The Punchestown Gold Cup is the stand-out race on day two of the five-day Festival, although there are three Grade One contests included in the action.
We have picked a treble of each-way candidates in these showdowns and if they all triumph, punters will be rewarded to the tune of 1456/1.
16:55 Punchestown – Jennies Jewel @ 25/1
Ballycasey was one of the most hyped Irish contenders ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, but he was withdrawn from the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle on the morning of the race after a blood issue was discovered.
He has won all three starts for Willie Mullins and is the clear one to beat at 1/1, despite having a lower official rating than stablemate Inish Island.
The one to watch though could be the mare in the race Jennies Jewel, who is a big each-way price based on not only being placed on five of her six hurdles starts, but because her previous runs suggest she should relish this step up to 3m.
17:30 Punchestown – Captain Chris @ 6/1
All of the last three winners of the Punchestown Gold Cup have gone off 14/1 or bigger and this does suggest that horses struggle to recover sufficiently from Cheltenham for this.
Cheltenham Gold Cup second Sir Des Champs is too short here given that he also prefers to run left-handed while First Lieutenant’s busy season may finally catch up with him.
Of the favourites, Long Run has claims, but preference is for Captain Chris, who should particularly enjoy the return to a right-handed track.
Punters fancying another big-priced winner may be best siding with Kauto Stone at 16/1, who is supremely unpredictable, but has stolen a Grade One in Ireland already this season and is another who is better going right-handed.
18:05 Punchestown – Blackmail @ 7/1
Briar Hill may have been largely unfancied at Cheltenham and the way he surged away with the Champion Bumper gave him a favourite’s chance here as he bid to emulate the double of stablemate Champagne Fever last year.
But he is now a non-runner, which has made the race more open.
Blackmail was bang in contention for a long way at Cheltenham before fading out of it and his previous performances suggest he is better than that bare form.
At the prices, he is worth a second chance from the shrewd yard of Tony Martin.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.