The42′s Winning Post: Everything you need to enjoy Day One of Punchestown

And hopefully find you a winner.

Un De Sceaux ridden by Ruby Walsh comes home to win Un De Sceaux will look to end his season in winning style. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Three big talking points…

1. UN-STOPPABLE: UN DE Sceaux (10/11) drops back down to two miles as he heads a field of eight for the BoyleSports Champion Chase (5.30pm) on day one of the Punchestown festival.

The Willie Mullins star stepped up to 2m5f to claim the Ryanair at Cheltenham last month, but both his previous wins this season have come at the shorter distance.

Mullins’ rival in the race to be this season’s champion Irish jumps trainer, Gordon Elliott, has both Realt Mor (80/1) and The Game Changer (66/1) in the race, but British raider Fox Norton (11/4) is tipped by many to provide the real threat to Un De Sceaux.

The Colin Tizzard horse followed up a second place in the Cheltenham Champion Chase with a win in the Melling at Aintree last time out.

Given the form of the yard, don’t sleep on the Jessica Harrington-trained Rock The World (14/1) who is stepping up to Grade 1 company after winning the Grand Annual Handicap Chase at Prestbury Park last month.

Labaik ridden by Jack Kennedy comes home to win Labaik and Melon will shoot it out again. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

2. You’re twisting my Melon man: It was all supposed to be so easy for Melon (11/10) when he started the Supreme back in March only to be stunned by Labaik (5/2) who was as long as 50/1 that morning having failed to start two of his previous three races.

Melon can’t be faulted for his efforts finishing second that day and — if Labaik actually starts — this should be an incredible tussle for the Champion Novice Hurdle (4.20pm).

Aintree Novice Hurdle winner Pingshou (15/2) will need to show more if he’s to best the two at the head of the market.

Sean Flanagan onboard Disko clears the last on the way to winning the race Disko is looking to get back in the winner's enclosure. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

3. Disko Dancing: After a decent third to Yorkhill in the JLT at Cheltenham, Disko (evens) will be happy with a return to three miles in the Champion Novice Chase at 6.40pm.

Acapella Bourgeois (11/2) paid the price for trying to live with Might Bite in the early stages of the Novice Chase at Cheltenham and trailed home sixth of 12, some 60 odd lengths behind the winner but has two wins in his last two starts in Ireland.

He beat Anibale Fly (9/2) into fourth in Navan and though the JP McManus horse has three wins from six over the bigger fences this season, he would appear to have too much to find.

NAP of the day…

Fox Norton’s Melling Chase win is mightily impressive but history has not been kind to horses who’ve raced the Cheltenham-Aintree-Punchestown treble. The decision to skip Aintree, plus the drop down in distance, should see Un De Sceaux (10/11) home.

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An each-way fancy…

Jessica Harrington It's been a season to remember for Jessica Harrington. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Given that only five of the 16 have been on a racecourse before, the Land Rover Bumper at 6.05pm is a bit of a minefield. However, the Harrington yard is red hot at the moment and Boot Camp at 10/1 looks like great value. Jockey Kate Harrington says for the four-year-old:

I’m really looking forward to riding Boot Camp. He’s done all his homework well and I hope he will go close. I also feel Rock The World (14/1) has come out of his win at Cheltenham bouncing and is a great each-way chance to cause an upset in the Champion Chase.”


€10 on Un De SceauxMelon and Acapella Bourgeois will return €260.59.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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