• Mon 3 Oct, 2022
  • 09:26 BST
  • 05:26 EST (BST-4)
  • 11:26 CEST (BST+2)

Fergie’s Tuesday double

Paul Ferguson has two selections for us on Tuesday; Klassical Dream in the 16:20 and Delta Work 18:40 both at the Punchestown Festival. Compare odds and bet.

The Punchestown Festival gets underway on Tuesday and many a punter will be banking on Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins to kickstart the meeting in the best possible way.

The pair team up with a couple of short-priced favourites in two of the Grade 1s, with Klassical Dream (4:20) looking to supplement his impressive Supreme Novices’ Hurdle success, in the second race on the card, the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle. Mullins saddles four of the six runners and the five-year-old – who has form on decent ground from earlier in the season – is the clear pick, on Cheltenham evidence. He had stable-mate Aramon (also beat him at the Dublin Racing Festival) and Felix Desjy in behind in the Supreme and that pair went on to fight out the finish in the Top Novices’ at Aintree earlier in the month. The better ground – should that materialise – might well bring them closer together and any overnight rain would further enhance the claims of the market leader, in my opinion. I was hugely impressed by his manner of victory in the Supreme and will be a shade disappointed if he can’t follow up, to complete a Grade 1 hat-trick.

Nicky Henderson’s unbeaten Champagne Platinum is the unknown quantity – of sorts – in the field, but whilst he looks a promising type, this represents a huge step up in class, following a maiden hurdle success at Newcastle and a win in an introductory event at Newbury.

Min is the other Mullins-Walsh ‘hotpot’ on the card and he arrives here on the back of an imperious display in the Melling Chase at Aintree. If he can reproduce that sort of effort back at 2m he is going to be very hard to beat, but he is priced up accordingly and was beaten into fourth in this race 12 months ago.

The third Grade 1 on the card is the extended 3m Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase, in which Mullins and Walsh team up with the returning Getabird. The seven-year-old – who hasn’t been seen since Limerick at Christmas and reportedly needs to go right-handed – is a horse I have plenty of time for, but he can be a keen-going sort and this is his first start beyond 2m4f under Rules. If he settles early on, he could run a big race here, but it is a concern for me and I think Delta Work (6:40) is solid at the top of the market, despite this looking a quality event.

Twice a Grade 1 winner earlier in the campaign, the six-year-old travelled powerfully throughout the RSA Chase at Cheltenham. Despite the fact that Topofthegame was beaten at Aintree (didn’t appear to run to form), I think that form is top-class and certainly represents the best single piece of form on offer. Quicker ground won’t pose him any problems and he is very much the one to beat.

Second best in the market is runaway Close Brothers winner A Plus Tard, who was undeniably impressive at the festival. That victory came off a British mark of 144, however, and this again represents another step up the latter. The Irish handicapper believes he is the horse to beat here, as he has him 1lb superior to the selection and he also receives a handy 5lbs five-year-old allowance. Given the speed he showed at Cheltenham and the exuberance early on, Rachael Blackmore might need to switch him off this time and, with the proven stamina in the bag, preference is for Delta Work.

Tuesday’s selections:
4:20 Punchestown Festival – Klassical Dream; 8/11 Ladbrokes
6:40 Punchestown Festival – Delta Work; 7/4 Ladbrokes


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