Punchestown Festival Tips: Joe Tuffin's Banker, Lay & Big-Price Fancy

Punchestown Festival Tips: It may be worth staying away from Monkfish
Punchestown Festival Tips: It may be worth staying away from Monkfish

Joe Tuffin picks out some Punchestown Festival tips, and selects his banker, lay and big-priced selection for the Irish Jumps showpiece...

Banker

Chacun Pour Soi let a lot of accumulators down at the Cheltenham Festival as the dreaded Cheltenham hill proved too steep for Mullins’ electric jumper, and as a result, what looked like it would be an easy win jumping the last resulted in a third place finish behind Put The Kettle On and Nube Negra. However, I’m putting him down as the banker at Punchestown as, quite simply, no such hill exists. His career form is simply brilliant, with only two losses under rules in his career, and he also boasts Punchestown form which is a huge factor. There was a lot of talk pre Festival about whether he’ll handle the hill and he simply didn’t, but that fear doesn’t exist here which is a huge bonus. His opposition is strong, including Nube Negra who he is reopposing, though I believe he can easily reverse that form away from the hill as he is a far classier performer, and more notably his stable mate Allaho, who was one of the most impressive winners at the Festival when claiming the Ryanair Chase in brutal fashion. He’s being dropped back to two-miles for the first time in his chasing career and he showed all the pace and power to prove he’s up to this trip, but I’d much rather be on the side of the proven two-mile performer and therefore Chacun Pour Soi gets the nod.

Punchestown Champion Chase
Chacun Pour Soi silk

Chacun Pour Soi

won

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Lay

This will likely raise some eyebrows and that is completely understandable, as my lay of the Festival will have to be the unbeaten over fences Monkfish, who has been dubbed as a future Gold Cup winner by many in the industry. With some of his performances It’s not hard to see why, and a smash up job despite poor jumping In the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase hardly helps my case, but as we all know the race he’s lining up in contains a certain Envoi Allen, who is seen as many (including myself) as the second coming of Christ in equine form. Things obviously did not go his way at Cheltenham, falling at the fourth fence and destroying antepost accumulators up and down the country, but we have to remember the regard he was held at prior to March. Now Monkfish is a very very very good horse, but Envoi Allen is a generational talent, and I’d much rather be siding with the latter in his first attempt over three miles. Add to that Mares’ Chase winner Colreevy, who downed the well fancied Elimay at Prestbury Park, and Monkfish has a serious race on his hands in which he may find himself playing second fiddle for the first time since November 2019.

Big-priced Fancy

When it comes to big-priced fancies there’s usually one you gravitate to time and time again, and it’ll be no different for me here as I think Silver Streak is worth an each-way play in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle, currently available at 33/1. His stellar season at the top has somewhat tapered off in the Spring, with his early season 2020 form reading 1C21 and his 2021 form reading 66, but you just can’t ignore him anymore after proving he’s one to worry about at the big roulette tables. Beating Epatante was by far his career best performance, and i do truly believe there was no excuse for connections of the JP McManus mare, and I sided with him at the Festival to repeat that win but unfortunately he finished just outside the placings in sixth, but for both his sixth-placed finishes he has been right there within four-lengths of the placings. Things didn’t go his way at Aintree as he never got the lead he so desperately wants, but he’s one of those horses that you know will give you a brilliant run for your money, and if things go his way from the front then it would shock no one if he was to be battling it out for the win at the business end of the race. He’ll certainly be worth a play at a big price.

Punchestown Champion Hurdle
Silver Streak silk

Silver Streak

Punchestown Gold Cup Odds
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