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Punchestown Festival day three

Frank Monkhouse | 27 April 2017

Our top picks from Thursday’s card

Day two at the Punchestown Festival gave our followers a couple more winners, including the champion of the Gold Cup. Sizing John was backed in all day like losing wasn’t an option, and although he delivered, there was little in a thrilling finish, old rival Djakadam again having to settle for silver.

Focussing on Thursday’s card and we look to keep things moving towards the weekend by nudging you in the direction of a few more worth having. Scroll to the bottom of this page and you will find a selection in every race, aimed at giving you a helping hand with multiples. We also detail our NAP and next best below.

Nichols_Canyon_Faugheen_alt

Nichols Canyon at the double

Starting with the 5.30pm Champion Stayers Hurdle and we have a talented field line-up for this year’s contest. Willie Mullins saddles Nichols Canyon, who goes into the day as race favourite with our odds compilers, but there seems enough of a price there to give backers a real interest.

Ridden by Ruby Walsh, the jolly was seen winning the grade one Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last month, beating the big-priced Lil Rockerfeller off by ¾ of a length. The margin of victory suggests a close-run race, but the eventual winner always looked like he was on his way to the line in front, leading and sticking to his task on the run in.

That recent form is impressive, but it’s also worth noting that the talented seven-year-old remains unbeaten at this track, boasting a three-for-three record around Punchestown. Punters look to have one eye on that Stayers Hurdle result though, with this race expected to follow a very similar path in terms of the finishing positions.

Nichols Canyon is picked to pull off a quick-fire, big race double, and our horse racing trading team are currently giving out a handy 9/4. I really don’t expect that price to last too long into Thursday. Sutton Place heads the chasing pack at 7/2, while Unowhatimeanharry, who failed to deliver at Cheltenham despite going off as odds-on favourite, is a 9/2 play.

Great Field and Barry Geraghty winning "The Foxrock Cup Hurdle" at Leopardstown - Alain Barr - 28.02.2016

Great Field caught the eye last time

Later on the card and we get involved in another grade one, the Ryanair Novice Chase, with nine runners expected to make up the field. Decided over two-miles, everything looks good for Great Field to go and do what’s expected of him.

Willie Mullins’ chance arrives at course on the back of an impressive hat-trick already this year, scoring at Gowran, Leopardstown and Thurles. That form must be afforded the maximum respect. The five-year-old really caught our eye last time, coming home at a canter, and if you had him backed that day, you won’t be on many easier winners in your betting career. If you didn’t follow, you’ll more than likely this time.

Mullins arrives in solid form, and is sure to be a popular pick with the casual racing punters throughout the week. Coral opened Great Field at even money, but he has been seen easing slightly to 5/4, which is his offer at the time of writing.

Punchestown Selections

3.40 – Stamp Your Feet

4.15 – Tully East

4.50 – Cantlow

5.30 – Nicholls Canyon

6.05 – Showem Silver

6.40 – Great Field

7.15 – Asthuria

7.45 – Next Destination

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