The Punchestown Festival kicks off on Tuesday afternoon to kick off five days of top-level racing, with many on the ground having already been crowned in Cheltenham Festival glory.
The festival continues until Saturday April 30, ending the jumping season with a bang, with the Champion Chase, Gold Cup, Stayers Hurdle, Champion Hurdle and Ballymore.
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Tuesday starts things off spectacularly given the terrain.
They are filled with those who have impressed and won over the past few months at a top notch company.
Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott are likely to dominate just about every run and Game 1.
Some of the big names to watch in today’s debates include Sir Gerhard, Energumene, Tous Pour Soi, Envoi Allen, Bob Olinger, Capodanno, Fury Road and Millers Bank, to name a few.
Mares’ Novice Hurdle Betting Tips & Overview
Party Central at 5/2
The Mares’ Novice Hurdle contested over 2.5 meters is the opening of the incredible festival and an intriguing listed race to get things done in Kildare.
Mullins sends a three-stroke attack in this race with Dinoblue, the favorite, in the colors of JP McManus, Grangee who fights with the favorites and Instit, a lightly run 4-year-old looking to surprise the punters.
Elliott’s big hit in the opener comes in the form of six-year-old mare Party Central, a clear second favorite in the bets.
She was seventh on her last outing at the Cheltenham Festival nine lengths behind Love Envoi, but that was in Year 2 company and a return to this listed race could boost wins.
He is a horse that has already conquered this track in the 2m 3f on soft ground and not in very soft conditions on which he has not won before.
Dinoblue and Grangee are the obvious threats, but down six pounds since her run at Cheltenham is at a very attractive level and could go even better if she doesn’t get a good lead.
Champion Novice Hurdle Betting Tip & Overview
Sir Gerhard at 8/11
It’s hard to look past this Cheveley Park Stud horse to go for a quadruple, especially after that winning run in the Ballymore last time out.
Sir Gerhard has already raced over Punchestown once in a flat race at the festival last year and has since taken over as the person to watch in the paddock as he has a ton of potential.
The only concern today could come from Dysart Dynamo, which galloped alongside Constitution Hill before falling at the opening of the Cheltenham Festival in Supreme.
His jump wasn’t smooth that day and if he’s more accurate today, he could pose a real threat to the bookies favourite.
But booking Paul Townend on board ahead of the stable mate could be a clear sign of who the jockeys think should win.
Champion Chase Betting Tips and Overview
Rowdy at 8/11
Former jockey, Katie Walsh, said in her Betway blog: “Energumene passed out in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham last time out. Obviously Shishkin stopped early and he pretty much had his way from the start of the race, but I think he’s very good and as long as he’s not on top because he had had some tough races this year. , then he is the one to beat.
Each For Self, another Mullins duo fighting, but based on Energumene’s performance against Shishkin and getting close, makes them tough to beat.
Under the colors of Rich Ricci, Each is also an incredible two-miler and won this race last year by more than five lengths at Allaho with Townend on board and is clearly getting the best of him but he is riding Energumene this time.
Champion Novice Chase Betting Tip and Overview
Capodano at 4/1
This could be the horse to counter the trend of heavy favorites winning today and if that happens it will come down to loving this trip more.
Walsh speaking for Betway added: “I’m sure Capodanno has a good one in him. I thought he was running well behind Bob Olinger on his penultimate start and we all know Bob Olinger wasn’t going to win at Cheltenham and in all honesty he wasn’t even running very well. Capodanno definitely stays at 3m too.
Over 3.5m long, Capodanno knows well and, as the favourite, with Rachael Blackmore on board, has already won at Punchestown.
But it will be the first time that the Henry De Bromhead star has crossed more than 2m 5f.
It has the advantage of being lightly raced this year and they are clearly taking the time to let this novice hunter arrive fresh.
But victory last time out was all down to clear leader Galopin Des Champs, who crashed out at the end of the Turners Novices Chase at Cheltenham.
Capodanno was just under five Bob lengths at Punchestown in January, then contested Grade 1 behind L’Homme Presse in testing conditions and might find it the ideal race.
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