2021 Punchestown Day 3 Tips by Dave Stevos
2021 Punchestown Day 3 Tips
We got off to a good start on Day 2 with All About Joe grabbing a place at 25s. It was downhill after that though. Fest Deiz actually ran well for a long way, he just probably needed the outing. Sky Marshal, advised at 33s, was sent off at 200s and he ran accordingly. Melon was pulled up in the Gold Cup and he looks a spent force. Jack Hackett ran a cracker but he just missed out on place money in 7th (advised 6 places). Let’s hope for better on Thursday, check out Dave Stevos’ 2021 Punchestown Day 3 tips below.
3.40 – Handicap Hurdle (88 -123)
An 88-123 handicap hurdle starts off proceedings on Day 3 of the Punchestown. 22 will go to post for this 2 mile heat and even though he is a 13yo now, Youngnedofthehill is capable of making his presence felt. Conor McNamara rode a nice winner here earlier this week and he takes off a handy 3lb. That means Youngnedofthehill is effectively racing off a mark of 97. His last win came off 96 with McNamara claiming 5lb, so he is effectively just 6lb higher today. That win came on his penultimate start at Navan on soft/heavy ground.
However, he has loads of form on better ground than that and today’s conditions are absolutely fine. This horse has run twice at Punchestown before and both times he wasn’t far away. He was beat just 5L into 5th on his first visit off 99 on yielding/soft over 16f. He finished in the same position when beat by 4.75L off 100 over 20f. A strongly run race will suit him and he will strip fitter after his comeback run at Navan. Given his exaggerated hold up running style luck will be required but he has a habit of running well at big meetings (placed twice at Leopardstown’s Xmas Festival). At odds of 25/1, Youngnedofthehill is worth backing each way.
2021 Punchestown Day 3 Tips: Youngnedofthehill e/w @ 25/1 NB (5 Places)
4.15 – Handicap Chase (Grade B)
The first graded race of the day is this 21 runner handicap chase. The trip is 16f and it looks ultra-competitive. I tipped up Kildorrery earlier this season at Leopardstown’s Xmas meeting. He didn’t try a yard in that race but he made some very pleasing late gains to end up finishing 11th of 20, 25L behind the winner A Wave Of The Sea. He was rated 130 that day and I was hoping the better ground at Leopardstown would see him return to form.
Ted Walsh’s charge has had three runs since Leopardstown and the best of them came in a Grade 3 behind Cilaos Emery. He finished last of three finishers, 25L behind the winner, but the ground was bottomless. It was a similar story next time in a handicap chase at Gowran. He managed to finish 5th on the heavy ground that day off 128 but he was nearly 40L behind the victor, Montagne D’Argent.
Last time out he finally got decent ground in a conditions chase at Tramore. However, he faced an impossible task behind the likes of Bapaume, Us And Them and Spyglass Hill. Shane O’Callaghan got a sighter on him that day and he claims 7lb today. That means Kildorrery is effectively in off 119. On the form of a couple of his novice chase runs he is surely capable of being competitive off his current mark. His last win came over today’s C&D and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Walsh has been getting his mark down for this race. At odds of 33/1, Kildorrery is worth backing each way.
2021 Punchestown Day 3 Tips: Kildorrery e/w @ 33/1 NAP (6 places Skybet/Paddys)
5.25 – Champion Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
The X-Country La Touche Cup doesn’t interest me in the slightest so next up is the Stayers’ Hurdle. A refreshingly decent sized field of 15 will go to post, including the winner of the Cheltenham version, Flooring Porter. He is unsurprisingly the 15/8 fav after that impressive display and as that was his first run of 2021, he should still be a relatively fresh animal. Jonathan Moore will be desperate to make up for missing out on the ride in March. With trip and ground to suit, he holds obvious claims.
The likes of Beacon Edge, Ronald Pump, Fury Road, The Storyteller and Cheltenham handicap winners Mrs Milner and Heaven Help us add plenty of depth to this heat but my idea of an each way bet is Sole Pretender.
This 7yo son of Gold Well comes into this race completely under the radar. Trained in Gort in Galway by Norman Lee, this fella is the best horse that Lee has had in his care by some distance. He was hugely progressive in 2019. A maiden winner at Clonmel in 2018, he started off in handicaps off 116 at Ballinrobe (17.5f gd). He made a mockery of his rating, winning easily by 4L. After further wins at Wexford (16f y) off 127 and back at Ballinrobe (20f gd) off 137, he was bumped up to 147.
Sole Pretender showed that rating wasn’t beyond him when running a blinder in the Galway Hurdle, beat just 4.5L in 5th. This fella must have had some issues because he was off the track for nearly 2 years before making his comeback in a hot 16f hurdle at Cork. He dotted up by 5L and showed that he retained all his ability.
Norman Lee said after that win that he thought his horse might need the run so it can probably be marked up. The big question is will he stay this distance? Well, he has won easily on both his starts at 20f and that is as far as he has gone. His dam is a half-sister to a pair of 3 mile winners and Gold Well has produced plenty of talented stayers so hopefully he gets this new trip. Jamie Codd takes the ride and at odds of 28/1, Sole Pretender is worth chancing each way.
2021 Punchestown Day 3 Tips: Sole Pretender e/w @ 28/1 (4 places)
6.00 – Handicap Hurdle (Grade B)
A maximum field of 25 will line up behind the tape for this 3 mile handicap hurdle. The one I’ll be backing in this at a decent each way price is Morosini. Trained by Jessie Harrington and owned by JP McManus, Sean O’Keefe gets the leg up on this 6yo son of Martaline. He has had just five runs so far this season and this will be his first hurdle run on half decent ground. He ran well enough at Naas in November over 20f on heavy and he wasn’t disgraced over today’s trip on his next outing at Leopardstown. In February he was pulled up on soft at that venue. The 19f trip and soft ground were never likely to suit last time back at Naas.
As a result of those runs the handicapper has dropped him to a mark of 135. That is just 2lb lower than the mark he started off this season. The reason the handicapper has been slow to relent is probably because of the ease of his Cork win off 129 in January 2020. He won by 6L that day (20f sft) but he is better suited by nice ground as his form figures of 212 on ground with good in the description indicate. The application of a first time tongue tie could also bring about an return to form. At odds of 18/1, Morosini is the each way selection.
2021 Punchestown Day 3 Tips: Morosini e/w @ 18/1 (6 places)
6.35 – Ryanair Novice Chase (Grade 1)
Just the five runners have been declared for the 16f Ryanair Novice Chase. Energumene was well fancied to win at Cheltenham but was ruled out with a setback. He is the long odds on favourite and it would be a major shock if he failed to win. Captain Guinness ran well at the Festival but he was no match for Shishkin. Janidli won very nicely over 20f last time but I am not too sure if he is going to enjoy coming back in distance. Embittered has been very disappointing and is hard to fancy, as is Zarkareva. This is not a betting heat for me and I’ll be giving it a miss. No bet.