Punchestown’s Irish Daily Star Chase Day is another big pointer that the National Hunt Racing season is about to hit full-stride, with the Grade 3 Irish Daily Star Chase being the flagship race of Punchestown’s Wednesday 17 October meeting. However, the card also features the Grade 3 Buck House Novices’ Chase, the class 1 Ingoldsby Handicap Chase, and the class 1 Punchestown Winter Festival Flat Race.
Buck House Novice’s Chase (3.40 Punchestown)
Sizing Europe is the most famous winner of the Buck House Novices’ Chase and he was the first of trainer Henry de Bromhead’s three winners in the race in the last nine years, making him the race’s most successful trainer. Meanwhile, Gordon Elliott (two winners) and Willie Mullins (one) have both been on the scoresheet. Ornua and Classic Theatre are de Bromhead’s two representatives this year and the former looks sure to go well having beaten the re-opposing Cadmium last time.
However, last year’s winning trainer Gordon Elliott seems to have found a perfect race to exploit for his four-year-old Mitchouka. Rated in the mid 130’s over hurdles, the four-year-old gets plenty of weight from all of his rivals and gets a rare opportunity to carry just 10-6. A course winner over hurdles, he was going well on his chasing debut before falling at the last, and he can hopefully make amends by lifting this Grade 3 contest.
Buck House Novices’ Chase Free Tip – Mitchouka – 1pt win @ SP
Irish Daily Star Chase (4.10 Punchestown)
The Grade 3 Irish Daily Star Chase has been a targeted successfully nine times in 13 renewals by the Gigginstown Stud team and they once again saddle a strong hand in a bid to make off with this decent early-season prize. Road To Respect, Outlander, and Sub Lieutenant all ran in the race last year when they respectively finished first, third, and sixth and, despite Sub Lieutenant being 8lb better off with the other two this time, his suspect stamina at this trip means Road To Respect should come out on top again.
Road To Respect’s trainer Noel Meade does have a second entry though in Snow Falcon, a horse that won the Kerry National off a mark of 148 last time and was rated as high as 158 over hurdles. However, Road To Respect should still be improving at the age of seven, should like the ground, and has an excellent record on his seasonal debut of 1/2/1/1. So, he should be good enough to win this before making up into a potential Cheltenham Gold Cup challenger this season.
Irish Daily Star Chase Free Tip – Road To Respect – 1pt win @ SP
Ingoldsby Handicap Chase (4.45 Punchestown)
A tricky three miles and one furlong handicap chase for amateur riders, and one that the winner has often been tough to find with four of the last nine winners returned at odds of between 14/1 and 25/1. The booking of high-class jockey Derek O’Connor for Rolling Revenge catches the eye, as Martin Brasill’s nine-year-old is a course winner over hurdles. He also won the only previous time he tried this trip, whilst his chase mark has been dropping slowly, and this looks the type pf winnable race it looks like giving him a sporting chance in.
Ingoldsby Handicap Chase Free Tip – Rolling Revenge – 1pt ew @ SP
Punchestown Winter Festival Flat Race (5.20 Punchestown)
There’s nothing surprising about a racecourse plugging the title of its next big meeting in the title of the last race on the card of the previous meeting, but what is surprising is Willie Mullins hasn’t trained a winner of this decent-prized bumper in the last 10-years. Therefore, that fact could make it worth taking on the Mullins’ trained Golazo here.
The market may be the best guide but, with Gordon Elliott and Noel Meade both winning this race twice in the last six years, there’s a fair chance both trainers will have made the race an early-season target. Victory for Noel Meade’s Behind The Curtain would be no surprise, but Gordon Elliott’s Abacadabras is just preferred with last year’s winning jockey Lisa O’Neill again booked to do the steering.
Punchestown Winter Festival Flat Race Free Tip – Abacadabras – 1pt win @ SP
Odds Correct at Time of Publication