After naming three winners yesterday, the team is back with another edition of Mark The Card for Punchestown.
Here are their selections for each race on day two of the Punchestown Festival.
3:40 – Adare Manor Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle
The action kicks off at Punchestown with a large-field handicap hurdle. My first preference goes to Gordon Elliott’s HUMBLE GLORY who could have more to offer.
The mare finished a head behind Party Central (who won at Punchestown yesterday) in Listed company, but has struggled to replicate that form in her last two outings. She could bounce back here and holds some interest.
ROCK ROAD makes his first start in over 300 days for Willie Mullins, with the 10-year-old retaining a decent mark for this contest. The gelding carries some smart form and will relish the better conditions on offer.
OUTBACK FLYER could push into the frame on his handicap debut for Peter Fahey, while KRABAT could produce a big effort after being reverted back to hurdles.
4:15 – Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final
A competitive race to say the least. My vote is with GLENGOULY, who aims for a hat-trick of wins for Willie Mullins.
The six-year-old is stepped back up in trip and has got the better of market rival Sam’s Choice on two occasions. The gelding does have to give weight this time around but he has a top-class rider in Paul Townend and could well be the one to beat here.
CHOICE OF WORDS also holds some interest, as the mare could well relish the return to 2m4f. The mare gets a sex allowance in this race and holds weight against all her main rivals, so she could go well here.
CAMINO ROCK could have more to offer after only two starts under rules and he could run a cracker at a big price.
4:45 – Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle
There are some useful sorts in this contest, but it’s hard to find a reason to go against FILS D’OUDAIRIES here.
The gelding ran a solid race at Aintree earlier in the month, finishing second behind Langer Dan in Grade 3 company. He looks dangerous on that form alone and is clearly the one to beat.
CLASSIC GETAWAY could also put up a big performance if he can bounce back from his poor show at the Cheltenham Festival.
5:20 – Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
While both The Nice Guy and Minella Cocooner look to be talented, it could well be worth siding with MINELLA CROONER who has a point to prove here.
The gelding was forced to miss the Cheltenham Festival with a minor issue and he heads to Punchestown in search of his first Grade 1 success. He could well have won at Leopardstown last time out if he didn’t make a mistake at two out and he looks interesting on paper.
The last three runners to feature in the Martin Pipe before this contest has landed victory here, so it may well be unwise to dismiss HOLLOW GAMES. He will need to show some improvement but he may well be one to note on his first start over three miles.
BARDENSTOWN LAD holds each-way claims and could put up another big effort here.
5:55 – Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1)
The feature race of the week sees some of the best three-mile chasers on the circuit go head to head at Punchestown. Allaho’s record over three miles is a concern, so it could be worth looking elsewhere for some value.
Step forward MINELLA INDO. The gelding showed some hints of his previous form when running into second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and he did get the better of Allaho over hurdles at this circuit back in 2019.
GALVIN will be suited by a fast pace here and if Allaho pushes in front early on, Gordon Elliott’s recruit could well be up for the task here.
6:30 – Race & Stay At Punchestown Champion I.N.H Flat Race (Grade 1)
It seems dangerous to oppose FACILE VEGA after such a flawless campaign and while his price does not scream value, it just seems unthinkable to go against him here after his Cheltenham Festival success.
There is definitely some value in picking out a big-price runner to snatch a place however, with Facile Vega’s stablemate MADMANSGAME holding some interest.
The five-year-old is yet to run on better ground but if his pedigree is anything to go by, he could put up a big effort here.
7:05 – OMC Claims Handicap Chase (Grade A)
Another tough handicap for punters to tackle, there are definitely some nicely-priced runners kicking about in the 2m5f Handicap Chase.
ANNAMIX has been hovering around the double-figure mark this morning and he could well produce another bold effort after finishing third in the Topham Chase earlier this month.
REBEL GOLD holds a nice each-way price for Patrick Foley and could run well on a better surface, while THE WEST’S AWAKE could improve from his latest outing at Wexford and claim a place for his connections.
7:45 – Weatherbys General Stud Book Irish EBF Mares Flat Race (Grade 3)
An interesting Mares Bumper concludes the card at Punchestown.
DORANS WEIR has shown some promise in bumpers for Michael Hourigan and she pushed Albert Bartlett winner The Nice Guy all the way at Leopardstown in December. She also beat the market favourite last time out at Fairyhouse and she could strike here once again.
BATTLING BESSIE ran a cracker in Graded company last time out and could go one better this time around, while HI STRANGER could show some improvement and run well at a big price.
Make sure to check out our best bets for day two of the Punchestown Festival at aintree.co.uk!