John Duggan marks your card for Thursday's National Hunt action at Punchestown, where there are eight races down for decision...
After tipping a 50/1 winner on Tuesday, yesterday was a bit of a washout, as I got taken down a peg or two, with only one winner tipped - Galopin Des Champs.
Time to get back on track!
So here are my thoughts and virtual money advice for Thursday'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 Handicap Chase
The English tasted deserved success with Clan des Obeaux in the Gold Cup and they could gain another victory with Sully D'Oc AA in this handicap chase. This horse finished second in a decent handicap chase at Aintree and ground conditions should suit. Trainer Anthony Honeyball isn't coming over to Ireland for nothing and jockey Simon Torrens takes 3 pounds off. He should be thereabouts. Never be afraid to back two horses in a race as this game is about profit, not winners. So I can't resist also backing Kildorrery, a course and distance winner for Ted Walsh who has a very light weight.
4.50 - 4 mile 2 furlong Banks Chase
Trained by Gearoid O'Loughlin, 11-year-old Space Cadet gained experience over this unique course when third in a race back in February and the ground is in his favour. A former winner of the Ulster National, he promises to stay the extended 4 miles and the La Touche Cup could be in his sights under jockey Ricky Doyle.
5.20 - 3 mile Champion Stayers Hurdle
He was going to be my NAP, but I am just a little concerned that Ronald Pump may lack a little bit of match sharpness having had a mild setback recently. The Matthew Smith trained horse has a wonderful attitude and improved up the handicap ranks to finish second in last year's Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham. The 8-year-old has not been seen since chasing down Honeysuckle in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse back in November. We know now that it's top drawer form. So I am selecting Ronald Pump, but the stake is a little more conservative.
6.00 - 3 mile Handicap Hurdle
I am taking a bit of a chance that Ben Dundee will stay the distance, but better ground should help his chances of doing so. Admirably consistent over fences, this horse is rated 16 pounds lower over hurdles. Derek O'Connor takes the ride and he had a winner at the track yesterday. If trainer Gearoid O'Loughlin has a good day, then I'll have a good day. Young Ted finished second in the race a couple of years ago and has his ground. He's also worth supporting each way at long odds.
7.05 - 2 mile Mares Novice Hurdle
Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore combine with Magic Daze (NAP) who is a lightly raced point winner that produced a notably impressive display to beat all but Telmesomethinggirl at Cheltenham. She was a little keen that day and if she settles better, she should have the class to win this. Skyace, who was fourth at Cheltenham, went and won at Fairyhouse, so the form has been franked.
€20 Virtual Money advice:
7.05 - €6 win Magic Daze at 2/1
4.15 - €1 each way Sully D'Oc AA at 8/1 (1/5 the odds the first 5 places) and €1 each way Kildorrery at 25/1 (1/5 the odds the first 6 places)
4.50 - €2 each way Space Cadet at 6/1 (1/5 the odds the first 4 places)
5.20 - €1 each way Ronald Pump at 5/1 (1/5 the odds the first 5 places)
6.00 - €1 each way Ben Dundee at 16/1 and €1 each way Young Ted at 33/1 (1/5 the odds the first 7 places)
Please bet responsibly, never gamble more than you can afford, and good luck!