I COULDN’T make head nor tail of day 1 at the Punchestown Festival yesterday (Tuesday) so I decided not to have a bet and now there are a whole slew of horses that I fancy on day 2. It’s a funny old game.
I like two in this at big prices. They are GOING FOR BROKE and SHAMIRAN. Going for Broke is being sent over from Wales by Rebecca Curtis and I doubt they are just coming over for the Guinness. He has looked promising on good ground and should still have improvement in him in handicaps.
Shamiran has won the race three times including the last two runnings and although he is now 12 years old he is on a similar handicap mark and clearly absolutely loves it here. He is such an obvious one that I would be absolutely kicking myself if he won again at 25/1 and I didn’t back him.
They always say you shouldn’t back handicappers going into Grade 1 races but I have decided to make an exception for PRESENTING PERCY. He will probably have to abandon the idea of being a handicapper after he absolutely bolted up in the Pertemps at Cheltenham because he has now shot up the ratings. That was a very competitive race on paper against some more experienced horses and although this is a step up into a Grade 1 race it is against novices and I think Percy can stamp his authority over them.
Penhill is the obvious alternative but I don’t think the form of the Albert Bartlett wasn’t particularly strong this year and Presenting Percy looks good value at 11/4.
The Punchestown Gold Cup is a fascinating race this year with the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner (Sizing John) in attendance along with CONEYGREE, the winner of that race from 2015. The latter has not had his troubles to seek since then, having only run twice due to injury. It’s not clear if the Bradstocks have him back to 100% or not and we will only know after the race but he is definitely the value bet for me.
Sizing John is classy and resilient but he has had a tough old season and it’s not often that the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner comes here and follows up so he is too short for me. Concerns over Coneygree’s wellbeing and whether the ground is ideal for him are balanced out by the larger price so I’m going to take a punt and hope that Coneygree is fresh and well and ready to run a huge race.
No tipping prizes for backing 2/1 winners but FAYONAGH was so impressive at Cheltenham and won me a few quid. She has Jamie Codd on board again, she gets a mare’s allowance in the race and I suspect she could be a wonder mare so I’m happy to have a dabble again despite the pretty short price because I don’t think the opposition are in the same class.
Someday is the potential alternative because Jessica Harrington seems to think very highly of her. There is no each way play in the race though given there are only 7 runners and Someday still has to prove that he is the classy horse they think he is. Fayonagh has that stunning performance at Cheltenham to back up her claims.
RIGHTDOWNTHEMIDDLE looked like he just ran out of puff at Cheltenham last time and he should be more competitive here off a lower Irish handicap mark and over a shorter distance. He looks the most likely winner to me and we can get an each way price about him.
So those are the tips for Day 2. I may be back with some more tomorrow and Friday because there are one or two that have caught my eye already. Stay tuned.
- Going for Broke – 1 pt each way (25/1 with Skybet – paying 6 places 1/4 odds)
- Shamiran – 1 pt each way (25/1 with Bet365 – paying 5 places 1/4 odds)
- Presenting Percy – 4 pt win (11/4 with various firms)
- Coneygree – 2 pt win (13/2 with various firms)
- Rightdownthemiddle – 2 pt each way (13/2 with Paddy Power – 4 places at 1/5 odds)
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