Punchestown Festival Day 5 Tips: Check out the best bets for Saturday at Punchestown

Punchestown Festival Day 5 Tips: Check out our best bets for Saturday.
Punchestown Festival Day 5 Tips: Check out our best bets for Saturday.

Steve Chambers picks out his best bets for day five of the Punchestown Festival, which is the final day's racing on Saturday afternoon...

We've reached the fifth and final day of the 2021 Punchestown Festival, and it's been an event that has been dominated by star handler Willie Mullins, who will unleash another strong book of contenders throughout the eight-race card on Saturday. We have delved through the form book and selected our tips for the day's racing.

14:50 - Colm Quinn BMW Group Handicap Chase

Irish Grand National hero Freewheelin Dylan will look to taste more success on Saturday and alongside Anibale Fly will carry top weight in the Colm Quinn BMW Group Handicap Chase, which is off at 14:50. However, that pair have a mountain to climb against some more eye-catchingly handicapped rivals in what looks a devilishly difficult betting conundrum for punters.

Third in the Scottish Grand National, Mister Fogpatches has to come into calculations ,while the Noel Meade-trained Brace Yourself is a classy performer on his day, but the eye-catching bet is FORZA MILAN, who should relish this 3m 7f marathon, and looks handicapped to run a mighty race.

Fourth in the 2020 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, the nine-year-old has become a model of consistency in staying races and was last seen finishing fifth in a competitive Navan contest. Prior to that effort he was a creditable third in the Grade 2 Ten Up Novice Chase, and before that finished an excellent fourth in the Porterstown Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse.in late November. 

That performance came off a mark of 135, and he lines up off that exact same mark this weekend, and with Gavin Brouder taking 7lbs off his back for this event, then he's handicapped to run a mighty race, and he warrants a confident each-way bet. If Brouder can leave some in the tank for the final energy-sapping few furlongs then it would be no shock to see him get his head in front.

Colm Quinn BMW Group Handicap Chase
Forza Milan silk

Forza Milan

Punchestown Festival Tips

16:30 - Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase

Anthony Honeyball has already tasted victory this week at the Punchestown Festival, and the British trainer will fancy his chances of bagging more silverware on Saturday with Sam Brown, who alongside Brahma Bull will carry top weight in the Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase at 16:30.

A Grade 2 winning novice chaser, Sam Brown was last seen finishing third to the classy Imperial Aura in the Colin Parker Memorial at Kelso, and a repeat of that effort should see him go very close. The aforementioned Brahma Bull travelled well for the first three quarters of the Irish Grand National last time out before tiring in the closing stages, so he will enjoy a drop back in trip, and can't be ignored for Willie Mullins.

Owner JP McManus will unleash a five-pronged attack at this race and the likes of Ten Ten and Scoir Mear will prove popular amongst punters, but his standout contender is the Philip Hobbs-trained Musical Slave, who stands a mighty chance off a mark of 128. Last seen finishing ninth in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival, MUSICAL SLAVE has had a topsy-turvy season as before Cheltenham he was a creditable third at Ascot in a Listed event, while he was a faller in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster three starts ago.

But, he's been given a significant chance by the handicapper, as he's been dropped 7lb from his Cheltenham run, and having won at the 2019 Punchestown Festival then he most certainly relishes a trip across the Irish Sea to this meeting, and while he could be a speculative shout on recent form, if Hobbs can get him firing on all cylinders then he makes most appeal at an attractive price.

Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase
Musical Slave silk

Musical Slave (EW)


17:05 - BARONERACING.COM Handicap Hurdle

There's a whole host of hugely competitive handicap races taking place on the final day of the meeting, and the 17:05 is another mouth-watering event for bookmakers and punters to lock horns as 24 horses line up in the BARONERACING.COM Handicap Hurdle.

One of the most fascinating runners on the card is the Emmet Mullins-trained The Shunter, who has been a revelation over hurdles and fences, and having won the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham earlier in the season, he return to that venue at the festival to land victory in the Paddy Power Plate. Second in Grade 1 company over fences at Aintree last time out, The Shunter will return to the hurdling sphere here (15lbs higher than Greatwood win), and is sure to prove popular.

Chatham Street Lad is another eye-catching contender, who bagged his biggest prize of the campaign at Cheltenham by winning the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, but he is reverting back to the smaller obstacles for the first time since July 2019, and he is best watched.

Cape Gentleman adds more depth to the aforementioned Mullins charge, and this raider was last seen winning the Grade 2 Dovecote Novices' Hurdle at Kempton, but this is a whole lot tougher and he may just fall short in the hustle and bustle of a fiercely run handicap.

One that catches the eye is the Willie Mullins-trained CIEL DE NEIGE, who off 137 is worth keeping a close eye on. He finished ninth in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival off a mark of 140, so a drop in the handicap will most certainly aid his chances. He finished a gallant second in the 2020 Betfair Hurdle off a mark of 135, and a return to a sounder surface could see him sparkle for the man-of-the-moment Mullins.

Ciel De Neige silk

Ciel De Neige (EW)

Punchestown Festival
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