Timeform pick out three bets from Punchestown on Thursday.
Venezia - Punchestown 14:15
Venezia shaped with promise when third of 30 on his hurdling debut at Navan last month, showing his inexperience with a few sloppy jumps on the way round and doing well in the circumstances to finish within two and a half lengths of the more streetwise winner. He is entitled to improve with that initial outing in this sphere under his belt and - twice a winner on the Flat before making the transition to hurdles - Venezia is fancied to confirm the promise of last time and can see off the attentions of Criminate to open his account at the second time of asking.
Baby Jake - Punchestown 15:20
Baby Jake ran creditably when third on his most recent outing at Navan, keeping on well in the closing stages and giving the impression the step up to this longer trip would be in his favour. He was two and a quarter lengths behind favourite St Stephens Green when fifth at the Galway Festival in July, but is 3 lb better off with that rival at the weights here and Baby Jake looks overpriced as he attempts to gain the victory his consistency of late deserves. Master Appeal wasn't disgraced on his most recent outing at Gowran Park and could be the main danger.
Lieutenant Colonel - Punchestown 15:55
Lieutenant Colonel was a smart hurdler on his day for Sandra Hughes and opened his account over fences with a comfortable success on his most recent outing at Gowran Park. That was his first start for five months having joined the Gordon Elliott since last sighted on a racecourse, but he certainly showed enough to suggest he has the necessary attributes to do well in this sphere and Lieutenant Colonel should prove extremely difficult to beat if making the expected progress in this Grade 3 prize, with Three Stars feared most of the remainder.
Timeform Irish SmartPlays:
(All from Punchestown)
Back Venezia in the 14:15
Back Baby Jake in the 15:20
Back Lieutenant Colonel in the 15:55