The 2012 Punchestown Festival gets underway this week, and Thousand Stars looks an interesting 6/1 chance to land Thursday’s feature race, the Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle.
Reigning champion Quevega is odds-on at 10/11 to retain her crown, though this year’s race would seem to feature one of the most competitive fields she has ever faced off against.
Willie Mullins has six entrants declared to take part, and whilst Quevega appears to be his main hope, Thousand Stars looks a representation of great value at 6/1.
The eight-year-old grey pushed Oscar Whisky all the way at Aintree last week, and his performance in finishing runner-up in that race indicates that he is primed for a big performance at Punchestown.
Mullins will enter the grey in either this, or the shorter Rabobank Champion Hurdle at the Festival, though this three-mile run would seem to be a more ideal preparation for his impending French Champion Hurdle defence effort.
Amongst other dangers to Quevega, who has won on four of her past six visits to Punchestown, is Voler La Vedette, who has attracted interest after a mightily impressive Ladbrokes World Hurdle showing at Cheltenham.
The 3/1 shot threatened to scupper the record-breaking efforts of Big Buck’s in that race, but ultimately ran to a pleasing second-place finish at the Festival.
Meanwhile, Get Me Out Of Here and Zaidpour both come into the race attributed an 8/1 price for victory, and either would appear to have each-way place claims at least.
Both look interesting horses, and Get Me Out Of Here will come into the race buoyed from a Fairyhouse triumph earlier in the month.
Zaidpour will also take up entry in blistering form, having been first past the post on four of his last five starts, and he is aiming to score a second Punchestown success.