Irish horse racing best bets – Day two Punchestown Festival tips
Punchestown Festival day two tips through the card
The second day of top-class horse racing action at the Punchestown Festival is upon us and we’ve picked out our day two Punchestown Festival tips through the card.
Another top-class evening of horse racing action over the sticks is in store for punters with the second day of the Punchestown Festival in Ireland where another eight-race card awaits. The day two feature race is the Grade One Punchestown Gold Cup and it is one of three classy Grade One contests on the card which also features competitive handicap action.
We’ve taken a look through the day’s big fixture in Ireland and pick out our day two Punchestown Festival tips through the card and best bets on a fantastic day of Irish jumps racing action.
IRISH HORSE RACING BEST BETS – DAY TWO PUNCHESTOWN FESTIVAL TIPS
3:40 Punchestown – Adare Manor Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle (4yo+ 95-123) 2m4½f
Lightly-raced OSCAR THYNE could be worth an interest returning to hurdles and Gavin Cromwell’s charge can go close here.
The Oscar gelding has had just three starts over hurdles, winning at Kilbeggan back in September last year before possibly being stretched by three miles at Killarney next time. He subsequently went chasing and faced an impossible task behind Monkfish at Fairyhouse before shaping better than the result when seventh at Down Royal just before Christmas.
He’s since run out a ready winner at Clonmel over fences and a mark of 116 returning to hurdles for this contest might underestimate him given he remains potentially progressive and could have more improvement to come.
With the underfoot conditions unlikely to faze him and still unexposed as a hurdler he could post a big run here and no surprise to see him in the mix.
4:15 Punchestown – Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final (4yo+) 2m4½f
This looks open and competitive and a chance is taken on FEELGOOD ISLAND to get off the mark over hurdles.
Elizabeth Doyle’s charge has looked progressive in his handful of starts over hurdles, making the frame in all completed starts which includes a win at Down Royal just before Christmas where the No Risk At All gelding beat Vintage Prosecco by two lengths.
He’s since finished third and runner-up latest at Wexford where he was beaten only a half-length behind Bythesametoken, giving the impression he’d benefit from a stiffer test. He ought to see out this trip and the better ground could prove beneficial.
Open to further improvement he can go well here and every chance he can get involved at the finish for his shrewd yard.
4:50 Punchestown – Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4½f
DECIMATION has shown good form already in his five hurdles starts this term, finishing in the runner-up berth four times and registering a win at Down Royal in February where he was impressive in beating Hallowed Star by ten lengths.
He had found only some smart types too good for him in previous runs and he bumped into another good sort in Ashdale Bob on his latest start at Fairyhouse in a Grade Two contest where he was only denied by a neck having battled back well once headed on the run to the final obstacle.
The front pair had pulled well clear of previously unbeaten Gentlemansgame in that contest and the Milan gelding could well have better to come. This doesn’t look quite as strong a race as that Fairyhouse assignment and with further progress anticipated from Henry De Bromhead’s charge he can get back to winning ways here.
5:20 Punchestown – Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) 3m
TELLMESOMETHINGGIRL has really progressed well this campaign, winning four of six starts since last June and registering a Grade Two win in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival where she was impressive in delivering a five lengths’ beating to her rivals.
Henry De Bromhead’s charge steps up in distance for this crack at a Grade One prize and so has stamina to prove; but she won twice over 2m 4f over hurdles last summer and shapes as if she’ll get further despite showing plenty of speed at Cheltenham over the shorter trip.
That win has been franked with the fourth going on to win a Grade One at Fairyhouse with the sixth finishing fourth in the same race; while the eighth horse has won a Listed contest since and there could be better to come from the Stowaway mare if the longer trip unlocks another level of improvement.
She also gets weight from her field of rivals as the sole mare in the field and representing a yard that is enjoying a good spell at present she can win again.
5:55 Punchestown – Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1) (5yo+) 3m½f
KEMBOY took this prize in 2019 to hand Ruby Walsh a farewell Grade One success and Willie Mullins’ charge can repeat the dose to take this Grade One prize for a second time in three years.
The Voix Du Nord gelding had endured a disappointing 2019/20 campaign, failing to win in three starts and build on his impressive season the campaign before. But he’s come back to his best this term, twice finishing runner-up behind Presenting Percy and A Plus Tard respectively before readily dispatching The Storyteller to get back to winning ways in the Irish Gold Cup.
Not for the first time he was disappointing at Cheltenham in the Gold cup, trailing home a well-beaten ninth; but that track clearly doesn’t suit him and a return to a flatter track will be to his benefit. He’s high-class when everything clicks and and he has a decent record at this venue with two wins from three while the switch to front-running seems to suit him.
He had reopposing Al Boum Photo behind when winning this in 2019 and he can come out on top once more here.
6:30 Punchestown – ITM – Supporting Irish Store Sales Champion INH Flat Race (Grade 1) (4-7yo) 2m½f
Unbeaten Sir Gerhard and KILCRUIT lock horns again after the former came out on top in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival; but the latter was slightly unfortunate having conceded first run and the Stowaway gelding can exact revenge this time around.
Although he was beaten on his debut at Clonmel last March for Anthony Mullins he won both starts for Willie Mullins in impressive style following his move to Closutton, routing two strong fields of rivals at Navan and Leopardstown.
The latter came in Grade One company where he had 12 lengths to spare over Letsbeclearaboutit and he was running down the eventual winner at Cheltenham despite that one stealing a march on rivals turning in.
There was only a half-length between the pair at the line but things could be different this time around and he is taken to turn things around here despite Patrick Mullins siding with his unbeaten stablemate having ridden the selection to both wins. Still, Derek O’Connor is a very able deputy and while the Mullins pair look set to dominate this contest the Stowaway gelding can exact some revenge here.
7:00 Punchestown – Guinness Handicap Chase (Grade A) (5yo+) 2m4f
EMBITTERED could be worth chancing with the step up in trip a potential source of improvement and the Fame And Glory gelding can open his chase win account at the sixth attempt.
Joseph O’Brien’s charge had placed in the point-to-point ranks prior to showing good form in bumpers, winning here before making the frame in successive Grade One contests behind Envoi Allen and Colreevy respectively.
He then won on his hurdles debut at Naas before turning in a number of excellent efforts in Graded company and finished third in the 2020 County Hurdle. The subsequent switch to chasing this term has yielded more excellent runs in Graded company and he was in the process of running well when falling in the Grand Annual for which he was sent off favourite.
Since that effort he’s been dropped 2lbs by the assessor while Conor McNamara’s 3lbs claim adds further credence to his chances; he should be competitive then off an effective 141 rating and still with the potential for better he can go well with the longer trip unlikely to be an issue for him.
7:35 Punchestown – Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares INH Flat Race (Grade 3) (4-7yo) 2m½f
Having won a Grade Two at Leopardstown in February, Grangee was possibly just caught too far back in the Champion Bumper but still ran respectably into sixth; but GLAN has looked a high-class prospect and comes into this race unbeaten in bumpers since joining Denise Foster from the point-to-point ranks.
The Getaway mare had the reopposing Powerful Out behind when scoring at Punchestown back in September when last seen and that race has thrown up a couple of subsequent winners although on balance of the form she has a bit to find with Willie Mullins’ charge.
However she’s open to plenty of improvement in this sphere and represents a top yard so will likely have more to come. She can progress further on her reappearance and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her land her hat-trick at a course she’s won over before.