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Curtain goes up at Punchestown Festival

Frank Monkhouse | 25 April 2017

Disko the NAP on Tuesday

Horse racing punters have a few days of quality horse racing ahead of them this week, with the 2017 Punchestown Festival getting underway on Tuesday. Coral is the place to make your bets, with all the winners just a click away.

We aim to get things off on the winning foot with our NAP and next best of Tuesday’s card, and if you scroll to the bottom of this page you will also find a selection in every race, designed to boost up your accumulators. Let’s see where the smart money goes.

Horse Racing - 2013 Galway Summer Festival - Day Five - Galway Racecourse

Best form of the field

Seven races get going at 3.40pm, but we are waiting things out until the penultimate test on the card, the 6.40pm Champion Novice Chase, a grade one three-mile contest, with seven runners expected to post. Of the field, we think Disko will take all the beating.

Unfortunately, our trading team in Stratford seem to be thinking along the same lines, and he’ll be well-fancied in the betting ring. That comes as no surprise to me as he seems to be getting better with the passing of each race this term, and was seen winning around here back in October, doing the business in comfortable fashion, as was expected by the short SP.

Noel Meade’s six-year-old gelding has finished third in each of his three starts since, including a place last time out behind Yorkhill and Top Notch in the JLT Novices Chase at the Cheltenham festival in March. His CV is the best on paper, and I’d be surprised if he didn’t go and live up to the hype. The three-mile trip will play to his strengths too.

Gordon

Veinard worth siding with

By the time the NAP lines up we will be hoping to be targeting a double, with Veinard supported in the 4.55pm Killashee Handicap Hurdle. The Gordon Elliott trained eight-year-old gelding warmed up for this race with a second behind Thomas Hobson at Fairyhouse in April.

He was beaten three lengths that day, but was closing at the business end of the race, and if delivered a little earlier perhaps he would’ve went closer to winning. He appears to have been given another chance by the handicapper, and should go and score, if our thinking is correct.

Davy Russell is in the saddle, which stands out as real positive for me, and followers of the stats will point out that the jockey boasts a 43 per cent strike rate in the last fortnight. The hints look to be pointing towards a big effort.

Punchestown selections

3.40 – Enniskillen

4.20 – Melon

4.55 – Veinard

5.30 – Un De Sceaux

6.05 – Early Doors

6.40 – Disko

7.15 – Cornelius Sulla

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