Timeform's Irish team bring you their three best bets from day two at the Punchestown festival...
"Argocat’s taken his form to another level in his last two starts and may well surprise a few if he can build on recent efforts..."
The first bet of the day comes in the Grade 1 novice hurdle over three miles (16:55) and Beat That rates as an exciting prospect on the back of his facile Aintree success. That was just his third start over hurdles and as a result there is any amount of improvement to come, and it's Nicky Henderson's charge that gets the vote. Cheltenham Festival winners Don Poli and Very Wood cannot be dismissed lightly in what is a mouth-watering contest, but Beat That looked a horse of limitless potential last time and is expected to show it here.
It's the feature race of day two, the Punchestown Gold Cup under consideration next (17:30) and the vote goes to one at a slightly bigger price in the shape of Argocat. He's taken his form to another level in his last two starts, landing a Grade 2 at Gowran Park before running to an excellent third behind Silviniaco Conti at Aintree last time. He's a horse who has always had a serious reputation and he's still only a six-year-old suggesting his best days are most certainly ahead. Both Boston Bob and Gold Cup runner-up On His Own are clearly dangers for Willie Mullins, but their looks little value left in their price and the selection may well surprise a few if he can build on recent efforts.
Our final selection runs in the Champion Bumper over two miles (18:05) and it looks another red-hot contest. Shaneshill and Black Hercules both ran good races at Cheltenham but there's little to suggest they are capable of reversing that form with Silver Concorde this afternoon. Dermot Weld's likeable six-year-old returned from a long absence to score at Leopardstown over Christmas and took a huge step up to land the spoils at Cheltenham last time out. Expect him to prove that it was no fluke and confirm the distinct the impression he left as the top bumper performer of this year's crop.
Punchestown Festival SmartPlays:
Back Beat That in the 16:55
Back Argocat in the 17:30
Back Silver Concorde in the 18:05