Punchestown Festival (Day Four Preview & Odds)

Friday’s racing includes two more Grade 1 races and here at we’ll cast our eyes over both races

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

The first three days of the Punchestown Festival have produced its fair share of drama and day four should be no different. Friday’s racing includes two more Grade 1 races and here at we’ll cast our eyes over both races, offering race insights and tips and the latest odds from our partners at NAGS Bet.

Boodles Champion Hurdle

Four horses are set to go to post for the Champion Hurdle but in reality this is a two-horse race. State Man got the better of Irish Point in Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle and will quite rightly go off at odds-on in the Punchestown equivalent. State Man has put together a run of 11 wins in 12 races with his only defeat in that time coming at the hands of Constitution Hill at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. State Man has won four straight Grade 1s this season including the Morgiana Hurdle here at Punchestown as well as the Matheson and Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Irish Point landed the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown in December but he was defeated by State Man at Cheltenham in March. Less than two lengths to make up since that run and more than capable on what is likely to be faster ground at Punchestown. State Man should win this but you cannot rule Irish Point out with too much confidence.

Boodles Champion Hurdle Odds

State Man21-1111W P MullinsP Townend2/7
Irish Point411-112G ElliottJ W Kennedy7/2
Sir GerhardPF101-3W P MullinsD E Mullins18/1
Colonel Mustard23-2525L FowlerJ J Slevin40/1

Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle

Willie Mullins trains four of the six horses set to contest the Champion Novice Hurdle and Ballyburn in undoubtedly the pick of the quartet. Ballyburn won a flat race at last year’s festival ahead of Wednesday’s Grade 1 winner, Dancing City and has been excellent over hurdles this season. Finished second to Firefox on Hurdling debut at Fairyhouse but has bounced back to land a hat-trick of wins that included Grade 1 wins at Leopardstown and Cheltenham.

Ballyburn’s win in the Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival was over Friday’s distance and makes him a clear favourite for this. His nearest challenge could come from the Gordon Elliott-trained Staffordshire Knot. The six-year-old defied odds of 20/1 to finish second in the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree and he may have to settle for minor places once more on Friday.

Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle Odds

Ballyburn11-2111W P MullinsP Townend1/4
Staffordshire Knot31122G ElliottJ W Kennedy10/1
Mirazur WestF1-2131W P MullinsM P Walsh12/1
Jetara811133Mrs J HarringtonN de Boinville14/1
Jimmy Du Seuil52-2124W P MullinsS F O'Keeffe18/1
Predators Gold1-1225W P MullinsMr P W Mullins20/1
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