Punchestown Festival day two
Frank Monkhouse | 26 April 2017
We preview the best of Wednesday in Ireland
Day one at the Punchestown Festival saw us get off to a flyer, tipping the winner of the first race in Enniskillen. That’s the way you want to get the ball rolling for the week ahead. Looking forward to day two and we aim to send a few more your way.
Wednesday’s card gets started at 3.40pm with a competitive handicap hurdle. We give our best selection in that race, and each of the other six on the card, at the bottom of this page. Click now to place your Punchestown bets and accumulators, or read on as we set-out our NAP and next best of the day.
Al to give us a big boum
The 4.55pm novice handicap goes as the first grade one contest of the day, and of the eight-runner field expected to battle it out over three miles, we’re hot on the chances of Al Boum Photo. Willie Mullins goes in with a strong hand here, but the promising four-year-old gelding looks born for this type of race.
In his previous two career starts, both around here, he placed third on debut in December before returning in the new year to win a novice hurdle over 2m 4f earlier this month. Going off at double-figure odds, he landed a stunning win for those who kept faith, beating Stand Up And Fight by a convincing margin.
Chancing a step up in calibre here, plenty can be taken from that winning effort to suggest he will take it in his stride and I fancy him to go and cause an upset again. Al Boum Photo trades at 15/2 just now, and that’s worth an interest.
Sizing John to live up to hype
We have another grade one next on the card, and it’s race of the day as the Coral sponsored Punchestown Gold Cup goes at 5.30pm. With the likes of Sizing John and Djakadam dominating the betting, this looks like it will take all the winning, but we’re siding with the traders.
Race favourite Sizing John – currently 11/10 with Coral – arrives at course on the back of a stunning win at the Cheltenham Festival last time, when taking the Gold Cup from Minella Rocco, who was 2 ¾ lengths behind. It’s almost impossible not to be impressed by his ride that day, laying down a challenge to the bigger names at the business end before running his rivals into the ground when it mattered.
He steps back down to three miles for this one, which may put one or two off, but will be as fresh as a daisy and super fit from that Cheltenham show, ready to continue his progress. A consistent sort, although he’s favourite, you’ll get an honest effort for your stake money, and that’s all we ask.
3.40 – Dawerann
4.20 – Minella Till Dawn
4.55 – Al Boum Photo
5.30 – Sizing John
6.05 – Fayonagh
6.40 – Polidam
7.15 – Mystic Theatre