Ruby Walsh: My picks for Day Two of the 2018 Punchestown Festival

Here's who Ruby's backing on the second day of the Punchestown Festival...


15:40 Punchestown

We have three in this one. They’re not stable stars but it’s a race where we’d like a 1-2-3.

Katie O’Farrell got a great tune out of Low Sun last week, and we’d be hoping she could do the same with Hey Little Boy, who would have been in similar shape to Low Sun last Autumn.

John Fitzpatrick rides Steel Wave. He’s struggled to win but the ground here will be better than he’s had so far this year, so hopefully he can improve.

Niall Kelly rides Caro Des Flos, for whom we would have liked better ground. But he seems to be in good form at home.

16:20 Punchestown

Pravalaguna comes out the best of ours in this one. She ran well at Fairyhouse last week, staying well under Brian Hayes.

You’d imagine Sire Du Berlais is the one they have to beat, with Barry Geraghty on board for Gordon Elliott.

Good Time Tara is a good mare, even if her jumping has let her down in the past. The smaller field might suit her.

16:55 Punchestown

This is a big chance for Next Destination to get his head out in front. He was outpaced at Cheltenham behind Samcro, but there’s no shame in that and he stayed well to nab third. The step up in trip here should suit him.

I also think Ballyward will also have improved for his run at Cheltenham. He was very inexperienced for a horse in the Albert Bartlett, and his work at home is catching the eye.

Brahma Bull was disappointing at the Festival, racing a bit keenly under David Mullins. But until that point he’d done nothing wrong and appears to be in good nick at home.

The dangers in this one are Kilbricken Storm and Blow By Blow.

17:30 Punchestown – Gold Cup

The Gold Cup is always a fantastic race.

We’re pretty much throwing the kitchen sink at this one, without having a clear standout. Djakadam is an admirable horse, and was only beaten by a nose here last year. You’d have to say he was in better form at the time, though. That said, the standard of this race may not be as high this time around.

Bellshill travelled like the best horse for so long in the Irish Grand National, and I’m still not sure how he didn’t win. He threw it away going to the last. Commanche Court showed the National-Gold Cup double can be done.

Killultagh Vic never travelled and never jumped at Cheltenham, so that has to be a worry. Total Recall jumped badly in the Aintree Grand National last week, but back over fences will suit. If I was choosing for myself, I’d probably be heading for Bellshill.

Outlander runs for Gordon, and you also have Road to Respect, who will be the one to beat.

18:05 Punchestown

On paper it looks a race Willie has a great chance of winning. Patrick Mullins has stuck with Blackbow, and not having to travel will be a huge help to the horse, who got quite worked up at Cheltenham and ended up a bit keen.

Carefully Selected has done nothing wrong since Willie bought him. He stays well and is in great form at home.

Katie is stuck with Relegate, who she got up to win on at Cheltenham. Willie holds the aces here, and I’d be disappointed if all these were not in the frame.

But don’t forget there’s also Tornado Flyer, who could have improved again. I tipped him each-way to a lot of people before Cheltenham, and he seems to be in good form.

18:40 Punchestown

Patricks Park, despite not winning at Fairyhouse, caught my eye. He could be the best of ours. He’s in great form.

But I’d be worried about Blast of Koeman, who could be a huge danger.

19:15 Punchestown

Colreevy ran well at Cheltenham, and he’d be Willie’s number one here.

Masons Daughter did well at Fairyhouse last week, despite getting boxed in. Sapphire Lady was disappointing at Fairyhouse and needs to improve.

Head over to for the latest betting on the 2018 Punchestown Festival

What do you think?