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

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

After a profitable Cheltenham (46% profit) and Aintree (35% profit), let's hope we can come out ahead by Saturday from this week's brilliant racing at Punchestown.

Paul Townend's lead over Rachael Blackmore in the jockeys title race is only four - at 95 to 91.

That's one storyline. Another is the certainty that this is the best ever Punchestown in terms of quality. 23 Irish winners at Cheltenham and domination of the Grand National at Aintree was evidence that Ireland has the cream of the crop when it comes to jumps talent right now.

We'll see a brilliant match between Monkfish and Envoi Allen on Tuesday to kick it all off.

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

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

3.40 - 2 mile Handicap Hurdle 

I always feel Edward Cawley's horses are worth a second look in handicap hurdles, and Breezy Bell, who doesn't have that many miles on the clock, could reach the frame if reproducing the form that saw him finish second in a race under similar conditions last October. Chris Timmons is only carrying 9 stone 12 and this horse tuned up with a sixth-place finish after a break at Fairyhouse last time out. Hallowed Star holds obvious claims but is a quarter of the price.

4.15 - 2 mile Novice Hurdle 

A course and distance winner, Blue Lord was going to finish second in the Supreme Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham before falling at the last. Previously he had lived for as long as he could with the exceptional Bob Ollinger at Naas. The vibes around this horse have been positive and stable jockey Paul Townend has chosen him over stablemate Echoes In Rain.

4.50 - 2 mile Handicap Hurdle 

Call Me Lyreen won his first three races, including a Grade 2 last autumn, before disappointing twice in better company. Now in the handicap sphere, with better ground likely to suit and with crack pilot Jack Kennedy on board, I believe this horse can make the first seven at least at decent odds.

5.25 - 2 mile Champion Chase 

I am willing to give Chacun Pour Soi another chance. He was sensational at Leopardstown before finding the hill to be not to his liking at Cheltenham. He produced a devastating performance over the course and distance a couple of years ago, so we know he likes Punchestown. This horse's biggest assets are his jumping and cruising speed. If jockey Paul Townend can make use of both, he could have a quality field in trouble.

5.55 - 2 mile Bumper 

The money has come for the Emmet Mullins-trained Merlin Giant, but this Land Rover bumper is a wide-open affair. At a big price, I have gone for the Oliver McKiernan trained All For Rachel, who was a 50 thousand euro purchase, and a half brother to a useful two-mile horse in Zero Ten.

6.30 - 3 mile Novice Chase 

I fancy Envoi Allen (NAP) to put a disappointing Cheltenham fall behind him in what will probably be a match with Monkfish. Before that mishap, Envoi Allen had won all 12 of his races, including his point. He oozes class and has a serious engine. I think he will stay three miles, which he will need to do to defeat Monkfish. At Cheltenham, Monkfish got the job done but didn't jump with fluency.

7.00 - 3 mile Banks Chase 

On Off the Ball AM, I tipped Singing Banjo each way at 50/1. His price has collapsed since then, not on the basis of what I said, surely! This horse was third in the race two years ago and I think he'll like the better ground. It's a weak race and aside from the Enda Bolger trained market leaders, one can rule a lot of them out.

7.35 - 2 mile Bumper 

I don't see this bumper as the same as the Land Rover bumper. I think experience may matter here, and in Mythical Hero, we have a horse that shaped nicely to be third on his debut over course and distance. Barry O'Neill takes the ride and if this Mags Mullins trained horse improves for nicer ground, he may reward each-way punters.

€20 Virtual Money advice: 

6.30 - €4 win Envoi Allen at 11/8

4.15 - €3 win Blue Lord at 13/8

5.25 - €3 win Chacun Pour Soi at 6/4

3.40 - €1 each way Breezy Bell at 25/1 (1/5 the odds the first 6 places)

4.50 - €1 each way Call Me Lyreen at 22/1 (1/5 the odds the first 7 places)

5.55 - €1 each way All For Rachel at 25/1 (1/5 the odds the first 5 places)

7.00 - €1 each way Singing Banjo at 12/1 (1/5 the odds the first 3 places) - This horse was recommended at 50/1 each way on Off the Ball AM

7.35 - €1 each way Mythical Hero at 14/1 (1/5 the odds the first 4 places)

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

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