In another life Willie Mullins would have been the greatest postman in the land. His ability to deliver horses at their peak for the Punchestown festival in particular, is astonishing. His 6 timer on Wednesday’s card exhibited his magic touch and also the trust he places in his huge team.
Paul Townend showed great character to guide Next Destination home by a mere neck and his treble on the day more than made up for Tuesday’s error. Both of Tuesday’s selections ran very well with Tornado Flyer coming out on top in the bumper at a delightful 12/1.
Today’s card is yet again dominated by the champion trainer and it looks like he may stretch his lead over Elliot by the end of the day.
Day 3 Punchestown Tips:
17.30 Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4YO plus)
Selection: Bacardys 3/1
Penhill cruised into the stayer’s hurdle in Cheltenham and used his finishing kick to best effect to defeat the admirable Supasundae. Even with this tremendous performance under his belt, he is an attractively priced 2/1.
Identity Thief is another who carries praiseworthy form as his last outing proved that he is capable of winning a decent Grade 1. Faugheen the machine would be a more than worthy winner even if it looks most unlikely.
At times, in racing, money talks. All the money during the week has come for Bacardys. Paddy Mullins will take the ride and he has expressed his confidence in getting closer to Penhill than at Cheltenham, as the race will be run at a less muddling pace. Bacardys was a top novice hurdler and will stay the distance very well, the greater the stamina test the better and if his jumping improves he will certainly test the strength of the favourite.
19.15 Close Brothers Mares Novice Hurdle (listed) (Class 1) (4YO plus)
Selection: Glens Harmony 7/2
The mighty Laurina looks like she may be the most exciting mare to come from these shores since the imperious Annie Power. Luckily for this field, she has been put away for the season since her bloodless win at Fairyhouse.
Nevertheless, this will be a very intriguing contest with not much separating those at the top of the market in terms of ratings. Moyhhenna carries strong form into the race with her victory over Moonlight escape and Cut the Mustard (5th) really standing out. The front two pulled clear of the remainder while also giving away weight, so neither should be discredited.
Paul Townend will ride Cut the Mustard who fell last time out however it may be best to look at her stablemate. Glens Harmony is sister to Cheltenham Mares' Hurdle winner Glens Melody. Her trainer has waited patiently with this one and she could potentially be a long way ahead of this bunch. Her hurdling will have improved from her Thurles victory and she will most likely be played late in a bid to provide the champion trainer with yet another winner.