Punchestown and Exeter Sunday Tips – DS

by | Nov 20, 2022

Punchestown and Exeter Sunday Tips

Another one of those days on Saturday. I was delighted to see Hitman win so well, he’s a dinger of a horse. Ailie Rose was in the process of running a cracker before falling at the last. It was too soft for A Plus Tard but it wasn’t soft enough for Bristol De Mai, however, the old boy still ran his heart out. Our NAP Before Midnight got 3rd but due to non-runners, we didn’t get paid. If Not For Dylan didn’t like the tacky ground but I still think he could have a nice staying race in him at some stage. We are back in action today, Punchestown and Exeter Sunday tips are below.

1.30 Punchestown – Florida Pearl Novice Chase (Grade 2)

The ground at Punchestown tomorrow shouldn’t cause as much consternation as it did at Ascot. It’ll be on the soft side of yielding so there’ll be zero excuses for everything bar the mudlarks. Is Thedevilscoachman a mudlark? Well, four of his six wins have come on ground with heavy in the description and his form figures on heavy and heavy, soft in paces read 1111. On soft or better they read 151732 so, it might be worth taking him on.

Idas Boy will like this ground and he ran well in a Grade 3 last time at Cork on heavy. He previously hacked up there on soft and his 1.25L 2nd behind Gerri Colombe on his last hurdles start looks like good form now. However, his 0.5L run behind El Barra last time should be treated with caution because the winner bled from the nostrils afterwards so the chances are he didn’t run to his rating of 154.

Minella Crooner is a horse I rated highly last season. I thought he was a big eyecatcher behind Minella Cocooner at Leopardstown in February but he then flopped at Punchestown. There is no doubt he has a serious engine but odds of 10/3 make zero appeal given he has never jumped a fence in public before.

Bigger Odds

It’s frustrating that only seven run here but a couple of firms are paying 3 places. So, Darrens Hope has to be worth a couple of quid e/w at 40s. Robert Murphy’s stable star is piping fit and she’ll have no problems with the ground. She’s got better form over fences than most of these and she has way more experience. This will be her 14th chase run and back in May she was beat 2.5L in the Killarney National off 130.

Darrens Hope has more chase runs than the whole of this field put together. She can front run so if Danny Mullins sends her to the front and gets her into a rhythm, she could put the rest of this field’s jumping under pressure. She gets weight from them too, which is another plus. It could be that the younger guns are too good but none of them look bulletproof so at 40s, Darrens Hope is the e/w selection.

Punchestown and Exeter Sunday Tips: Darrens Hope e/w @ 40/1 (3 places B365/Betfred) NB

2.05 Punchestown – Morgiana Hurdle (Grade 1)

It isn’t just the UK that has an issue with small, uncompetitive fields in Graded races. Five run in this and three are trained by Mullins, one by Eliott and one by Meade. State Man landed a monster touch in the County off 141 for Mullins last season before hammering Flame Bearer by 7L in a Grade 1 at this track. That was over 19f and he is back at 16f today but that shouldn’t inconvenience him too much. Three of Willie’s last five runners have won, it wouldn’t be a shock if he added another with this fella.

Sharjah is a legend of a horse and he won this race last year, beating Zanahiyr by 3L. The worry is that it might just be on the soft side for him today. He handles soft but he is at his best on nicer ground and it’ll be an impressive performance if he can land this on his reappearance as a 9yo.

Festival Flop

Teahupoo was a huge hype horse last Winter but when it came to the Spring, he flopped. He finished last at Cheltenham and at Punchestown but perhaps this could be the time of year to catch him. If it was bottomless ground I’d be half tempted at 10s because he could be a proper bog monster but on yielding and with just five runners, he’s best watched.

Jesse Evans is an interesting prospect back on a sounder surface. He flopped on heavy last time but previously he landed a G3 at Tipp (gd/yld) and he ran a massive race in the Galway Hurdle too. However, the Mullins pair will probably fight this out and with just two places on offer, it’s a no bet race for me.

Punchestown and Exeter Sunday Tips: No Bet

2.25 Exeter – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (Class 3)

Anthony Honeyball’s horses are in serious form and Gustavian ticks quite a few boxes here. The 7yo son of Mahler hasn’t won over fences yet but he has shown more than enough ability to suggest he’ll win one this season. He has finished 2nd on three of his last four starts and he has loads of course form in the book.

Back in January he went very close in a handicap here off 135, beat 0.5L by Moroder who was then rated 117. He has won twice since and he is now rated 135. This race is 5f shorter admittedly but this lad’s last two hurdle wins came at 17f and 20f so while he does stay 24f, this looks like a good trip to start back over. He’s only 2lbs higher than he was for that 0.5L defeat to Moroder and if he reproduces that form, he can go close at odds of 16/1.

Punchestown and Exeter Sunday Tips: Gustavian e/w @ 16/1

2.40 Punchestown – Maiden Hurdle (5yo+)

I put up Camino Rock on the TXMarkets Twitter feed at 40s when he ran at Fairyhouse (16f sft). He actually went well for a long way before getting tired and maybe, he might just have needed the run. However, there is also a chance that Mouse is out to get a mark for him and the last time he ran over this sort of trip at this track, he was beat out of sight (and for this jockey too). The percentage call is to leave him alone, hopefully we don’t regret it.

Winter Carnival showed enough in two maiden runs to give him an outside place chance here. However, he jumped 10 foot in the air before falling at the first at Galway and he was chancy at a few on his previous two starts also. His run at Limerick over 21f was promising and it is the same distance today. The right man is on board to hopefully get him jumping and he has better form in the book than three or four of the shorter priced ones here. Like Camino Rock, he might just be out to get a mark but at 33/1, he is worth a small interest e/w.

Punchestown and Exeter Sunday Tips: Winter Carnival e/w @ 33/1

3.00 Exeter – Haldon Handicap Chase (Class 3)

I put Lady KK up for her intended seasonal reappearance in a novice handicap hurdle. She was pulled on account of good ground and she now has been rerouted to a novice handicap chase. The money came for her that day and it has come again. She was 18s when I looked yesterday but there is none of that left. She has already run well over fences so the fact it is a chase rather than a hurdle race she returns in isn’t a worry. The odds are though and the e/w value has now gone.

We also backed St Erney last time out and he nicked 4th for us. He looks short enough at 10s and on this occasion, I’m happy to let him run. One that is potentially chucked in here is Milanford. Now trained by Syd Hosie, he shaped pretty well for a long way on his return to action at Cheltenham. He had rock solid form on his first three rules/chase starts in late 2020/early 2021, finishing 2nd three times, including over this C&D.

Went Wrong

Those three runs earned him a mark of 138 but he went wrong at the Cheltenham Festival and then last season, he ran ok on his reappearance in a maiden hurdle before pulling up again back over fences at Cheltenham in November. We didn’t see him again until 9 days ago and the fact he is running again so soon suggests that he must have taken the run pretty well.

He’s in off 120 today and with a 7lb claimer, that lowers to an effective 113. If he can repeat the form he showed on his first two chase starts, he could make a mockery of that mark. Clearly, he’s been hard to train and he must have had plenty of issues so he could just as easily be pulled up as place. However, in the hope that Hosie has sorted his issues and that he strips fitter for his last run, Milanford is a speculative e/w selection at odds of 40/1.

Punchestown and Exeter Sunday Tips: Milanford e/w @ 40/1 (4 Places)

3.15 Punchestown – Pertemps Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)

A qualifier for the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at the Festival. The first six home qualify for the main race and these are always tough heats to decipher. The horses that are rated high enough already to get a run in March will be aiming for 6th so I like to focus on horses that need to go up in the weights to have a chance of getting a run.

Sassy Yet Classy fitted that profile last year, winning off 123. She’s back again off 12lbs higher so a top 6 finish will probably be her aim this time. The cut off to get in at Cheltenham is usually around 135/136 so with the added weight that the UK handicapper gives Irish raiders, you’d probably want an Irish mark of around 127/128. With a rating of 112, Time Marches On definitely needs to go up in the handicap and he is 6lbs wrong at the weights here.

His handicap debut over 19f at Galway was moderate, but last time at Clonmel he ran a cracker. Held up, he made his challenge late and he just got outpaced on the heavy ground after the last. A strong gallop over this trip on better ground could really suit James Motherway’s son of Scorpion. Hopefully Conor McNamara can steer him into the money at 25/1.

Punchestown and Exeter Sunday Tips: Time Marches On e/w @ 25/1 (5 places) NAP

3.35 Exeter – Plymouth Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)

A very nice pot of £30k for these class 3 handicappers with the winner taking £16k. Petticoat Lucy ran poorly on her handicap debut off 114 back in April and this is her first run since. There is no way she ran to form that day and she is better judged on her novice hurdle form over today’s C&D and over 15f at Wincanton.

It was soft for both those races and in the Exeter heat, she made a very pleasing start over timber. She finished 3rd, 5.5L behind subsequent maiden winner Lassue in 2nd and 8L behind Swincombe Fleat, a winner off 113 on her seasonal reappearance. At Wincanton, Jeremy Scott’s mare made all over shorter. She easily beat Finest View off level weights and she went on to win four in a row and is now rated 131.

Obviously, there are risks attached here. She was pulled up with an irregular heartbeat in February and then ran poorly on her handicap debut. However, given that Scott targets races at this track and also because of how that novice win worked out, Petticoat Lucy is worth a small each way investment at odds of 33/1.

Punchestown and Exeter Sunday Tips: Petticoat Lucy e/w @ 33/1 (4 Places)

-DaveStevos

 

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