Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Wednesday; Limato 16:05 at Ascot, Thistlecrack 16:55 and Supasundae 18:05 both at Punchestown. Compare odds and bet.
Day two of the Punchestown Festival is an absolute cracker, with the County Kildare track hosting a trio of Grade 1s.
First up is the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle, in which last year’s festival bumper winner Shaneshill is a short priced favourite. He is a class act and made it two from four over hurdles at Fairyhouse on Easter Sunday, but he has never really looked in desperate need for 3m and his stamina will be tested here.
Next best is thorough stayer No More Heroes but the pair are taken on with impressive Aintree winner Thistlecrack (4:55) who represents a bit of each-way value at 8-1.
Yes, he needs to back up that Sefton Hurdle success just 19 days on, but the son of Kayf Tara appeared to relish the huge step up in distance and, assuming that hasn’t left too much of a mark, he looks capable of another bold show under Tom Scudamore.
Fellow British raider Fletchers Flyer, who won the concluding bumper on last year’s card, is capable of going well at double-figure odds. Harry Fry’s seven-year-old is two from two over hurdles on right-handed courses and, potentially more importantly, missed both Cheltenham and Aintree after having a tough race at Haydock in February. He wouldn’t mind any overnight rain.
The feature contest, the Punchestown Gold Cup, doesn’t appeal from a punting perspective, but does look a strong renewal, while the Champion Bumper (the third and final Grade 1 on the card) looks an absolute blinding renewal.
Sure to throw up any number of novice hurdle winners next season, this race should be watched closely, then again, then again – you get my drift. Anyway, Disko was hugely impressive when winning on the inside track on debut and is a horse I have been looking forward to seeing again since. However, I wasn’t expecting him to head the market in what looks a very hot race, so he is looked over purely from a value perspective.
The unbeaten pairing of Pylonthepressure and Charbel have also created a good impression, while Nicky Henderson’s Altior looked a serious prospect when winning at Market Rasen last May and might have just needed his return to action in February.
The Cheltenham Champion Bumper form has to be greatly respected, however, and Robert Stephens’ runner-up Modus heads those that hail from that contest. Eighth in the race a year earlier, the Motivator gelding ran an astonishing race on his first start for over 11 months, losing ground at the start and still finishing second.
But, a chance is taken on Supasundae (6:05) who was keen in the first half of the Cheltenham contest, yet still led the field into the straight and looks a high-class prospect in his own right.
He eventually finished sixth, but can probably be rated a fair bit better than that and, at the odds (12-1 with Ladbrokes last night), he is worth supporting each-way, under last year’s winning ride Jamie Codd, who was successful in a bumper here yesterday.
On the domestic front Limato (4:05) is fancied to make a winning return in Ascot’s Group 3 Pavilion Stakes.
Henry Candy’s Tagula gelding was impressive in winning all four starts during his juvenile campaign and is an exciting prospect for the season ahead. The three-year-old’s trainer certainly knows how to handle a high-class sprinter such as this and he can maintain his unbeaten record – the selection was trading at 13-8 with Paddy Power overnight.
4:05 Ascot Limato 6/4 Stan James
4:55 Punchestown Thistlecrack 8/1 Bet365
6:05 Punchestown Supasundae 8/1 Stan James
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