Tony Keenan advised two winners from two selections last week and has five non-Douvan-related bets for today at Punchestown...
"Isleofhopendreams was an unlucky loser over Christmas, held up in a slowly-run event and the victim of some jockey over-confidence at the last, and he should make amends in the second Irish qualifier for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham."
Douvan will be just about least interesting horse running today at Punchestown for anyone who enjoys betting, his likely sub 1.11/10 Betfair SP a bet on him to jump around, but there are plenty of other intriguing Mullins horses on the card. One of those is Cilaos Emery in the opener who is currently 10/1 fourth favourite for the Supreme with the Sportsbook. He should add to his trainer's strength in depth for this race after Melon's win last week, but the ones I want to be with betting-wise are the outsiders Montana Belle and Art Of Security in the place and without the favourite markets as those chasing up Cilaos Emery look very tight.
Punchestown 14:00 - Isleofhopendreams can make amends for Leopardstown defeat
Isleofhopendreams was an unlucky loser over Christmas, held up in a slowly-run event and the victim of some jockey over-confidence at the last, and he should make amends in the second Irish qualifier for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham. It's probably a better race than the one he ran second in last time but he appeals as well-handicapped and the soft-heavy ground will be more to his liking than the yielding he raced on at Leopardstown.
His stablemate The Crafty Butcher is rated to win over hurdles but his price is prohibitive; his late-closing style means he doesn't always get there and he might prefer better ground. At a bigger price, First To Boogie is worth a small play. The betting suggests Exactoris will uphold form from their last meeting and he should be suited by this trip but the ground is a major concern for him; he disappointed on his sole run on soft and is bred for a sound surface. First To Boogie on the other hand is proven with cut and looks overpriced.
Punchestown 15:30 - Lantern worth a chance on deep ground
Front-running a Charles Byrnes gamble is hardly the wisest long-term strategy but his Oscar Lantern looks a big price to break his maiden over fences in a weak race. Robin Thyme is the right favourite but the ones behind him have holes; Velocity Boy is a doubtful stayer, Be The Hero comes off a break and Brightest Flame looked mulish last time. Oscar Lantern is another that hasn't run in a while but he goes well fresh and was the subject of a strong gamble when last seen in a similar race. He ran poorly then but the jockey said the ground was too quick and connections clearly thought he could win something of this nature. With the heavy going in his favour, he's worth chancing to small stakes.
Punchestown 16:00 - Heavy going will suit Roi Des Francs
There's plenty of deadwood in the National Trial and Bonny Kate seems sure to go well; she won the race last year, has improved in the interim, gets her favourite heavy ground and should come on for her run in the Thyestes as she'd been off the track since November. At a bigger price however, Roi Des Francs is interesting. His record with heavy in the going is impressive - 12112 under such conditions - and likely found the going a little quick last time when not disgraced at Gowran. Dropped 3lbs since with a claimer taking off another 7lbs, he looks underestimated by the market.
Punchestown 16:30 - Derrinross can add his own value
Connections have already turned down £70,000 for Derrinross so they must think he can at least win a bumper and he really should have done so on debut at Fairyhouse; held up off a slow gallop, he did the best closing sectional in the race and was probably the best horse on the day behind the well-regarded Next Destination. The debuting Clitandre is respected given the yard he comes from but his point-to-point form isn't strong while Oakley Hall again looked in need of further on his last start.
1.5 Point Back Isleofhopendreams @ 6.611/2 or bigger in the Punchestown 14:00
0.5 Point Back First To Boogie @ 22.021/1 or bigger in the Punchestown 14:00
0.5 Point Back Oscar Lantern @ 21.020/1 or bigger in the Punchestown 15:30
0.5 Point Back Roi Des Francs @ 11.010/1 or bigger in the Punchestown 16:00
1 Point Back Derrinross @ 4.57/2 or bigger in the Punchestown 16:30
National Hunt Season P+L: +4.41 points