Horse Racing tips: Picks for Monday’s Irish racing at Punchestown

PPTV tipster James Shortt casts his eye over Monday's racing at Punchestown

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12:40 PUNCHESTOWN – ITSWHATUNITESUS

 We start our rescheduled John Durkan card at Punchestown with a reduced field to the one declared last Sunday for this extended 2-mile Rated Novice Hurdle.  ITSWHATUNITESUS can progress further over hurdles for the Alymer Stud with the son of Walk In The Park having an excellent chance of following up on his maiden hurdle success at Cork last month. He saw off Embassy Gardens on that occasion and finished fourth to Facile Vega at the Dublin Racing Festival earlier this year.

The benefit of both solid form and a couple of runs over hurdles gives him the edge over Invictus Machin, who comes here following victory at Down Royal last month. Gavin Cromwell’s horse is hoping to follow in the footsteps of stable-mate Inothewayurthinkin who recently made it two from two when landing his novice hurdle at Gowran Park. Holms St Georges and Gaelic Arc are both removed from the field from last weekend with Carnfunnock the main other challenger remaining.

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13:10 PUNCHESTOWN – BODHISATTVA

It might prove fruitful to stick with Gordon Elliott and BODHISATTVA in the Kill Handicap Hurdle with Corey McGiven now in the saddle and taking off a valuable 7Ibs. The five-year-old should appreciate the step-up in trip following his staying on third behind stable-mate Jungle Prose at Navan last month. The son Leading Light is heading in the right direction now handicapping following his maiden hurdle success back in March and can give the Robcour team another winner following several nice victories in recent weeks.

Brian Acheson also has Time Marches On with James Motherway’s runner dropping down 4Ibs in the ratings following his latest start here last month. Ballyglass Beauty has a solid each-way chance with Liam Cusack’s runner very consistent in recent months under Adam Ellis. Elsewhere, Peter Carberry and Tony Martin could get some compensation with Rebellious Gale following the late fall of Explosive Boy at Fairyhouse earlier this month.

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14:10 PUNCHESTOWN – GALOPIN DES CHAMPS

 GALOPIN DES CHAMPS is the star attraction in the feature John Durkan Chase as the ante-post Gold Cup favourite makes his seasonal return. Patrick Mullins reported the 172 rated chaser in great form when speaking to our Sporting Life colleagues just before the postponed fixture last weekend and believes this is the ideal race to start his Gold Cup season. Paul Townend has schooled him, and all went according to plan with Mullins believing “he’ll be hard to beat” on return.

 His novice form is there for everyone to see, and he reappears here having secured compensation for his fall at Cheltenham with victory at Fairyhouse over Easter. As always, tactics will be interesting with Paul Townend perhaps looking for some early cover behind both Lifetime Ambition and Vanillier. Fury Road can run a good race considering the good form of the Elliott team and his recent fitness with Fakier D’Doudairies still looking the biggest danger despite returning from a break.

Punchestown Races Champion Stayers Hurdle with Paddy Power

Punchestown Races hosts the allowance race the Champion Stayers Hurdle (GETTY)

14:40 PUNCHESTOWN – APPRECIATE IT

 Another exciting star from the Willie Mullins camp returns at Punchestown with APPRECIATE IT making his debut over fences in this 2-mile Beginners Chase. The 2021 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner goes chasing having disappointed in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham back in March. He should develop nicely over the bigger obstacles considering his point-to-point background and a third placed finish behind Envoi Allen.

He won his Dromahane point-to-point from the front and it would be no surprise if he dominates from start to finish under Paul Townend. Highland Charge was declared last weekend but unfortunately doesn’t take part now for Noel Meade, with J.P McManus owning four of the ten runners. Hawai Game also from the Mullins camp also looks interesting on his chasing debut and could follow home his stable-mate and develop into a nice novice this season.

15:40 PUNCHESTOWN – BLIZZARD OF OZ

 Willie Mullins has an excellent record in this closing Punchestown bumper having won six of the last ten renewals which included success with Black Hercules in 2013. BLIZZARD OF OZ makes his debut for the Closutton team here having previously been trained by Lar Byrne to finish second in a Limerick bumper back in March. Simon Munir and Isaac Souede’s Impulsive Dancer won that contest for the Mullins team with the leading owners deciding to subsequently purchase this horse from Harley Dunne.

That performance from the son of Arctic Cosmos should be good enough to take this finale with Mel Monroe his biggest danger. Gordon Elliott’s runner has the benefit of fitness from his recent second to Mi Lucky Cailin at Galway. Elsewhere, Slade Steel warrants a market check on his rules debut for Henry De Bromhead following his point-to-point win at Dawstown. Elsewhere, Eddie O’Grady’s Any Road finished a good third to St James’s Gate here back in February and could reach the frame.

Monday Irish Horse Racing Tips

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