Katie Walsh: My horses to watch at Punchestown on Wednesday
The Betway ambassador reveals her horses to watch in every race on Wednesday's card, including her pick for the Punchestown Gold Cup.
I thought Stand Off was good on his latest start when he won at Fairyhouse under Mark Walsh. He’s gone up 8lb for that, but I think he won with a little bit in hand, so that may not hinder him too much.
He’s a strong traveller who appeared to stay well last time and Conor Orr is a good man on top now (15:40).
I put up Gelee Blanche a couple of weeks ago when she won at Tralee. She sluiced up that day, making light work of her rivals.
With the confidence of that win behind her, I think she can improve to be competitive here (16:15). She’s definitely at the right end of the handicap as she’s getting weight from most of the field here.
Decimation was a tad unlucky to be beaten last time. He’s improved with each run this term and went very close to winning that Grade 2 contest at Fairyhouse earlier in the month.
This is not the strongest race (16:50) but he brings the best form into it for Henry [De Bromhead] and Rachael [Blackmore].
Galopin Des Champs is the chosen mount of Paul Townend in the 17:20 and I think that will be telling.
He improved to win the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham last time and that was off the back of a run in a Grade 1 behind Appreciate It where he went off at 100/1. He’s clearly got loads of ability and it is just starting to show now.
In the absence of Minella Indo in the Punchestown Gold Cup (17:55), I’ve gone for dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo , who was second in this race behind Kemboy in 2019.
He ran another gallant race in defeat in this year’s Gold Cup and is without doubt the most talented horse in this field. He’s had another campaign that suits him, and he’ll come into this race fresh and well.
The Champion Bumper at Cheltenham was a cracker of a race and the rematch between Kilcruit and Sir Gerhard is going to be lively (18:30). There wasn’t much between them in March and I think that will be case again this time around, although I do think Kilcruit will be able to turn the tables.
Sir Gerhard got the first run on him at Cheltenham, but I don’t think Derek [O’Connor] will let Patrick [Mullins] get that far ahead, and I think the class that we saw from him at the Dublin Racing Festival will show again here.
Livelovelaugh was explosive in the Topham Chase at Aintree earlier this month. He ran away with the race.
He’s 11 years old now, but he’s loving life and loves his jumping, and I think that’s what will stand him in good stead here (19:00). He’ll be ridden prominently by Brian Hayes, who has a good book of rides for Willie [Mullins] this week.
Midnight Maestro is another who I think can go well in the same race. He’s still pretty lightly raced for a nine-year-old but has managed to win two races this season. I liked the way he went out about his business at Limerick last time and think he could sneak into a place.
Grangee has done very well this season and she brings the best form to the table in the last race of the day (19:35). She was a big eye-catcher at Cheltenham as she started to fly when it was all too late.
Patrick [Mullins] takes the ride and I think she’ll give him another winner in his bid to become the champion amateur rider again.
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