Punchestown Festival Tips

Looking for Punchestown Festival tips? Our experts have tips for every race during the 2019 Festival and provided their NAPs for each of the five days.

TimeRaceOur TipOur Tip
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2019 Punchestown Festival Ante-Post Tips

DAY ONE
4:20pm Herald Champion Novice Hurdle KLASSICAL DREAMGET 10/11 HERE
5:30pm BoyleSports Champion ChaseUN DE SCEAUXGET 9/2 HERE
6:40pm Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase DELTA WORKGET 13/8 HERE

2019 Punchestown Gold Cup Preview

I remain unconvinced that Kemboy truly is one of the best in the business and there’s plenty of value to be found backing AL BOUM PHOTO, in what is likely to be a biblical clash.

On his only outing before Cheltenham, Al Boum Photo comfortably dealt with Total Recall and Invitation Only with a composed display at Tramore. Despite Mullins’ fears that this year’s Gold Cup was coming a little early in his career, Al Boum Photo proved again he had matured and improved during the course of the last year, staying on brilliantly to hold off Anibale Fly and Bristol De Mai quite convincingly.

There’s no reason why this mercurial talent cannot progress even further over the coming seasons and I expect Al Boum Photo – and Paul Townend – to make up for that farcical exit 12 months ago by claiming Punchestown Gold Cup glory.

Punchestown Festival Day Two Tips

5:30 – Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) 3m

MINELLA INDO (10/3, Ladbrokes) travelled really well throughout the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the recent Cheltenham Festival, appearing to readily brush aside runner-up Commander of Fleet, and Henry De Bromhead’s charge can confirm that form here.

The Beat Hollow gelding has improved with every start over hurdles, and he has plenty of further scope to improve judging on that breakthrough success where he had two lengths to spare over his nearest rival who reopposes along with Allaho who could only finish third having beaten the selection when the pair clashed previously at Clonmel.

A more patient ride by Rachael Blackmore certainly reaped dividends, and the six-year old was noted travelling strongly throughout the race if perhaps a little keen; but having jumped to the front three out, he came clear turning in and was always holding on to the line.

His task is to back up that run and prove his 50/1 win wasn’t a fluke; but he could have plenty of improvement still to come, and given the way he saw off both the runner-up and third that day – both reoppose – he is worth chancing to find another jolt of improvement to follow up.

Punchestown Festival Day Three Tips

If Defi Du Seuil was to feature in the final field here, then he would be my selection, has I think he’s been the most impressive novice chaser on the circuit this season. Sadly, his odds suggest the JLT winner hasn’t sufficiently recovered from the knock that ruled Philip Hobbs’ stable star out of Aintree.

If Hardline can return to the sort of form which saw him beat Getabird to a Grade One at Limerick over Christmas, then he could be an excellent each-way bet. He, like many of the other entrants, struggled in a messy renewal of the Arkle, with Duc Des Genievres coming out on top. Willie Mullins’ pulled away up the Cheltenham hill like a very classy horse and has to be in with a strong chance. A stronger test of stamina over two miles is what he really wants, however, and my preference is with the slightly speedier ORNUA (5/1 Paddy Power).

I had always considered Henry De Bromhead’s charge to be a little below Grade One standard and was surprised to see Ornua entered in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown. Despite the ground softening well beyond ideal, Dylan Robinson’s mount led the field along at break-neck speed and – despite getting caught by Dynamite Dollars in the final furlong – he didn’t wilt under the pressure in the closing stages.

Rachael Blackmore took the ride at Cheltenham, where a poor jump half-way through saw Ornua exit proceedings. De Bromhead’s charge bounced back with an impressive performance at Aintree earlier this month, holding off Us An Them and Destrier under an excellent ride by Davy Russell.

Good ground would be a huge boost to Ornua’s chances, but the eight-year-old proved at Sandown that he’s capable of running to his best on a softer surface. If he stays on his feet, then this hardy front-runner could give Duc Des Genievres quite the mountain to climb.

Punchestown Festival Schedule

Table Title

DAYTIMERACECOURSE
TuesdayTBAGrowise Champion Novice ChasePunchestown
TuesdayTBAPunchestown Champion ChasePunchestown
TuesdayTBAHerald Champion Novice HurdlePunchestown
WednesdayTBAPunchestown Gold CupPunchestown
WednesdayTBAChampion INH Flat RacePunchestown
WednesdayTBAIrish Daily Mirror Novice HurdlePunchestown
ThursdayTBAWorld Series HurdlePunchestown
ThursdayTBARyanair Novice ChasePunchestown
FridayTBAPunchestown Champion HurdlePunchestown
FridayTBATattersalls Ireland Champion Novice HurdlePunchestown
SaturdayTBAChampion Four Year Old HurdlePunchestown

The Punchestown Festival

The Irish National Hunt racing season draws to a close around the end of April each year and traditionally closes with the five-day Irish Hunt Festival held at Punchestown Racecourse, County Kildare, Northern Ireland.

This festival is regarded as the most important in Irish National Hunt racing and includes many important races, including the Champion Chase, the Champion Hurdle and the Punchestown Gold Cup. The festival has been running in some form since the 1870s.

Punchestown Racecourse

The racecourse at Punchestown is somewhat unique as it hosts music events as well as horse racing. World-famous acts such as AC/DC, Eminem, Bon Jovi and U2 have played at Punchestown.

As for the course itself, County Kildare is prone to bad weather so the going is more likely to be heavy than firm during the festival.

Famous Punchestown Winners

The first day of the festival features the Punchestown Champion Chase – a two mile race for five-year-olds and up. Sizing Europe is probably the most famous double winner of this race, triumphing in 2012 and 2014, but five other horses have won the race twice. The legendary Hurricane Fly is perhaps the most successful horse ever at the festival, winning the Champion Hurdle four times in succession between 2010 and 2013.

Upcoming Festivals

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