*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
Oh yes, oh yes, it’s all about a very special mare on the penultimate day of the 2022 Punchestown Festival.
Superstar Honeysuckle attempts to extend her incredible unbeaten career record to 16 as she puts her Paddy Power Champion Hurdle crown on the line at 5.25pm. With partner-in-chief Rachael Blackmore in the saddle once again, Honeysuckle is the red-hot favourite after Supreme winner Constitution Hill and Epatante swerved a clash, despite Uncle Paddy offering a £100,000 bonus if any UK raider can beat her.
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David Pipe was the only trainer brave enough to send a challenger from the other side of the Irish Sea as Adagio attempts to bounce back from a hammering in the Champion Hurdle at last month’s Cheltenham Festival. Darasso, Echoes In Rain, Saint Roi and Teahupoo complete the field.
The evening’s other Grade 1, the Champion Novice Hurdle, is the next race on the card as County Hurdle winner State Man goes for a maiden success at the top level. Mersey Novices’ Hurdle winner Three Stripe Life is likely to provide the stiffest challenge, while Flame Bearer and Kilcruit add further class to the field.
All the details you could possibly need about Friday’s races at Punchestown are available on our snazzy Racecards page including the runners and riders, weights, odds and horse-by-horse analysis.
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Punchestown Day 4 Tips
- Horse Racing Tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s best bets for Punchestown on Friday
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If you’re eager to see whether your punt has placed then you’ll be able to catch up on all of the Punchestown results in a flash on our Fast Results page.
Head over to the Racecards tab at the top of page now to start swotting up on Friday’s renewals, otherwise, you’ll find the race times and tips for day four of the 2022 Punchestown Festival below.
AN DROICHEAD GORM arrives on the back of a recent point win and looks the one to beat. Alpha Male ought to be sharper for a comeback run at Down Royal last month and is a possible threat. Jigginstown King was pulled up in his sole point but Shark Hanlon won this last year and Rob James does the steering so he’s definitely one to keep a close eye on in the betting.
Willie Mullins has an outstanding record in this valuable novice handicap (won five of the last six renewals) and with FIGHTER ALLEN seemingly the pick of Paul Townend, he can enhance that record further with the promise of better to come over the larger obstacles. Lieutenant Command looked set to go close when departing 2 out in a race won by Gabbys Cross at Naas in February so he could provide the main danger, ahead of Gevrey and Busselton in a fiercely-competitive contest.
ELIMAY has developed a fine record against her own sex and having won this race last year, everything looks in place for another bold bid on the back of her Cheltenham success. Scarlet And Dove chased home the selection last month and may well do so again.
It’s pretty much impossible to oppose superstar mare HONEYSUCKLE, who retained her Champion Hurdle crown in decisive fashion at last month’s Cheltenham Festival. She should have little trouble in also repeating her 2021 success in this race. Saint Roi performed with plenty of credit when fourth to Honeysuckle at Cheltenham and gets the nod for forecast purposes ahead of Teahupoo, who was well below par in the same race but is much better than he showed that day.
It’s no surprise to see STATE MAN now dining at the top table following his victory in the ultra-competitive County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Indeed, to win that big-field handicap in the manner that he did on just his fourth start over hurdles was impressive and the sky could be the limit for this 5-y-o. Stablemate Kilcruit is not discounted, but bigger threats are likely to be posed by the progressive Flame Bearer and Three Stripe Life, who landed a Grade 1 at Aintree last time.
Having got up in the dying strides at Cheltenham, BILLAWAY is fancied to make amends for last year’s agonising defeat in this event by edging out Vaucelet, who is closely matched on form and looked as good as ever when scoring at Fairyhouse last time. Dorking Cock is the pick of the remainder.
EL FABIOLO found a chunk of improvement to push Jonbon close at Aintree last time and, without anything of that calibre to contend with, he’s well fancied to resume winning ways. Stablemates Ha D’Or and Bring On The Night aren’t without a chance, but they’d likely have to catch the selection on an off day to win.
DON CHALANT holds the edge on the form of his Navan bumper second and is taken to open his account at the chief expense of Leopardstown runner-up Golden Wonder’s, who also looks to have better days ahead of him. Newcomer Great Name That is not without interest either, especially if the market vibes are positive.
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