Punchestown on Friday has been given a real boost with Samcro being declared for the Grade One hurdle.
To make things even better, he’s taking on the Champion Hurdle runner up Melon. What a contest!
Here’s my tips for Day Four at the Punchestown’s festival.
We kick off with the Hunters Chase for the Bishopscourt Cup over the banks and a horse with impressive form figures in the form of Das Mooser is the one I’m eyeing in this.
She could even been unbeaten coming into this, had she not unseated her rider first time out. The conditions of this race at Punchestown will suit her.
Bel Ami De Sivola had his form royally boosted by Crosshue Boy, who won at Ayr and Patricks Park who won at Punchestown this week.
This is a tough race, but he has solid claims in the EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase. The nearly horse De Plotting Shed could be the each-way in this too.
Magic Of Light was a game winner at the Punchestown festival last year from Blast Of Koeman who ran such a good race yesterday.
That one gets the nod from me in the Mares Handicap Chase, with Slowmotion who was second last year another to be very much respected.
The Punchestown Champion Hurdle is all about Samcro. I am definitely in the Samcro fan club and I’m very keen to see him strut his stuff tomorrow.
Melon is the obvious danger after that great run in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, however he was beaten here in the Champion Novice Hurdle last year after finishing 2nd in the Supreme Novice Hurdle.
The only worry for Samcro is his lack of experience in big graded races like these over two miles. The fact the ground is slow will help his cause and I have no doubt he is up to it.
Supasundae is the each-way gamble here.
Pallasator has taken a little while to find his feet, but is full of confidence now. He will be tough to beat on the back of his good win at Fairyhouse and Davy Russell rides in the Champion Novice Hurdle.
Debuchet has struggled since his heady days as a bumper horse, but I’m hoping he can get a place.
The Hunters Chase has a blot in it!
Uxizandre won the 2015 Ryanair Chase and could just be way too good for these. Gordon Elliot will take any winner he can get and if the favourite flops his Ourmanmassini could take advantage.
Vengeful was a game winner at Thurles beating a smart horse in Dis Donc and could be better for the experience of that run.
Deal D’estruval is the favourite for the International Novice Hurdle though, and who wants to oppose a Willie Mullins horse at this stage!