Punchestown Festival Daily: Tuesday, Growise Champion Novice Chase

Back In Focus is fancied to go well at Punchestown

Timeform guide you through this mightily-competitive Grade 1 over 25 furlongs on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival.

Back In Focus has won all 4 starts over fences, including Grade 1 (3m) at Leopardstown and National Hunt Chase at the Festival last time, showing stamina is very much his forte. Big player.

Back In Focus has won all 4 starts over fences, including Grade 1 (3m) at Leopardstown and National Hunt Chase at the Festival last time, showing stamina is very much his forte. Big player.

Boston Bob was one of last term's leading novice hurdlers, and took well to fences to win first 2 starts. Would have gone very close to winning the RSA Chase at the Festival next time but for falling at the last.

Dedigout made up into a smart novice hurdler last term and back to best when winning Grade 3 over fences at Navan last month. Good second in Grade 1 at Fairyhouse since and more to come at this trip.

Harry Topper is a useful hurdler who could go to the top over fences, making it 3 in a row at Exeter (3m) in February. Mid-division when unseated rider at ninth at Kelso last time and well worth another chance.

Lyreen Legend proved a useful novice hurdler last term and similar standard over fences, winning Galway maiden and good efforts in graded company on completed starts since, 1¾ second in RSA Chase most recently.

Mount Benbulben is a Grade 2 hurdles winner who has shown smart form over fences, easy winner of a minor event at Thurles. Let down by jumping in Grade 1 at Fairyhouse last time, though, and others more solid.

Tofino Bay was a smart hurdler and has matched that form in this sphere, winner of the Troytown at Navan and a Naas Grade 2. Just caught by Back In Focus in the 4m National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last time.

Argocat proved a useful hurdler and at least as good over fences, winning Grade 2 event on Boxing Day. Effort best excused in the Jewson at Cheltenham and completed simple task in 3-runner Grade 2 at Limerick since.

Timeform 1-2-3:
1. Back In Focus
2. Boston Bob
3. Dedigout

Timeform view: This looks very competitive. Willie Mullins holds a very strong hand with Back In Focus and Boston Bob, the former narrowly preferred under Ruby Walsh. Dedigout tops the list of the many potential dangers to the pair.

Punchestown Race Cards only £2 at timeform.com! 

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