Punchestown Festival –
(Day 1) (Day 2) (Day 3)
Thursday 26th April 2018
Willie has taken the lead in the race for the Trainer’s Title as we enter Day Three of the Punchestown Festival after a phenomenal Day Two.
Once again he has a very strong hand in today’s action in all the valuable contests, here are my views…..
3.40 – (JLT Handicap Hurdle) (2m)
PARK PADDOCKS – (8/1) (E/W)
(Won very well the last day in a maiden and better ground here could well bring on more improvement.)
LILSHANE – (20/1) (E/W)
(Looks a bit up against here over this trip and off this mark but is a tough, experienced performer and did win the last day. Could grab a place if that’s boosted confidence.)
4.15 – (Pigsbank Handicap Chase) (Grade B) (2m)
THREESTARS – (10/1) (E/W)
(Ran well at Cheltenham the last day and was just edged out by Patrick’s Park the last day. Both of those efforts are strong form and if showing anywhere near that here he could be bang there.)
4.50 – (Cross Country Chase – La Touche Cup) (4m 1f)
AUVERGNAT – (4/1)
(Was ahead of Josie’s Orders here in February and finished a good fourth at Cheltenham once again. Likely to give his running.)
5.30 – (Champion Stayers Hurdle) (Grade 1) (3m)
The Champion Stayers Hurdle is one of the features of the third day of the Punchestown and it’s a Grade 1 contest that’s ridden over three miles.
It see’s Penhill head affairs for Willie Mullins following his win in the Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He’s a current 2/1 shot and is likely to put up a very bold showing here.
Faugheen the star two miler tries his hand over three miles here for the first time in several years and obviously can’t be ruled out, he’s trading at 8/1 which could end up looking very big.
The one i’m going to side with though is BACARDYS. He won at this meeting last year and despite having a difficult season he did seem to be staying at Cheltenham in the Stayers before coming down and Patrick Mullins was on record saying he had a lot of horse under him. He could well bounce back here.
BACARDYS – (7/2)
6.05 – (Alanna Homes Handicap Hurdle) (Grade B) (3m)
GLENLOE – (6/1) (E/W)
(Just missed out at Cheltenham behind Delta Work in a tight finish, is likely to travel strongly again here and could well go close again.)
MINELLA AWARDS – (14/1) (E/W)
(Won this race last year and this has likely been the plan for a while this term. Could well play a part again.)
6.40 – (Ryanair Novices Chase) (Grade 1) (2m)
FOOTPAD – (4/9)
(I’d normally find an each way alternative here to oppose such a short favourite however we are restricted to seven runners which means just the two places on offer and looking down the field i’ve no idea what could grab that place. Petit Mouchoir is the most likely but he was disappointment at Aintree the last day. Footpad if anywhere near his best should be taking this comfortably.)
7.15 – (Mares Novice Hurlde) (Listed) (2m)
GLEN’S HARMONY – (4/1)
(Hasn’t been seen since October but hacked up that day and if in that form again here could well be hard to beat.)
7.45 – (Kildare Post INH Flat Race) (2m)
GETAREASON – (7/4)
(Expensive purchase and showed he had some engine the last day on a track he possibly didn’t like. Likely to come on for that and could be very hard to beat here. Pick of Patrick Mullins.)
NAP: Getareason – 7.45
NB: Glen’s Harmony – 7.15