Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey can’t see Appreciate It beaten at Punchestown

This race is all about Appreciate It, according to Ruby and Frank

Appreciate It Paul Townend Cheltenham Festival March 16, 2021

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*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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Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey are in no doubt that Appreciate It is the one to beat in the eCOMM Merchant Solutions Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival [Tuesday, April 27 – 16.15]

The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old hacked up in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, beating Ballyadam by 24l, and our dynamic duo can only see one winner in the equivalent 2m contest at the Co. Kildare track.

Speaking on a special edition of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, jockey-turned-pundit Ruby and expert trader Frank discussed the race and can only see one horse potentially threatening Appreciate It’s dominance.

Ruby Walsh

Appreciate It skipped Aintree and it’s all roads to Punchestown. Ordinarily this is always where Willie Mullins would go with Supreme winners.

I know he did flip-flop Faugheen and Vautour in one year, which he had the luxury of doing, but he doesn’t train Ballymore winner Bob Olinger so I doubt he would be flipping Gaillard Du Mesnil and throwing Appreciate It in against Bob Olinger.

On current form, Appreciate It is the one to beat. That being said, a faster track might suit Blue Lord who travelled too strongly at Cheltenham (before falling at the final flight).

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Echoes In Rain currently remains in this race, and she doesn’t qualify for the Mares’ Novice Hurdle at Punchestown because she’s a Grade 2 winner. She will therefore have to go up into one of the Open Novice hurdles if she is to run at the festival.

She is eligible for this 2m contest or the 2½m race, but I couldn’t see her going that trip. But then again, we don’t have anything to beat Bob Olinger so maybe we will take a chance with her!

I’m on Appreciate It all day, every day for this race.

Frank Hickey

Echoes In Rain would have won the Grade 1 at Aintree, had she run there instead of Fairyhouse. She hammered Belfast Banter at Naas on her previous start, and that horse absolutely hacked up at Aintree.

When she won at Fairyhouse… I thought she was good, but I didn’t know she was that good. I thought the race fell apart a small bit but she settled and the way she quickened up was effortless. I would be tempted to back her for the Champion Hurdle next year. That’s how impressed I was with her. She was excellent.

Echoes In Rain Paul Townend Fairyhouse April 4, 2021

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I priced this race up and I like Echoes In Rain so much that I put her in second favourite. Bob Olinger is in the market but I would be very surprised if he didn’t run in the 2½m race. Getting 7lbs, I could see her giving Appreciate It a race.

Whether she is good enough to beat him, we’ll find out. But I thought there was an awful lot to like at Fairyhouse. Appreciate It will probably win so on the day I would maybe go Echoes In Rain in the ‘Betting Without Appreciate It’ market.

*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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