The third installment of the Punchestown Festival gets underway on Thursday afternoon, after a stellar two days of action in County Kildare thus far.
Read our team’s Lucky 15 for this afternoon.
Entoucas | 4:15pm Pigsback.com Handicap Chase (Grade B) | Dom’s Pick
Joseph O’Brien was denied another Cheltenham Festival winner by a short-head when Entoucas was held off by Sky Pirate last month.
He made a mistake at the second-last which ultimately threw the race out of his favour, but he showed a good attitude to chase the winner home and run him close.
Plenty of Festival silver and bronze medalists are beginning to turn the corner in recent history and perhaps the son of Network can be another example.
There are four other JP McManus runners in the field but the selection is the choice of Mark Walsh and he can shed his bridesmaid status, finishing second in four of his last six starts, here.
Alpha Des Obeaux | 4:50pm Mongey Communications La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase | Reece’s Pick
The Gigginstown House Stud contender disappointed at the start of the year but has bounced right back to form, finishing fourth behind stable-mate Tiger Roll in the Cross Country at Cheltenham before a creditable 11th in the Grand National.
He’s 9lbs lower than his Prestbury Park exploits and given that he had two rivals rated over 165 ahead of him that day, he looks to have been given a good chance by the handicapper now partnered by Jamie Codd.
There is also a 7lbs swing with Thursday rival Some Neck, who finished just over two lengths ahead of him in Gloucestershire.
Max Flamingo | 6:00pm Conway Piling Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) | Dom’s Pick
Chasing a hat-trick, Francis Casey’s rapidly improving hurdler brings a likeable profile into the frame for this contest.
He ran a career-best at Fairyhouse last time out and a step up to the full three-mile trip appears a positive step for the six-year-old.
His best form arrives on better ground which he will get here, and he may still have a bit more to give now up 7lbs.
Gauloise | 7:05pm Close Brothers Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed) | Reece’s Pick
Willie Mullins’s charge disappointed at Cheltenham but ran right back to form at Fairyhouse recently, picking up the silver medal and finishing well clear of the rest of the field when behind Skyace.
Magic Daze seemingly had the number of all but her conqueror at the Festival back in March and looks the one to beat here, but the value lies with the Clossuton representative.
Mullins’s horses are flying in County Kildare so a chance is taken on the selection to reverse the form.
Thursday 29th April Lucky 15 | Punchestown Festival Day Three
- Entoucas | 4:15pm
- Alpha Des Obeaux | 4:50pm
- Max Flamingo | 6:00pm
- Gauloise | 7:05pm
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