Punchestown Festival Tips: My Banker, Lay and Big-Priced Selection

Punchestown Festival Tips: Chacun Pour Soi is a warm order in the Champion Chase
Punchestown Festival Tips: Chacun Pour Soi is a warm order in the Champion Chase

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

Dominant at the Cheltenham Festival in March, the Irish National Hunt stars are ready to strut their stuff once more at the Punchestown Festival, which will provide five spectacular days of jumping action, with a host of Grade 1 prizes taking centre stage. We are expecting a plethora of impressive Cheltenham winners to take their chance during the week, but can they all reign supreme once again?

Like we did prior to Cheltenham, here at Horseracing.net we are going to select a banker of the meeting, lay of the festival and also a big-priced fancy, who can outrun their odds.

Banker

There will be some mouth-watering clashes throughout the 2021 Punchestown Festival, but arguably the most fascinating one of the week is the duel between Chacun Pour Soi and Allaho in the Punchestown Champion Chase on Tuesday evening. A disappointing third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, CHACUN POUR SOI will be looking to bounce back to form on home soil, but he will have a tough assignment by taking on mightily impressive Ryanair Chase winner Allaho, who drops back in trip for this contest.

The pair are fighting it out for favouritism, but it's top-class two-miler Chacun Pour Soi who is just fighting off his stablemate at the head of the betting, at the time of writing, and I feel that is correct. You couldn't have not been impressed by the way Allaho cruised through the Ryanair before pulling clear of his rivals to record a sparkling win in the 2m 5f Grade 1, but this is a whole new test for Willie Mullins' charge, and he may just fall short.

Mullins has spoken negatively about the tactics used on Chacun Pour Soi at Cheltenham, so expect him to go forward from the flag fall, and he's sure to see Allaho on the speed as well. So, it's set for a real ding-dong battle out front, and Chacun Pour Soi is likely to be able to maintain the cruising speed needed over two miles, while Allaho, who has often been seen over three miles, may just lack that ability to go with his stablemate,

A previous winner at the Punchestown Festival, where he beat Defi Du Seuil in the 2019 Ryanair Novice Chase, Chacun Pour Soi can show his class once again at the Jumps extravaganza, and he looks the banker of the meeting.

Punchestown Champion Chase
Chacun Pour Soi silk

Chacun Pour Soi

won

Lay

One horse that set the Cheltenham Festival alight was the Gavin Cromwell-trained FLOORING PORTER, who was a shock winner of the Stayers' Hurdle on day three of the meeting. Now, the fast-improving six-year-old will look to taste more Grade 1 success on day three of the Punchestown Festival, as he bids for glory in the Champion Stayers Hurdle on Thursday.

Currently a clear 15/8 favourite, at the time of writing, for this Grade 1 contest, Flooring Porter is entitled to be the market leader, but he's going to find it tough to replicate his fine Cheltenham win. Sent to the front from the off in the Stayers' Hurdle in March, Flooring Porter is likely to try and replicate those front-running tactics, but you have to feel his opposition won't give him as much rope this time.

There's no doubt that he is on a rapid incline, and if Cromwell can improve him further then he could be tough to beat, but in Stayers' Hurdle third Sire Du Berlais, who will relish the quick ground, he faces a major rival for glory. Add in the triumvirate of the The Storyteller, Beacon Edge and Fury Road, Flooring Porter has some tough nuts to crack from the front on day three of the meeting, and he could prove to be worth taking on with Sire Du Berlais just coming out on top.

Big-Priced Selection

Willie Mullins has trained five of the last six winner of the Champion Novice Hurdle, which is one of the Grade 1 features on day one of Punchestown, and the master of Closutton is set to enhance his glittering record further by claiming another win in the race. All eyes will be on the emphatic Supreme Novices' Hurdle champion Appreciate It, who is set to try and bag the Cheltenham/Punchestown double, and lines up as a red-hot favourite.

A mammoth 24-length winner of the Cheltenham Festival curtain-raiser last month, Appreciate It produced one of the performances of the week, as he obliterated his rivals, and it's hard to see him not claiming more success here, if in top form.

While that Supreme victory was hugely impressive, the winning margin would've been a lot less had stablemate Blue Lord not fell at the final flight. BLUE LORD was well beaten at the time of his last hurdle tumble, but he had pulled well clear of the rest of the field, and was destined for a very creditable second placed finish.

Now, set to return to the track on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival, Blue Lord is available at double-figured odds at the moment, which looks superb each-way value, as he looks to be the biggest danger to his stablemate. He should enjoy the quicker surface in Ireland, and a flatter track could also play more to his strengths, so he could get a lot closer to Appreciate It. He will need to come on massively, if he is to reverse the Supreme form, but if Appreciate It doesn't replicate that high level of performance then Blue Lord could well pick up the pieces, and he is the big-priced selection worth following.

Champion Novice Hurdle
Blue Lord silk

Blue Lord

lost
Punchestown Gold Cup Odds
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