Tote Ambassador Danny Mullins has four rides on the final day of the Punchestown Festival. He tells us about their chances as well as who he would put in his Placepot.
2:35 - Dooley Insurance Group Cross Country Chase - 3m1f
I think Stand Up And Fight has a good chance here, comes here a bit fresh. And also I think the other one of Edna Bolger’s in this Shady Operator is off a rating of 135 in a conditions race, and the weights, it puts him a long way ahead of the others.
3:10 - Colm Quinn BMW Handicap Chase - 3m7f
I think Peaches And Cream could run a big race here for Gavin Cromwell. He’s only got 10 stone 8 on his back. He was 4th in the Troytown and 3rd in the Ulster National. This stamina test should really suit him.
Class Conti runs here for Willie Mullins. He’s been really out of form this season, but he tends to pop up somewhere, so I wouldn’t put him out of the reckoning over this extreme distance.
And Plan Of Attack who was third in the Cross Country race at Cheltenham could run a big race here. Henry De Bromhead’s horses are really starting to hit form again.
3:50 - Grade 1 Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish EBF Mares Champion Hurdle - 2m3f30y
Epatante is probably the high class mare in the field. I think she has a big chance of following up here.
I ride Stormy Ireland in the race. I think she’s probably the best of the rest. Marie’s Rock beat her in Cheltenham. But I think back in Punchestown, Stormy Ireland has chance of reversing the form.
Shewearsitwell could be a dark horse in the race. She’s always shown a lot of class at home. She’s been galloping well since that fall at Christmas.
4:25 - Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase - 3m
I think Ten Ten would have a decent chance here. Although he pulled up in the Irish National, he was well fancied going into that race. Luke Dempsey renews the partnership here for his father. He’s got a good chance in a competitive race.
I think Donkey Years, another McManus runner, who’s the choice of Mark Walsh in this race. He’s been placed his last couple of runs and I think he’d have a big chance in it.
I ride Recite A Prayer in the race. He’s probably better going left-handed like he won in Wexford the last day. But he ran well over this kind of trip at Fairyhouse earlier in the year.
5:00 - Grade 1 Ballymore Champion Four Year Old Hurdle - 2m
Vauban looks a real banker here. He was very good at Leopardstown and followed that up at Cheltenham.
Il Etait Temps I ride in the race. He was quite free at Cheltenham and ran quite a race. To be as close as he was and to have been so keen, if he can settle better, I think he’s got a good chance of filling the places.
An interesting one at a bigger price is Man O Work who beat Instit at Limerick the last day, a mare I rode earlier in the week who franked that form and he could be a livelier one at a bigger price.
5:30 - Tote Always SP Or Better Handicap Hurdle - 2m3f30y
This is a very competitive Handicap. Willie Mullins has won the last four runs of this race and I think Adamantly Chosen has a big chance here. He was disappointing at Cheltenham the last day, but he’s shown a fair level of form in Maiden Hurdles up to that. Paul Townend takes the ride on him here.
Another one I think has a good chance here of Willie Mullins’ is Heia. Brian Hayes takes the ride here. She was disappointing in Cheltenham but bounced back nicely at Fairyhouse the last day when 3rd behind Glan and La Prima Donna. A reproduction of that form would see her bang in the mix.
A final one to pick in this race is Drop The Anchor for Pat Fahy. He disappointed at Cheltenham when the rain came on the Wednesday. But if he gets back to his form of running in Leopardstown earlier in the year. He wasn’t beaten that far in a competitive handicap at the Dublin Festival.