Punchestown Gold Cup Tips: Take on Allaho with this classy stayer

Allaho is favourite to land a vintage renewal of the Punchestown Gold Cup
Allaho is favourite to land a vintage renewal of the Punchestown Gold Cup

A star-studded list of top notch staying chasers will contest the Grade 1 Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday evening, and while Cheltenham Gold Cup hero A Plus Tard doesn't feature, there's still some of the most exciting three-mile performers lining up for what looks a vintage showpiece on day two of the Punchestown Festival...

Producing one of the finest displays at last month's Cheltenham Festival was the runaway Ryanair Chase hero Allaho, who retained his 2m 5f crown on day three of that meeting, and is now stepping up to three miles to try and claim another notable Grade 1 success. Sent to the front from the flag fall that day, Allaho didn't see another rival as he scooted to victory, but with a whole new level of opposition here he will have his work cut out. Paul Townend could deploy different tactics as his last three attempts at the distance has seen him fail to win, but he's a real class act when at his best, and is entitled to be the market leader.

Reigning champion Clan Des Obeaux will be the sole British-trained raider lining up on Wednesday and the Paul Nicholls-trained star was last seen bounding to victory in the Bowl at Aintree, and he will be attempting to replicate last season's sparkling one-and-a-half length success over Al Boum Photo, who also lines up here after finishing sixth in the Gold Cup last month. A length success over Conflated at Aintree showed that Nicholls was right to bypass Cheltenham, and while Clan Des Obeaux is a notable contender here, there's much more depth in this year's renewal and he may just come unstuck against some classier rivals.

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2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo was unable to retain his crown at this year's festival as he was a gallant runner-up to A Plus Tard, but the Henry De Bromhead-trained raider will look to get back to winning ways in the Punchestown Gold Cup, and has to be a key player. However, he's failed to get his head in front all season, and has often found one too good, so while he shaped with huge promise last time out with a season's best he may just have to settle for the minor honours again, with De Bromhead reaching for headgear to try and find some improvement.

One horse that arguably underperformed in the Gold Cup was GALVIN, who was well fancied to go very close in the blue riband event last month, but Gordon Elliott's star could only finishing fourth. Having been ridden with restraint throughout the event, Galvin was unable to quicken at the crucial stage and he ploughed on to pick up the pieces. With a National Hunt Chase win to his name you'd think they would try to utilise his stamina here and he could well sit a little nearer the pace.

He would certainly want Allaho to make it a fierce gallop from the outset, and while he will find it tough to keep up with that speedy rival, if he can cling on through the first two miles then he could well look to try and do all his best work in the closing stages, and at around 7/1 he ranks a cracking betting proposition against his rivals, and he can claim glory by staying on the best in the closing stages of an energy-sapping feature.

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A superb five-and-a-half length win in the Melling Chase at Aintree last time out saw Joseph O'Brien's Fakir D'Oudairies land another notable Graded success, and the JP McManus-owned raider will look to step up to three miles and claim this prize. A real class act, he's often found it very tough at the highest level and was put in his place by Allaho earlier in the season, and it's hard to see him reverse that form here.

Former champion Kemboy will be a huge price to win again, but he often blows a little more cold than hot these days, and he could struggle, while shock King George VI Chase hero Tornado Flyer and Janidil are another duo from the Willie Mullins yard that will have to settle for the minor honours in what looks a race that can be fought out by those towards the head of the betting.

2022 Punchestown Gold Cup
Galvin silk

Galvin

lost
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