Punchestown Preview : Friday 30th April

Punchestown: one of the very best racecourses

Alan Marron is back to preview Day 4️⃣ from the Punchestown Festival.

Folks we got another winner on the board on Thursday as Sully D’Oc AA got the job done for Simon Torrens and Anthony Honeyball. We have a cracking card in store on Friday and hopefully we can get a winner or two. 

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3.40 Hunters Steeplechase for the Bishopscourt Cup of €10,000.00 4-y-o plus 2m. 4f

ALPHA MALE has an excellent record in this race and looks to be one of the main protagonists to come out on top here again.

He won this race by 30 lengths back in 2018 and then finished second to Flirting Lesa in 2019. His early career began with Nicky Henderson but he has been a revelation for the Peter Maher stable and I think he could add another course and distance victory to his name here.

Course form can be vital around Punchestown and I think he will be very hard to beat.

4.15 EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Steeplechase (Grade A) of €80,000.00 5-y-o plus 2m. 5f.

JP Mc Manus and Simon Torrens teamed up with a UK raider on Thursday to land a nice pot and they have a very good chance here with the Philip Hobbs trained DOSTAL PHIL.

This horse finished third behind Editeur De Gite and Sully D’Oc at Aintree and that form was well boosted on Thursday. Dostal Phil has been dropped a pound by the handicapper which looks very lenient and market vibes look to suggest a big run is expected.

He is quite lightly raced over fences for an eight year old and looks like he is coming into form at the right time.

Should be very hard to keep out of the frame.

4.50 Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Handicap Steeplechase (Grade B) of €60,000.00 4-y-o plus 2m. 5f.

This looks a very tricky puzzle to try and solve but Jessica Harrington has her team back in flying form and RAPID RESPONSE looks a very interesting runner in the second colours of Alan & Ann Potts Limited.

She ran an excellent race at Fairyhouse when we last saw her where she finished a very creditable third behind Uisce Beatha and Lord Lariat. She has only been raised two pounds in the handicap for that but she gets in here off a lovely low weight of 10-0 and has a good man on her back in Sean O’Keefe.

The ground and trip should be to her liking so she looks a solid each-way proposition here.

5.25 Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) of €250,000.00 4-y-o plus 2m

Honeysuckle is a very special mare but this is where the winning sequence could potentially come to an end for me. She is drifting a little in the market and most of the Henry De Bromhead horses this week have ran very flat.

On the other hand Willie Mullins is taking the meeting by storm and we all know how good SHARJAH can be off a strong pace. With the likes of Goshen and Aspire Tower in the field there is going to be no messing about here.

Sharjah was impressive at Christmas and ran an excellent race to finish second to Honeysuckle at Cheltenham. On paper Sharjah will find it tough to overturn the form but I will go simply on the form of the two stables this week.

Sharjah is a cracking each way price but looks to be the one to give Honeysuckle most to think about.

6.00 Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) of €100,000.00 4-y-o plus 2m. 4f

This race is very much like what we saw with Energumene where he dominated his field on Thursday I would expect very similar here from BOB OLINGER.

I think he is an absolute monster and could be even better over larger obstacles next season. He looks to be in a different league to his rivals here after victory at Cheltenham and he should be able to take this race in his stride. Everything at Cheltenham looked so easy, he got a great ride from Rachael all the way and he was impressive.

From a betting perspective he could be one for a multiple bet or even look at the distance market.

He could be an impressive winner. Very hard to beat.

6.35 Irish Daily Star Champion Hunters Steeplechase of €25,000.00 4-y-o plus 3m. 120yds.

Paul Nicholls will be looking to follow up the win of Clan Des Obeaux with the David Maxwell owned and ridden BOB AND CO.

This horse was very unlucky at Cheltenham when ridden by Sean Bowen in the Foxhunters as he was still going well on the heels of the rivals when he unseated five out.

I think connections have been very shrewd since as they went to Hexham for what turned out to be a non event as Bob And Co went and won by a massive 41 lengths.

Many of the opposition have had tough enough races recently and that morale boosting victory for Bob And Co could see another pot go across the water.

Will take plenty of beating here.

7.05 SalesSense International Novice Hurdle of €20,000.00 4-y-o plus 2m

As I have already mentioned Willie Mullins has taken this meeting apart with numerous winners and he could have another one here with M C MULDOON.

This horse has some very strong lines of form most notably last time out when he finished second to Echoes In Rain with Colonel Mustard back in third. That form got an excellent boost this week as Echoes In Rain was victorious and Colonel Mustard ran a cracker to chase her home.

This horse was formerly trained in the UK by Peter Chapple-Hyam and he arrives here quite unexposed over hurdles. Patrick Mullins has chosen to ride him and use one of his professional rides here and that could be a tip in itself.

On better ground this horse could have too much for his rivals.

7.35 Avison Young Flat Race of €10,000.00 5/7-y-o 2m. 2f

A very competitive race to end the card on Day Four but the Martin Brassil trained STONE MAD could be one to pay most attention to with Derek O’Connor in the plate.

This horse cost 185k and is a brother to Tintangle and a half brother to Tombstone. They were both bumper winners and it will be interesting to see how the market shapes up.

Martin Brassil has his team in fine form and has hit the post with a couple of places this week. Himself and Derek O’Connor normally team up for a winner around Punchestown and hopefully this will end the night on a high for us.

Will be hard to keep out of the frame.

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article