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  • Punchestown Stayers' Hurdle Best Bets: Minor Places Up For Grabs As Teahupoo Set To Confirm Class

Punchestown Stayers' Hurdle best bets: Minor places up for grabs as Teahupoo set to confirm class

The feature race on day three at the Punchestown Festival sees a host of familiar faces line up for a tilt at landing the biggest prize on Thursday’s card, the Champion Stayers’ Hurdle.

18:00 Punchestown: Ladbrokes Champion Stayers’ Hurdle (2 miles 7½ furlongs)

The top five in the betting all finished in the top six of the British version in March, with only Cheltenham runner-up Flooring Porter missing here from that star-studded line-up.

That leaves Festival hero Teahupoo as the worthy odds-on favourite, as he seeks to become the first horse this century to land the Cheltenham/Punchestown stayers’ double (Anzum was the last to do so in 1999).

Best bet: Teahupoo in the 18:00 at Punchestown

Having beaten next-best Home By The Lee by six lengths in March, it’s hard to see where any of those picking up the minor prizes in that race will find what is required to close the gap on Gordon Elliott’s seven-year-old here.

Of those harbouring realistic claims of causing an upset, we should never write off the potential of veteran Sire Du Berlais to pull one of his special performances out of the bag, but most intriguing of all is Wille Mullins’ Asterion Forlonge, who never fully recovered from blundering at the eighth obstacle at Cheltenham, and could have a better run in him here.

Next best bet: Asterion Forlonge each-way in the 18:00 at Punchestown

That could be construed to be borne out by the decision to replace Cheltenham rider Patrick Mullins (who boards Monkfish here) with stable number one jockey Paul Townend, who trailed in last on Sir Gerhard at Prestbury Park.

The 10-year-old has since been given the chance to stretch his legs over fences in a two-horse chase at Cork a month ago, a race he duly dominated as expected, easing home at a canter with 14 lengths in hand.

This Punchestown race is a whole different ball-game, of course, and while beating Teahupoo might be beyond him, Asterion Forlonge certainly has enough in his locker to contest the minor placings.


A similar argument could be made for Lantry Lady, with Henry De Bromhead’s lightly-raced mare possibly flying under the bookies’ radar at a tasty double-digit price.

Having won by 14 lengths on debut at Gowran Park in March last year, the six-year-old repeated the feat at the same venue on her reappearance in February, this time by a no-less impressive nine-length margin.

Alternative each-way punt: Lantry Lady each-way in the 18:00 at Punchestown

Connections wasted no time in pitching her straight into the Mares’ Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham seven weeks ago, and she was far from disgraced in coming fourth (a short head behind third) in a race dominated as expected by Mullins’ odds-on favourite Lossiemouth.

Her jockey that day was Darragh O’Keeffe, who coaxed her to finish strongly up the Cheltenham hill, which speaks volumes for her stamina, so she should have no problems stepping up to this extra half-mile over flatter terrain.

Rachael Blackmore was on board second-placed Tellmesomethinggirl in that race, and she has been given the nod for Lantry Lady here (O’Keeffe rides Summerville Boy), and there is no-one more likely to bring out a little extra than the De Bromhead yard’s popular number one jockey.



READ MORE: Punchestown racing tips: Best bets for Thursday May 2

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