Timeform provide the three best bets at Punchestown on Saturday.
"...that showed she is on a fair mark..."
Timeform on Popong
Concertista was narrowly denied when favourite for the Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but she ran well in defeat and might well have won had she jumped the final flight more fluently. That form is the best on offer based on Timeform ratings and her trainer Willie Mullins has his team firing on all cylinders, so her claims are strong. She should prove difficult to beat.
Quilixios got the better of Haut en Couleurs and Zanahiyr at the Cheltenham Festival and he can uphold the form here. Quilixios took his unbeaten record over hurdles to five when landing the Triumph Hurdle by three and a quarter lengths, backing up an impressive success in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival. Quilixios has always scored with a bit in hand and has not yet shown everything that he has to offer.
Popong was understandably no match for Colreevy when runner-up in a novice chase here in November, but she may well have gone close on her handicap debut at Leopardstown had she not departed at the last. Popong was alongside the winner, around two lengths behind the leaders, when crashing out at the final fence. That showed she is on a fair mark and she can go close if seeing out the trip on her first attempt at three miles (she promises to stay this far).
Willie The Coo - 18:10 Punchestown
28% - Patrick Mullins' strike rate at Punchestown
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