Sunday’s Best Irish racing bets – Tips for Punchestown and Cork

Sunday best Irish racing best at Cork and Punchestown.Sunday best Irish racing best at Cork and Punchestown.

Two meetings head to post in Ireland on Sunday and we’ve picked out our best Irish racing bets for Cork and Punchestown.

With two meetings going to post in the UK on Sunday there are also two taking place in Ireland over the sticks with classy fixtures unfolding at both Cork and Punchestown where each stages Graded racing.

The Grade Two Hilly Way Chase is the feature of the card at Cork that also stages two Grade Three contests; while the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Chase is the highlight of Punchestown’s card with a cracking line-up featuring Min, Allaho, Samcro, Chris’s Dream and Battleoverdoyen amongst the participants.

The ITV Racing cameras will be in attendance at both fixtures to capture the best of the day’s racing and we’ve assessed both of the day’s cards to pick out our best Irish racing bets at Cork and Punchestown.


1:40 Punchestown – John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m4½f

Arguably the best race of the season so far with a superb line-up of top-class chasers including the likes of Min, Samcro and Allaho. However it might pay to stick with the slightly less fashionable CHRIS’S DREAM to come out on top despite dropping back in trip.

Henry de Bromhead’s Mahler gelding went from strength to strength over fences last term, winning twice with succeses in in the Troytown Chase and the Red Mills Chase prior to finishing a fair tenth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup during the Cheltenham Festival in March where he possibly just found his stamina stretched over the Gold Cup trip.

While he gets three miles well as he’s proven in the past, he should cope with the return to shorter given his Red Mills Chase victory came at this yardage and his stamina for further could prove an asset in the deep ground given this race may be run at a decent pace.

With fitness assured following his neck second behind The Storyteller in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal in October he can build on that effort and it would be no surprise to see him going well here for all he possibly just needs to raise his game a touch.

Sunday best Irish racing bets. Chris's Dream can win the feature Grade One at Punchestown for trainer Henry de Bromhead.

Sunday best Irish racing bets. Chris’s Dream can win the feature Grade One at Punchestown for trainer Henry de Bromhead.

1:55 Cork – Kerry Group Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase (Grade 3) (4yo+) 2m½f

An open renewal of this Grade Three contest could see SCARLET AND DOVE get back on the winning trail and Joseph O’Brien’s charge could go close.

The Jeremy mare has only five career starts to her name but she’s won twice in a bumper and over hurdles at Navan back in March prior to running well over further at Limerick on her final outing of the campaign in a Grade Three contest.

Switched to the larger obstacles for her reappearance she ran well for second behind Yukon Lil over this course and distance and that run and experience will surely have brought her on. Her jumping was a little stratchy on occasions in that debut but she can be expected to do better now she’s had a run and open to improvement she can go close.

2:30 Cork – Kerry Group Stayers Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) (4yo+) 3m

DARRENS HOPE is thriving at present, winning her last two starts in decent style and the Oscar mare can take another step up the ladder with a third successive win taking a rise in class.

Robert Murphy’s charge possibly had the run of the race when scoring over course and distance last time where he had the reopposing Ragnar Lodbrok behind; but she appeared to do the job a shade comfortably against that rival when adding to her earlier defeat of Champagne Diva at Ballinrobe in October.

She made all the running in her latest success which was a Listed contest, scoring by seven lengths although the runner-up could do better if brushing up her jumping and she meets the selection on 3lbs better terms this time around which might help close the gap.

However the Oscar mare could have more to offer and she picked up really well in the straight to hint that there was still further improvement to come. It would be no surprise then to see her continue on the up and with conditions ideal again she can complete her three-timer.

Best Irish racing bets. Trainer Noel Meade can saddle winners at both Irish racemeetings on Sunday.

Best Irish racing bets. Trainer Noel Meade can saddle winners at both Irish racemeetings on Sunday.

2:40 Punchestown – GAIN Supporting Laois GAA Beginners Chase (4yo+) 2m

IFICUDIWUD is a sporting each-way pick on just his second start over the larger obstacles and the Trans Island gelding can do better than his recent fifth in this sphere at Limerick.

Noel Meade’s charge was progressive over hurdles, winning twice either side of a break with victories at Roscommon and Fairyhouse although his season ended on a low note when unseating his rider at Naas back in March.

Possibly just in need of the run when doing too much in front at Limerick on his return, he offered encouragement as a potentially decent chaser in finishing fifth, fading once headed turning in but he should strip fitter for that and he can put his fitness to good use this time where the drop back to the minimum trip could help.

With a good claiming rider up again to take off 5lbs he can improve with his reappearance effort under his belt and no surprise to see a better effort this time around.