The reappearance of 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo is the highlight of Day 2 of the Punchestown Festival. The Willie Mullins horse will be opposed by stable mate and Aintree winner Kemboy in the Coral Gold Cup. That race and two other Grade 1 events are analysed below.
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For this three-miles novice hurdle, connections of Commander Of Fleet will hope that he can improve upon his second placed performance behind 50/1 winner Minella Indo in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at Cheltenham. There is no reason to suggest he can reverse placings in this contest as is the case with third horse Allaho who was seven lengths back in third position and is the choice of Ruby Walsh.
A more interesting challenger could be the lightly raced Willie Mullins trained Carefully Selected who bypassed Cheltenham in favour of a seasonal debut at Limerick where he narrowly won his first race over hurdles on heavy ground. The leading pair were nineteen lengths clear of the third horse. There may be more to come from this 7-year-old gelding who was second in the Cheltenham Champion Bumper last term.
Selection: Carefully Selected to Win: 6/1 with Paddy Power.
At first glance, it would appear that Willie Mullins holds the aces for this three-miles chase as he is represented by the first three favourites in the ante-post lists. Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo is unbeaten in both starts this term and heads the market alongside Kemboy who won at Aintree. A first fence mishap at Cheltenham is the only blot on his copybook this season. Irish Gold Cup winner Bellshill jumped poorly at Cheltenham before being pulled up but he has lost all four races at Prestbury Park, and could be a more potent challenger for Mullins at this course.
Of the other horses, the Brian Ellison trained Definitly Red should not be ignored as he was unlucky in at Cheltenham when brought down midway into the Gold Cup. The Northern horse bypassed an engagement at Sandown on Saturday to race in this much tougher race.
Yet he may lack the finishing pace of both Al Boum Photo and Kemboy with the latter nominated to claim his third Grade 1 victory this season but it will not be as easy as his facile Aintree success.
Selection: Kemboy to Win: 13/8 with Ladbrokes.
The Gordon Elliott trained Abacadabras has led the ante-post market for this 2m flat race and he was fourth behind stable mate Envoi Allen in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. None of the remaining horses would appear to have outstanding claims but Golden Spread has improved with each of his three races this term. He has also won his latest two contests including the defeat of Mt Leinster last time.
It may also be worth noting December Second who is owned and trained in Yorkshire by Philip Kirby and who comfortably won his only race this season at Ayr during mid-April.
Selection: Golden Spread to Win: 17/2 with bet365.
The treble for today is priced at 161/1 but we’d recommend betting on the three selections in a trixie, this means if two or more win you get a good profit. All three winning would return over £1300 from a £5 trixie.
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