It’s been a thrilling Festival so far with the likes of Felix Yonger, Don Cossack and Jezki lifting the big Grade 1 Races – and today it’s the turn of the 2-mile hurdlers to take centre stage in the feature race the Punchestown Champion Hurdle in which Faugheen will be long-odds on to follow up his Champion Hurdle win at Cheltenham 7 weeks ago. There are also two other big festival winners on display in On The Fringe and Nicholls Canyon, and both look to have great chances of following up.
Punchestown Champion Hurdle, 5.30
Champion Hurdler Faugheen bids to extend his unbeaten record still further, and he should be able to dictate matters easily in what will probably be only a four runner race if, as expected, Jezki doesn’t run. His SP will probably be around the 1/5 mark with Champion Hurdle runner-up Arctic Fire next best at 5/1. It will be interesting to see what price the forecast is paying, as the other two runners Dell Arca and Tiger roll don’t look to have a prayer.
Champion Novice Hurdle, 6.05
Nicholls Canyon is likely to start around the even-money mark to follow up his Aintree win, which looks the best piece of form of any horse in the race. Don Cossack showed yesterday that’s it’s possible to go to Cheltenham and Aintree before winning here – and Nicholls Canyon will be hard to beat. Ruby Walsh rides in preference to the stable’s other runners.
Champion Hunter Chase 7.45
On The Fringe arrives here after winning at both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals but, was so impressive in both, that it’s really hard to bet against him here. The Paul Nolan trained Noble Prince once won the JLT Novices Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and may attract some each-way support for his in-form handler.
If you fancy a bet on the big three races, a treble on Faugheen, Nicholls Canyon and On The Fringe – may be a fun bet.