The action continues at Punchestown and there’s no sign of letting up with the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
3.40 KFM Hunters Chase
Day 4 of the Punchestown Festival gets under way at 3:40. The opening race is a hunter’s chase and there is 12 runners going to post.
This isn’t the best of races but it’s one of the older races at this meeting. Enniskillen won well here over the banks on Tuesday over Treo Eile.
That horse won the La Touche here yesterday so the form is strong. Shin A Vee is the big danger, this horse has won this race for the last 3 years. He is 14 years old though and his best days may be behind him. ENNISKILLEN should take this race.
4.20 EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase
The 2nd race the 4:20 is a handicap chase for novice chasers. The Jessica Harrington trained Woodland Opera looks to have a good chance here.
He won at this festival last year and could well win again. He’s starting to get his act together over fences. Diamond King and Le Prezien both disappointed at Cheltenham but could do better here. Last Goodbye who also ran at Cheltenham was very unlucky.
He found an awful lot of trouble in running and flew home late to take 5th. Given a clear run today I think he could go close. He’s very unexposed and should put it up to Woodland Opera. LAST GOODBYE is my selection for this race.
4.55 Hanlon Concrete E.B.F. Glencarraig Lady Mares Handicap Chase
The 4:55 is a mares handicap chase. It looks a tricky race to find a winner of. Slowmotion looks the big danger too all based on his last win.
Girly Girl ran an eye catching race behind it then. She is now 8lb better off with that rival today and her trainer Jessica Harrington is in flying form. It’s a tough race but I like GIRLY GIRL each way at a nice price.
5.30 Betdaq Punchestown Champion Hurdle
The 5:30 is the feature race of the week the Punchestown Champion Hurdle. Annie Power is an absentee from the lineup but it’s still a top class race. There isn’t much between the likes of Vroom Vroom Mag, My Tent or Yours, Petit Mouchoir, Brain Power and Arctic Fire in this.
Ruby has decided to ride Vroom Vroom Mag. She was a gallant 2nd behind Apple’s Jade at Cheltenham. She’ll take plenty of beating here today but the one I like is Petit Mouchoir.
This horse has been a big improver this year and was a real good 3rd in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The interesting running in this race is the Supreme Novice Hurdle winner Labaik. This horse has its quirks as seen here on Tuesday when he didn’t start.
There is no doubt he has the ability as seen when winning at Cheltenham. If he starts I think he could run a big race. It is risky backing him though.
PETIT MOUCHOIR looks the safest bet in this race.
6.05 Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
The 6:05 is the champion novice hurdle due to be run over 2 mile 4f. Most of these ran at Cheltenham in the Neptune novice hurdle or the Albert Bartlett. Finians Oscar missed the Cheltenham festival but was flawless when winning at the Aintree Festival.
He is unbeaten in 5 starts and looks to be a top prospect for the future. Death Duty was disappointing at Cheltenham but could return to form today.
He looked a decent horse before that run. Bacardy’s and Let’s Dance look the best of the Mullins horses in this. Bacardy’s ran bad at Cheltenham and Let’s Dance ran 2nd to stablemate Augusta Kate.
Let’s Dance has had a long season though and may find this too much. Finians Oscar is the fresh horse and his trainer Colin Tizzard is in top form. I’m going to go with FINIANS OSCAR over Death Duty.
6.40 Star Best For Racing Coverage Champion Hunters Chase
The 6:40 is the champion hunters chase. On The Fringe was given a poor ride when placed at Cheltenham and pulled up in the Foxhunters at Aintree.
I think he’ll be much better back on his favourite track and he has won this race for the past 2 years. Balnaslow looks to be the main danger but I think ON THE FRINGE will take this.
7.10 Donohue Marquees Novice Hurdle
The 7:10 is novice hurdle with 10 runners going to post.
This looks a match between the Mullins duo of Riven Light and Montalbano. Riven Light is a promising sort but his jumping has let him down this season.
He jumped better at Fairyhouse last time out in a better race.
His owner Rich Ricci said that Punchestown was always the target and I think RIVEN LIGHT can win today.
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