At Punchestown, it looks a good day to land an each way yankee and I’m going to have a shot at doing so. With plenty of big fields, bookmakers are offering more places and I can’t turn some of these down at the prices.
First leg is CHARCOR who makes his debut for Noel Kelly in the opening race. A very smart horse on the flat for Jessie Harrington, he seemed to take to hurdles with two positive runs earlier this season. That form ties in with some smart horses rated a lot higher than his opening mark today and the cheekpieces are now applied which seem to make a difference to him. At 12/1 he looks a sound each way bet.
Joseph O’Brien has a strong hand in the 4.15 but I think his TOP MOON has been slightly forgotten about at 20/1. He put in two big runs in similar handicap chases prior to not staying in the Irish Grand National and that may be the reason why he is such a big price today. He seems to be comfortable over 2m or 2.5m and the drop back to 2m today shouldn’t cause a problem. If he can bounce back to his Leopardstown form from two runs ago then he has to have a serious chance today.
MAX FLAMINGO is bang in form at present and the step up to three miles should bring about further improvement today. Francis Casey’s charge has won two on the bounce already but still looks feasibly handicapped. His victory the last day looked a shade cosy to me and Denis O’Regan wasn’t all that hard on him so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run a big race today.
If Energumene is as good as they say he is then I am playing for second place by backing JANIDIL. But if this week has taught us anything it is to expect the unexpected and if the favourite has any chinks in his armour then my selection will find them. A sound jumper who proved his class by winning the Ryanair Gold Cup last time out looks overpriced at 6/1. With bookmakers paying ¼ odds for two places I think he is definitely worth a play.
Punchestown 3.40 – Charcor
Punchestown 4.15 – Top Moon
Punchestown 6.00 – Max Flamingo
Punchestown 6.35 – Janidil