Saturday marks the end of the Punchestown Festival and the jumps season in Ireland. Paul Townend will be crowned champion jockey with Rachael Blackmore finishing runner up and Willie Mullins being crowned champion trainer. Punchestown’s final day has an eight race card getting underway at 2:35 over the Cross Country course.
Hurricane Darwin comes in here off the back of finishing second behind Josies Orders over course and distance back in February. He was bet two lengths receiving three pounds, he now receives nine pounds and I think that will see him turn the tables. He also comes in here the fresher horse as Josies Orders ran on Thursday in the La Touche. I think Hurricane Darwin can get the day off to a flying start at 2/1.
Race two off at 3:10
Race two is a competive handicap so I have so I have chosen two horses. The first of those is the Munster National winner, Spider Web for Tom Mullins with Luke Dempsey in the saddle. He was last seen in March finishing third over hurdles to two nice horses. On his third last start he won the Munster National by a small margin and was given eight pounds for doing so. I think the run over hurdles was a nice warm up for this and I think he will close at 10/1.
My second selection is Kilkishen for Shark Hanlon and Danny Mullins is in the saddle. He was last seen in the Midlands National when he was pulled up, but before that he ran a nice race in the Eider at Newcastle finishing fourth. He finished seventh at Punchestown in the Grand National trial back in February. He has been off since the middle of March and I think he could run a good race at 33/1.
Race four off at 4:25
Fakir D’oudairies was last seen finishing second at Aintree, beaten a neck by the Triumph Hurdle winner Pentland Hills. He will enjoy the softer ground here than he got at Aintree. Prior to that he finished fourth in the Supreme at Cheltenham, the winner Klassical Dream has since came out and won again. I think he is the one to beat at 2/1.
Race five off at 5:00
Young Paddymc comes into this race with a featherweight on his back of 9st13lb. He has made a bright start to life over fences running three times, he has won once and been second twice. He was last seen finishing second to Scoir Mear at Navan last month. Scoir Mear was running a good race when being brought down by Pravalaguna at Punchestown on Friday. I think he is off a fair mark of 120, and will hopefully run well at 8/1.
Race six off at 5:35
Shanning bids to top off a great weak for the Supreme Racing Club after Kemboys success on Wednesday. She was last seen in November finishing second to Golden Spear at Down Royal. There is a pull in the weights with Shanning now receiving a pound off Golden Spear. Shanning is a more progressive type, she is only a six having her sixth start over hurdles. She has never been out of the first three and I don’t think that will change here at 14/1.
Qipco 2000 Guineas off at 3:35 at Newmarket
Madhmoon is trained by Kevin Prendergast and will be ridden by Chris Hayes. He has had a prep run at Leopardstown when he finished second behind the race fit Never No More giving him three pounds. That was over seven furlongs and he will enjoy the step back up to a mile. He was unbeaten as a two year running twice over a mile. I think he will run well for connections at 15/2.