection: One Track Mind 12/1 E.W

6:05: Spelman Handicap Hurdle

Another tricky handicap hurdle here, this one run over 3 miles.

Rathpatrick ran a nice race when 5th in the Pertemps Hurdle behind Mall Dini at the Cheltenham Festival. He didn’t get up the hill and dropped out of the first five in the final furlong.

He may be too high up the weights today though to win this. There’s two that I like in this and they are both really nice prices.

They are Fairly Legal and Road to Respect. Fairly Legal is a novice hurdler having its second run in a handicap hurdle.

He beat today’s rival Haymount by 11l in a novice hurdle 2 runs back off level weights.

He is 1lb better off with that one today and should confirm placings.

Given that Haymount was beaten nearly the same distance by Mall Dini in a previous run, that would suggest that Fairly Legal would be on a par with Mall Dini.

There is no Mall Dini in this but he was the one that beat a few of these including Rathpatrick at Cheltenham.

Fairly Legal’s last run was alright, he was given too much to do and put in his best work late on.

The step up in trip here should suit and the tongue tie will also help.

The other one I like is Road to Respect from the Eoin Griffin yard. He’s a well bred sort who like Fairly Legal has only run a few times over hurdles.

He came 2nd to Yorkhill in a maiden hurdle at this track earlier in the season.

He had Mall Dini a further 10l back in 3rd.

On that run alone he would have a great chance in this.

He has since won on heavy ground at Thurles and was out of his depth in a graded race.

His most recent run, his first in a handicap was a pleasing one. It came behind Coney Island. That horse was 2nd here in a top novice hurdle race behind Bellshill yesterday.

The only doubt about Road to Respect is that he has never run on good ground.

His pedigree suggests that he should be fine with it though. I can see him out running his price.

Selection: Fairly Legal 14/1 E.W & Road to Respect 33/1 E.W

6:40: Ryanair Novice Chase

This race will go the way of Douvan bar a fall. He’s 1/7 and no value at all.

The only value can be found in the betting without market. Sizing John and The Game Changer have been on the go a while and had tough races at Cheltenham and Aintree.

I’m going to side with the fresh horse in Ttebbob who is trained by the in form Jessica Harrington yard.

He was 5th in a grade 1 hurdle at this meeting last year and won two novice chases earlier in this season.

He has been off since February and should be fit and ready to do himself justice here.

Can’t see him beating Douvan but I can see him being the one to chase him home. and 9/2 looks decent.

Selection: Ttebbob W/O Douvan 9/2

7:15: Setanta Sports Mares Hurldle

Missy Tata and Myska are sure to have their followers in this mares race but I don’t fancy either of them. Myska showed potential earlier in the season but her jumping has let her down in recent runs.

She didn’t look right last time out and hit everything until being pulled up.

I couldn’t put money on her today at least not until she proves herself again.

Missy Tata did well to get 4th in the Fred Winter handicap hurdle for novices at Cheltenham. A few horses fell at the last two flights, all of which would’ve finished in front of her.

I think she and Myska are false favourites today, I don’t rate Missy Tata and Myska is can’t be trusted given her poor jumping. Cashelard Lady has some solid form in the book and she is consistent.

She won a maiden hurdle by a whopping 39l and ran a great race when 2nd to Limini at Fairyhouse.

The winner went on to win the Mares Novice hurdle at Cheltenham. Cashelard Lady’s most recent run came at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival. She ran well for a good part of the race but found Jer’s Girl and 2 others too strong for her.

Jer’s Girl is extremely well thought of by its connections and anything that runs near her has to be followed.

I can weigh up the form in this race and pick a winner but Ria Detel is the dark horse that could throw a spanner in the works.

She has a nice pedigree and did the job stylishly in a Auteuil Listed hurdle when last seen in September. Like top novice Min this one made transfer from Yannick Fouin to Willie Mullins.

It’s hard to say how good this one is but given its position in the market it’s sure to have its chance. The Nutcracker is an interesting one in this.

She mainly races on the flat and travels extremely well in her races and often looms up in the final furlong but most of the time doesn’t go through with its effort.

If she were to gain more resolve she’d be one to take out of the race going forward.

Selection: Cashelard Lady E.W 6/1

7:45 Kildare Post Flat

A decent looking bumper ends today’s card.

The Willie Mullins trained Invitation Only is the favourite in here and deserves to be favourite.

He won a point to point and bolted up on rules debut in a bumper and will take something special to beat this one today.

First Figaro ran well in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham and could be one to follow on the flat for the summer. Whether he is good enough to win today though is the question. Turcagua also ran in the Champion Bumper.

It was her first run back for over a year.

She’s a half sister of the wonderful mare Quevega. I think she could overturn the form with First Figaro today but I doubt she’s good​ enough to beat stablemate Invitation Only.

The only one that I can see being the favourite is Sunni May. She is trained by Jessica Harrington and ridden by her daughter Kate. Sunni May was 2nd on debut behind Castello Sforza.

That horse has only run once since and it was when he came 4th in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, finishing a long ways in front of First Figaro and Tucagua.

Sunni May’s next run came when 4th to a good Willie Mullins bumper horse Lucky Pass at Fairyhouse.

I really fancied Sunni May on its most recent run. She was 3rd behind Blow by Blow. I was questioning that form up until yesterday.

Blow by Blow was game from the front and won the big Champion Bumper for Willie Mullins.

Sunni May has been beaten by a few Mullins horses, given how highly touted Invitation Only is surely he will also beat Sunni May.

Selection: Invitation Only 13/8 NAP

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