Tomorrow we see the wonder-mare Quevega in action for the very last time in the Ladbrokes Series World Hurdle on day three of Punchestown Festival.
Punchestown World Hurdle Tips
She won the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham for a fifth consecutive year in March and bids to do the same here on Thursday. That win in March was less convincing than in previous years and this is a competitive race again.
It would be horrible to see her lose before retirement after such an illustrious career; however both At Fishers Cross and Fingal Bay are both appealing. The former failed to win throughout last season but ran a number of big races. The latter gives Quevega 7lb and that may be a little too much, although Philip Hobbs’ eight-year-old is running fantastically.
Ryanair Novice Chase Betting Tips
Champagne Fever is already a very short 6/4 favourite with William Hill for the Ryanair Novice Chase following his close second in the Arkle in March. That support in the market makes him even more appealing; however Balder Success, Trifolium and Felix Yonger are three very tough challengers.
Alan King’s second favourite was very impressive at Aintree and had three of these well held on that day, so he warrants serious respect. He is in search of a fourth consecutive win here and if running similarly again can play a huge part.
Felix Yonger disappointed at Cheltenham but can bounce back well in conditions likely to suit and Trifolium will need to improve on his recent efforts.
Punchestown Horse Racing Tips
Both Pivot Bridge and Sir Harry Cash are of interest in the first race of the day, whilst Ned Buntline is becoming ever more appealing. He finished second in the Grand Annual and is on a reasonable mark for this, so warrants huge respect. Sizing Machine is another in the same race who symbolises decent place value at 14/1.
The 4.50 is one of the most entertaining races of the festival. Ridden over 4m1f it is a real slog and battle to the end and one which Duke Of Lucca looks rather capable of.
He finished fourth in the cross-country chase at Cheltenham earlier on in the year and looks a rather solid bet at 2/1 with most firms. Inis Meain and Our Man Zebo should both run well in the 18:05.
Willie Mullins once again has a strong hand in the penultimate race of the day, with leading contenders Urticaire and Vicky De L’Oasis both sure to run well. The first mentioned has consistent form and is likely to run a big race with Ruby Walsh aboard.
Paul Townend rides the latter mentioned, who has finished second three races in a row and is sure to secure a win sooner or later. The faster ground should help that cause and a big run is expected at decent odds of 5/1 with Boylesports.
The final race is another one to look forward to and Tell Us More is the short odds market leader at 5/4 in most places for Willie Mullins. The trip is a major question for him, as further would probably be preferred and the other two I like are Kauto Grand Mogul and Champoleon.
BETS OF THE DAY:
CHAMPAGNE FEVER @ 6/4
NED BUNTLINE @ 9/2
DUKE OF LUCCA @ 2/1