Today’s card at Punchestown lacks the strength in depth of some of the earlier days and decent punting opportunities are harder to find.
Punchestown Champion Hurdle
The big race is the Champion Hurdle, where MY TENT OR YOURS will surely be too hot for Vroum Vroum Mag to handle, provided he is over hard races at Aintree and Cheltenham.
It is tempting to take them both on, but alternatives are thin on the ground.
Henry De Bromhead’s yard is out of form which is a worry for Identity Thief fans, whilst Sempre Medici ran a shocker in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Fethard Player is the one on the up, but he has a big class gap to bridge.
Paddy Power are offering money back, as a free bet of up to £25, if your horse finishes second to the SP favourite in all races at Punchestown today, which is a nice potential saver with Vroum Vroum Mag likely to go off favourite.
|My Tent Or Yours (win)||5.30 Punchestown||9/4||Paddy Power|
EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase
The day’s first valuable contest is the Novice Handicap Chase at 4.20pm, and having had a winner here yesterday with Cup Final we think Nicky Henderson can visit the winners’ enclosure again courtesy of FULL SHIFT.
This is his trip and ground, and he followed up a fine fifth at the Cheltenham Festival with another good effort when third (on unsuitably soft ground) at Ayr last time out.
Willie Mullins’ runners are always big dangers, and Avant Tout must go close, but the fast improving MARLBROOK could still have more to offer and would relish any softening of the ground with showers forecast.
|Full Shift (ew)||4.20 Punchestown||10/1||Bet365|
|Marlbrook (ew)||4.20 Punchestown||6/1||Sky Bet|
Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle
JER’S GIRL is rightfully all the rage for the Champion Novice Hurdle at 6.05pm. She was so impressive at Fairyhouse last time out and everything looks in her favour here.
Her two market rivals, A Toi Phil and Disko, look vulnerable, so at bigger prices THOMAS HOBSON and JETT could fill the frame at least.
Thomas Hobson disappointed at Cheltenham, but he apparently resented the fitting of a first time tongue tie that day and should bounce back to form with the tie missing today.
Jett represents the in form Jessica Harrington yard and will enjoy stepping back up in trip to 2m 4f.
We would suggest backing Jer’s Girl to win to cover your stakes on the two outsiders.
|Jer’s Girl (win)||6.05 Punchestown||7/4||Bet365|
|Thomas Hobson (ew)||6.05 Punchestown||8/1||Paddy Power|
|Jett (ew)||6.05 Punchestown||14/1||Paddy Power|
Racing FX Flat Race
As ever, Mullins has a strong hand in the bumper, with SOME NECK expected to relish the extra two furlongs of this contest. His biggest rival could be Monberg Notorious, who also looks ready for a stiffer test of stamina.
|Some Neck (ew)||7.10 Punchestown||9/2||Sky Bet|
Racing Post Champion Hunters Chase
Finally, On The Fringe looks to seal an incredible achievement in the finale by claiming a hat-trick of wins at the three spring festivals, two years in a row.
It is a huge ask, and whilst he is understandably a short price to achieve it, we think MARITO can be the party pooper, having got so close to On The Fringe at Cheltenham last time out. Paint The Clouds will surely be in the mix again too provided the ground doesn’t deteriorate.
|Marito (ew)||7.45 Punchestown||4/1||Paddy Power|