Punchestown Festival 2022 Day 1 Tips: Check out our best bets for Tuesday's racing
All eyes veer to Punchestown on Tuesday for day one of the 2022 Punchestown Festival, and our in-house tipster Steve Chambers has studied the form and has picked out his best bets on what should be an enthralling day's racing at the Irish venue...
15:40 Punchestown - Howden Insurance Brokers Mares Novice Hurdle
Dinoblue and PARTY CENTRAL clashed in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last month with the former finishing ninth and the latter in seventh, and it's Gordon Elliott's Party Central that can frank that form and duly record a second win at Punchestown this season. A Listed winner at the track earlier in the campaign, she then followed up at Leopardstown, but was unable to land a blow at Cheltenham last time out, but she was bumped at a crucial stage that day, so she should be better than the bare result and can land the opener.
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16:15 Punchestown - Bective Stud Champion Novice Hurdle
We may only have five runners going to post for the first Grade 1 of the week, but the Champion Novice Hurdle should be an absolute corker and it can be the imperious Ballymore Novices' Hurdle winner SIR GERHARD that can reign supreme from stablemate Dysart Dynamo. Dropping back to two miles from 2m 5f (Ballymore), Sir Gerhard will have a different test to deal with here, but the Willie Mullins camp have always been clear that this superstar can perform with credit over a number of distances, and with Dysart Dynamo looking to bounce back from a fall in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Mighty Potter flopping in that contest then Sir Gerhard is the solid option and is entitled to be odds-on with the bookmakers.
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16:50 Punchestown - Killashee Hotel Handicap Hurdle
One of the toughest betting races on the card, the 16:50 contest will see a whole host of challengers bidding for glory, but the one that catches the eye is the Willie Mullins-trained FAROUT, who can land the spoils. Unable to land a blow in top notch Grade 1 novice hurdles at the start of the season, he was then sent to the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, where he was a creditable tenth. Dropped 5lbs for that effort, he failed to land a blow off a mark of 137 last time out at Leopardstown, but with the ground conditions likely to suit on Tuesday and with the mark of 137 workable then the Closutton inmate can outclass his rivals here.
17:25 Punchestown - William Hill Champion Chase
What appears a match on paper between the electric Queen Mother Champion Chase hero Energumene and the reigning Punchestown Champion Chase hero CHACUN POUR SOI, the day one showpiece at 17:25 should serve up a thrilling contest. Five go to post, but the trio of Andy Dufresne, Envoi Allen and Captain Guinness should provide no test to the Willie Mullins-trained pairing, and Energumene will be the red-hot odds-on favourite. If he can repeat his Cheltenham run then he's sure to get his head in front, but Chacun Pour Soi is a top class horse at Punchestown, and having fallen at Cheltenham when travelling well, he could still be capable of landing a blow on his stablemate and is the value play against the jolly.
Chacun Pour Soi
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18:00 Punchestown - Goffs Land Rover Bumper
Irish Envoy impressed when winning on debut at Naas at the end of last month, but in behind that day the Gordon Elliott-trained IDEAL DE CIERGUES shaped with significant promise when coming third and that Cullentra House inmate can build on that effort significantly in the 18:00 race on Tuesday evening. Sure to come on for that effort, the grey gelding just struggled in the closing stages to keep up with Irish Envoy, but can get significantly closer on day one of the Punchestown Festival, and is the tentative selection in a race full of imponderables.
Ideal De Ciergues (EW)
18:35 Punchestown - Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase
Despite winning the Marsh Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival Bob Olinger was very disappointing in that Grade 1 contest, as he was being trounced by Galopin Des Champs before that superstar crashed to the floor at the final fence. Henry De Bromhead's raider won't meet a rival in that class here, but he doesn't seem the most natural chaser and could be worth taking on now stepped up to three miles. Jessica Harrington's LIFETIME AMBITION relished the step up to three miles last time out when winning at Limerick, and while this is a huge step up and he has form to reverse with Bob Olinger from earlier in the season, he could be the value selection in a trappy betting heat.
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19:10 Punchestown - Kildare Hunt Club Cross Country Chase For The Ladies Perpetual Cup
Enda Bolger is always a man to watch in these sort of races and he will saddle DE NORDENER, who has been running well in hunter chases of late and getting his head in front, so if he can continue on an upward curve then can be a real handful in the penultimate race on Tuesday. The Willie Mullins-trained Good Bye Sam is one to watch out for, but with Mr Derek O'Connor in the saddle then Bolger's raider can strike gold.
19:45 Punchestown - Mick The Tent Flat Race
Some really intriguing types running in the finale, but the standout is the Gordon Elliott-trained FIRM FOOTINGS, who is a costly €220,000 Walk In The Park gelding, who is related to some smart performers including top class National Hunt performer Monalee. He could be a contender that improves for the step up in trip, but should the market hold strong for him then he can down the Willie Mullins-trained Lisnagar Fortune, who is also an eye-catching runner.