It is day four of the Punchestown Festival and the Punchestown Champion Hurdle is the day’s big race.
Punchestown Champion Hurdle
A win here for one of Willie Mullins’ runner could give him the lead in the race for the trainers’ title and he has two of the favourites in Vroum Vroum Mag and Artic Fire, but it is his other pair that we like.
WICKLOW BRAVE ran well in the Champion Hurdle considering he had been off for such a long time prior to that outing. He is entitled to improve for that run and has the first time blinkers to help him further.
DIAKALI did us a nice favour at Fairyhouse recently and the merits of that effort may have been underestimated as some commentators felt he had a soft lead that day. He loves this ground and unlike some of these, could well be peaking at this time of year.
English raider Brain Power looks a massive danger if you can forget his flop at Cheltenham.
|Wicklow Brave (ew)||5.30 Punchestown||14/1||Paddy Power, Betfair|
|Diakali (ew)||5.30 Punchestown||12/1||Paddy Power, Betfair|
Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle
The day’s other big race is the Champion Novices Hurdle and we think Mullins has another big chance here courtesy of BACARDYS.
We tipped him at the Cheltenham Festival recently, but he nearly got brought down that day and had no chance after that incident. Trip and ground look ideal.
It is a cracking contest, with Finians Oscar looking a potential superstar. He could easily win again here, but we think our selection represents better value.
The other one to back is the former decent flat performer, OUTSPOKEN, who encounters this better ground for the first time since switching to hurdles. That should bring about further improvement and that, in turn should see him in the shake up here.
|Bacardys (ew)||6.05 Punchestown||10/1||Paddy Power, Betfair|
|Outspoken (ew)||6.05 Punchestown||14/1||Paddy Power, Betfair|
EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase
It is not easy to identify too many good other betting opportunities on the card, but the exception is the novice handicap chase at 4.20pm.
The two horses that appeal here both ran at the Cheltenham Festival. The first is LE PREZIEN, who seemed outpaced in the Grand Annual and will enjoy this step up in trip.
The other is LAST GOODBYE, who was in the process of running really well behind Tully East in the corresponding race to this there before being badly hampered three out.
|Le Prezien (ew)||4.20 Punchestown||8/1||Bet365, Betfair|
|Last Goodbye (ew)||4.20 Punchestown||8/1||Paddy Power, Betfair|