Punchestown Festival (Day One Preview & Odds)

Here at we’ll cast our eye over the trio of Grade 1s, offering tips and insights as well as the latest race odds

Punchestown Festival (Day One Preview & Odds)
Punchestown Festival (Day One Preview & Odds)

The five-day Punchestown Festival will get underway on Tuesday with three Grade 1 races taking place across the eight-race card. Here at we’ll cast our eye over the trio of Grade 1s, offering tips and insights as well as the latest race odds from our partners at NAGS Bet.

KPMG Champion Novice Hurdle

Cheltenham Festival rivals Slade Steel and Mystical Power meet again on Tuesday seven weeks on from their thrilling run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Slade Steel was victorious that day and he is undoubtedly the one to beat on Tuesday. Mystical Power did bounce back to land the Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree earlier this month and look more than capable of overturning that Cheltenham result.

Tullyhill has gone under the radar and looks the best value in the KPMG Champion Novice Hurdle field at 13/2. Tullyhill went off as favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle after impressing in a Listed contest at Punchestown in February. A C&D winner who could bounce back under the ride of Paul Townend on Tuesday.

KPMG Champion Novice Hurdle Odds

Slade Steel13-1121H de BromheadRachael Blackmore11/8
Mystical Power11121W P MullinsM P Walsh9/4
Tullyhill12-2118W P MullinsP Townend13/2
Firefox1-11432G ElliottJ W Kennedy7/1
Ile Atlantique22-1235W P MullinsD E Mullins16/1
Asian Master11-4114W P MullinsMr T Costello16/1
King Of Kingsfield222130G ElliottJ C Gainford25/1
Fun Fun Fun4-12116W P MullinsB Hayes33/1
Fascile Mode4-16485T MullinsS W Flanagan80/1

William Hill Champion Chase

Another star of the Cheltenham Festival makes an appearance at Punchestown in the second Grade 1 race of the afternoon. Captain Guinness was a 17/2 winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Prestbury Park, finishing a couple of lengths clear of Gentleman De Mee. Both horses line up for the William Hill Champion Chase but it is Dinoblue that heads a strong field this year.

Dinoblue was second to Limerick Lace last time out at Cheltenham but she has already enjoyed Grade 1 success in Ireland when finishing over seven lengths clear of stablemate, Gentleman De Mee in the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase in December.

Banbridge was disappointing in the Ryanair Chase last month but cannot be ruled out based on the form shown when landing the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton in January. Steps back down from 2m4f for the first time since finishing second in the Irish Arkle last February.

William Hill Champion Chase Odds

Dinoblue11-1122W P MullinsM P Walsh15/8
Captain Guinness22-1P31H de BromheadRachael Blackmore7/2
Banbridge1321-19J P O'BrienJ J Slevin4/1
Gentleman De Mee614-242W P MullinsP Townend5/1
Saint Sam1-11F1PW P MullinsD E Mullins14/1
Dysart Dynamo14F2-3FW P MullinsS F O'Keeffe20/1
Ash Tree Meadow2-21141G ElliottSam Ewing22/1
Fil Dor06-2273G ElliottJ W Kennedy25/1
Maskada01-4337H de BromheadD J O'Keeffe40/1

Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase

Monty’s Star won a beginners chase over 3m at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve and is currently amongst the bookies’ favourite at 5/2 to land the Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase. No shame in finishing second to a very impressive Fact To File in the Brown Advisory last month and has to be respected.

Spillane’s Tower steps up to 3m1f having won the WillowWarm Gold Cup at Fairyhouse last month on heavy ground over 2m4f. Never been beyond two and a half miles but certainly looks like staying further.

Embassy Gardens has made a solid start to his chasing career despite finishing second to Corbetts Cross at Cheltenham whilst American Mike will want to put a poor Brown Advisory run behind him. American Mike defeated Fact To File in a beginners chase at Navan in November and impressed at the same course in February as he landed a Grade 2 over Tuesday’s trip ahead of two of the first three home in last weekend’s bet365 Gold Cup.

Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase Odds

Spillane's Tower441121J J ManganM P Walsh85/40
Monty's Star21P-312H de BromheadRachael Blackmore5/2
Embassy Gardens1P6-112W P MullinsP Townend15/4
American Mike74-1415G ElliottJ W Kennedy10/1
Sandor Clegane31-4224P NolanS F O'Keefe12/1
Three Card Brag2156-22G ElliottSam Ewing14/1
Sharjah143491W P MullinsD E Mullins18/1
Salvador Ziggy11127PG ElliottJ C Gainford22/1
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