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Gary O’Brien: My picks for Tuesday at Punchestown

29 Apr | BY Gary O’Brien | MIN READ TIME |
Gary O’Brien: My picks for Tuesday at Punchestown

The horse racing broadcaster makes his selections for the first day of the Punchestown Festival, including his pick for the Champion Chase.

As usual, many of the stars of jump racing are set to strut their stuff at this year’s Punchestown Festival, though Sunday’s sad news about Shishkin has robbed Wednesday’s Gold Cup of one of its layers of intrigue. There is, however, still an excellent race in prospect for the week’s marquee event, and hopefully that level of competition can be sustained over the five days. Here are my thoughts on Tuesday’s action.

15:05

A maximum field goes in search of the big money in the inaugural Full Circle Series Final, and course specialist MORRICONE / is one who looks nailed on to give his supporters another good run. Ray Hackett’s progressive seven-year-old comes into this on a hat-trick and still appeals as having a bit of wriggle room from a handicap mark of 112. Of the seven-strong British raiding party, En D’Or and Montregard might offer most resistance to the home contingent.

15:40

TULLYHILL / performed well below expectations at the Cheltenham festival but it might be worth affording him a chance to bounce back. Runner-up in the champion bumper at this fixture last year, Paul Townend’s mount went off favourite for the Supreme Novices hurdle and while ultimately disappointing he did at least jump better than in previous forays. He is certainly much better than that latest effort implies. Slade Steel and Mystical Power, the eventual principals in that race, are the obvious dangers here but the latter is being asked a serious question by taking in Aintree in between. Asian Master is not out of it either.

16:15

DADDY LONG LEGS / warmed up for this assignment with a facile success at Ludlow last week and should be hard to beat in his follow-up attempt. A mark of 135 is unlikely to prove insurmountable for a horse who went off favourite to land a Grade 1 three starts back. Better ground appears to be the key to his chance. Toto Too impressed on his first outing for Gavin Cromwell at Naas and may give him most to do.

17:25

Things worked out beautifully for Captain Guinness at Cheltenham but the Champion Chase hero may be vulnerable back on home soil and DINOBLUE / looks the one to side with. She couldn’t quite get to grips with Limerick Lace in the mares chase at last month’s festival but everything points to her being better over the minimum trip and this is a golden opportunity to bag a second Grade 1 in open company.

18:00

Monty’s Star and SPILLANE’S TOWER / dominate the market here, and choosing between them is not easy. However the latter probably has the greater scope for improvement now he steps up to three miles for the first time and is marginally preferred to the Brown Advisory runner-up.

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Gary O’Brien

Gary O’Brien

Widely known as ‘the voice of Irish racing’, Gary is a horse racing broadcaster, presenter, and enthusiastic racehorse owner.

Gary O’Brien

Gary O’Brien

Widely known as ‘the voice of Irish racing’, Gary is a horse racing broadcaster, presenter, and enthusiastic racehorse owner.