Punchestown 2021 Day 2

Here we go for day two – we got the rain yesterday though not a lot but we certainly got a lot of Willie Mullins winners.

 

Race 1 - 15:40:  Adare Manor Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle

Another tricky handicap hurdle to start.  I like Mount Leinster Gold, who has run up a sequence of three points and two under rules and won well last time out.   Another last time out winner, Fortune Street (each way), could go well from the Paul Nolan stable.

 

Race 2 – 16:15:  Connolly's RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final

Heather Rocco is the hot favourite here for Henry DeBromhead and Rachael Blackmore after his 16l win in Limerick at the end of March. Notably Willie Mullins has just the one representative here in the shape of an easy 6½l last time out winner and while he needs to improve, there is every chance Gelee Blanche has been aimed at this and could be a rewarding each way play.   

 

Race 3 – 4:50:  Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle (4yo+)

Blue Sari looked booked for second when falling at the last in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham and a reproduction of that run should be enough to see the former Champion Bumper second return to winning ways here.

 

Race 4 – 17:20:  Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

This is a deep race featuring three Cheltenham festival winners from March, all of which can have cases made for them.  The one I favour is Vanillier, who is proven over the distance on his easy Albert Bartlett hurdle win and probably is still improving.  He has most to fear from Galopin Des Champs.

 

Race 5 – 17:55:  Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1)

A small but select field for this intriguing renewal of the Gold Cup.  On the basis that his Aintree win was a 26l stroll in the park and he has been supplemented for this race, I am going for Clan Des Obeaux here to put one on the board for the English.

 

Race 6 – 18:30:  ITM – Supporting Irish Store Sales Champion Bumper

This is between the Cheltenham first and second Sir Gerhard and Kilcruit.  While some consider Kilcruit was unlucky in Cheltenham, I think the winner was just doing enough in front and could have found more if needed.  On jockey bookings, Patrick Mullins seems to think the same.  Sir Gerhard is a confident selection for me.

 

Race 7 – 19:00:  Guinness Handicap Chase (Grade A)

A tricky handicap here in which Willie Mullins is strongly represented with five runners.  The one I like most is Royal Rendezvous each way, who was second in the Galway Plate when last seen and looks to have been kept for this.  Minella Till Dawn could run into a place at tasty each way price also.

 

Race 8 – 19:35:  Weatherbys EBF Mares Flat Race

Grangee is the hot favourite for Willie Mullins, based on her Grade Grade 2 win in Leopardstown and her sixth to Sir Gerhard in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper.  A repeat should suffice dropped in grade.   Mollys Glory could reward each way backers.

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