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Punchestown Festival: Johnny Ward's best bets for day two of the meeting

By Johnny Ward
Wed 28 Apr 2021

Enjoy every moment from day two of the Punchestown Festival - featuring the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup - live on Racing TV with uninterrupted coverage available via Racing TV Extra.

This is a desperately tough card at Punchestown, with the loss of Minella Indo the disappointing aspect of a fantastic day's racing on the second leg of a long week.

I've gone for two Willie Mullins-trained selections in the Grade 1 races with the handicaps looking next to impossible, though there is one that looks overpriced. Make sure to look for good each-way terms.

5.55 Punchestown: Kemboy at a general 4-1

A winner of the latest renewal when a 13-8 chance, it's questionable whether he has much more to do two years on and his record in small-field Irish events is excellent.

We can probably forget Cheltenham and he does appear to offer a bit of value, with Danny Mullins getting on very well with him. The ground will be next to perfect.

6.30 Punchestown: Kilcruit at 13-8 with Boylesports

Kilcruit was sent off 10-11 at Cheltenham, should have won and this race is worse. It's hard to see why he should be odds-against here.

The only way he might get beaten is if Derek O'Connor - who can ride with excessive patience in bumpers - leaves it too late, but surely he won't after what happened to Paul Townend at Cheltenham.

7.00 Punchestown: Fitzhenry at 25-1 with Bet365

This horse is understandably associated with staying handicap chases at the top level, but his only two wins in his career came over about two and a half miles. Even so, he's been placed in a scatter of lucrative three-miles-plus handicaps, including two runs back in the Leinster National when given too much to do by Rachael Blackmore.

He didn't really back that up in the Irish National but hardly anything got into that from the rear, and he had some mishaps along the way. If he runs his race he's well-capable of going close here. Rider Jody McGarvey has had a terrific time of it in big races recently, so he will ride a slightly tricky horse with no shortage of confidence.

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