Wednesday 27th April 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Punchestown Festival 2022
“Welcome to my preview for Day 2 of the Punchestown Festival, I hope you enjoyed the Day 1 preview where all three of my picks landed in the money, Party Central getting the job done in the opener at 7/2 and then Farout and Great Bar placing at 15/2 and 12/1 respectively.”
I’m kicking things off with the 3:40 which is a Handicap Hurdle that’s contested over two miles and four furlongs. As you’d expect this is extremely competitive, but I’ve taken a chance on an English raider in the form of Thanksforthehelp at 15/2 for David Pipe and Shane Fitzgerald. He arrives here having been placed in three novice hurdles so far this season, without managing to get his head in-front. However, his pedigree gives the impression that this step up in trip should be ideal and he gets a considerable amount of weight off a lot of the market principals here.
It’s the 5:20 I’m taking a look at next which is the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle over three miles. The unbeaten Albert Bartlett winner The Nice Guy sets the standard at the top of the market here for Willie Mullins and will likely be tough to beat. I have tried to take him on though, and I’ve done so with Minella Crooner at 4/1 for Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy, who enjoyed great success on the opening day here. He had to miss Cheltenham, however on his penultimate outing he finished second in Grade 1 company at the Dublin Racing Festival behind Minella Cocooner, who he reopposes here. On that day he made an error two out which cost him momentum at a vital stage, yet still ran on strongly to finish second, I think he’s a very smart horse who also won his maiden hurdle over course and distance.
Moving onto the 5:55 which is the big one in the Punchestown Gold Cup, a Grade 1 affair that’s contested over three miles. This is an absolutely cracking renewal of the race with all of the big guns lining up against each-other. All of them have been to either Cheltenham and Aintree so they’ll all be carrying a bit of extra baggage from those excursions, I think this can go to Allaho though at 15/8 for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. The Cheveley Park Stud owned eight-year-old was electric once again at Cheltenham in the Ryanair when bolting up by 14 lengths, which has him arriving here having won all three of his outings this term. He’s one of the best chasers in training and whilst this is probably his toughest assignment to date over a trip that probably isn’t ideal, if he’s anywhere near his best he’ll be very hard to beat.
Concluding my preview is the 7:05 which is a Grade A Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs. I’m going to keep this reletively quick, as I think this is all about Ciel De Neige who’s currently trading at a best price of 3/1 for combination of Mark Walsh and Willie Mullins. I just have the opinion that this horse has considerably more progression in him than a lot of his rivals here, and whilst he might not be as battle hardened to this type of test as some of these, I think he’s got a lot more to offer. He was narrowly denied by a nose last time in a Grade 3 at Thurles and is three out of four over fences, and was even fancied for the Arkle at Cheltenham. If getting a bit of luck in the run here I think he could take a bit of stopping.