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Punchestown Tips: Day One Tuesday

This week’s Punchestown 5 day meeting brings the curtain down on the Irish National Hunt season and it looks to be an absolute belter.

Gordon Elliott should win the trainers title but a big week from Willie Mullins could change all that.

3.40 Kildare Hunt Club Fr Sean Breen Memorial Chase For The Ladies Perpetual Cup

Tuesday’s opening race may not be the best of races on paper but it’s one of the oldest races on the Irish racing calendar.

This banks race has opened the meeting for many a year now and it is always a great race to watch as are all the banks races at this meeting.

Enda Bolger is known as the king of the banks in Ireland and he has dominated the banks races here with his horses over the years.

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He’s won this race 6 of the last 7 years and has two runners in this years renewal but neither of which look to be outstanding horses though.

It looks as if Equal Status is the leading hope from the Bolger yard. This horse burst a blood vessel on it’s last start which is worrying.

First time cheekpieces could make a difference today though, so rule this one out at your peril.

There is a horse in this that has been in tremendous form over the banks.

That is the Sean Slevin trained TREO EILE who has won back to back races over the banks at Lingstown.

The form of those races is strong for the level and this horse ran a nice race in this last year behind Enniskillen and Need to Know who are in the field again.

Based on his recent form he holds both of those and should confirm placings with them today at 7/2.

4.20 Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

The 4:20 is the Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle. Most of these faced each other in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Labaik was the surprise winner that day over Melon, Cilaos Emery, Pingshou and Bunk off Early.

Labaik has previously refused to start in 2 of his races and Gordon Elliott nearly didn’t run him in the race.

The horse has its quirks but undoubtedly he has a tremendous engine too – If he jumps off in this race he is sure to be bang there yet again.

There is always that doubt though so you’re taking a risk when betting on this horse.

Melon was the only one to get close to Labaik at Cheltenham and could go better today.

He would have been a wide margin winner if Labaik had not of run and given that it was only Melon’s 2nd ever run I think he ran out of his skin.

The experience of that race combined with natural progression could well given improve him past Labaik.

He is no doubt the safer bet given that there are no doubts with this one starting.

Pingshou greatly boosted the form by hacking up at Aintree since but was a long way behind these at Cheltenham though.

Bunk Off Early ran very well to a point in the Supreme but faded out of it off the home turn.

I don’t think the course suited him and he could well return to better form today. Forge Meadow is a huge price in this based on its Grade 2 win at Naas earlier in the season.

Jessica Harrington’s horses are in tremendous form and she always has lot’s of winners at this meeting every year.

Forge Meadow might be worth a small each way bet but the one I’m going for here is MELON, I think the experience taken from his last run will bring out more improvement in him and I’m on board at 5/4.

4.55 Killashee Handicap Hurdle (Grade B)

The 4:55 is a handicap hurdle due to be run just over 2 miles. I think 6 of the 11 runners have winnable chances.

Tudor City ran a cracker when 2nd in the handicap hurdle at Leopardstown in January. This horse hacked up at the Fairyhouse festival a week or so back and comes here in top form.

He’s only up 4lb for that win and could still be well handicapped. Western Boy was running a big race in this race last year until slipping up after 2 out when looking like the winner.

Hasn’t run over hurdles since and has surely been kept for this race again – the lack of a recent run is slightly off putting but he’s an outsider with a chance.

Veinard is another who ran a good race when 2nd at Fairyhouse recently from out of the handicap.

Tudor City finished in front of him in that race at Leopardstown in January but Veinard is weighted to reverse the form today.

Light That was in behind the both of them that day but is weighted to reverse the form with both today.

This horse has had two recent runs on the flat to blow the cobwebs away. He won on the 2nd of those runs 10 days ago.

He’ll love this ground and previously mentioned his trainer Jessica Harrington does so well at this meeting. Adreamistillalive and Roconga are big dangers though. Adreamstillalive is a tough mare who is going for 5 wins in a row.

She has a chance of winning again but may just be punching above her weight today. Roconga was impressive when winning on the flat recently at Cork.

He may be a better horse on the flat though than over hurdles. He has to improve over hurdles to take this.

A good few of these have strong chances in this but I’m going to go for LIGHT THAT each way at 16/1.

5.30 BoyleSports Champion Chase (Grade 1)

The 5:30 is the Grade one 2 mile Champion Chase. Most of these have faced each other before and most of them ran at the Cheltenham Festival this season. Un De Sceaux and Fox Norton look to be the main two in this race based on the betting and ratings.

Un De Sceaux has had a great season and has won three Grade 1’s in a row. There was a doubt over him getting the trip in the Ryanair but he silenced the doubters that day in regards to the trip. I do question the form of that race though somewhat. It was a diluted race.

Empire of Dirt was not his usual self and Sub Lieutenant was only 1l behind Un De Sceaux. That horse then finished a 6l 2nd to Fox Norton at the Aintree festival. Fox Norton ran a stormer when 2nd in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

He got going too late that day and the step up in trip at Aintree really suited him next time. He is a solid contender and is rarely out of the first 3.

I just question the drop back in trip for this one again today. No doubt he’ll be finishing the strongest of them all but a few of these may get away from him around this track.

The main two will have their follower’s today but I’m going to go with a different horse in GOD’S OWN.

This horse is 2 from 2 at this meeting and always saves his best for the backend of the season. This horse shocked a lot of people when he beat Vautour in this very race last year.

That was a career best and he clearly loves this track. He has not been in top form this season and has yet to win. He disappointed in the Champion Chase and Melling Chase but I think this race has been the main aim all season.

He’s the value bet in the race and I think he can make it 3 from 3 at this festival at 6/1.

6.05 Goffs Land Rover Bumper

The 6:05 is the Goffs Land Rover Bumper. It’s a wide open race and there is not much form to go on with most of these. Early Doors was very impressive when winning a bumper on debut by 9l over this course and distance.

The runner up failed to win next time out but Early Doors was heavily eased that day in the finish. The form might not be great but it was the way he won that was so impressive. Joseph O’Brien has got a really good prospect for the future with this one.

Rapid Escape rates the big danger though.

This horse won his point to point by 10l on his only run. Hard to weigh up the form of that win but given the connections he is sure to in with a good chance of winning.

Of the others Spin a Yarn and Bootcamp are one’s to watch out for on debut.

It’s a tough race to confidently pick a winner but I’m going to go with EARLY DOORS.

6.40 Growise Champion Novice Chase (Grade 1)

The 6:40 is the Grade one 3 mile champion novice chase. Some of these ran in the RSA at Cheltenham or the JLT. Disko looks to have a great chance of winning this based on his win over Irish National winner Our Duke earlier in the season.

This big grey gelding ran a decent race at Cheltenham when 3rd behind Yorkhill in the JLT.

I think he’ll be better over this extra trip and he’ll be able to dictate the race better from the front. Annibale Fly and Acapella Bourgeois are dangers but I really like the chances of DISKO in this race.

He looks the best bet of the day.

7.15 Dooley Insurances Flat Race

The last race on the card the 7:15 is another bumper and it sees 23 runners go to post. Most of these have never run and it could well be stick a pin in the page job.

It could prove profitable to watch the market in this race. The ones with the money behind them could well be the ones to be on. Gordon Elliott and Jessica Harrington have multiple runners in this. Jamie Codd has the pick of the Elliott and Gigginstown runners.

He has chosen to ride Stooshie who has the best form in the book of those that have run. His 4th to Early Doors and 2nd to Shady Operator is decent form.

If Early Doors wins the bumper earlier on in the card this one could well end up a short price. He was only beaten a neck last time out and the experience under his belt will be a huge advantage. Jessica Harrington run’s 3 horses.

Jetez is interesting on breeding given his close relation to Jetson and Jezki. Both of those both won on debut and this one has a chance to do the same. It is interesting though that Kate Harrington, Jessica’s daughter rides Texie Rexie in the race instead.

Will be interesting to see which one of these is the most fancied in the market. I think Jetez could be the best of her three runners. The well named Bergkamp is a standout on it’s name alone.

The yard has a great strike rate. Mall Dini and Presenting Percy who run in the same colours both turned out to be Cheltenham festival winners.

It is to be seen if this horse has the class as his namesake but I would not rule out a good run today. Musical Slave is the sole runner of English based trainer Philip Hobbs on this card. This horse is from a very good U.K national hunt family.

The fact alone that J P McManus owns this newcomer is a strong sign. I think this one will be in the shakeup. Tower Bridge is an interesting runner for Joseph O’Brien who has done so well in these races. This horse cost a whopping 240 thousand when a yearling.

He never saw the track for Aidan O’Brien but now runs for the first time as a 4 year old today. It really is hard to tell which of the newcomers will perform the best today so I’m going to go for the one with the proven form in STOOSHIE.

Musical Slave and Jetez could well be the main dangers.

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