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The star three-mile chasers take centre stage on Wednesday with the likes of Al Boum Photo, Clan Des Obeaux and Kemboy set to do battle in the Punchestown Gold Cup.
Paddy Power pundits Mick Fitzgerald, Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey have been offering up their top tips for every race at the 2021 Punchestown Festival – and here’s their predictions for today’s big race…
Mick Fitzgerald: “This is a fascinating contest with Clan Des Obeaux being supplemented by Paul Nicholls after his comfortable success at Aintree. There is not a lot between the top horses on official ratings. Kemboy won this race two years ago and he loves this track but with Clan Des Obeaux likely to be ridden positively like he was at Aintree, it could upset Kemboy a little as he won’t get to dictate the pace.
“That makes me think it will just play into AL BOUM PHOTO‘s hands. Paul Townend can use his turn of foot to sweep past his rivals on the run to the last.”
Ruby Walsh: “The Cheltenham Gold Cup can leave a big mark on the runners in the Punchestown Gold Cup. Al Boum Photo was beaten here (by me on Kemboy!) after winning his first Gold Cup at the Festival in 2018.
“Clan Des Obeaux missed Cheltenham and has been supplemented for this race while KEMBOY is better on flatter track and is a previous winner. He didn’t have that hard a race at Cheltenham when his chance was gone and he’s my pick to win it again.”
Frank Hickey: “Minella Indo did follow up his Albert Bartlett victory with a win here as a novice hurdler and I thought he was the one to beat but he is now a non-runner.
“Instead, I’ll take a chance for AL BOUM PHOTO who was over five lengths behind Minella Indo in the Gold Cup. I think he was a little below his best there.
“He was second here to Kemboy in 2019 but was going to the win the Novice Grade 1 over 3m, so I don’t think the track is any issue for him.”
PUNCHESTOWN GOLD CUP TIPS SUMMARY
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