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Punchestown | Thursday’s Mark The Card

The team take a look through Thursday’s card at Punchestown

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Irish runners race at the 2010 Punchestown Festival at Punchestown Racecourse

Day three of the Punchestown Festival is upon us, with a cracking eight-race card on offer for punters this afternoon.

The team have marked up the card ahead of the meeting, pointing out their best selections for each race on offer.

Runners and riders at Punchestown Racecourse

3:40 – Specialist Joinery Group Handicap Hurdle

A huge-field handicap to get things going at Punchestown.

HIDE AND SEEK carries some interesting form, placing in a few maidens before striking at Tramore earlier in the month. Rachael Blackmore takes the ride again and the mare could come close here.

ONLY SKY is a former flat winner and while his experience is a worry here, he could burst onto the scene with a big effort here.

WALNUT BEACH has proven to be more effective in this discipline for his connections and he could impress on his first start in handicap company.

BOLD APPROACH could break into the frame if at his best, while COLENSO could hint at each-way value if he’s race fit following a long absence.

4:15 – Pigsback.com Handicap Chase

A tough race on paper, it would well be worth siding with the Henry De Bromhead-trained MAGIC DAZE.

The mare did run too keenly in the Arkle, but she could run well on her handicap debut and looks at a fair mark.

TAKE ALL’s form holds some interest and he could push for the places if he benefits from the first-time tongue-tie.

4:50 – Mongey Communications La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase

A runner that is known to love the Punchestown circuit, NEVERRUSHACON could be one to note here.

Neverrushacon could put in a big effort at Punchestown for Jessica Harrington

Jessica Harrington’s recruit has won twice before here on heavy ground and while it is quicker ground here, that shouldn’t cause an issue here.

POTTERS CORNER could bounce back to winning ways if he can rediscover his previous form, while CALL IT MAGIC could run a cracker at big odds.

5:25 – Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1)

Klassical Dream’s price is too short for my liking here and there is plenty of value dotted around the field.

PAISLEY PARK isn’t the force of old, but he has continued to battle his way back into races and he could have a fair chance here if he’s back on song.

2AR1AEC Paisley Park ridden by Aidan Coleman before the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle during Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Paisley Park could return to winning ways at Punchestown this afternoon

CONCERTISTA is yet to prove herself over three miles, but she gets the sex allowance here and she could be underestimated on her return to hurdling.

6:00 – Conway Piling Handicap Hurdle (Grade B)

CITY CHIEF is a major fancy in this contest and it’s not hard to see why.

Nicky Henderson’s recruit has struck twice over hurdles and he carries some interesting form, including a second-place finish behind Party Business at Ascot (winner of Listed Mares’ Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Tuesday).

He’s only five and he could show further improvement here.

CAPILANO BRIDGE and MERCURY LANE both hold large prices and could hint at each-way value.

6:35 – Barberstown Castle Novice Chase (Grade 1)

Following the withdrawal of Gentleman De Mee, this race has blown wide open and it looks to be worth siding with BLUE LORD.

Willie Mullins’ recruit has three and a half lengths to find on Gabynako, but he holds Grade 1 form against his rival and could bounce back to winning ways here.

Trainer Willie Mullins after Turban won the Underwriting Exchange Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Steeplechase at Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Ireland.
Blue Lord will aim for Grade 1 success at Punchestown for Willie Mullins

7:10 – Close Brothers Irish EBF Mares’ Handicap Chase

An interesting contest here, with the vote going to top-weight HURRICANE GEORGIE. The five-year-old is on near-equal terms in terms of ratings compared to Minx Tiara, but Gordon Elliott’s recruit has the bonus of 7lb claimer Rob James in the saddle.

KAPARD has something to prove over this trip but the ground is in her favour and she could be underestimated, while EXIT TO THE WEST could show further improvement for Robert Tyner.

7:45 – JP & M Doyle Celebrating 70 Years in Business (C & G) Flat Race

While there is a hot favourite in this contest, it could be worth hunting for some each-way value here which is why MUSIC DRIVE could be worth taking a chance on.

The gelding wasn’t disgraced in the Champion Bumper and the return to better conditions should suit here.

SIR JIMMY MAC produced an eye-catching debut at Downpatrick last month and he shouldn’t be ruled out here.

Make sure to check out our best bets for day three of the Punchestown Festival at aintree.co.uk!

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.