Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s Punchestown Champion Stayers’ Hurdle antepost bets

Top tips for Thursday's feature at the Punchestown Festival.


*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

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The Irish Champion Stayers’ Hurdle takes place at Punchestown on Thursday, April 29 and three of the first four home from the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham could renew rivalry again.

Paddy Power Trader Frank Hickey and top pundit Ruby Walsh assess the field on the latest edition of Paddy Power’s From the Horses Mouth podcast, ahead of next week’s showcase Festival that brings the curtain down on the Irish jumps season.

Thursday, April 29 – Champion Stayers’ Hurdle

Flooring Porter, trained by Gavin Cromwell, is expected to go off as favourite and Ruby can see why. Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, he said: “This race gets a good field every year and it looks the same again. It’s a solid race with a tough field but I fancy Flooring Porter.

“The way he did it on a stiff track at Cheltenham, he’s going to be a hard horse to beat at Punchestown. Whoever takes on Flooring Porter is really going to struggle. I don’t see another horse in the field who can challenge him up front. It’s not Sire Du Berlais’ style of running to stay up with the pace, so it’s Flooring Porter as the most likely winner for me.

“Heaven Help Us is also worth keeping an eye on and I can see her finishing second behind Flooring Porter. However, I don’t see her passing him to win!”

Frank Hickey, however, isn’t completely confident about Flooring Porter.

He added: “Flooring Porter has proved he can win tactical races or strongly-run races and deserves to be favourite. At the same time, he isn’t the type of bet I would go for at this stage and Klassical Dream would be interesting. Otherwise the one I would probably side with is Beacon Edge.”

Sire Du Berlais could be Flooring Porter’s main challenger but Frank has his doubts over the nine-year- old.

Frank said: “Sire Du Berlais has shown his peak form up to now at Cheltenham, so it is difficult to see how he reverses that running with Flooring Porter now. I’m not on Flooring Porter or Sire Du Berlais at this stage.”

Frank went on to talk up Beacon Edge, who finished fourth in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

“I thought Beacon Edge ran a cracker in the Stayers, especially considering it was very strongly run and his stamina was untested. I could see this track suiting him even more, as he was third in the G1 Champion Bumper at this track back in 2019 and won his maiden hurdle here too,” he said.

Sire Du Berlais



Frank discussed Ronald Pump and Klassical Dream’s chances in Thursday’s race, with our trader saying he’s backing the pair in each-way punts.

He said: “Ronald Pump was second in last years Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and missed this season’s edition after a setback. He ran a cracker in the Hattons Grace Hurdle last November when a fast-finishing second behind Honeysuckle, beaten only half a length. Decent ground will suit him and if he is fully fit, he has the ability to get involved.”

On Klassical Dream, Frank added: “By far the most interesting entry here is Klassical Dream. A Top class novice back in 2018-2019, winning 3 Grade One’s that season, including the Dublin Racing Festival, the Supreme Novices Hurdle and the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle. Was going to go to the Ballymore Hurdle at the Festival a couple of years back, but was a last-minute switch and has always shaped like a staying two miler. I’m optimistic about him getting the trip. He is a big price and if he has been working well at home before this contest he could be a each-way play.”

*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

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