Punchestown Festival 2018 – Day 5 Preview and Tips

We have a preview and tips from Will Kedjanyi for Day 5, the final day at Punchestown Festival 2018. For our full range of tips including our premium Plays and Lays – JOIN OUR COMMUNITY.

2.35 – Dooley Insurances Cross Country Chase (5yo+): Josies Orders managed to back up an effort in the La Touche Cup when taking this in 2015 so his hard effort when going down by a head to Auvergnat is less of a worry than it would be for others and if he repeats that effort when he can give weight to the very talented The Crafty Butcher.  Blue Templar was just beaten in the Ladies’ Cup and is now blinkered here, although stepping up in class, whilst My Hometown didn’t deserve to go out in the same race, but he had gone hard and it’s impossible to know how he’d have finished.

Advice: No bet.

3.10 –  Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase (Grade B) (5yo+ 0-150): This is not a strong renewal or particularly strong form for the level and it’s not a surprise that Some Neck is favourite for the all-conquering Willie Mullins and Paul Townend even after a bad effort in the Hugh McMahon Memorial Novice Chase. He’s short enough to leave at 7/2 whilst second favourite Major Destination had a lot in hand when winning his maiden chase at Ballinrobe at the beginning of the season and presumably has been targeted for this.

If Lasoscar reproduced the placed form, he showed on his final two starts in 2017 he’d have a chance but perhaps a handicap debutant might be the right choice here and High Nellie has impressed with two all the way wins since moving to the bigger obstacles. A mark of 130 based on her wins at Cork and Tramore seems very fair and Cathal Landers’ seven could be a great help.

Advice: 1 pt each/way High Nellie (8/1 general)

3.50 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Annie Power Mares Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+): Irish Stallion Farms EBF Annie Power Mares Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+): Apple’s Jade disappointed at the Cheltenham Festival but she has been otherwise flawless and is worth giving another chance to. At her best she can reverse Mares’ Hurdle form with Benie Des Dieux and that run might have brought her on to boot. The front pair stand out although Midnight Tour’s excellent second in the Mares’ Hurdle made Benie Des Dieux pull out all the stops and she can’t be discounted here whilst Jer’s Girl might enjoy the better ground here compared to Cheltenham.

Advice: 3 pts win Apple’s Jade (7/4 general)

4.25 – AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo): Not much will separate Farclas and Mr Adjudicator on this tighter course compared to Cheltenham but perhaps the better ground and lack of a punishing climb to the line on testing ground might allow for a form reversal although it’s a very tight vote and Farclas has been improving a lot in the spring. Stormy Ireland, who ran away with Noel Fehily there before falling at the last, is the ace in the pack here and if over the effects of such a hard race, presents a real challenge to the front two around a track where front running is a far more effective tactic than at Cheltenham’s New Course.  Much depends on how calmly she races as the Fairyhouse Grade 2 winner Sagalwy, who was a comprehensive winner over Mitchouka, Saldier, Msassa, Veneer Of Charm and Etoine Jolie there, might not be far away.

Advice: 1 pt win Mr Adjudicator (11/4 general)

5.00 –  BoyleSports Handicap Chase (5yo+ 0-145): The Irish National was a true slog, but in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 2014 and 2017 the winner ha d a break of 26 days or less and if Isleofhopeanddreams and Forever Gold have recovered from those efforts they will have big chances here. Forever Gold is the bigger price of the pair and gets the vote with that in mind, whilst the fact he has finished second in a previous edition (2016) having come from Fairyhouse too.

At a bigger price, a chance is taken on Space Cadet. He was a disappointment over hurdles last time when pulled up but had previously run a series of very solid races in staying handicap chases and his fourth in the Irish Grand National trial doesn’t look half bad now. He might be half the price if he’d not run so poorly and perhaps this ground will help over the trip.

Advice: 1 pt each/way Forever Gold (17/2 Paddy Power, 15/2 Bet Victor), 1 pt each/way Space Cadet (14/1 Hills, Bet365)

5.35 – Ballymore Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) (4yo+): Dream Berry came within half a length of winning this last year and it’s quite clear that his campaign has been aimed at going one better since. His seventh in the Martin Pipe, boosted since, was a lovely comeback run and better ground today ought to suit him in his bid. Early Doors was third on his first start over 2 miles for Joesph O’Brien and ought to take the beating.

The Grade A handicap hurdle that Low Sun won from Yaha Fizz has been backed up well, with the winner running fourth in the Grade B on Tuesday that started the Festival and Pravagaluna winning the conditions hurdle in fine style here on Thursday. Low Sun might be feeling the effects of that and the handicapper here so a chance is taken on Yaha Fizz staying the extra trip on better ground (soft compared to heavy) than the last time he attempted it.

Karalee was staying on late there and can be involved too but Joey Sasa, fourth on Tuesday in the big handicap hurdle, is the most feared if overcoming the four-day turnaround.

Advice: 1 pt each/way Dream Berry (11/1 Coral, 10/1 general), 1 pt each/way Yaha Fizz (8/1 general)

6.10 –  PDM (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race (4-7yo): A cracking contest to end the week’s racing proper and one for the notebooks rather than the wallets. The vibes around Belharbour winner and £410,000 acquisition Dlauro have been strong for Joseph O’Brien and the booking of Derek O’Connor is a strong signal in itself too.

Discordantly, a Salutino gelding and Half-brother to 3 winners, interestingly is the mount of Katie Harrington over stablemate and £195,000 Belharbour winner Envious Editor who gets the 7lbs claim of Sean Byrne.

Willie Mullins has Passaageway, a short head second at Loughrea for Pat Doyle, and the well bred Multifactoral is another serious contender here. Don’t miss it.

Advice: No bet.

6.40 – 29th Running Punchestown Charity Race (4yo+): The jumps are over. Just accept it. Go get smashed or something.