Sunday Horse Racing Prediction
2:10 Punchestown Tips
3m4f (3m4f40y) QuinnBet Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (Grade B) (5yo+)
Death Duty – 0.5pt Each Way – 11/2 (Bet365, Paddy Power & Betfair, 4 places)
Champagne Platinum – 0.5pt Each Way – 25/1 (Bet365, 4 places)
My first selections come in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown. I say selections plural as I’m going with a two-prong attack here.
As a general rule, in these higher-grade handicap chases, recent form often means little to nothing. I prefer to focus on what the horse has been capable of in the past, as they tend to be targeted at races rather than running their best race every time.
The 1st and 2nd from last year’s race come back for another crack at it here. Death Duty won the race and Champagne Platinum chased him home.
Death Duty won the race off a mark of 138 and he comes back for another go off the same mark. However, this time he has the help of Michael O’Sullivan taking 5lb off his back, so he effectively runs off 133. I think the jockey is great value with his 5lb and it looks a great booking. Death Duty is 12 now but he proved he is still in good shape when third in the Troytown back in November. I think he has a massive chance and I’d be disappointed if he couldn’t hit the first four here. Trainers can be creatures of habit, so I’d be surprised if this hasn’t been his target.
As I said, last year he was chased home by Champagne Platinum. That performance came off a mark of 136 and he comes back for another crack at Death Duty off 135, one pound lower than last year. So on official ratings, he is 1lb better off but with Michael’s claim, he is 4lb worse off. He does have age on his side though as he is only 9 compared with Death Duty being 12. If they were similar prices, I’d side with Death Duty but I just cannot let this lad go unbacked at a massive 25/1!
2:40 Punchestown Tips
2m5f Apple’s Jade Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed Race) (4yo+)
Whatcouldhavebeen – 1pt Each Way – 4/1 (Paddy Power, William Hill & Betfair, 3 places)
In the next race, I think Whatcouldhavebeen is a cracking each way bet here. Frustratingly, she has been backed in from 5/1 to 4/1 just before I submit this but I’m going to proceed with the bet anyway, as a place would still cover the majority of original stake.
I tipped up Ashroe Diamond who won the race she contested in the last day and she put in a very eye-catching performance in behind.
As they were swinging in, Whatcouldhavebeen was getting tapped for toe and had to be ridden along to keep in touch. However, she started to run on between the final two flights when she was slightly inconvenienced by Saylavee coming across into her path.
She then started to regain momentum and Ashroe Diamond jumped across in front of her at the last, again halting her momentum.
Despite this, she rallied again late for a third time and finished as strongly as any of them to be a head away from third and only 2¾ lengths behind the winner.
Sometimes you see horses lose their momentum and they either sulk and throw the towel in or it just empties them and they cannot rally again, so the fact she rallied three times in all, really impressed me.
Given she was outpaced swinging in and she kept on despite two interferences, this step up in trip looks perfect for her.
Whilst I think Harmonya Maker is the right favourite and could be a tough nut to crack, I’d rather play Whatcouldhavebeen at 4/1 each way than Harmonya Maker win only at 2/1.
3:45 Punchestown Tips
2m7½f (2m7f115y) David Trundley Artist At Punchestown Handicap Hurdle (4yo+)
Gallant John Joe – 0.5pt Each Way – 20/1 (6 places)
My final selection today is Gallant John Joe at 20/1. The 20/1 is available generally but I have specified SkyBet as they are giving 6 places rather than the 4 or 5 available elsewhere.
This horse is no superstar but he has reached a peak rating of 142 over fences, so he is a decent horse on his day. He reverts back to hurdles here and runs off a mark of 130.
He has been running in hot company over fences including the Paddy Power Chase the last day. In comparison, this race has opposition rated between 104 and 126.
This is a horse than ran third in a Grade 1 Nathanial Lacey four years ago, running to a RPR of 140. He showed that was no fluke by winning a Listed Novice Hurdle next time out over 2m.
Nothing in the field has that level of form in the book and I just think he could be too good for them here despite giving the weight away. I also think 3m will be his trip now and the result the last day muddies the water on that because he was well beaten. You just have to remember that was a very hot race and the opposition today will have nowhere near the same levels of gears.
As a general rule, this horse gives you his all and you cannot fault a horse like that. With six places on offer, the quality of his old form and his attitude, I’d be disappointed if he found more than five too strong for him here. It looks a smart bit of placement to me and if he could run to his best, I can see him winning this at a big price.