Punchestown Festival –
(Day 1) (Day 2) (Day 3) (Day 4)
Friday 27th April 2018
We move onto the fourth day of the Punchestown Festival this Friday and we now see Willie Mullins taking a commanding position at the top of the Trainers Championship with a now near 500,000 lead over Gordon Elliott.
Willie had another phenomenal day with several winners, the best of these definitely came in the form of Faugheen bouncing back to his old self to win the Stayers Hurdle in devastating fashion. Footpad also put in another effortless displaying to claim the Ryanair Novice Chase with ultimate ease.
3.40 – KFM Hunters Chase (2m 4f)
ALPHA MALE – (5/4)
(Got a tough task on his hands here trying to see off last year’s winner Das Mooser however i’ll just side with him as he has the benefit of a few runs this term to his name. Should be challenging at the business end.)
4.20 – EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase (Grade A) (2m 4f)
BEL AMI DE SIVOLA – (15/2) (E/W)
(Strong travelling who sort who also stays well, opened his account over fences the last day and could well defy penalty here and improve again.)
KOSHARI – (14/1) (E/W)
(Jumping often leaves a bit to be desired which could be the downfall of him here if the issue hasn’t been addressed, however he has a big engine that gets him through races which gives him a chance.)
4.55 – Mares Handicap Chase (Grade B) (2m 5f)
SYNOPSIS – (5/1) (E/W)
(Won an ordinary looking maiden and had an ideal prep the last day when back in second. On a nice mark and could well go very close here.)
5.30 – Punchestown Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (2m)
The Champion Hurdle is the feature event on Day Four of the Punchestown which is of course a Grade One contest that’s ridden over a distance of two miles.
It’s another hot renewal which see’s the top yards top battalions go at each other again, and we have the horse that many see as the second coming in Samcro heading affairs for Gordon Elliott. He comes here off the back of a perfect unbeaten campaign which saw a stylish win in the Ballymore at Cheltenham the latest effort.
His main opposition looks to come in the form of Melon for Willie Mullins who comes here off the back of a brilliant second in the Champion Hurdle when making Buveur D’air pull out all the stops. That’s rock solid form and he surely has a huge chance here.
Supasundae comes here on the back of a slightly disappointing performance the last day at Aintree, last year’s winner Wicklow Brave lines up as well as quite surpisingly does stablemate Min who ran on Tuesday when fourth in the Champion Chase.
I think he’ll have to be right at the top of his game but I do think SAMCRO will win this. If the same Melon turns up that turned up at Cheltenham the market leader is likely going to have a fight on his hands but I think he’ll see it through and come out on top.
SAMCRO – (10/11)
6.05 – Champion Novice Hurdle – (Grade 1) (2m 4f)
SCARPETA – (6/1) (E/W)
(Been chucked in the deep end since maiden victory for the Mullins stable and has performed well on both occasions. Could well get involved once again here, needs to improve jumping.)
6.40 – Champion Hunters Chase – (3m)
UXIZANDRE – (3/1)
(Winner of the Ryanair back in 2015 for Alan King and was runner up to Un De Sceaux in the Clarence House last year. Goes without saying a very classy perfomer on his day, recently won a point and with top amateur rider booked could take some beating here.)
7.10 – International Novice Hurdle – (2m)
DEAL D’ESTRUVAL – (7/2)
(Ran a cracker in a Leopardstown Handicap when just edged out in second, disappointing the last day at Cheltenham but could put a line through that run and he may well make his presence felt again here.)
ANTEY – (14/1) (E/W)
(Ricci/Mullins horse like Deal D’Estruval and I think this one might outrun his odds. He took a while to win with but he may well come on for that win and improve again here.)
NAP: Uxizandre – 6.40
NB: Synopsis – 4.55