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Punchestown Festival 2018 – Day 2 Tips

The rain that fell persistently at Punchestown yesterday scuppered the chances of a number of our tips and, with more rain forecast, there is the possibility of the going becoming officially soft during the afternoon.

Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle    

The first Grade 1 today is the Irish Daily Mirror Novices Hurdle over three miles and it sees a rematch between a number of horses who contested the Albert Bartlett, including the winner of that Cheltenham race, Kilbricken Storm.

However, the one to beat is clearly NEXT DESTINATION, who ran so well behind Samcro in the Ballymore. He should stay the trip and could even improve for it.

The biggest danger to the favourite could come from within his own yard as BALLYWARD really caught the eye when fourth behind Kilbricken Storm on his last run. He came from a mile back that day and could be a big threat here if ridden closer to the pace. He is very lightly raced too and so should still be improving, so look out for a one two for the Willie Mullins yard.

Next Destination (win)4.55 Punchestown7/4Paddy Power
Ballyward (ew)4.55 Punchestown7/1Bet365


All odds quoted are subject to change

Coral Punchestown Gold Cup    

Next up is the big race of the meeting, the Punchestown Gold Cup.

It doesn’t look a classic renewal with both Might Bite and Native River absent. That leaves Road To Repsect as the form horse, although the softening of the ground won’t help his chances.

Given their respective prices, BELLSHILL looks the better value as he tanked through the Irish National last time out in the manner of a really classy performer. His stamina ebbed away in the closing stages at Fairyhouse, so this drop back to three miles should be perfect for him.

If there is to be a shock then SIZING GRANITE looks the one capable of providing it.

He has been very hit and miss over recent seasons, but when he’s good he is very good, like when winning a big handicap chase on this card last season. If the return here revives him again he could grab a place at handsome odds, as he has always looked worth a try at this trip.

Bellshill (ew)5.30 Punchestown5/1Unibet
Sizing Granite (ew)5.30 Punchestown40/1Bet365


All odds quoted are subject to change

Racing Post Champion I.N.H Flat Race    

The third of a trio of Grade 1s on the bounce is the bumper, where Willie Mullins’ first three home from the equivalent race at Cheltenham are all set to do battle again.

Mullins also had the fifth in that race, Blackbow, and he might just prove the pick of the Closutton raiders. However, Gordon Elliott is mob handed in the contest too and we think GETAWAY JOHN can steal the prize and show the benefit of missing the hard race plenty of these had at Cheltenham. He nearly beat Cheltenham third, Tornado Flyer, in January and has improved markedly since then.

It is also interesting to see Tom Lacey let DORKING BOY take his chance here as the yard has been doing extremely well in bumpers recently. Lacey clearly thinks his four year old is up to this stern test, so it might be worth taking the hint and supporting his runner each way.

Getaway John (ew)6.05 Punchestown10/1Bet365
Dorking Boy (ew)6.05 Punchestown20/1Bet365


All odds quoted are subject to change

Guinness Handicap Chase    

The day’s big betting heat is the valuable Guinness Handicap.

Colin Tizzard had the first and second in the race last year and we think he can win it again courtesy of SHANAHAN’S TURN who ran so well for us in the Topham last time out.

We also like another horse we tipped last time out – THE PAPARRAZI KID. That was his first run for Gordon Elliott and he fell midrace in the Irish National, so it is impossible to know from that effort if the master trainer has managed to improve him at all, but he does have some good course form in the bag and so is worth a second chance at a big price.

Viconte Du Noyer, Woodland Opera and Jetstream Jack are others to consider.

Shanahan’s Turn (ew)6.40 Punchestown9/2Paddy Power
The Paparrazi Kid (ew)6.40 Punchestown20/1Bet365


All odds quoted are subject to change

Our tips in some of the other races are::

Allardyce (ew)3.40 Punchestown14/1Betfair
Fine Theatre (ew)3.40 Punchestown20/1Bet365
Sometimes A Fox*  (ew)3.40 Punchestown25/1Bet365
Good Thyne Tara (ew)4.20 Punchestown10/1Bet365


All odds quoted are subject to change

*first reserve – if he gets in