There’s Grade 1 action on Sunday’s card at Punchestown with a stunning line-up assembled for the John Durkan Memorial Chase (1.40pm), where Min bids to win for a third year running.
Racing at the Co Kildare track takes place from 12.35pm-3.40pm and you can watch it all unfold via live streaming when logged into MansionBet. Our tipster has selections for all of this afternoon’s Punchestown racing.
12.35 – Fundraiser For Children’s Health Foundation Crumlin In Memory Of Pat Smullen Rated Novice Hurdle (2m½f)
A lively start to the card as all five runners bring winning hurdles form to the table. Crosshill, Power Of Pause and SNEAKY GETAWAY are all dropping in distance for this assignment and Brian Hayes’ charge can upset the runners from Willie Mullins and Jessica Harrington teams.
He achieved a three-figure rating on the Flat and has the class to cope with this drop back in distance given the way he goes about his racing as he seeks to make it a perfect 3-3 over timber following clear cut wins at Roscommon and Fairyhouse.
Selection: Sneaky Getaway @
1.10 – Voler La Vedette Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed, 2m4f)
FINEST EVERMORE has been nothing but impressive since moving to Willie Mullins’ and she has standout claims of tasting Listed success this afternoon.
She has won her two hurdles starts by a combined 30-lengths and the form of September’s Listowel success looks reliable.
She has an exceptional chance under Danny Mullins. Global Equity bumped into the well-regarded Gauloise when second at Thurles recently on comeback and could again take the minor prizemoney here for Joseph O’Brien.
Selection: Finest Evermore @
1.40 – John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase (Grade 1, 2m4f)
This promises to be a magnificent spectacle with a high-class eight-runner line-up pitting established performers like Min – chasing his third successive win in this race – and Chris’s Dream – agonisingly denied Grade 1 glory a Down Royal on his comeback over three-miles – against second-season chasers with eyes on the top table such as Samcro, Melon, Battleoverdoyen and ALLAHO.
Battleoverdoyen took the scalp of stablemate Samcro at Down Royal on their comebacks and isn’t overlooked easily but he was a long way behind Allaho in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March.
That looks to have been a vintage renewal, with runner-up Minella Indo already 2-2 this season and a single-figure price in the Gold Cup market. Allaho looked like he might justify favouritism in the Cotswolds only to be run down very late in finishing third.
This shorter trip on testing ground may be his optimum and it’s perhaps to be noted Danny Mullins partners him and not Min, with stable jockey Paul Townend gone to Cork to ride Chacun Pour Soi in the Hilly Way Chase.
Selection: Allaho @
2.10 – Gift A Punchestown Voucher This Christmas Handicap Hurdle (2m4f)
The Great White is down at the foot of the weights for trainer Dermot McLaughlin and may have the necessary skillset to get on the board from a mark of 98 before too long.
He’s as likely as any in this ultra-competitive field but R’EVELYN PLEASURE has done well from higher marks as a chaser and isn’t without a chance following an encouraging hurdles run at Thurles (2m4f, soft). He should have solid each-way claims.
Selection: R’Evelyn Pleasure @
2.40 – GAIN Supporting Laois GAA Beginners Chase (2m)
Captain Guinness looked rather unfortunate when brought down in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle back in March and might have played a major role in the finish.
He’s odds-on here but his chasing bow at Tipperary in October saw him pulled up following an early mistake. Something may have troubled him and he’s entitled to be far better now, but is hard to side with at the prices.
IFICUDIWUD is given a chance for Noel Meade instead. He made plenty of the running and his share of mistakes at Limerick (2m6f, soft) on his first experience over fences in October, but that race has already thrown up a hat-trick of next-time-out winners and his trainer has likely been working on his fencing since.
The shorter trip isn’t a worry and he’s a decent each-way shout.
Selection: Ificudiwud @
3.10 – Visit irishracingyearbook.com For The Perfect Racing Gift Handicap Chase (3m1½f)
Philip Fenton’s ATLANTIC SHORE had the re-opposing Getaday 11-lengths behind in second in a Wexford Beginners’ Chase (2m4f, soft to heavy) in late October and can make his mark on handicap bow here.
He had a thankless task taking on Annamix and Spyglass Hill off levels at Gowran Park since then and an opening mark of 124 looks fair, while his rider takes off a valuable 7lb now. This extended trip also looks to be right up his alley based on his best hurdles form.
Selection: Atlantic Shore @
3.40 – Old House, Kill (Pro/Am) Flat Race (2m½f)
The majority are seeing the racecourse for the first time and it’s no shock to find Champagne Sparkles and Aslukwoodhavit are duelling for favouritism for the Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins yards respectively, with both making sounds appeal on paper.
SUPREME JET was a cosy winner of a point-to-point in February, his only run in that sphere, and might be up to challenging the market principles as he begins his career under rules having joined Oliver McKiernan.
Selection: Supreme Jet @
*All odds correct at time of writing