Another high-quality day of racing at Punchestown gets underway at 15:40 and our Irish team have three win selections for day two.
"He took a Thurles bumper in January on his only previous start under Rules and then produced a very smart performance to beat Regal Encore by seven lengths at the Festival, streaking clear up the hill".
The opening contest looks every bit as competitive as the numbers suggest, though Questions Answered boasts a particularly interesting profile and rates as an attractive each-way bet. Having looked every bit as good as ever over fences this term, Questions Answered returns to hurdling off just a 1 lb higher than when last successful and this is the first time in a good while in which he hasn't been returning in this sphere on the back of an absence.
Viconte du Noyer sets a useful standard in the 16:20 on his winning French form last year, and he looks a shade overpriced despite hailing from the Willie Mullins yard. He had the useful Blood Cotil back in fourth when easily landing a 3-y-o hurdle at Auteuil for Thomas Trapenard in 2012, and the subsequent absence isn't too much of a concern given connections. The fact that Ruby Walsh is on Call Me Bubbles isn't a concern either given that Andy Lynch is the retained rider for the Potts family anyway.
Although the betting suggested he was the least fancied of the Willie Mullins three at Cheltenham, Briar Hill put up one of the best performances in the 20-year history of the Champion Bumper to score and shouldn't be as big as 2.6613/8 to follow up this afternoon. He took a Thurles bumper in January on his only previous start under Rules and then produced a very smart performance to beat Regal Encore by seven lengths at the Festival, streaking clear up the hill. He sets a clear standard in this and will be very hard to beat. NON RUNNER
Timeform Irish SmartPlays
Back Questions Answered win and place in the 15:40
Back Viconte du Noyer in the 16:20
Back Briar Hill in the 18:05 NON RUNNER