Racing Preview: Punchestown and Classics On The Way

Punchestown is poised for another fantastic five days of Festival racing

Will Reilly looks forward to this week’s racing

It’s a huge week for racing. Not only will Punchestown stage the fantastic five-day Punchestown Festival, but Newmarket will play host to the first Classics of the British season – the Qipco 2,000 Guineas on Saturday and the Qipco 1,000 Guineas on Sunday.

The midweek action in England is highlighted by Ascot (Wednesday), a card containing two Group 3 races, including the Sagaro Stakes (a trial for the Ascot Gold Cup) and a Listed contest.

Just for good measure, the first leg of American racing’s Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, will be run at Churchill Downs in Kentucky on Saturday.

It is, indeed, quite a week for racing.

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Racing in Ireland between Monday April 29 and Sunday May 5 – the British racing follows on after the Irish racing

Monday April 29

Naas, 5:15pm – A turf flat card that includes the following races:

  • €45,000 Woodlands Stakes (a Listed Race for 3yo+, 5f)
  • €50,000 Blackwater Handicap (one mile, 3yo)

Tuesday April 30

Punchestown, 3:40pm – Day one of the fabulous five-day Punchestown Festival, with the opening day races including the following:

  • €100,000 Grade 1 Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (2 miles, 5yo+)
  • €60,000 Killashee Handicap Hurdle (Grade B, 2 miles, 4yo+)
  • €300,000 Grade 1 Champion Chase (2 miles, 5yo+)
  • €100,000 Goffs Land Rover Bumper (2 miles, 5yo+)
  • €100,000 Grade 1 Dooleys Insurance Group Champion Novice ‘Chase (3 miles, 5yo+)

Wednesday May 1

Punchestown, 3:40pm – Day two of the fabulous five-day Punchestown Festival, with the day’s races including the following:

  • €75,000 Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final (2m4f, 4yo+)
  • €100,000 Grade 1 Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (3 miles, 4yo+)
  • €300,000 Grade 1 Coral Punchestown Gold Cup (3 miles, 5yo+)
  • €100,000 Grade 1 Racing Post INH Flat Race (2 miles, 4-7yo)
  • €100,000 Grade A Guinness Handicap ‘Chase (2m4f, 5yo+)
  • €50,000 Grade 3 Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares Flat Race (2 miles, 4-7yo mares)

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo is set to run at Punchestown on Wednesday

 

Thursday May 2

Punchestown, 3:40pm – Day three of the fabulous five-day Punchestown Festival, with the day’s races including the following:

  • €300,000 Grade 1 Champion Stayers Hurdle (3 miles, 4yo+)
  • €115,000 Grade 1 Ryanair Novice ‘Chase (2miles, 5yo+)
  • €65,000 Pigsback.com Handicap ‘Chase (2 miles, 4yo+)
  • €60,000 Grade B Punchestown Handicap Hurdle (3 miles, 4yo+)
  • €35,000 Close Brothers Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed Race, 2 miles, 4yo+ mares)
  • €30,000 Mongey Communications La Touche Cup Cross Country ‘Chase (4m1f100y, 5yo+)

Apple’s Jade will look to get back to winning ways at Punchestown on Thursday

Friday May 3

Punchestown, 3:40pm – Day four of the fabulous five-day Punchestown Festival, with the day’s races including the following:

  • €300,000 Grade 1 Punchestown Champion Hurdle (2 miles, 4yo+)
  • €100,000 Grade 1 Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle (2m4f, 4yo+)
  • €100,000 Grade A ems Copiers Novice Handicap ‘Chase  (2m5f, 5yo+)
  • €75,000 Grade B Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Handicap ‘Chase (2m5f, 4yo+ mares)

Dual Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner Buveur d’Air will look to add the Punchestown equivalent to his list of wins on Friday

Dundalk, 5:20pm – It is Radio LMFM Dual Race Day, a card that carries nearly €120,000 in prize-money and features the €30,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap (10f, 3yo+ fillies)

Saturday May 4

Punchestown, 2:35pm – The fifth and final day of the fabulous five-day Punchestown Festival, with the day’s races including the following:

  • €100,000 Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Annie Power Mares Champion Hurdle (2m4f, 4yo+)
  • €100,000 Grade 1 AES Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle (2miles, 4yo)
  • €100,000 Grade B Ballymore Handicap Hurdle (2m4f, 4yo+)
  • €60,000 Grade B Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap ‘Chase (3miles, 5yo+ rated 0-150)
  • A €50,000 handicap chase (3m7f, 5yo+)

Sunday May 5

Gowran Park, 1:40pm – A turf flat card that includes the following races:

  • €55,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Victor McCalmont Memorial Stakes (Listed Race, 1m1f, 3yo+, fillies)
  • €25,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap (8f, 3yo+ fillies)
  • €20,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race (8f, 3yo)

Racing in Britain between Monday April 29 and Sunday May 5

Monday April 29

Wolverhampton, 2pm – An all-weather flat card

Southwell, 2:10pm – An all-weather flat card

Newcastle, 2:20pm – An all-weather flat card

Windsor, 4:55pm – A turf flat card

Thirsk, 5:05pm – A turf flat card

Tuesday April 30

Nottingham, 1:30pm – A turf flat card that features the £25,000 British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Handicap (8f75y, 4yo+ rated 0-90)

Brighton, 1:50pm – A turf flat card

Yarmouth, 2:15pm – A turf flat card

Newcastle, 4:45pm – An all-weather flat card

Chelmsford, 5:15pm – An all-weather flat card

Wednesday May 1

Southwell, midday – An all-weather flat card

Ascot, 2:15pm – A turf flat card, with some quality racing to look forward to, with the card including the following races:

  • £60,000 Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes (A Gold Cup Trial), 2 miles, 4yo+
  • £80,000 Group 3 Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes (6f, 3yo)
  • £37,000 Ascot Shop Paradise Stakes (A Queen Anne Stakes Trial, Listed race, 8f, 4yo+)

Pontefract, 2:25pm – A turf flat card

Brighton, 4:35pm – A turf flat card

Bath, 5:25pm – A turf flat card

Thursday May 2

Musselburgh, 1:45pm – A turf flat card

Redcar, 1:55pm – A turf flat card

Southwell, 2:05pm – An all-weather flat card

Salisbury, 4:55pm – A turf flat card

Chelmsford, 5:45pm – An all-weather flat card, with the key races being:

  • £55,000 Totepool Chelmer Fillies’ Stakes (Listed Race,6f, 3yo fillies)
  • £20,000 10-furlong handicap (4yo+ rated 86-105)

Friday May 3

Lingfield, 1:35pm – A turf flat card

Chepstow, 1:45pm – A turf flat card

Musselburgh, 1:55pm – A turf flat card that features the £15,000 Jackson Boyd – More Than Just Handicap (12f104y, 4yo+, rated 76-95)

Cheltenham, 5:05pm – A jumping meeting made up entirely of hunter chases, with the feature being the £25,000 Timico Mixed Open Gold Cup Final Hunters’ Chase (3m2f70y, 5yo+)

Newcastle, 5:50pm – An all-weather flat card that features the £15,000 Newcastle International Airport Handicap (7f14y, 3yo+ rated 81-95)

Saturday May 4

Goodwood, 1:35pm – A turf flat card that features three races worth £50,000, which are:

  • British Stallion Studs EBF Daisy Warwick Fillies’ Stakes (Listed Race, 1m3f218y, 4yo+)
  • Goodwood May Food Festival Handicap (7f, 4yo+ rated 86-100)
  • Conqueror Fillies’ Stakes (Listed Race, 8f, 3yo+)

Newmarket, 1:50pm – A turf flat card that features the first Classic of the British season, the Qipco 2,000 Guineas; key races on the card are as follows:

  • £50,000 Spring Lodge Stakes Handicap (9f, 3yo+)
  • £60,000 Group 3 Zoustar Palace House Stakes (5f, 3yo+)
  • £100,000 Group 2 Roaring Lion Jockey Club Stakes (12f, 4yo+)
  • £500,000 Group 1 QIPCO 2,000 Guineas (8f, 3yo colts and fillies, 3:35pm)
  • £50,000 Lightning Spear Newmarket Stakes (Listed Race, 10f, 3yo)
  • Two £25,000 handicaps (6f and one mile)

Thirsk, 2pm – A turf flat card that features the £40,000 Cliff Stud Thirsk Hunt Cup (7f218y, 4yo+ rated 86-100)

Uttoxeter, 2:10pm – A jumping meeting that opens up the new season at the track and which features the £35,000 Staffordshire Plate Handicap ‘Chase (3m2y, 5yo+)

Doncaster, 5:15pm – A turf flat card that features the £20,000 Sky Sports Racing Virgin 535 Handicap (6f2y, 3yo+ rated 86-105)

Hexham, 5:30pm – A jumping meeting, the Heart Of England fixture

Sunday May 5

Hamilton, 1:30pm – A turf flat card that includes the following races:

  • £30,000 Tangerine Trees Conditions Stakes (5f7fy, 3yo)
  • £22,000 Buttonhook Handicap (1m5f16y, 4yo+)

Newmarket, 1:50pm – A turf flat card that features the second Classic of the British season, the Qipco 1,000 Guineas; key races on the card are as follows:

  • £50,000 Qatar Racing Handicap (12f, 4yo+ rated 0-105)
  • £100,000 Group 2 Charm Spirirt Dahlia Stakes (9f, 4yo+)
  • £50,000 Longholes Handicap Stakes (6f, 4yo+)
  • £500,000 Group 1 QIPCO 1,000 Guineas (3:35pm, one mile, 3yo fillies)
  • £50,000 Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes (Listed Race, 10f, 3yo)


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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article