2021 Punchestown Day 2 Tips and Preview by Dave Stevos
2021 Punchestown Festival Day 2 Tips
It was a mixed day for us on Day 1 at Punchestown. Colonel Mustard got us off to a great start, grabbing 2nd at 50/1. Getaway Gorgeous unseated her jockey on the way to the start and was withdrawn. Cilaos Emery didn’t jump with fluency but he was only 4L behind Nube Negra in 4th. Dave Stevos’ fancies a few more at silly prices on Wednesday, check out his 2021 Punchestown Day 2 tips below.
3.40 – Handicap Hurdle (95-123)
A nice and easy start to Day 2 at the Punchestown with this 25 runner handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys only. The trip is 20.5f and the one I’ll be taking a chance on at a nice e/w price is All About Joe. This horse is trained by Colm Murphy and owner Mark McDonagh will take the ride. This 6yo son of Oscar has been mostly campaigned in maiden and novice hurdles. He has yet to break his duck over timber but he has run some nice races in defeat.
He has a couple of runs that make him of interest today. His neck 2nd to Born Patriot over 21f here back in November was a good effort. He was beat a neck by Peter Fahey’s charge and he is a 9/2 shot for the second race today. He also chased home subsequent Grade 3 winner Eklat De Rire at Thurles in March 2020 (23f sft/hvy), finishing 6L behind that now 151 rated animal.
All About Joe made his handicap debut last time at Down Royal off 115. It was a disappointing run (19f yld). The assessor has dropped him to 114 and surely he has the ability to be competitive off that sort of a rating. This is going to be his first run on good/yielding ground and I think it is going to really suit him. His dam’s two wins came on good ground and both his half siblings have won on a sound surface too. At odds of 25/1, All About Joe is the each way selection.
2021 Punchestown Festival Day 2 Tips: All About Joe e/w @ 25/1 (6 Places)
4.15 – EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final (Grade 1)
A field of 19 will fight it out for the 44k first prize in this 20.5f EBF series final. Quite a few of these look like they are way out of their depth. The market leader is two time hurdle winner Heather Rocco for De Bromhead and Blackmore. He won his maiden on heavy at Limerick over 21f. De Bromhead’s charge then he scored at the same venue over 16f on his last outing, again on heavy. He did win a point to point on good ground so connections probably believe the conditions at Punchestown won’t pose any problems.
However, he looks short enough in the betting for a race of this nature. The one I am interested in at a far bigger price is Fest Deiz for Kieran Purcell and Donagh Meyler. This 6yo son of Alberto Giacometti has run well on all rules starts bar last time out on heavy ground. He shed his maiden tag at Cork back in October (20f gd) and he has been freshened up since his poor effort here on heavy ground back in December.
This fella’s form figures on ground with good in the description under rules read 4F321. He was running a big race at Cork the day he fell. He ran a very nice race over today’s C&D on yielding ground back in September when he finished 3rd in a maiden behind Commandingpresence. A rating of 115 leaves him with a bit to find with Heather Rocco but this horse remains relatively unexposed on good ground. With conditions to suit, a small e/w interest is advised.
2021 Punchestown Festival Day 2 Tips: Fest Deiz e/w @ 40/1 NB (4 places multiple firms)
4.50 – Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle (4yo+)
This 20k race is restricted to horses aged 4yo or older that have not won more than one hurdle race. The one I’ll be taking a chance on each way is Sky Marshall. Trained by Robbie Burns, who has taken over from the suspended Charles Byrnes, this 124 rated son of Lawman will appreciate the nice ground. He ran a perfectly respectable race in a handicap off 125 on his last start back in September.
Now rated 124, this horse’s sole jumps win came in a yielding ground Cork maiden hurdle back in August 2019. His best run came over today’s trip at Listowel on good ground a month later when he was beat a head at Listowel by Line Out off 125. Sky Marshal also ran well at Galway last year in a hot handicap hurdle, finishing 6th behind the likes of Diamond Hill, Flooring Porter and Great White Shark.
You would imagine he will be heading back to those tracks later this summer, However, he’d probably want to be a couple of pounds higher in the weights to ensure he gets a run. The fact he is returning from a few months off isn’t a big worry as he has run well fresh before. Kevin Brouder knows him well and at odds of 33/1, Sky Marshal is worth chancing each way for small stakes.
2021 Punchestown Festival Day 2 Tips: Sky Marshal e/w @ 33/1
5.20– Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)
Eight staying novices will go to post for this 3 mile Grade 1. Three Cheltenham winners face off in this competitive looking contest. Galopin Des Champs landed the Martin Pipe, Vanillier dotted up in the Albert Bartlett while Telmesomethinggirl was successful in the Mares’ Novice. Galopin Des Champs head the market at around 11/4 while the De Bromhead mare is a 6/1 shot.
Stattler can be backed at 8/1 but he has plenty to find with Vanillier and even Streets Of Doyen, who is twice his price. To be honest, I don’t have a strong opinion on this race. Streets Of Doyen is probably the one that looks most overpriced. However, he would prefer genuine good ground so the showers on Tuesday won’t have been to his liking. I am going to keep my powder dry for this contest, no bet.
2021 Punchestown Festival Day 2 Tips: No Bet
5.55 – Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1)
The feature on Day 2 at Punchestown is the Gold Cup. Six will line up behind the tapes and Al Boum Photo will be looking to gain some compensation after his gallant effort in the Cheltenham version of this race. The big danger looks to be English raider Clan Des Obeaux. He didn’t show his best in his first three runs this term but last time he bounced back to form with a vengeance. He landed the Betway Bowl at Aintree (25f gd/sft) by 26L and if he can produce that level again he is going to be tough to beat.
Kemboy is 2/3 at Punchestown, including when beating Al Boum Photo in this back in 2019. He also has a win against Clan Des Obeaux on his CV so he is another one with obvious claims. Fakir D’oudairies was ultra impressive at Aintree over 20f but he is far from guaranteed to stay this distance. Easy Game is another one with stamina doubts and he is not the most consistent of horses.
Melon Looks Overpriced
One that could be a shade overpriced on one piece of form is Melon. This classy sort has been very expensive to follow over the years. He has only managed 4 wins from 26 rules starts, a poor return for a horse as good as him. However, he ran an absolutely massive race behind A Plus Tard and Kemboy at Leopardstown over Xmas (24f yld). On that form, he has only 2L to find with the re-opposing Kemboy.
The softer conditions didn’t suit him when well beat behind that same rival in February. He then just wasn’t himself when well beat at Cheltenham. He didn’t have a hard race that day, which is a plus, and he was placed in a Grade 1 hurdle on nice ground at this track a couple of years ago. Also, Patrick Mullins is back on board for the first time since his excellent Xmas effort. Hopefully he gets an equally good tune out of Melon today at odds of 12/1.
2021 Punchestown Festival Day 2 Tips: Melon e/w @ 12/1
7.00 – Guinness Handicap Chase (Grade A)
The last live race of the day on RTE2 from Punchestown is this 20f handicap chase. It looks a wide open heat and I think Jack Hackett could outrun his odds for Ciaran Murphy and Conor Orr. This 7yo son of Beat Hollow has always been highly rated by connections. He has come up short at graded level the last twice but he is of definite interest stepping back up to 20f on this nicer ground.
He gets in off a rating of 133 today and Conor Orr takes off another 3lb. Jack Hackett has a decent record over fences. He has had 10 chase starts, winning two of them and finishing in the first three on another four occasions. Interestingly, his three rules wins have come on good/yielding ground. So, today’s conditions look absolutely ideal.
This horse won a Novice Chase easily over C&D back in September, beating Touch Of Oscar by 6L. He had Hear No Evil 14L behind in 3rd (giving 4lbs) and he has since won two handicap chases, the last one coming off 127 at Ayr. The ground was too heavy for Jack Hackett on his next two outings here and he should have learnt a lot from his second handicap start at Leopardstown over Xmas when finishing in midfield. I would imagine this race has long been the plan and at odds of 40/1, he is the e/w selection.