Another day of scintillating racing action is scheduled to take place on the fourth day of the Punchestown Festival, as Hurricane Fly bids to retain his Robabank Champion Hurdle crown.
His recent Cheltenham triumph ensures he is short-priced at 1/4 though, and so better value can be found in other races at the showcase Irish event.
16:20 Punchestown – Sweeney Tunes @ 8/1
With the form of his brave fourth-place effort in the Irish National working out well, there is reason to suggest Paul Nolan’s gelding can follow up his success at Naas two runs ago with victory here.
Regular partner Davy Russell returns for the ride, with the seven-year-old’s top weight the main concern, considering his three previous triumphs on testing ground.
6/1 Home Farm, let off 3lb lighter than Sweeney Tunes despite finishing a place ahead of him at Fairyhouse, rates one of the main dangers, with the fact that one of his previous wins has come over this trip a positive.
18:05 Punchestown – Pont Alexandre @ 4/6
Much fancied for the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle, it was a shock to see Willie Mullins’ charge finish behind The New One and Rule The World at Cheltenham.
He is expected to get back to winning ways in Ireland, the location of his two previous victories, and at his ideal 2m 4f trip also.
7/1 Ubak is chosen for the forecast, in the aftermath of his massive improvement to land a Grade One race at Aintree last time out.
18:40 Punchestown – Un De Sceaux 7/4
Following Pont Alexandre’s expected success, Ruby Walsh will bid for a quick-fire double aboard another Mullins horse, in French-bred Un De Sceaux.
A double bumper winner in France, the five-year-old has gone up only 1lb for his highly impressive course and distance triumph over hurdles in February.
Cops and Robbers is a 12/1 chance, and looks likeliest to chase him home on the back of his decent second in a Grade Two race at Fairyhouse earlier this month, with further progression expected here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.