Sunday Irish Racing Tips: Four Plays from Punchestown this afternoon

Long Strand can go well over the Punchestown banks today...
Long Strand can go well over the Punchestown banks today...

Today's Punchestown card has thrown up Cheltenham winners like Moscow Flyer, Sizing Europe and Mikael D'Haguenet in the past and Tony Keenan has looked through the card for his best bets...

"This could be ripe for an upset and Long Strand is a massive price for the horse with the best Punchestown cross-country form in the field."

1 point Back Long Strand @ 34.033/1 or bigger in the Punchestown 13:40

Punchestown 13:40

Quantitativeeasing is not good at horse racing; his last win was in December 2011 and since joining Enda Bolger only three of his ten runs could be deemed decent. He can be laid at odds-on but the ones chasing him up in the market lack solidity too; Federici was due for a break after his New Year's Eve run yet is back for his seventh start since October while Ipsos Du Berlais's trainer reports that he's close to being sent eventing. 

This could be ripe for an upset and Long Strand is a massive price for the horse with the best Punchestown cross-country form in the field; Cheltenham form does not always translate back here. Though too keen for marathon trips, five runs over three miles around this unique track have yielded three thirds, one unseat and a taking of the wrong course with those places behind good cross-country types like Arabella Boy, Big Shu and Love Rory. 


Punchestown 14:40

Neither of the Willie Mullins horses convince here. Avant Tout was workmanlike in winning a bad Tramore maiden and looks a stayer. The Wexford form of Aminabad has at least worked out, the second, third and fourth winning since, but a 75-day mid-season break screams setback and he may need this. All Hell Let Loose makes little appeal either having flopped last time and finished second in a Royal Bond that fell apart.

That leaves the handicappers Bentelimar and Mr Diablo. The former was better than the result last time, stumbling when beginning his challenge, but the combination of the track and trip might put too much emphasis on speed. Mr Diablo conversely has won his last two starts around here and his recent second is proving strong form (Modem and A Grey Matter in behind). That bare form leaves him with little to find and he looks overpriced at 8.07/1


Punchestown 15:10

18 runners in this Pertemps qualifier but two jump out as being potentially ahead of the handicapper. Mydor looks leniently treated with a 9lbs rise for last time when a mistake at the last masked his superiority but I prefer Lite Duties who looks a graded novice in the making.

Connections seem more inclined to go the handicap route judging by his appearance here and the 6yo will need to go very close off 131 to get into the Pertemps proper judging on the bottom weights for last year's renewal. Relentlessly progressive this season, he won a very strong race last time and I would have him favourite ahead of Mydor.


Punchestown 15:40

In a Champion Chase field where Dodging Bullets is the most solid runner, Hidden Cyclone has to be a fringe contender and the 20/1 available about him winning that race with the Sportsbook is fair. If my view is correct, he really should be winning this Tied Cottage getting 8lbs from Twinlight. 
There are reasons other than the weights to think he can reverse Christmas form with the Mullins horse. Hidden Cyclone is generally more consistent than Twinlight, he looked to go too fast at Leopardstown while Twinlight is coming off an ordinary run at Ascot where he never looked like getting involved.    

Hidden Cyclone is a horse that the betting public is likely to get frustrated with, finishing second in four of his last six starts, so could drift from early prices and offer a bigger BSP. There have been no real signs of temperament however and he has posted a host of 160 plus efforts in recent completions that would be good enough here. 

Recommended Bets:

1 point Back Long Strand @ 34.033/1 or bigger in the Punchestown 13:40

1 point Place Back Long Strand @ 6.05/1 or bigger in the Punchestown 13:40

1 point Back Mr Diablo @ 8.07/1 or bigger in the Punchestown 14:40

1 point Back Lite Duties @ 6.05/1 or bigger in the Punchestown 15:10

1 point Place Back Lite Duties @ 2.01/1 or bigger in the Punchestown 15:10

1 point Back Hidden Cyclone @ BSP in the Punchestown 15:40

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