When Is Day Three Of The Punchestown Festival 2021?
Day three of the 2021 Punchestown Festival 2021 takes place on Thursday 29 April. The first race of the eight-race card starts at 15.40, with the last race due off at 19.35.
The highlight on day three of the Punchestown Festival is the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle. Flooring Porter won the Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and he bids to complete a rare double.
The other Grade 1 on the card is the Ryanair Novice Chase. Energumene bids to gain some compensation for having to miss the Cheltenham Festival with a slight setback, and he takes on old rival Captain Guinness.
The other hugely popular race on day three is the La Touche Cup, which takes place over Punchestown’s demanding cross-country course.
16.50 – La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase 2021
The La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase takes place over 4 miles and 2 furlongs, making it the second-longest chase in England and Ireland after the Grand National.
La Touche Cup 10-Year-Trends 2021
Winners in the last ten years have been as young as eight and as old as 14. Winners had run just two days earlier and also defied an absence of 122 days, though only one had won its last race. SPs of the winners varied between 13/8 and 25/1, with three of that last six returned at double-figure odds. Enda Bolger has trained three winners, while Peter Maher has trained two.
Who Will Win The La Touche Cup 2021?
Ballyboker Bridge returns to defend the crown he won in 2019 and there has been a 14-year-old winner in the last decade. But he needs to bounce back from a below-par performance when last seen in February.
Some Neck and Alpha Des Obeaux plugged on to be third and fourth in the equivalent race at the Cheltenham Festival, and either could play a prominent role in this lesser race.
But it looks significant that Enda Bolger has booked Derek O’Connor to ride Stand Up And Fight. A course winner over hurdles, he’s taken to enjoy the slower rhythm of this marathon trip.
Stand Up And Fight
17.25 Ladbrokes Champions Stayers Hurdle 2021
The Ladbrokes Champions Stayers Hurdle takes place over 3 miles.
Ladbrokes Champions Stayers Hurdle 10-Year-Trends 2021
Age has been no barrier to winning the last ten editions of the Ladbrokes Champions Stayers Hurdle, with horses aged six to 11 being successful. All had run between 21 and 52 days prior to their success. Five were priced at 5/2 or less and five had won their previous race, but four of those in each category can be attributed to Quevega.
Since the mare’s wins, there have been 16/1, 10/1, and 20/1 winners, and only one of the last four winners had won last time out. Three of the last four winners were also trained in England, while it’s been a while since the winner of the Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival double-up.
Who Will Win The Ladbrokes Champions Stayers Hurdle?
If Flooring Porter turns up in the same form as he did at Cheltenham, the rest may be playing for second, but Cheltenham winners rarely double up in this race.
Willie Mullins has won the race plenty of times, but the fact he’s mob-handed here with Bacardys, Klassical Dream, Saldier, and James Du Berlais suggests he has no strong fancy, though all the quartet have the class to play a role.
Diol Ker may struggle after running at Aintree, while stablemate Beacon Edge ran out of stamina in the closing stages at Cheltenham. Sole English-raider Agrapart surely isn’t good enough, a remark that also applies to Heaven Help Us and Mrs. Milner.
Sole Pretender steps up in class, so it may be either Fury Road, Ronald Pump, or the Storyteller that takes advantage if the favourite flops, with the latter given the each-way vote.
The Storyteller (Each-Way)
18.35 Ryanair Novice Chase 2021
The Ryanair Novice Chase takes place over 2 miles.
Ryanair Novice Chase 10-Year-Trends 2021
God’s Own pulled off a shock 25/1 win in this race in 2014 but showed that was no fluke by winning the Champion Chase at the meeting two years later. Either side of God’s Own’s win, Willie Mullins-trained hot pots have won six of the last seven editions.
Who Will Win The Ryanair Novice Chase 2021?
The mare Zarkareva gets a useful 10lb from the geldings, but she still has a mountain to climb on official ratings. She also finished last of five on her last run and it simply looks like connections have found her a good opportunity to pick up some prize money without troubling the judge.
Embittered looked to have been laid out for a Cheltenham handicap all season but he fell in the Grand Annual. Connections throw him back into graded company here, but he’s already been beaten a long way by the favourite this season.
Janidil relished good ground when winning a Grade 1 last time, but he now drops back in trip against two rivals that have proven themselves to be high-class at the minimum trip. But he did win three times over hurdles at this trip and can’t be ruled out.
Captain Guinness continues to be a talking-horse, one that his trainer thinks will thrive on nice spring ground, but he’s yet to fully deliver on his promise. Still only six, we may not see the best of him until next year.
Energumene put too much pressure on the jumping of Captain Guinness last time they met, and he looked a chaser of the highest calibre before suffering a slight setback. That and the faster ground are a slight worry but, with Willie Mullins-trained favourites having such an impressive record in the race, he’s taken to come out on top.