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“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

Punchestown Day 4

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup

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This looks like a day for favourites – or certainly top of the market players. I have suggested doing an accumulator at the bottom of the page, but I quite like the look of the last race, where I can see surprises being sprung.

15:40 Stanley Asphalt Hunters Chs For The Bishopscourt Cup 4YO plus, 11 Run 2m 5f

The only credible form in the race is held by the two market leaders and both are drifting like a pair of untied barges. Of the two I’ll go with ALPHA MALE as his trainer has farmed this race for a few years now, but I’ll also have a tickle on SPEAKER THOMAS, whose breeding suggests he’ll handle the drying conditions.

ALPHA MALE 3 pts win – SPEAKER THOMAS 1½ pts e/w  (4 places Sky and PP)

16:15 EMS Copiers Novice Hcap Chs (Grade A) 5YO plus, 15 Run 2m 5f

The favourite is, unsurprisingly given Willie Mullin’s record in this race, FIGHTER ALLEN at around 100/30. The second favourite is FRENCH DYNAMITE, the Mouse Morris-trained seven-year-old who was 4th to Klassical Dream in the G1 Champion Stayers Hurdle last Festival. He looks progressive and he gave Willie Mullin’s smart Ciel de Neige a senior spanking, when a screaming odds-on certainty and bidding for a four-timer. The only problem is that Mouse Morris’ strike rate at Punchestown is very similar to my Cross-Channel swimming records.  We’ve not seen much of Ricci Rich this week, and on the trends, I’d fancy GRAND BORNAND over EL BARRA. GEVREY and BIRCHDALE both have a chance and …… really tricky this one.

GEVREY £2 pts e/w – GRAND BORNAND 1 pt e/w (5 places with Sky and Paddy Power)

16:50 Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Glencarraig Lady Francis Flood Mares Chs (G2) 5YO plus, 5 Run Class 1, 2m 5f

ELIMAY 2 pts Win

17:25 Paddy Power Champion Hdl (G1) 4YO plus, 6 Run Class 1, 2m

I really can’t see anything coming close to HONEYSUCKLE and as the Americans so charmingly put it, I’d be blowing smoke up your a**e if I suggested anything else. However at 2/11, you need to bet a lot to make a little, and one tiny slip or a loss of concentration and you lose a lot. You might consider ECHOES IN RAIN or ADAGIO (around 4/1 each) in the Betting w/o market.

HONEYSUCKLE Wins but No Bet

18:00 Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hdl (G1) 4YO plus, 5 Run Class 1, 2m 3f 80y

Again it’s hard to see anything beating STATE MAN, and you can get evens now – but he’ll go off odds-on. There is some support for Willie’s second string KILCRUIT. He was unimpressive, (what wasn’t against Constitution Hill?) in the Supreme Novices, but this extra 3½f might get him back to something like the beast he promised last season. He wouldn’t be a terrible shock – just a surprise – if he took this.

STATE MAN 4 pts win

18:35 Irish Daily Star Champion Hunters Chs 4YO plus, 5 Run 3m

BILLAWAY 3 pts Win

19:10 SalesSense International Novice Hdl 4YO plus, 9 Run 2m

EL FABIOLO 3 pts Win

19:45 Avison Young Flat Race 5YO to 7YO, 24 Run 2m 2f

Ignore his LTO result – he was being beaten by some of the best bumpers in the country including Facile Vega!

COOL SURVIVOR 2 pts e/w

Consider doing the following bet for 15 x 1 pt fourfold. All six together would return some £250.

  • 15:40 1 – Alpha Male
  • 16:50 1 – Elimay
  • 17:25 6 – Honeysuckle
  • 18:00 5 – State Man
  • 18:35 1 – Billaway
  • 19:10 3 – El Fabiolo

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