It’s the last day of the 2017 Punchestown Festival and David takes a look at the final day’s racing and give you his tips.
2.35 DOOLEY INSURANCES CROSS COUNTRY CHASE
Peter Maher has two non-runners in this but he can still win it with Ballyboker Bridge who will be more at home over this track and trip than was the case at Cheltenham. He gave a bold showing out in front in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase before fading into sixth and a repeat of that effort could be good enough here. Colour Squadron finds winning an arduous task these days and may have to settle for a minor role once again.
1 Ballyboker Bride 2 Colour Squadron 3 Love Rory
3.10 THREE.IE HANDICAP CHASE
Ross O’Sullivan might well have had this marathon in mind for Call It Magic all season as it looks the ideal race for his unexposed seven-year-old who has been crying out for a step up in trip. He has booked Robbie Power who can do no wrong at the moment and everything looks in place for a bold showing. Warrantor might want softer ground but stays forever and looks to be on a nice mark. The consistent He Rock’s can make his presence felt too.
1 Call It Magic 2 Warrantor 3 He Rock’s
3.50 IRISH STALLION FARMS EUROPEAN BREEDERS FUND MARES CHAMPION HURDLE (GRADE 1)
Apple’s Jade has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt and her experience could prove paramount as she takes on the exciting Karalee in what should be a fascinating showdown. Apple’s Jade proved too tough for both Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini at Cheltenham and it is hard to believe that Karalee is better than both of those. This looks Apple’s Jade’s race for the taking. Augusta Kate could sneak into third.
1 Apple’s Jade 2 Karalee 3 Augusta Kate
4.25 AES CHAMPION FOUR YEAR OLD HURDLE (GRADE 1)
What Gordon Elliott would give for a Grade 1 double to seal his first Irish trainers’ title. It could happen too and Mega Fortune should not be opposed. Defi Du Seuil has proved himself to be head and shoulders above every juvenile this season but Mega Fortune is Ireland’s best and should be able to prove that here. He did remarkably well to get back up for second in the Triumph Hurdle, having been passed by Bapaume at the last. His jumping was not as slick as usual there and he can certainly brush up in that department. He fiddled the fifth and made one or two other errors, as well as being slightly keener than ideal. Everything went perfectly to script for Bapaume who was given a peach of a ride from Ruby Walsh. Yet, he was still unable to finish ahead of Mega Fortune. The score is currently 2-2 between Mega Fortune and Bapaume but Elliott’s charge has won the last two battles and has never finished behind Bapaume since cheekpieces have been fitted. Mega Fortune is almost sure to make the running and expect Davy Russell to set a brisk tempo and try to draw the sting out of his rivals. He could be better going right-handed too as he was brilliant at Down Royal back in November.
1 Mega Fortune 2 Landofhopeandglory 3 Bapaume
5.00 PALMERSTOWN HOUSE PAT TAAFFE HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE B)
O’Faolains Boy ran quite well for a long way in the Grand National and does not look badly treated on the best of his form. Rebecca Curtis has a good record at this meeting and the booking of Paul Townend catches the eye. Sizing Codelco should go well again and a big run from The Crafty Butcher can be expected too.
1 O’Faolains Boy 2 Sizing Codelco 3 The Crafty Butcher
5.35 BALLYMORE HANDICAP HURDLE (GRADE B)
This is a red hot affair but there could be more improvement to come from Geordie Des Champs who is still only six and looks sure to come on for his fine effort at Aintree, given that it was his first outing since been sent off for a Grade 2 won by Willoughby Court at Warwick in January. Both Rather Be and Dream Berry got first run on Geordie Des Champs at Aintree but he was closing on them rapidly as the line approached. Jonathan Moore seems to get on particularly well with him and British-based horses have been mopping up the handicaps at Punchestown this week.
1 Geordie Des Champs 2 Sire Du Berlais 3 Automated
6.10 ATTHERACES.COM (PRO/AM) FLAT RACE
No form to go on here so the market will prove the most useful guide. A chance is taken of The Shearers Wife from the Gordon Elliott stable who could secure the amateur title.
1 The Shearers Wife 2 Sparky Stowaway 3 Vocarium
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