We’re finishing off our Punchestown Festival tips with eight selections for Saturday’s cracking card at Ireland’s premier National Hunt event.
There are two more Grade One contests for mares and juveniles for punters to get stuck into and our expert picks come from PA’s Keith Hamer.
2.15 STAND UP AND FIGHT
Couldn’t quite recover from a bad mistake at the 23rd obstacle when third on his first crack at the cross country course here on Thursday after being heavily backed and looks worth sticking with as he seeks to recoup those losses.
2.50 FREEWHEELIN DYLAN
Sprang a 150/1 surprise in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse recently and is taken to prove that was no fluke by defying an 8lb rise up the ratings.
Was just collared in the closing strides of the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham after jumping the final flight a length in front and gets the nod to gain compensation on this sharper track.
This four-year-old stormed up the Prestbury Park hill to claim Triumph Hurdle glory on his debut for Henry De Bromhead and only has to reproduce that form to prevail in the Punchestown equivalent.
Renews rivalry with the third and fourth from Cheltenham, in the Willie Mullins-trained Haut En Couleurs and Denise Foster’s Zanahiyr, but we see no reason for a change of result.
De Bromhead said: “He’s been really good and looks amazing. Obviously, he only came to us just prior to Cheltenham, but he seems in really good form.
“He seems to have a very high cruising speed, he jumps well and he’s a very exciting horse.”
4.30 FINE THEATRE
Paul Nolan’s valiant veteran has often come good in the spring during previous campaigns and almost secured a fifth career victory when going down by just a neck at Wexford recently, having lost valuable ground with a last-fence blunder.
5.05 DROP THE ANCHOR
Followed up a lucrative success at Leopardstown in February with a fair effort when staying on to finish seventh of 25 in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham and another bold showing is predicted in our Punchestown Festival tips.
5.40 KLASSY KAY
Won well over this course and distance back in January and was plugging on gamely when falling at the penultimate fence at Fairyhouse last time out, so the feeling is that she still has more to offer.
Bred for the job as a half-brother to the useful The Butcher Said and hails from a yard which always warrants respects in bumpers, so watch out for any market moves.
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