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Clan Des Obeaux attempts to become the second horse in history to claim back-to-back renewals of the Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday.
Paul Nicholls’ charge scored by 1½l from Al Boum Photo in last year’s race and is set to reoppose his veteran rival while facing a whole host of fresh challengers including 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Minella Indo and dual Ryanair Chase winner Allaho, who steps back up to three miles and heads the betting.
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It looks a wide-open affair as the quality nine-runner field is completed by Galvin, Fakir D’Oudairies, Janidil, Tornado Flyer and Kemboy.
We’ve asked Paddy’s pals for their predictions and best bets for the Punchestown Gold Cup, which you can find below.
Mick Fitzgerald: ALLAHO got beaten over two miles by Chacun Pour Soi last season and that may put a lot of people off. But Chacun Pour Soi is a crack two miler so there was no real shame in it. The 2m 5f distance suits Allaho but so should this easy 3m trip for this dual Ryanair Chase winner. My only concern will be if he gets rattled early if taken on by a couple for the lead. He could be well within his comfort zone going a 3m pace and it could ruin the others’ chances – if they take him on. Last year’s first and second Al Boum Photo and Clan Des Obeaux have to be respected at a track they have both excelled at in the past.
Frank Hickey: This looks a really good renewal of the Punchestown Gold Cup but I can’t oppose ALLAHO even though he is going right-handed and steps up to 3m. He was an impressive winner of the 2m 5f Ryanair Chase for the last two years and I don’t think that the 3m trip will be any issue. He has the ability to win a King George VI Chase and possibly even a Cheltenham Gold Cup. Remember, he was only a length behind future Gold Cup winner Minella Indo in the RSA Chase when Champ nailed the two of them late on.
Timeform: A cracking renewal. ALLAHO’s free-wheeling style is seen to very good effect over 2½m but it’s worth remembering that he has some top-class form to his name around 3m and, with a dry forecast, he’ll surely take some pegging back. Last year’s winner Clan des Obeaux warmed up for his defence with a victory at Aintree and can fill the forecast spot ahead of Minella Indo.
Ruby Walsh: ALLAHO steps up to three miles again having had five runs over this trip and winning just once at Clonmel over Hurdle. He’s a more relaxed horse now and I think he’ll stay. It’s sure to be a strongly run race with him in it. Clan Des Obeaux will push him all the way, but Allaho could be too strong for them all if he stays the trip.
Punchestown Day 2 Tips
- Horse Racing Tips: Frank Hickey’s Punchestown punts on Wednesday
- Horse Racing Tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s best Punchestown bets on Wednesday
- Horse Racing Tips: Ruby Walsh’s Punchestown Cheat Sheet for Wednesday
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