We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
Day three of the Punchestown Festival is headlined by Hurricane Fly and Jezki both stepping up in trip tackling 3m for first time in the World Series Hurdle.
The pair finished one-two in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle at the corresponding meeting last term but seemingly lacked the speed to challenge Faugheen last month at the Cheltenham Festival last month finishing third and fourth respectively. Both have doubts surrounding their stamina and as such a chance is taken on Tony Martin’s Dedigout (5.30) with Bryan Cooper opting to ride over connections’ Lieutenant Colonel.
The selection completed a hat-trick earlier this month under Paul Carberry at Fairyhouse after scoring earlier at Navan and Gowran respectively, and unlike some of his rivals will have no problem with getting the trip. He wouldn’t want the ground too quick and any further rain is sure to aid his chances.
Un De Sceaux (6.40) is unopposable for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh in the Ryanair Novice Chase over the minimum trip.
The selection was awesome when winning the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and looks something of a certainty barring an accident. The seven-year-old heads the market as the 5/4 favourite with BetVictor for next year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase and boasts the potential to be jump racing’s next out-and-out superstar.
Willie Mullins’ Pleasant Company was backed like defeat was out of the question last time out and could be potentially well-treated for a 4lb rise despite finishing third at Fairyhouse however Wicked Spice (6.05) is taken to give weight and a beating to his 24 rivals in the 3m Handicap Hurdle.
Nicky Richards’ six-year-old landed a gamble when staying on strongly to score at Ayr two weeks ago, getting an inspired ride from 5lb Conditional Danny Mullins in the process. The handicapper has raised him 5lb for that performance however Ger Fox takes off a useful 3lb and he remains well-treated to give another good account.
There’s action on the all-weather at Lingfield where Ed Vaughan’s Mehronissa (3.35) can land the feature 7f Handicap under Freddie Tylicki.
The selection made a winning debut in a warm Newmarket maiden last summer, staying on strongly to put the race to bed well in the closing stages. The daughter of Iffraaj boasts an entry in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh and should be able to defy an opening mark of 77 comfortably if she indeed worthy of consideration for a classic.
Godolphin’s Bow and Arrow will be hugely popular for the feature 7f Handicap at Redcar however last year’s winner Victoire De Lyphar (3.25) can land back-to-back renewals for the Ruth Carr team.
The selection scored last term from a mark of 87 however after rising to 94 in the weights thereafter, has tumbled down to a mark of 80 after two pipe-openers this term but boasts an excellent record at the track and can return to winning ways under jockey PJ McDonald.
David O’Meara’s Thankstomonty (3.55) failed to land a gamble on his seasonal debut last week at Beverley but can make it second time lucky handicapping over the extended mile. The selection is due to go up 4lb when the weights are re-assessed on Saturday however can score prior to that from an unrevised mark of 68.
Trainer Neil Mulholland has enjoyed a breakthrough year this tem thanks to The Druids Nephew, Carole’s Destrier and The Young Master and whilst perhaps not quite of that ilk Special Report (6.50) has conditions to suit in the 2m Handicap Hurdle at Towcester.
The selection was slow to come to hand for the yard however has been placed in his last three starts over timber and won two starts prior when bolting-up on good ground at Worcester. The gelding had a spin round the all-weather last month at Kempton and that will have blown away the cobwebs ahead of a summer jumping campaign. He is a confident selection to reward each-way support under Noel Fehily.
Grey Life (3.15) disappointed last time out at Kelso but boasts an excellent record at Sedgefield and can score for the second time this season for the pair of Malcolm Jefferson and Brian Hughes.
The nine-year-old scored bolted up at Carlisle two starts back but thrives at this track in particular, winning both completed starts over fences. The yard remains in excellent form and should go close from a 7lb higher mark.
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