Punchestown Festival Day 1 Tips: Check out the best bets for Tuesday at Punchestown

Punchestown Festival Day 1 Tips: Check out our best bets for Tuesday.
Punchestown Festival Day 1 Tips: Check out our best bets for Tuesday.

Steve Chambers picks out the best bets for day 1 of the Punchestown Festival, so check out his tips here...

A sparkling opening day of the 2021 Punchestown Festival provides a bit of everything for punters, with some exciting Graded events joined on the card by some devilishly difficult handicaps and some big-runner fields during the eight-race card. 

Here are some selections for the action on Tuesday.

16:15 - eCOMM Merchant Solutions Champion Novice Hurdle

Willie Mullins has won five of the last six renewals of this Grade 1 contest, and the master of Closutton will unleash another strong battalion at the 2021 renewal with Echoes In Rain and Blue Lord dominating the betting for this five-runner contest. At the time of writing, it's Echoes In Rain that sits at the head of the betting, while Blue Lord is a shade bigger, with the bookmakers going 16/1 the field, so you have to feel this could turn into a real head-to-head.

Echoes In Rain shaped like a really classy performer last time out when winning a Grade 2 event at Fairyhouse by 15 lengths, and she is entitled to progress further. However, her last visit to Punchestown was a disappointing one, as she could only finish fourth of seven in the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle. The five-year-old mare could enjoy the quicker ground on Tuesday, but in BLUE LORD she has a real top notch rival to down, and while he needs to bounce back from a fall at the last flight in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Blue Lord can bounce back here.

While he was no match for Appreciate It in the Supreme, he had pulled well clear of the rest of the field in the Supreme before a tired fall saw him hit the deck. A winner on his sole visit to Punchestown, Blue Lord can sit on the front end from the flag fall and Paul Townend can just kick clear in the closing stages of stablemate Echoes In Rain, who lines up under Patrick Mullins.

eCOMM Merchant Solutions Champion Novice Hurdle
Blue Lord silk

Blue Lord


16:50 - Killashee Hotel Handicap Hurdle

A field of over 20 runners are set to head to the 2m 100y start for the Killashee Hotel Handicap Hurdle, which is off at 16:50 and the JP McManus-owned pair of Magic Tricks and Gentleman Du Mee sit at the head of the betting. However, it's another donning the green and gold silks that can sparkle, and that's Cayd Boy, who marks terrific each-way value.

Last seen finishing a creditable 13th in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last month, CAYD BOY was unable to quicken in the closing stages of that contest, and had to settle for a mid-division finish. But, that form has been given a huge boost with winner Belfast Banter going on to win a Grade 1 event at Aintree, and Cayd Boy has been dropped in the handicap for Tuesday's contest, so has to be given the utmost respect.

With Simon Torrens claiming a further 3lb off his back, then he is effectively 7lb better off here, and having shown his class prior to Cheltenham with a win in a competitive Down Royal handicap hurdle, and a second placed finish at Fairyhouse a month later, then the Liz Doyle-trained raider can defy top weight can land this coveted prize with aplomb.

Killashee Hotel Handicap Hurdle
Cayd Boy silk

Cayd Boy


17:25 - William Hill Champion Chase

Runaway Ryanair Chase winner Allaho will drop back in trip for a mouth-watering clash with Chacun Pour Soi in a eagerly-anticipated renewal of the William Hill Champion Chase, which is off at 17:25 on Tuesday evening. The Henry de Bromhead-trained raider produced one of the performances of the Cheltenham Festival last month, as he obliterated his rivals in the 2m 5f Grade 1 contest, but de Bromhead has elected to drop him back in trip significantly, as he goes in search of more top-class silverware.

CHACUN POUR SOI was unable to land a blow in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, as the well-fancied Willie Mullins-trained raider could only finish third in the 2m Championship race, but having aired his disappointment of the tactics adopted in that event, Mullins is expected to instruct Paul Townend to go forward on the multiple Grade 1 winner.

A real two-mile specialist, Chacun Pour Soi is likely to try and eyeball Allaho, who led all the way emphatically in the Ryanair Chase, and if Chacun Pour Soi can just go that extra yard quicker than his main market rival is capable of, then Allaho could struggle to just maintain the gallop. While the likes of Nube Negra and First Flow have to be respected, it's the two Irish raiders that are set to show their class, and it's Chacun Pour Soi that makes the most appeal, and the nine-year-old can record a second Punchestown Festival success.

William Hill Champion Chase
Chacun Pour Soi silk

Chacun Pour Soi


18:30 - Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase

There may only be four runners lining up in the Grade 1 Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase, but what a quartet we have bidding for glory at 18:30. The heralded duo of Monkfish and Envoi Allen will battle it out at the head of the market, but Mares' Chase hero Colreevy and the classy Franco De Port add more depth to a mouth-watering renewal of the 3m event.

MONKFISH and Envoi Allen lined up as red-hot favourites for their races at the Cheltenham Festival, but both failed to deliver what was expected. Monkfish may have claimed victory at prohibitive odds in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase, but he jumped poorly during the contest, with a final fence blunder leaving odds-on backers holding their breath. However, he got the job done that day and you have to feel that Willie Mullins will bring him on for that run, with his jumping issues ironed out.

Envoi Allen was sent off a warm order for the Marsh Novices' Chase, but he was an early faller, so is on the comeback mission. Henry de Bromhead has elected to send his raider up in trip for today's contest, and you have to assume that he is none the worse for that Cheltenham fall, but it certainly leaves a niggling doubt on whether he can produce the goods over fences at the highest level. Add in Colreevy, who was an excellent winner at Cheltenham last month, and is entitled to take her chance here, it's set to be an epic. But, Colreevy may just find it tough to live with her male counterparts here, and will have to settle for the minor honours.

Having maintained his 100% record over obstacles, Monkfish can extend that record by lowering the colours of Envoi Allen, who can struggle to stay with Monkfish in the closing stages, and the Mullins-trained superstar can solidify his place towards the head of the betting for next season's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase
Monkfish silk


Punchestown Festival Tips
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