Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s fine fancies at Punchestown on Tuesday

Frank is all over the five-day bonanza at Punchestown.

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*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

15:40 – Brides Hill

It’s no surprise that Willie Mullins has won this race five times in the last eight years. Grangee and Dinoblue had a hard enough race at Fairyhouse just nine days ago when they finished 6th and 4th respectively. Party Central travelled like a dream in the Mares Novice at Cheltenham but found nothing when asked but plenty of Gordon Elliott’s ran a little below form at the festival.

Brides Hill carries a 3lb penalty. She disappointed at the Dublin Racing Festival but before that, she had won a competitive Leopardstown handicap off 121 in a canter. In 2nd that day was Surprise Package (off 128) who went on to win the Imperial Cup off 135 and finish an excellent 6th in the County off 140. Back in 10th was Fastorslow who was just touched off in the Coral Cup and in 12th was Call Me Lyreen who won the Liffey Handicap Hurdle on his next start. She is officially rated 135, which is the same as Dinoblue and Party Central and next in is Grangee and Lunar Display on 130.

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16:15 – Sir Gerhard

Willie won this race six times in the last seven years. It’s difficult to oppose Sir Gerhard after a dominant win in the Ballymore and with the 2nd, Three Stripe Life, coming out and winning the Grade 1 at Aintree to frank the form. One worry would be that Sir Gerhard ran below form here last year in the Champion Bumper.

Dysart Dynamo is the obvious danger and this track will suit him. He was still going alright in the Supreme when he fell three out and Jonbon and Silent Revolution have both come out and won since. He could get an easy time of things in front which would make things interesting but I doubt Paul Townend will let him.

16:50 – Still Standing

Still Standing ran midfield in a premier handicap on the flat when last seen back in October and that was off a flat mark of 94. When trained by Jessie, he had a peak flat rating of 104. He’s only had six starts over hurdles and won on his last start in a maiden hurdle at Gowran on good ground where he had useful horses like Cirque Royale, Lahinch Tree and The Greek behind.

He is 2lb wrong here but is rated 92 now on the flat and surely is capable of going well off this sort of mark over hurdles. He carries 10st and William Durkan can train, as we saw with Screaming Colours winning a Midlands National off a near five month break and then backing it up with a cracking 4th in the Irish National.

17:25 – Energumene

Chacun Pour Soi was an impressive winner of this last year but he will have his hands full with Energumene. His only defeat was that narrow second to Shishkin in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot and while the Champion Chase fell apart a bit as a race, he couldn’t have won any easier.

Energumene Paul Townend Champion Chase

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18:00 – Miss Agusta

Mags Mullins had Springwell Bay finished a close 2nd to Adamantly Chosen in this and she booked Derek O’Connor that day. He has only had five rides for her in bumpers in the last five years. Miss Agusta cost €21k and is a Well Chosen mare out of a sister to numerous winners. Caldwell Potter is very interesting for Gordon being a brother to Mighty Potter.

18:35 – Millers Bank

Bob Olinger was walking home in the Turners and I’d be wary of backing him now on his first start at 3m. Fury Road ran well in Aintree when 2nd to Ahoy Senor but I do think that L’homme Presse and Bravemansgame underperformed. Capodanno might have been undone by the testing ground in Cheltenham and was an impressive winner of a handicap hurdle here last year.

Millers Bank bolted up in the Manifesto Novices Chase at Aintree and while that was a weak renewal he showed his well being and he did hit the line strongly that day, suggesting that 3m might actually suit. Remember, he was good enough to finish right up behind Abracadabras and Buzz in the Aintree Hurdle last season. He is open to improvement now at 3m and decent ground really suits him.

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19:10 – Michaels Pick

Michaels Pick was 5th in this last year beaten 15l behind Singing Banjo with Vital Island a length back in 2nd. He turned out a couple of days later and finished 2nd to Singing Banjo in the La Touche Cup over 4m2f. He finished over a length ahead of Good Bye Sam at Thurles in March when 2nd to Along Long Story in a hunters chase.

Frank Hickey’s Punchestown Tips:

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