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The wait for the 2016 Punchestown Festival is over and horse racing fanatics will be in search of the best Punchestown tips available ahead of the world famous five day meeting.

With almost €3 million on offer over the course of the week, Britain’s leading trainers and jockeys flock to Punchestown to battle it out in some of the most competitive races of the season and the racing is as enthralling as it is fiercely competitive.

Punchestown - WEDNESDAY'S TIPS

Brian Healy looks ahead to the third day of the 2016 Punchestown Festival. where eight races go to post on another quality day of horse racing action in Ireland.

The 2016 Punchestown Festival continues into its’ third day of top-class action, and an eight-race card at the County Kildare venue sees two Grade One cntests going to post with the Labdrokes Champion Stayers’ Hurdle, and the Ryanair Novice Chase being the highlight events on the day.

There is also the La Touche Cup over the Cross-country course to look forward to on what promises to be another cracking evening.

3:40 - JLT Handicap Hurdle 2m
4:15 - Three.ie Handicap Chase (Grade B) 2m
4:50 - FBD Cross Country Chase for the La Touche Cup 4m1f
5:30 - Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m
6:05 - Murray Spelman Handicap Hurdle (Grade C) 3m
6:40 - Ryanair Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2m
7:15 - Setanta Sports Mares Novice Hurdle 2m
7:45 - Kildare Post (C & G) INH Flat Race 2m

Brian Healy assesses the day three racecard, and he gives his selections for all eight quality contests on day three of the feature festival.


3:40 - JLT Handicap Hurdle 2m


PROOF READER (11/1, Paddy Power) has looked a fairly progressive sort since being sent hurdling by Neil Mulholland, and the Authorized gelding could get back on the scoresheet here.

A fair sort on the flat for John Gosden, he showed enough in maiden hurdle events to suggest there were certainly races to be won with him; and that proved to be the case on his first start in handicap company when running out a comfortable nine lengths’ winner over Floresco at Taunton.

He won with a little up his sleeve on that occasion, and was far from disgraced when finishing third under a penalty at Sandown in a decent novices’ handicap hurdle, where he was squeezed for room and hampered on the bend after the third last.

That cost him valuable impetus, and he probably used up more energy than desired getting back into the race where he held every chance over the last hurdle but couldn’t sustain his run to the line, going down eventually by six lengths.

He’ll need a few breaks in this much larger field given his style of racing, but he can be competitive in a tricky opener. 


Denis O'Regan can get day three off to a winning start on board Proof Reader.

4:15 - Three.ie Handicap Chase (Grade B) 2m


SIZING CODELCO (7/1, Bet365) can take the odd liberty with his jumping, but when everything clicks he is a useful performer as he showed when winning at Listowel back in September last year, beating rock On Fruity by eight lengths.

Highly tried next time in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown where he got no further than the first fence, he bounced back with an excellent runner-up effort behind Shaneshill at Naas, beaten just over four lengths having tried to make all the running.

His jumping frailties again surfaced at Cheltenham when unseating at the first in the Grand Annual, but Henry de Bromhead’s charge is worth sticking with if he can keep the errors down to a minimum.

His run behind Shaneshill the time before is solid form, and he could be well-treated off this mark if able to repeat that run.

4:50 - FBD Cross Country Chase for the La Touche Cup 4m1f


JOSIES ORDERS (8/11, Bet365) was well backed for the Glenfarclas Cross-country at the Cheltenham Festival, and he ran well in defeat to finish runner-up to Any Currency, who has scored again since.

Enda Bolger hasn’t won this race since 2010, but mounts a serious assault on the race, and his Milan gelding looks to be his strongest chance of ending that drought. 

He was in the process of running a big race in this event twelve months ago when being badly hampered by a faller two out, but he has bounced back in style to win his next three starts in this sphere.

Turned out just two days later after that mishap, he beat Federici readily, and after a pipe-opener to kick start the following season, won back-to-back events at Cheltenham prior to the Festival where he was beaten just one length having been caught further back than ideal.

Compensation awaits the Milan gelding in this contest, and he could prove hard to beat.


Josies Orders can win the La Touche Cup.

5:30 - Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m


On any other year, ALPHA DES OBEAUX (6/4, Coral) would have run out a very impressive winner of the World Hurdle.  However, unfortunately for Mouse Morris’ charge, he had the misfortune to bump into the imperious Thistlecrack who demolished the Saddler Maker gelding and others in his Cheltenham romp.

The Galmoy Hurdle had, however, pulled a long way clear of the remainder and he looks tough to oppose in this contest with Thistlecrack no longer in the running for this event.

That runner-up effort was hs third of the season, having also chased home Arctic Fire and Prince Of Scars at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown respectively, prior to getting off the mark with a defeat of At Fishers Cross at Gowran Park in the Galmoy Hurdle.
Given a break since Cheltenham, he could hold too much firepower against these rivals, and he should prove hard to beat.

6:05 - Murray Spelman Handicap Hurdle (Grade C) 3m


SONNY B (14/1, Ladbrokes) was in the process of running a big race in pursuit of a hat-trick of wins when coming to grief at the last at Fairyhouse last time, but he was far from done with in his battle with Just Cause and looked sure to go close had he not made that mistake and unshipped his rider.

John Walsh’s charge had earlier posted back-to-back successes at Thurles and Cork respectively, having failed to cut much ice on a couple of chase starts previously, and the Spadoun gelding can gain compensation assuming that mishap hasn’t left a mark.

Better off with Just Cause on these revised terms, the return to three miles looks sure to suit the nine-year old, and with underfoot conditions unlikely to offer any problems, he can go well again.


6:40 - Ryanair Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2m


Two of Willie Mullins’ starts in Yorkhill and Vautour have flopped in the preceding days’ cards following runs at Aintree, so it would be hoped that DOUVAN (1/5, Coral) can miss the curse of Aintree and continue his winning streak.

The Arkle Chase winner has been imperious in all starts to date, and is undefeated in nine starts, including when trouncing Sizing John at Cheltenham, and then routing The Game Changer and others in the Maghull at Aintree on his last start.

While he follows a similar path to his stablemates who have met their demise in earlier runs, the Walk In The Park gelding should be capable of disposing of these rivals with a minimum of fuss, and he is impossible to oppose in a contest where most of his rivals have something to prove on the back of moderate last-time efforts.


Douvan is impossible to oppose in the Grade One Novices' Chase.

7:15 - Setanta Sports Mares Novice Hurdle 2m


MISSY TATA (9/4, Bet365) failed to win in a trio of races in France prior to joining Gordon Elliott, but the Astarabad filly has taken his form to a much improved effort since his switch, winning over Lake Champlain at Down Royal, and performing well in defeat behind Rashaan at Fairyhouse when sent into battle in a Fairyhouse Grade Three contest.

Possibly just in need of the run when making his return from a three-month break at Cheltenham in the Fred Winter, finishing fourth behind Diego Du Charmil, the filly was far from disgraced when beaten just four lengths where he was hampered on the run to the last hurdle.

While that clash wouldn’t have affected the result, she features at the bottom of the weights from a very attractive mark, and in receipt of weight from all her rivals in this contest she can go close.


7:45 - Kildare Post (C & G) INH Flat Race 2m


The unbeaten INVITATION ONLY (7/4, William Hill) can give connections another success in this race, following the win of Yorkhill twelve months ago.

The dual-raced Flemensfirth gelding was a winner in the point-to-point sphere prior to joining Willie Mullins, where his sole run to date for the County Carlow trainer has resulted in a smooth success at Navan when beating Thirsty Work by seven lengths.

That rival has won since, and Willie Mullins’ charge won there in the manner of a horse who has plenty more in his locker, and entitled to progress on that outing he should go close. 

2016 PUNCHESTOWN FESTIVAL – DAY THREE SELECTIONS


3.40 - PROOF READER (11/1, Paddy Power

4.15 - SIZING CODELCO (7/1, Bet365

4.50 - JOSIES ORDERS (8/11, Bet365

5.30 - ALPHA DES OBEAUX (6/4, Coral

6.05 - SONNY B (14/1, Ladbrokes)

6.40 - DOUVAN (1/5, Coral

7.15 - MISSY TATA (9/4, Bet365

7.45 - INVITATION ONLY (7/4, William Hill)


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