John Durkan tips and runner-by-runner guide to Punchestown 2.10 on Monday

All eyes on the Gold Cup fav.

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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

Galopin Des Champs makes his long-awaited seasonal bow in the rescheduled John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup antepost favourite looked a monster over fences in his novice chasing campaign and is set to face six rivals for his first run in open company, which takes place on Monday at 14:10 GMT after the card fell foul of the weather more than a week ago.

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Joseph O’Brien’s Fakir D’oudairies, a two-time Grade 1 winner last season, appears to be the principal threat while Gordon Elliott’s Fury Road brings race fitness to the table after scoring in a Down Royal Grade 2 last month.

John Durkan odds can be found on the Paddy Power website, Paddy Power app or via our snazzy betting widgets, otherwise Timeform’s horse-by-horse guide to the runners and betting tips from the Racing Post are below.

John Durkan runners

Fakir D’oudairies

Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien Jockey: M. P. Walsh Age: 7 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Top-class chaser. Eight wins from 21 NH runs. Respectable 20¾ lengths fifth of 9 to Allaho in Punchestown Gold Cup at this course (24.1f, good to soft, 7/1). Good record when fresh and should make his presence felt.

****

Fastorslow

Trainer: Martin Brassil JockeyAge: 6 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Smart hurdler. 10/3, good second of 24 in handicap hurdle at this course (19.1f, soft). Off 7 months and switches from hurdles to chase. Open to improvement in this sphere but this is a big ask.

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Fury Road

Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: J. W. Kennedy Age: 8 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Very smart chaser. 7/2, didn’t need to improve to win 4-runner Grade 2 chase at Down Royal (19.6f, soft) 44 days ago by short head from Delvino, digging deep. Significantly more on his plate this time.

***

Galopin Des Champs

Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: P. Townend Age: 6 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Promising sort. 2/11, career best when winning 4-runner Gold Cup Novices’ Chase at Fairyhouse (20f, soft) by 18 lengths from Master Mcshee, impressively. Very exciting prospect and, granted a clear round, he’ll prove hard to beat.

*****

Haut En Couleurs

Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: B. J. Cooper Age: 5 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Very smart chaser. 3/1, 15¾ lengths fifth of 6 to Blue Lord in Barberstown Castle Novices’ Chase (Colliers) at this course (16f, good to soft). Off 7 months and up in trip. Galopin des Champs is clearly the stable No 1.

**

Lifetime Ambition

Trainer: Mrs John Harrington JockeyAge: 7 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Very smart chaser. 8/1, good second of 18 in handicap chase at Navan (24f, heavy) 22 days ago, going with enthusiasm. Good chance of picking up some minor place money.

***

Vanillier

Trainer: Gavin Patrick Cromwell Jockey: Keith Donoghue Age: 7 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Smart chaser. Course winner. 13 lengths third of 4 to Fury Road in Gr 2 chase (9/2) at Down Royal (19.6f, soft) 44 days ago. Looks set for a struggle in this contest.

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John Durkan tips

Racing Post: Willie Mullins has failed to win this only once in the last seven years and GALOPIN DES CHAMPS, a brilliant novice last season, can enhance that excellent record. Fakir D’Oudairies is a smart performer at this trip and is a clear second-best in theory. Fury Road and Lifetime Ambition have the advantage of race-fitness and possibly have a better chance than implied by the official ratings, though both would prefer further.

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