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John Duggan's Punchestown Prev...
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John Duggan's Punchestown Preview and Tips - Friday

John Duggan marks your card for Friday's National Hunt action at Punchestown, where there are eight races down for decision...

Yesterday was a break-even day, with Sully D'Oc an 8/1 winner, but the NAP Magic Daze lost.

So here are my thoughts and virtual money advice for Friday's races at the County Kildare venue.

Be sure to shop around, with many bookmakers offering different odds and each-way terms.

4.15 - 2 mile 5 furlong Handicap Chase

Trainer Jessica Harrington had two winners on Wednesday, and I like the look of Port Stanley (NAP), who has been aimed at this race. A winner of a point-to-point over three miles on decent ground, this chaser tuned up for this race with a second-place at Cork after a break. He has solid form behind Envoi Allen and Abacadabras from his bumper days and I think he's nicely weighted here off 10 stone 6. Robbie Power takes the ride and he knows the time of day in these races.

5.25 - 2 mile Champion Hurdle  

Honeysuckle should win and it would be disappointing if she didn't win, but the form of Henry de Bromhead's yard after an unbelievable spell is a slight worry. I hope Honeysuckle wins, but I am recommending an each-way bet on Abacadabras, the winner of the Aintree Hurdle last time out. A winner of the Morgiana Hurdle over the course and distance in the autumn, Abacadabras needs decent ground and a strong pace to show his best, and those conditions are guaranteed today. His Supreme Novice form with Shishkin stands out in my mind and I believe he can either chase Honeysuckle home or capitalise if she runs below par.

6.35 - 3 mile Champion Hunters Chase 

How long has the phrase horses for courses been in existence? Caid du Berlais fits the phrase in this Hunters Chase, having won the race twice before under jockey Will Biddick. He's now 12 years of age, but remains in great nick with two facile wins on his last two starts. I worry that Billaway may have had a hard season, while Bob and Co's jumping is not always sure hooved. Sometimes it's easy to look for more fashionable options when the answer is staring you in the face and Caid du Berlais might be the answer.

7.35 - 2 mile Bumper 

Kildare trainer Martin Brassil has had three runners this week and two of them have finished second. So the yard is in good nick ahead of the run of Stone Mad in the concluding bumper. This horse cost €185,000 and is related to decent yard sticks in Tombstone and Tintangle. The stable is showing a level stakes profit this year and with top amateur Derek O'Connor on board, I think Stone Mad can go close.

€20 Virtual Money advice: 

4.15 - €3 each way Port Stanley at 10/1 (1/5 the odds the first 5 places)

5.25 - €2 each way Abacadabras at 10/1 (1/5 the odds the first 3 places)

6.35 - €5 win Caid Du Berlais at 7/2 

7.25 - €5 win Stone Mad at 5/1

Please bet responsibly, never gamble more than you can afford, and good luck!

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