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Katie Walsh Betway blog: Punchestown day one Tuesday 26 April 2022

25 Apr | BY Katie Walsh | MIN READ TIME |
Katie Walsh Betway blog: Punchestown day one Tuesday 26 April 2022

The Betway ambassador previews the opening day of the 2022 Punchestown Festival and makes her picks through the card.

Punchestown signals the beginning of the end of the National Hunt Season. What a season we’ve had, with plenty of highs and fantastic stories in the only way that national hunt racing can. We’ve still got a hell of a week to look forward to this week at Punchestown, with some hugely competitive races for us all to enjoy and I hope I can find you some winners.

15:40

The opening mares’ race is a very competitive race that I couldn’t make heads nor tails of until I watched Party Central’s {ODDS:923347717:11/4} run at Cheltenham back. She travelled so well in the race and came there looking like she’d go very close, but she just seemingly stopped. It was well documented that Gordon didn’t have the best Cheltenham, but his horses are in much better form now and think she could get back on the winning track again.

16:15

I bet Paul Townend is thinking that he’d rather not have had to make the choice to choose between Dysart Dynamo and Sir Gerhard {ODDS:923368587:4/6}. He’s chosen Sir Gerhard and I think it’s the right decision; I love him. He was so keen at Cheltenham, and he still jumped super and won with his head in his chest. I think it’ll be a pretty similar story here.

16:50

Glan {ODDS:923381080:6/1} won well at Fairyhouse last week and I think the race could be set up for him. Punchestown handicaps are often run at a fast pace and the track is tight, so you need plenty of luck in running, but you’d rather be on a fit horse and he’s seemingly full of himself at the moment.

17:25

Energumene {ODDS:923399950:8/11} sluiced up in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham last time. Obviously, Shishkin pulled up early and he pretty much had things his own way from the start of the race, but I think he’s very good and as long as he isn’t over the top as he’d had a few hard races this year, then he’s the one to beat.

The two bumpers on the card are both full of unraced horses. You simply don’t know how good they are. You never know what might come out of them, so you just hope that there are a few future stars that come on show!

18:35

I’m sure Capodanno {ODDS:923437982:11/4} has a good one in him. I thought he ran well behind Bob Olinger on his penultimate start and we all know that Bob Olinger wasn’t going to win at Cheltenham and in all honesty, he wasn’t even running very well. Capodanno definitely stays 3m, too.

19:10

You’d have to think that Good Bye Sam {ODDS:923448554:SP} is going to be really hard to beat in the Ladies Hunt Cup, wouldn’t you? He’s clearly the best horse in the race who won at Tramore in a Hunter Chase last time. Barring accident, he should win.

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Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh

Successful former jump jockey who, until 2021, boasted the best ever Grand National finishing position by a female jockey.

Katie Walsh

Katie Walsh

Successful former jump jockey who, until 2021, boasted the best ever Grand National finishing position by a female jockey.