Our Irish racing expert Johnny Ward believes the return to Punchestown can prompt a return to form for one handicapper at a price on day three. Enjoy every moment from the Punchestown Festival live on Racing TV and Racing TV Extra.
The show continues at Punchestown on Thursday with a really tricky feature Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle, in which Flooring Porter may face more competition up front than has been the case in his recent victories.
Day one showed that this meeting will throw up funny results when it involves horses who have run at the Cheltenham Festival, something hot Ryanair Novice Chase favourite Energumene avoided.
I've gone for two in the handicaps.
He's lost his last 22 races and this is fiercely competitive, so why should this be any different? That win, back in October 2018, was over today's course and distance. A strongly-run two miles on this ground will be right up this horse's street and he was never remotely involved at Tramore last time, a run that very much suggested he was being prepared for something bigger. He travels and jumps really strongly and, whatever it is about Punchestown, it seems to bring about the best in him.
Being by Manduro, three miles looked questionable for this horse at Fairyhouse but he cantered through the race and ran a blinder for one with so little experience. Out of a French winner over 2m3f, he has a mix of pace and stamina, and he has a massive chance here with any progress at all from the Fairyhouse run - just the fifth start of his career and his first handicap. He should jump a little slicker now too.We've teamed up with the Flat experts at Timeform to bring you a FREE copy of their latest book - 50 Flat Horses to Follow throughout the 2021 season. Click here to claim yours for FREE!
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